“na tad bhasayate suryo, na sasanko na pavakah, yad gatva na nivartante, tad dhama paramam mama” This shlok in the Bhagwat Gita clearly says that the abode of God doesn’t have the sun or the moon to give luminescence neither does it have any electricity or fire, as the effulgence come from the divine and when a living being reaches the Supreme he never returns to the material world. You must be thinking why all of a sudden I am giving you the “Geeta Gyan”? I actually want to ask you something by telling you this shloka. Our Holy Scriptures say when a person reaches the divine locus then he never returns then where do you think Paliwal Brahmins of Kuldhara village, must have gone that they never returned? Let’s see what the Legend of Paliwals tell us.
Kuldhara – 200 years back
Famous scientist Stephen Hawking recently warned everyone that we should abandon earth or we have to face the extinction. Just tell me one thing truly, if you got a chance to settle to some other planet will you abandon earth leaving your dear home. It would be quite a difficult task right? Just imagine when after getting such a warning we find it hard to leave our place then how Paliwal Brahmins would have left their villages in one night. Now to further flabbergast you, these homes were not any homes the whole village was scientifically developed by them. 18 Kilometers from Jaisalmer, in the blistering furnace of Thar Desert, resides Kuldhara but the Paliwal Brahmins knew how to convert all odds into even. They had developed the houses in a way that they were cold from inside even in the scorching heat. Not only this, they had even contrived a way to cultivate in the desert and harvest rain water on sand. So what exactly happened that forced them to evacuate overnight and make Kuldhara an abandoned and cursed village?
Some tales are so unusual that they touch your heart. Kuldhara- Legend of Paliwals also enfolds a saga that not only aghast you but will even stupefy you with the ultimate step which Paliwal Brahmin took to save their daughter. It is said that around 200 years before one of the prominent ministers of Jaisalmer, Salim Singh on his visit to Kuldhara got struck with lasciviousness for one of the girls of Kuldhara village. He threatened the villagers that if he was not married to that girl he would levy unbearable taxes and punishments on them. Paliwal Brahmins found this against their ethics as Salim Singh was of lower cadre and character. The villagers could not fight the huge army of the minister thus all the Paliwal Brahmins from 84 villages left the place in one-night without leaving any trace. You will be further flummoxed to know that no one saw those 1500 people leaving the village. I think that I really need to learn this trick for them, but will my phone ever let it happen? Well, this again is ambiguous like the whereabouts of the Kuldhara residents. It is even rumored that when they left the village they cursed that the place that nobody would ever be able to re-establish this village to live here and this seems the harsh reality about the place.
Is it Haunted?
People say that you can feel the eldritch jinx in the place. There is so much queer inkling about the presence of spirits that the gates are closed before the sun sets and nobody dares to go there before the sun rises. If you believe the tittle-tattle, you may even see the shadows of Paliwal Brahmins, hear the conversation of women talking, as well as the tinkling of their anklets and bangles, when you come here at night. For giving you this spooky experience many hotels offer the opportunity of ghost safari in which you may experience the other-worldly. Even the team of paranormal society sensed something uncanny about Kuldhara when they visited it in May 2013.
When the history got altered
Seeing the stack of bricks and few houses you would not be able to stop your soul from imagining the place when the prosperous community lived here. The beautiful temple of Sati Devi, being the spectator of the Gospel truth, standing in between seems to tell the whole unbiased story about the legend of Paliwals through its ringing bells. I may be sounding like the Godmen from the temple near you but when you come to Kuldhara without any axes to grind, the ruins will surely give you the sense of the cacophony of sorrow and pride. I came to know during my journey that in 2001 the place was finalized for shooting Agent Vinod and for this the whole village was converted into a site of Taliban. But like me, many didn’t like the alteration of historical site and shooting was banned. In this process, many Urdu inscriptions were written and then the government of Rajasthan and Archeological Survey of India restored the place into its original form.
Although, when I visited Kuldhara, I didn’t get any written proof of the legend of Paliwals which is famous about the place then I even didn’t get any answer to why the Kuldhara and adjoining villages are still deserted. We may not know the exact story but for me, the legend of Paliwals is heroic and I feel that if I could be so strong hearted in standing for my ethics and values, I may leave behind only the ruins but people would remember and talk about it.