Paliwal Brahmins of Kuldhara near Jaisalmer vanished into the night

jaisalmer-kuldhara-150109-026This is one of the most bizarre stories of human migration one can hear.

Drive 18 km west of Jaisalmer and you will come upon the village of Kuldhara. Once a prosperous settlement of the Paliwal Brahmins, all the residents of Kuldhara and 83 nearby villages vanished suddenly one night in 1825, having lived there since 1291. In all likelihood they set up base somewhere beyond Jodhpur but no one has ever been sure.

Click on any image for a larger view.

Read more about the architectural wonder that is Kuldhara – click here.

The Paliwals made their fortune by the sheer brilliance of their business and agricultural acumen. They knew the art of growing a water intensive crop like wheat in the Thar desert; they could identify areas with gypsum rock layers running under the ground surface to ensure water was retained for the crops. The rulers depended on the Paliwals for much of their tax revenues.

What made them want to abandon everything overnight? The Prime Minister, or the dewan, is believed to have developed a lecherous eye for the chief’s daughter; it is said the Paliwal women were in general stunningly beautiful. He may even have imposed unreasonable taxes on them. With pride and honour overruling all worldly interests, the chiefs of the 84 villages decided to go away in a single night with whatever they could carry with them.

Where are the Paliwals now? Scattered all over the world. And generally doing well going by their genetic lineage. It is said they even left a curse on the villages, bringing death and suffering to anyone who tried to live in these villages. For the Paliwals, this was not the first migration. Before Kuldhara, according to some accounts, they had left Pali near Jodhpur from where they originally came from; it was to escape additional war taxes being imposed by the king.

Looks like the royalty of Rajasthan had made an art of killing the geese that laid golden eggs for them.

jaisalmer-kuldhara-150109-072

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About the author

Ajay Jain is a travel writer, photographer, and blogger. He has written many books, and publishes and online mag and a travel channel too. Contact him at ajay@ajayjain.com.

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92 Comments

  • Puneet Paliwal

    Thanks for sharing such inspiring facts about Paliwal Brahmins. I am feeling proud to be a Paliwal and being a part of such a wonderful community…

     
  • MUKUND PALIWAL

    IT IS VERY GOOD INFORMATION TO US AND WE MUST WANT TO KNOW IT. THIS NOT ONLY HISTORY THIS IS OUR CULTURE AND I AM PROUD IT…………

     
  • paliwal brahmins samaj ko sabhi bhai banduo ko vill-dudiya wasioyo ki tarf se happy paliwal samaj (pali) raj. ( mulchand paliwal & dilip paliwal) best off luck.

     
  • BHAWANI SHANKAR

    paliwal samaj ke sabhi banaduo ko, BHAWANI SHANKAR PALIWAL ,Village-lolawas , dis.-jodhpur,ke aur se
    adavans – HAPPY NEW YEAR

     
  • VED PRAKASH PALIWAL

    i am proud of that i am paliwal brahaman. Very Very Happy New year to all paliwal samaj.

     
  • Murli paliwal

    Sabhi paliwal bhai bandhu ko meri aur se namaskar.
    Murli paliwal from gogunda udaipur

     
  • sunil yadav

    mere zindgi ki ye sabse best history h i m proud of paliwal brahmans jinhone ye kadam uthaya super yar, i like this kuldhra village, thanks

     
  • kunal

    i am proud to know this…………..

     
  • BRIJMOHAN PALIWAL

    This informations regarding history of PALIWALS will enrich to new generation.Every Paliwal must visit once in life time to memorise our past.

     
  • EGBERT PAIS

    Kuldhara is stunning indeed. Visited the site in Oct 2011 the day the place was being set up for the opening scene of the Saif and Kareena thriller AGENT VINOD. We were told that Saif would be coming there but could not wait.

    Was very excited when I saw the same scene in the movie.

     
  • rishi dutta kuldhar

    kuldhara gav hamare purvjo ki thati hai. hame garva hai ki humne is samaj me janm liya hai. jaisilmer ke pas base 84 villege me se kuldhara sabse bada villege tha. Aj bhi hamare samaj ki san ko banaye hua hai. jyada jankari ke liye ap sampark mere mail per kar sakate hai. me abhi jaisalmer me rahata hoo. mujhe khusi hogi…rishi paliwal-9414391041

     
  • pramod paliwal A.D.G.C. mahoba u.p.

    i am proud of that i am paliwal brahaman.the paliwal brahman is only vadic brahman in the world.

     
  • Hi Egbert, did not know the movie was set there too. Wow. Will look for it when I get to see the movie.

     
  • Nirmal paliwal

    it’s really nice for new generation to know about histoy of paliwal socity.

     
  • pramod paliwal A.D.G.C. mahoba u.p.

    ham apane bujurgo se apane etihas ke bare me suna karte the par jaw me pahali bar kuldhara , khaba anya jagah gaya tab mane jo in village ko dekha meri aankho se aansu bahane lage. in 84 village ko kitne dard ke sath ek sath ek hi rat me kis tarh khali kiya hoga, us dard ko in villago me jakar mane mahsus kiya ,ek lamha ke liye to mushe kuldhara me mahsus hua ki ,in makano se koe niklega or pucchega ki garmii hai ,undar aa jao panii pii lo,par aaj 2011 hai.agar 1825 hota to yah jaroor hota

     
  • ASHSH PALIWAL

    kuldhara gav hamare purvjo ki thati hai. hame garva hai ki humne is samaj me janm liya hai. jaisilmer ke pas base 84 villege me se kuldhara sabse bada villege tha. Aj bhi hamare samaj ki san ko banaye hua hai. jyada jankari ke liye ap sampark mere mail per kar sakate hai. me abhi jaisalmer me rahata ho….

     
  • prakash paliwal

    Sabhi paliwal bandhuon ko mera sadar namaskar.
    paliwal brahman samaj 44 sreni Mewad

     
  • misrilal paliwal

    misri lal paliwal c/o mangilal ji (up sarpanch) lolawas jodhpur phone no.8447439289

     
  • B. L.MITTAL

    I HAD BEEN ON A TOUR TO JAISALMER DURING MARCH 2012, WHEN I CAME TO KNOW REGARDING THIS VILLAGE. I VISITED THE VILLAGE AND WAS TO SEE THE CONSTRUCTION OF HOUSES AND ARCHITECTURAL LAY OUT OF VILLAGE HAVING ALL AMENITIES INCLUDING DRINKING WATER WHICH IS SCARCELY AVAILABLE IN THAR DESERT. I SALUTE THE SOLIDARITY OF PALIWAL BRAHMINS WHO DID NOT SURRENDER TO UNDESIRABLE LUST OF DIWAN OF JAISALMER. I WONDER THAT STILL THERE IS CURSE ON THE VILLAGE. I REQUEST ALL PALIWAL BROTHERS AND GOVERNMENT OF RAJASTHAN TOURISM DEPARTMENT TO DEVELOP THE VILLAGE AS A TOURIST PLACE WITH ALL FACILITIES OF COURSE OUTSIDE THE VILLAGE COMPOUND.

     
  • bhikha ram mandan

    paliwal bramin ki ekta ki ghatana padkar bahut hi acha laga .ek hi rat me pura villese chor kar chale gaye.

     
  • praveen

    proud to be i am paliwal

     
  • yamkumar

    its a very tragic story and a nice place to be i really had a good time

     
  • hemant mudgal paliwal

    paliwal hona isliye vishesh nahi ki ham brahman h balki ishliye bhi vishesh h ki hamaara goravpoorna itihaas raha h or or hamaare purwaj vishwa k sarwashrestha durdarshi v vejyanik the.

     
  • anonymous

    what happened to that girl (chiefs daughter),while leaving the village????

     
  • sapna paliwal

    I wanna 2 knw more detail abt history of paliwal samaj and exctly what hpnd???????…….ny1 knw ..?????

     
  • Deepak Paliwal

    I am proud to be a Paliwal . We are not only brahmans , we are Mahabrahmans . I will request my all Paliwal bandhu to update as much information about our history as much they can.

     
  • 1291se jaiselmer ke aspas the , pali ki history kya hai.pl koi batae.dhanyavad.

     
  • i am proud to be an paliwal brahmin

     
  • sonu harichand paliwal

    Salut marne ko man karta is samaj ko

     
  • kunal

    can any one let me know..paliwal Brahmans are Gaur brahmins???

     
  • Dr. Anil Paliwal

    Thanks a lot for writing brief account of Paliwal community’s migration over night from their homeland. Still lot of in depth research work is required to conceptualize the scientific reasons of this mode of migration. Paliwal community should make sincere attempts to comprehend the detailed and exhaustive socio-cultural, political and ethnographic understanding of theri forefathers.
    With regards to heroic honourable forefathers
    Dr. Anil Paliwal
    09460407120

     
  • romil paliwal

    proud to be a paliwal
    finally i got some knowledge about our culture

    really i wanna visit kuldhara…

     
  • dhanraj sudam paliwal

    please sent pali rajesthan story

     
  • very interesting incident of paliwal samaj

     
  • gaurav kadawat

    i am not a Paliwal but that place is really very awesome had a very memorable experience

     
  • HARISH PALIWAL

    I proud that i am paliwal………………

     
  • DUNGER PLAIWAL

    Proud to be I am Paliwal Brahman

     
  • harish kumar paliwal

    i am proud of my paliwal samaj

     
  • Sumankant.paliwal-

    Thanks a lot for writing brief account of Paliwal community’s migration over night from their homeland. Still lot of in depth research work is required to conceptualize the scientific reasons of this mode of migration. Paliwal community should make sincere attempts to comprehend the detailed and exhaustive socio-cultural, political and ethnographic understanding of theri forefathers.
    With regards
    S,K.PALIWAL
    Mobile no 09990311358
    VRINDAVAN(U.P)

     
  • nishikant Tyagi

    mere zindgi ki ye sabse best history h i m proud of paliwal brahmans jinhone ye kadam uthaya super yar, i like this kuldhra village, thanks mai Kuldhara Aana Chata hu Dekhan Chata Hu.

    With regards
    Nishikant Tyagi
    Mobile no 09015489754
    Faridabad

     
  • PALIWAL BRAHMINS KO SALAM

     
  • मै एक पालीवाल हु

     
 

 

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