Kuldhara – A haunted village near Jaisalmer

Kuldhara a ghost town near Jaisalmer, haunted village in Rajasthan

Kuldhara – an abandoned village near Jaisalmer

Join me as we head on an eerie trail to Kuldhara, a haunted abandoned village near Jaisalmer in Rajasthan. Rajasthan has its share of spooky tales and ghost towns in India like Bhangarh Fort, which is the most haunted fort in India, but Kuldhara is no less sinister.

Kuldhara, Jaisalmer, monsoon in the desert, monsoon in the Thar desert, Rajasthan

Monsoons in the desert in Jaisalmer

You do not wake up every day to the news of roads being flooded in Jaisalmer.  And cooped inside the palatial fortress in Suryagarh, watching the monsoon rains drench the desert from my window, I was longing to step out and soak in the atmosphere. And that is when I heard about the legend of the Paliwal Brahmins. Set 200 years ago, it was the story of a community who had vanished overnight, leaving behind a ghost village to narrate their tale.  A haunted trail to a village called Kuldhara near Jaisalmer was organised by Suryagarh at night, but it was tempting to explore the abandoned village during the day as well .

Photo of Kuldhara haunted village near Jaisalmer, ghost town in Rajasthan

On the way to Kuldhara

A constant drizzle followed us on the road but it was magical to feel the rush of monsoons in the deserts.  We saw an oasis almost everywhere as water gushed through low lying lands and flooded the roads. Dark low hanging clouds pregnant with rain took over the sky. The parched desert was only too willing to embrace the downpour. And the locals were celebrating, as we met a few on the roads, who were rushing to their homes for a sumptuous lunch.

Kuldhara a ghost town near Jaisalmer Rajasthan

A temple in the haunted Kuldhara Village

The desert looked bewitching but here we were on an eerie trail .We took a detour and reached Kuldhara . An old man dressed in white, sporting a long flowing grey beard surfaced out of nowhere, looking almost like an apparition himself. He had an ageless feel about him . The wrinkles around his face and his sunken eyes seemed to tell a story of their own, but he was more interested in narrating the tale of the Paliwal Brahmins who used to live here in the 18th century.

The legend of Kuldhara

The Paliwals were harassed by the local Samant or the ruler and were paying huge amounts of money in the form of taxes to them. But one fine day,  the ruler apparently set his eyes on one of the girls in the community, possibly the Chief’s daughter .  The Paliwals were given no choice in the matter and they had just a day to accept his proposal. Overcome by remorse and in desperation, the entire community left their homes and hearths behind, cursing the king and escaped in the death of the night .

Kuldhara a ghost town near Jaisalmer, haunted village in Rajasthan, photo of Kuldhara

Kuldhara village, a ghost town in Jaisalmer

We climbed a rickety flight of steps inside an abandoned home to reach the terrace and saw the broken remnants of the village. Puddles of water had collected in the narrow lanes reflecting the crumbled ruins.See video below

The village wore a desolated look and had a cursed feel about it. Only a lone temple stood there renovated amidst the ruins.

Kuldhara ghost town in Rajasthan, lone haunted temple in Rajasthan

The sun sets over Kuldhara village – a ghost town

Is Kuldhara a ghost town ?

Many stories floated around. Some say the “chudails” or ghosts walked around in the night, haunting the place. Others say that no body lived here anymore as mysterious deaths have occurred. The silence was not comforting . And then the voice of the old man floated in the air .“No one knew anything about them, some say they came from Pali in Jodhpur, some say they went back to Pali but only their souls now rest in Kuldhara .”

You can hear the story from the caretaker here, who narrates it in his evocative style however he dismisses the haunted bit.See video below and view the detailed post here.

So what do you think ? Is Kuldhara haunted ? Would you like to visit the abandoned village ?

I was hosted by Suryagarh in Jaisalmer who took me on the trail to Kuldhara.


  1. Vartika bhati 9 February, 2014 at 17:26 Reply

    Hey there!! I am Vartika. I am 10 years old. We went to jaisalmer and stay in the hotel suryagarh palace. We took a haunted trail from Suryagarh. Mumma, my elder brother, my grandparents and ME. We went for the trail in an open jeep, all my family was telling there haunted experience happens with them in there childhood. I was scared!! We went to kuldhara and the watchman took some money. Our driver tell us about the curfew. I start shiwring. We went to 2 other places and then again to the hotel.
    I had such a nice experience.
    Buh bye…

  2. Prince Parulekar 9 February, 2014 at 23:13 Reply

    First of all there is no such thing as Ghost

    It is our mind that plays tricks on us and above that most the population around that specific location is illiterate. There by believing in such myths easily, it is our mind that plays tricks on us, specially in such occasions.

    There is saying if you say something to one person in the end that very sentence will become completely different, and most of this is due to miscommunication

    guys pls reply to my email id [email protected]

    Miss-beliefs will continue, but it is up to what we wish to believe

  3. Prithvi Subba 10 February, 2014 at 23:18 Reply

    Hi Lakshmi. I’ve followed many of your travelogues but this one was really interesting. The video of your guide was a really good idea. I have become quite the “armchair traveller” reading your blogs &FB posts. Waiting to see you unearth new things for us in the future. Good luck traveller .

  4. ATUL SHARMA 11 February, 2014 at 22:38 Reply

    Just before two days I was watching about this so called “haunted village” on z news and so obviously like any one I was excited to know about the ghost, or actually something that I have never seen before, yes some paranormal activity that they were also trying to get there but the every effort tried by the metaphor, Gaurav Tiwar was a fiasco after the local people surrounding the village came and told that it was only a myth that started by few people and continuously supported by media for their own profit without knowing the fact.

    Sorry Lakshmi ma’am, I narrated whole story, just wanted to tell what I saw recently but overall you are really lucky that you got the chance to visit this nice place….I would also like to visit this place.

    • Lakshmi Sharath 11 February, 2014 at 22:42 Reply

      Thanks so much for the information. In the caretaker in his interview (video) says the same …he says that there is no ghost here, however the other locals said that it was haunted..hence the story is from both perspectives..

  5. Mohit Gupta 14 February, 2014 at 13:28 Reply

    I came to know about Kuldhara village in a television show called “Bhoot Aaya”. The show telecasts real stories of people who are victim of some paranormal activity. The pics posted recalls the haunting episode in my memory.
    I want to go there once definitely in a day time. However I want to know is his place really had a horrible past which leads to this eeriness or its just a man made story..

  6. Deepak 25 February, 2014 at 00:45 Reply

    Recently I’ve heard of this haunted village kuldhara. An episode on TV was aired regarding the ghosts that till date survive in this village. Since u had a gid experience wud wish to visit this place..

    Thanx laxmi for posting such a wonderful experience..

  7. vidhya 22 March, 2014 at 20:22 Reply

    very interesting… i love to read things like this…. even i wanted to travel such places… its my hobby.. nice pictures…. and also videos gives more information….. its very good….

  8. Muskan 23 March, 2014 at 17:42 Reply

    It was my first look of ur website….I hve became a huge fan of urs I lyk these kind of mysterious things..u r really grea..keep it up

  9. Pawan Sharma 9 April, 2014 at 16:44 Reply

    The Paliwals were harassed by the local Samant or the ruler and were paying huge amounts of money in the form of taxes to them. But one fine day, the ruler apparently set his eyes on one of the girls in the community, possibly the Chief’s daughter . The Paliwals were given no choice in the matter and they had just a day to accept his proposal. Overcome by remorse and in desperation, the entire community left their homes and hearths behind, cursing the king and escaped in the death of the night . All other stories are fake just to attract the tourists so that more and more mony can be earned by local guides. i have been livng here fr last 6 yrs. I havespent many nights there.

  10. ankush paiwal 12 April, 2014 at 10:49 Reply

    Hay, kuldhra is a very beautiful palace.i m going to kuldhra but i want to going into night please can you give me some special information ……???????

  11. ajay verma 25 July, 2014 at 02:21 Reply

    nice place.i will go soon as possible and stay there.because i dont belive in ghost..its a scientific reason..i will go nd stay there for two days..

  12. Jasvinder Arora 28 July, 2014 at 17:43 Reply

    beautiful pics, i had visited Kuldhara last year, i felt the silence there and stayed there for half an hour. there is something over there which makes u feel the presence of someone

  13. shrikant pawnikar 3 November, 2014 at 15:19 Reply


    • Deva ram 22 October, 2015 at 12:41 Reply

      this story is too tragedy and dectetorship of kings ruling jaisalmer that time loss of culture brotherhood huminity architecture and many more

  14. Shahjahan Samalewale 1 December, 2014 at 01:41 Reply

    Mam i believe in ghosts but i can’t see any ghost in my life i want to see them i want to research on ghosts

  15. Rai Khalid Bashir Manj Rajput 12 December, 2014 at 04:24 Reply

    It is very interesting effort by lashmi direct link to rawal jaisalmer goes back beyond rawal maharaja.and eventually to Krishna maharaj .I am originally a bhati then raja Mann was very well known .raja gaj of gajni raja salivahan raja rasaloo.these r few names I have mentioned.I live in London my interest has always been with my ancestors history raja tulsi days became Muslim and left his dharam.u can contact me on 07876594751.thanks lakshmi ji

  16. lucky dhillon 12 December, 2014 at 13:06 Reply

    hello, i am lucky. me and my best friend honey visited there last month, it was such a howling place..we had diffirent experience there, we made the plan to go inside this village by our car, when we reached a little bit far our car stuck in desert…we did try hard to pull it but it was stucked badly..we looked all aroud if there is anybody for help us, but there was no one..after an our another tourist came there, and they help us to pull our car out there…

  17. RåJë£V 9 February, 2015 at 23:37 Reply

    I don’t think it’s right that this is hunted/ghostfull place…….its have a different kind of story in its background…….In anciant time kuldhara & its nearer villages were the villeges of PALIWAL BRAHMINS…….then they torchered by kings/samants…..they leaved this area…….in only 1 night…..about 1.50 lakh paliwal brahmins leave this place……it’s not terrorfull/hunted……..Jai Marwar Ri Dhara……

  18. lisa 19 March, 2015 at 00:14 Reply

    Hi Lakshmi!I am 17 years old and am really passionate about travelling.i am planning to start my own travel blog soon and would be glad if you could give me some ideas on what aspects of travelling to write about and the skills I need to develope to be a successful travel blogger.i absolutely love your blog and aspire to write as well as you have got great talent.hope to hear froom you soon.thanks.

  19. Rishira 13 April, 2015 at 22:40 Reply

    I visited Kuldhara myself with my family in 2014. It sure had an eerie feeling about it as you so rightly said in your writing. We missed the old man but as he was returning back home when we were just reaching the village. So, unfortunately we could not know his tale. But, we did visit the temple( I went in first being adventurous and against my parents wishing( I love to break their rules)) It was amazing and creepy as hell! Your article is really amazing. Your visualizing technique is very brief and tantalizing. Thankyou for sharing your experience with me.

  20. Manthan kumar 19 May, 2015 at 22:19 Reply

    हैं चल पड़े जिस राह पर..
    ना चाहते भी हैं मगर…
    ले जाती हैं उसके करीब…
    जब दे इशारा बेबस नसीब…
    न देख सके ना सोच सके है आगे क्या तेरी तकदीर…
    जो पल दिए थे जीने तुझे बस जी चुका तू वो सभी…
    ले जायगी तुझे अपने साथ गौर से देख अपने हाथ…
    हैं मिट चुकी वो लकीर ….
    जो थी ज़िन्दगी की ज़ंजीर….
    आ…. अपना ले मुझे….
    मैं हूं तेरी मौत……

  21. Susanta Kumar Sahoo 16 June, 2015 at 13:45 Reply

    It really feels great to have come across such a vibrant collection of travelogues. The narration, the pictures, and the stories ….everything about your blog is amazing. You’re doing a great job, Laksmi.

  22. Manohar singh bhati 9 August, 2015 at 10:44 Reply

    Hey kuldhara is hunted place after sun sait nobody go there but in kuldhara terser were there like gold silver paliwals were very rich that time they do busnies of gold frm pakistan when they go frm kuldhara they left his all money at kuldhara 1000 of pepole come for gold but at night time they left his instument thier hahaha becoz gost are guard of their tresier nd i also experiens thousand time one day iam coming frm gajiya vilage near kuldhara time 7 30 2 friends on bike nd iam riding hourse sudly my horse doing hinhin nd fuly change his ride nd both bike slep there how ever we pas vilage nd stay at suryagarh hotel campus

  23. Swathi naidu 23 August, 2015 at 14:23 Reply

    It was amezing i also want to go kuldhar but present i cant go there bcoz im pregnant 9th mnth running next year i ll go definitely i was more interest about spirits i want to became a para normal psychiatry unfortunately para normal psychology course not available in india it was my bad luck

  24. Vamshi 26 August, 2015 at 04:27 Reply

    Nice story even u heard about kuldhara place it’s very dangerous still devils are surviving there Thank you so much Lakshmi thanks a lot to giving a wonderful mystery story of kuldhara and it’s very gud thought to take an interview video of care taker Moreover I love travelling great experience Lakshmi Best if lucky we are some more real stories from your travell journey

  25. sarvesh 15 September, 2015 at 19:33 Reply

    Hi Lakshmi,

    I read your blog. It was very neatly written. Actually I liked it a lot the way you have described your experiences and feelings posting alongwith the pics making it more real. Let me tell you travelling is my cup of tea. Exploring new places creates an adrenaline rush in me. I wish if I can get a work which requires only travelling, travelling and travelling. Do let me know if I have a chance. Till now I have done many tours in India, though Ajmer Sharif-Jaisalmer-Jaipur is in my in next to do list.

    Sarvesh Das

  26. p shankar 29 September, 2015 at 21:13 Reply

    iam from visakhapatnam andhrapradesh.i read about kuldhara in an news magzain.but after go threw ur article i change my openione that kuldhara is not an ghost village. thanks

  27. Sa 13 October, 2015 at 15:09 Reply


    nice article. but i have doubt that for 200 years, who has been maintaining this place? i mean how can the houses & temples remain in proper shape for so many years without anyone maintaining them? another doubt i have is if so many families stayed there, they must had relatives in other towns/cities. didnt they have any idea about those people?

  28. Prasoon 18 October, 2015 at 13:49 Reply

    Laft February, I’ve been there in Kuldhara. It’s no ghost village! just an abandoned village of Paliwal brahmins. You can find the ruins of a centuries old village and a very calm place as there is no human activities nearby.

  29. Pradyuman singh 28 November, 2015 at 14:57 Reply

    Actually i m very much intrested in this broad thinking of villagers of kuldhara saying that its a curse of a family …..
    Can anyone give me the details of this case .
    I actually wnt to visit kuldhara as for my research.

  30. Imran 29 November, 2015 at 02:46 Reply


  31. Rishi Bhalla 14 January, 2016 at 21:54 Reply

    Well I believe this story .But it could be a possible chance of visual and auditory hallucinations.
    It is not mandatory that only Dopers or substance abused people would experience if a place is abundant from last many years and not developed with the time. These story comes in. I visited both Bhangarh And Kuldhara did not experienced anything like the story tellers told about. But As per the work and research done by Lakshmi Sharath is Fabulous.
    Keep up the good work

  32. Nilesh 28 January, 2016 at 11:24 Reply

    I visited this place 3 day ago… this place is beautiful.. U can feel the pain and anger in those destroyed houses…. But to be honest air of this village will make u uncomfortable like some one is pushing u to go out of this village… feel the thrill and u will get what u r thinking

  33. Rakesh 4 February, 2016 at 00:04 Reply

    Do you feel that the place is really haunted? Did u sense the presence of any energy there???which else haunted place you have visited ?

  34. Abdul rahim 8 February, 2016 at 12:27 Reply

    Hi lakshmi sarath iam abdul from chennai. I would like to contact u regarding kuldhara. Iam from film industry direction dep my contact no. 9841333513,8754011311. Pls text me so that it will be use full. Thank u

  35. shrividhya 15 April, 2016 at 18:55 Reply

    the people were vanished the place at a night. then why it is referred as ghost village. i like your photographs very much. but i want the answer please why it is called ghost village or haunted place

    • P.S.Ranawat 3 June, 2016 at 12:04 Reply

      Kuldhara is an abandoned village near the famous hill-fort (giri-durg) – Jaiselmer, which was founded on the “Trikuta Hill” by Jaisel Bhati in 1156, because the original capital Lodrawa / Lodurva/ Lodarva was on not safe from attacks by enemies. This region was located on the trade routes connecting India with Persia and Arabia via land trade routes as well as the ports of Gujarat-hence they earned well due to levied taxes from the caravans. Subsequently, the invaders from north (present-day Afghanistan) passed through this area on way to loot Gujarat in general and the fabulously rich Somnath Temple in particular. To escape the wrath of invading armies the vulnerable villages on the plains were abandoned by its inhabitants, because apart from material looting the invaders captured men, women, & children as slaves. THIS is the MAIN reason why, not just Kuldhara, but numerous other similar villages lie abandoned in that area. But certain factoids (an item of false information that is reported and repeated so often that it becomes accepted as fact) crept in and are “enjoyed” by the tourists-why we humans love such myths is matter of research. The logical historical facts should be promoted rather than the falsehood.

  36. Meer 2 September, 2016 at 22:04 Reply

    Hi I’m meeru owners of dreamtime bungalow village kuldhra I born twenty minutes walk distance from kuldhra and please to all the dear guest that no more ghost in kuldhra village it’s totally fake story of current life.even last few years I run dreamtime bungalow which is next to kuldhra temple few minutes walk. I promise you that if you walk during in midnight in kuldhra village no problem be happy. Please feel free

  37. MANYA 24 December, 2016 at 21:32 Reply

    I had been there. It had its own charm but was a little spooky. But a kid over there told us the haunted story. But it was an excellent experience.

  38. Jio.Jio 4 January, 2017 at 09:02 Reply

    It was amazing i also want to go kuldhar but present i cant go there bcoz im pregnant 9th month running next year(I have to stay at home all day and watch tv). i ll go definitely i was more interest about spirits.i want to became a para normal psychiatry unfortunately para normal psychology course not available in India it was my bad luck.

  39. shubham vishwakarma 2 February, 2017 at 19:50 Reply

    I want to produce a film all about of this place please give all information as name of that samant name of that gorgious daughter of paliwal and other important facts which may be consider my whatsapp no. Is +919713976132

  40. Avinash Paliwal. 9 February, 2017 at 14:58 Reply

    I would like to thank you for writing about Kuldhara. Actually there are 84 villages of Paliwals and all are believed to be cursed and haunted but Kuldhara is largest among them. Khaba is also equally interesting about mystery because you will find 100s of mysterious tunnel ways and underground roads those nobody have explored after Paliwals but believed that they opens around and in Afganistan, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. You have not gone into details of history behind the Kuldhara’s destruction.
    Thanks for this information.

  41. SHRIKANT PAWNIKAR 25 May, 2017 at 00:31 Reply

    I have visited this place with family & also published my article on it dt.23.11.2014 in TARUN BHARAT , NAGPUR MAHARASHTRA . The cognigence isalso taken of my article by A.S.I. Delhi & I also received letter from ASI.
    I like this place & got unbelievable experience..Very nice place.
    Shrikant Pawnikar
    mbl 9423683250

  42. appnaz 26 June, 2017 at 09:17 Reply

    thanks for your sharing.
    Such an interesting place. You must have enjoyed a lot while visiting this place. I would also like to visit this place. Nice pictures as well.

  43. yahoo support 13 July, 2017 at 15:56 Reply

    Visited the same place last month.It was a great experience for me.And the story of the incident happened at KULDHARA was seem to be true.I feel some kind of strange experience with me.But still, I was not confirmed what was it.So, overall, it was a great trip.

  44. AbhilashaAskoti 19 April, 2018 at 20:57 Reply

    I am so excited to visit the kuldhara village because I am interested in horror things and I also wanted to go in bhangarh fort .. if you believe that all are true and you can’t believe that nothing happens in your life. but also obey to elders about this matters. they have a lot of experience of life that’s why…..

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