Kuldhara is an abandoned village in the Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan, India. Established around 13th century, it was once a prosperous village inhabited by Paliwal Brahmins. It was abandoned by the early 19th century for unknown reasons, possibly because of dwindling water supply, or as a local legend claims, because of persecution by the Jaisalmer State's minister Salim Singh. A 2017 study suggests that Kuldhara and other neighbouring villages were abandoned because of an earthquake.
The Kuldhara village was originally settled by Brahmins who had migrated from Pali to Jaisalmer region. These migrants originating from Pali were called Paliwals. Tawarikh-i-Jaisalmer, an 1899 history book written by Lakshmi Chand, states that a Paliwal Brahmin named Kadhan was the first person to settle in the Kuldhara village. He excavated a pond called Udhansar in the village.
The ruins of the village include 3 cremation grounds, with several devalis (memorial stones or cenotaphs). The village was settled by the early 13th century, as indicated by two devali inscriptions. These inscriptions are dated in the Bhattik Samvat (a calendar era starting in 623 CE), and record the deaths of two residents in 1235 CE and 1238 CE respectively.Image Copyright: Google