Kuldhara & Bhangarh:Limited Imaginations Story

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Kuldhara and Bhangarh, the cause of why I visited -Never be limited by other people’s limited imagination. Interestingly, both Kuldhara and Bhangarh have received ample media coverage. Hence I searched a little to find there are many theories, & every possible approach is refreshing. I travelled to the destination, Kuldhara and Bhangarh, at different times. And I found the story of both places quite similar. The history of both places speaks of riches, power, beauty, and prosperity. Yet got ruined due to greed, lust, and thirst to be superior. The Archaeological Survey of India maintains both the destination Kuldhara and Bhangarh. Hence not sure about them being haunted, but the eeriness of these places gives you a spooky touch.

Limited Imaginations Story: Kuldhara & Bhangarh
Ruin of Kuldhara
Limited Imaginations Story: Kuldhara & Bhangarh
Entrance gate of Bhangarh

I visited kuldhara with my mom during our travel to Jaisalmer. It is a small hamlet over 18km west of Jaisalmer-towards Sam Desert. As we held the dusty Road, the first thing that caught my attention was the scant or nonexistent human presence. Also, the vegetation was minimal & the afternoon sun was fiery; an uncanny silence prevailed. As we entered the gates of Kuldhara village and walked along the roads, I saw ruins. Houses that have decayed and fallen, dusty roads, and overgrown shrubs. Since not many people visit this village, considering the eerie ghost stories, the place’s mystique has increased.

Limited Imaginations Story: Kuldhara & Bhangarh

Talking about the theories, why was Kuldhara abandoned overnight? We must lead a dive into history & go back to the 13th Century when Kuldahra was established. Kuldhara village was inhabited by the Paliwal Brahmins, who migrated from the Pali region of western India. This town is composed of 84 communities, once home to these Paliwal Brahmins, who now narrate ghostly tales.


Limited Imaginations Story: Kuldhara & Bhangarh
Old, recreated stone houses.

The Paliwal Brahmins were known for their deep understanding of agriculture, as they raised crops in the harsh & dry conditions of the desert. They had the skill to distinguish areas that stored gypsum rock, a soft mineral made up of 20% water, beneath the surface. Likewise, their trading skills worked towards the enlargement & prosperity of the community over six centuries.

Limited Imaginations Story: Kuldhara & Bhangarh

So why would a prosperous community vanish overnight, leaving all its belongings behind?

As per Historians, by the early 19th Century, the small town had been deserted. Possible causes were lack of water and atrocities of a Diwan named Salim Singh. By 1815 most of the wells in the village had dried up; by 1890, only the steep well & other two deep well were functioning. Thus the historical records suggest that the population of the town gradually declined. A study in 2017 revealed that Kuldhara & neighbouring villages were destroyed because of an Earthquake. The evidence of Earthquake-related destruction is collapsed roofs, fallen joists, Lintels & pillars. Such extensive damage cannot be attributed to the normal process of weathering & erosion.

Limited Imaginations Story: Kuldhara & Bhangarh

The ruins of Kuldhara are an excellent example of that era’s architectural excellence, which draws photographers to the narrow lanes of 410 ruined buildings. The other theory, which is widely admitted & narrated, that’s the sprawling community left to avoid oppression from the ruthless & unfair Diwan Salim Singh. The lecherous Diwan located a considerable sum 0f money from the Paliwals in the sort of taxes. But one beautiful day, he put his sight on the daughter of the local Chief. He gave the entire village a request and over the girl to him or be ready to face dire consequences. Fearing the wrath of the Diwan, they decided to leave the town at night.

Instead of handing over his daughter, the Chief asked the entire village to pack & leave overnight. Nobody saw them departing, but a thousand homes were left empty behind. The local legend claims that while deserting the town, the Paliwals imposed a curse that no one could re-occupy the little town. Gradually the village acquired its reputation as a haunted place, the entire village wore a desolated look, but alone temple stood amidst the ruins. I wanted to linger a little longer after the sunset, but my driver was uncomfortable. So we explored the renovated houses, cenotaphs of Kuldhara and the dried-up step well.

A distant view of the ruined village

Nobody is allowed hereafter the sunset; then we had to depart. But the walls of sandstone gates and the dried bed of the Kakni river are evidence of prolonged human life in Kuldhara, destroyed for lust, greed & thirst to be superior. Post my visit to Kuldhara, the next destination I was desperate to visit was the Bhangargh Fort. The storyline of both these places is similar, which are now haunted. Both venues were once the architectural marvel and are now desolated ruined archaeological sites. The Fort stands tall, unbeaten and grim in the Alwar district of Rajasthan. It adjoins the famed Sariska Tiger Reserve.

Limited Imaginations Story: Kuldhara & Bhangarh
The expanse of the Fort

Unlike most forts of Rajasthan, this Fort is not built on the hills but instead situated at the foothills of the sloping terrain. I travelled in the 17th Century and built Bhangarh Fort with friends. Bhangarh was once a flourished town, but now the fort complex has the ruins of Havelis, a roofless bazaar and temples. While its principal gate is dilapidated, the other points of entry are intact -like the Delhi, Ajmeri, Phulbari & Lahori Gates. As you walk past the entrance, you will stumble upon various temples adorned with intricate & delicate carvings.

Limited Imaginations Story: Kuldhara & Bhangarh
Entrance through the gates

Though most temples have been abandoned & devoid of deities, the Hanuman & Shiva temples are still functioning. Few temples are still working. The Gopinath temple is the Largest among all, made of yellow sandstone. Further ahead, you get to see the priest’s residence, royal chambers, and a Nachini ki Haveli but, of course, in ruins. The place is littered with broken rocks and masonry, a magnificent banyan tree growing through the broken walls, but amidst this stands the Someshwar temple intact.

Limited Imaginations Story: Kuldhara & Bhangarh
Gopinath Temple
Limited Imaginations Story: Kuldhara & Bhangarh
Ruin Part Of The Carved Temple

It was getting back to the theories about why this prosperous town is now in the shadows of the ruins; let us start with historical facts. In 1573 AD Raja Bhagwant Das built this Fort for his son Madho Singh. The Kingdom was ruled by Madho Singh & his son Chatr Singh. The land came to decline after the violent death of Chatr Singh & feminine that hit the town in 1783, leaving it deserted and turning it into ruins. In that era, there is another fact that Bhangarh was probably demolished in the war against Ajabgarh, which is nearby. However, the two folklore that is famous & narrated by various social media sites & to visiting tourists was that Bhangarh was cursed.

Roofless bazaar

According to the legends, Baba Balak Nath, an ascetic, lived in the fortress area. He insisted that no house in the vicinity should cast shadows on his cave & disturb his meditation. Madho Singh tried his best to stick with the assertion. But in vain. The shadows grew longer as the sun shifted south in winter and touched Balak Nath’s cave. He led to waking him up from his deep meditation. The ascetic issue curse that the town & its people will never be able to build another roof in the vicinity.

Machine ki Haveli

The other local tale is of a Tantric named Singhania, who fell in love with Ratnavati, the princess of Bhangarh. Singh was well-versed in black magic. And was attracted to the unparalleled beauty of the princess. He had tried multiple spells over the princess to seek her attention but all in vain. Then one beautiful day, he came upon Ratnavati’s maid buying perfume in the village marketplace. Seeking the opportunity, he cast a charm on the aroma, making the princess fall in love with him after use. Somehow Ratnavati came to know his plan. And in anger threw the bottle out of the window, which stuck the Tantric (another version states she threw it on a boulder which rolled & crushed the Tantric. Synge died of injuries, & on his deathbed, he cursed the Bhagngarh town & people.

Ruined Pillar

It’s alleged that the fortress was attacked by Mugal invaders, leading to destruction. It is believed that the soul of Tantric still searches Ratnavati in ruins at night. The fanciful tales now have several versions with changing times. These stranger myths & legend has given a haunted crown to this place. And forcing the local populace to build a town away from here. Also, outlaw anyone from entering the grounds after sunset. This place is likewise accessible as it engages in witchcraft & black magic. As cloth & other accessories are strewn around at many spots in the Fort.

Panorama view of the Bhangarh fort

It’s hard to establish the truth of these theories, whether both Kuldhara and Bhangarh are haunted. Only the truth is the prosperous town declined in the thirst for superiority. One should see these destinations, Kuldhara and Bhangarh, to embrace their beauty, affluence & heritage. It possessed centuries back, not just for the spooks that the eerie desolation gives.

How to Reach Kuldhara.

  1. You can reach Jaisalmer via air, rail, or Road, and it’s well-connected with major cities in India.
  2. From Jaisalmer, you need to hire a cab, as there are no buses or other means of transport to visit Kuldhara Village.


Can Stay in Jaisalmer or Sam desert. There are multiple resorts, hotels & tents.

How to Reach Bhangarh Fort

By Air

The closest airport is Jaipur international airport. From the airport, you can take taxis to Bangargh, which is a 90 Km drive.

By Rail

The closest railway station is Bhan Khari and Dausa. Trains leaving from Gurgaon & Jaipur. From the rail station, a cab to the destination or local buses to Gola ka bus.

By Road

Driving is the most Scenic & adventurous way to visit. Gurgaon to Bhangargh is 243 km, a 5hrs drive.


You can Stay in  Alwar, Jaipur or Sariska there are many hotels & resorts.








2 thoughts on “Kuldhara & Bhangarh:Limited Imaginations Story

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