Khaba Fort, Location, History and Visit to Museum

Khaba Fort may be the smallest fort of Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. Much of it is damaged and in ruins. The restoration work is still on and it will be a while before it is restored back to its old glory! The history and stories associated with this fort are interesting and that makes the visit very worthy. The visit to Khaba Fort was part of Experiential Tourism from Suryagarh Resort.

History of Khaba Fort

Almost 200 years ago Khaba Fort and its surroundings was populated by Paliwal Brahmins, a community of Rajasthan. But suddenly one night in the year 1825, due to some mysterious reason they vacated the village. Some say it was overnight desertion of the fort and its surroundings. There were around 80 families then in these regions. No research on this has yielded any fact about how this sudden disappearance took place or where they went. There are unverified rumours that they moved on to Jodhpur and settled in some place beyond that.

Khaba Fort Jaisalmer

There are stories of how the Paliwal Brahmins before leaving the village cursed the place saying no one would ever be able to inhabit the villages. And to this date there are just ruins, not a sign of life as far as the eye can see.

Paliwal Brahmins since 1291 were prosperous residents of Kuldhara village of Jaisalmer. Till date it is a mystery that why after residing there for 7 centuries they vacated the place overnight.

Walls of Khaba Fort


Legend around desertion of Kuldhara Village

Rajasthan has several interesting legends. One I mentioned on how Kiradu Temple complex came to be known as haunted. This legend is on why Paliwal Brahmins left the Kuldhara villages. The story is:

A minister or Dewan of the kingdom saw the young daughter of the village chief. Bewitched by her beauty he desired to marry her. The girl’s father refused to give his daughter in marriage to him. This angered the minister and forced the village chief for marrying off his daughter. He gave a deadline for marriage after which he would forcefully enter the village and take his daughter. The chiefs of all 84 villages met that night. To safeguard their pride and honor they decided to leave the villages in the dark of the night.

Ruins of Kuldhara Village

Kuldhara Ruins Khaba Fort


Visit to Khaba Fort

The ruins of some of those deserted villages are visible from Khaba Fort. The remains of the village looks like a well planned settlement with a temple surrounded by several houses. Strangely none of the houses in the ruins have roofs! The walls are crumbling and no effort is there to maintain them. The whole area has an eerie deserted look and it was just fore noon. You can well imagine the condition middle of a new moon night!

Our guide further told us Khaba Fort was the Sarai Fort (fort at the frontier). The traders who entered Rajasthan via the Silk Route trade stayed inside this fort for a night. Only after they paid taxes they were given the permission to go ahead for trade.

Restoration work is on in the fort. The window frames half made and a couple of guards man the fort. At a distance is the Pakistan border, our guide told us. I looked in the direction he mentioned, all I saw was vast stretch of land with nothing mention worthy in sight!

Museum at Khaba Fort

Today Khaba Fort houses a geological museum with display of fossils. In addition there are various kinds of rock formations too. There are explanatory boards with the display and it is a learning experience.

Khaba Fort Museum

Khaba Fort Jaisalmer

Location of Khaba Fort

Khaba Fort can be reached by road. You can drive to the place from Jaisalmer. It is 35kms west of Jaisalmer.

View towards Pakistan





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56 Responses

  1. Carver says:

    Fascinating post and great shots of the fort.

  2. Maniparna Sengupta Majumder says:

    The history is really fascinating!

  3. Swati says:

    Lost tales of past. Indian History is so vast. Interesting place.

  4. smita says:

    A must visit on my next visit. Engrossing post. So many things we are just unaware of.

  5. Harish says:

    Wow.. The whole vacating their hard-built fort. Interesting.

  6. Great post and interesting history. Thank you for sharing

  7. Interesting, Beautiful pics. . Thanks for the post 🙂

  8. Wonderful post with mindblowing pictures from Indrani, the Traveller. Thanks and compliments.

    Jitendra Mathur

  9. Amit Misra says:

    I was told that there is nothing in Jaisalmer except desert. From your posts I realize that I was thoroughly misguided.

  10. History is always fascinating…

  11. Bhavani says:

    Wonderful….!!! I’m back after a long time and enjoyed the post thoroughly!!!

  12. It’s so great to learn about the depth of Indian history! Thanks for sharing your vast knowledge!

  13. There are so many mysteries in history, this one made me very very curious.,…why did they leave the place all on a sudden? its really amazing to read this post

  14. Yogi Saraswat says:

    This fort is actually not only Historical but It is very popular as a footprint of the Paliwal Brahmins . other forts in History are popular due to their wealth or victory associated with them but this fort does not have any such story like this .

  15. Interesting story with nice pictures ….
    I had a feeling that I had read about it recently or it is a deja vu
    Sarodh suvecha

  16. Chris says:

    It looks a fascinating place, but I’m not sure I like what I see of the restoration works…

    The little I could see, does not look completely authentic.

    I’ll have to try and visit before it no longer resembles the past!

  17. Very interesting. Wonder why they’d left? Climate change?

  18. Brian says:

    Never heard of Jaisalmer, but I’ve heard of Rajistan. Pinned to my India board since I may be going there in January. Too bad the ruins are not better preserved.

  19. Very cool! Love the story on why the Brahmans left the village. Would be an interesting historical site to visit!

  20. This is such a strange but really interesting post. I have never heard of this fort and would have made a point to visit it last year when I was in that area of India. The fort itself is much like the others I visited around Jaipur and Jodhpur but not constructed near as well.

  21. The rugged landscape and the fort is so gorgeous!

  22. Julie Cao says:

    Even though the vacant of the fort is still a mystery, the deserted surroundings still make the fort look gorgeous. I also interested in the tale that Paliwal Brahmins left the Kuldhara villages due to the forced marriage of chef’s daughter. Would love to visit it someday.

  23. I have never hear of this fort before but it looks absolutely wonderful. Your photos are excellent and your post is really informative. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  24. Well, Rajasthan is a land of mystery isnt it? Especially the western part with so many havelis an d villages that have an aura of ancient curses and abandonment around it. I loved reading the tale of this particular place. It just made me more excited about my own trip.

  25. I remember our visit to this deserted village, it was eerie and the history just took me a decades back. I couldn’t help but imagine what would have happened back then!!

  26. Gattina says:

    Very interesting place ! It still looks very intriguing !

  27. Carmy says:

    I LOVE looking at fossils! What a cool location – hopefully I’ll be able to see it once it is fully restored.

  28. Vyjay says:

    The story behind Kuldhara and the curse of the Paliwal Brahmins is so intriguing. If only the ruins could speak, the stories that they would tell would unravel this unsolved riddle.

  29. Shane says:

    Love that you dived deep into the history and culture of these ruins. Must have made it that much more intriguing knowing the legends when you visited in person.

  30. verushka says:

    I love learning through your blog about the myths and legends behind so many places. It seems India is full of these legends. Your trip to the region seemed very interesting.

  31. I agree with you, we have so many places visited in common and Rajasthan is one of them. The history and legends of the amazing states of Rajasthan will never stop to fascinate us.

  32. EG III says:

    There is always something eerie about old, abandoned ghost towns. Amazing that to this day no concrete information has been uncovered to reveal why the place was deserted.

  33. The forts are just spectacular in architecture and history. When visiting them you get so much out of them and learn so much. This is a great piece showing the detailed architecture of these iconic structures.

  34. Chandi says:

    Jaisalmer is a cool place to visit. I went there in 1989. I wonder if it’s changed. Hey, have you considered making the color of your text stronger? I don’t have great eyes and the light color made it harder for me to read.

    • Indrani Ghose says:

      Hi Chandi, thank you for the input. I will get it changed soon. Sorry for the inconvenience caused.

  35. Ana says:

    Rajasthan has always fascinated me with the stories of kings, queens, palaces and their lavish lives that they lived! Though have only been to Jaipur once. It’s on my bucket list. Would love to explore Rajasthan some day in my life!

  36. Mar Pages says:

    Wow another historically intriguing archeological place reminding me there’s just so much to learn about another place. Putting it on the list, thanks!

  37. Tamshuk says:

    This is one of the many reasons I love Rajasthan. Almost every place in this state has a rich history and also some intriguing stories behind them. This fort is very interesting, especially with the eerie and deserted look.

  38. How come I’ve never heard about it? It’s interesting to hear stories about special forts like this. This is truly beautiful. Thank for sharing!

  39. Yet another amazing location you are sharing with us. These forts are so amazing to visit, although I guess not ideal when it is too hot outside!

  40. Khaba Fort looks absolutely mesmerizing, and all the mystery surrounding it makes it so much better. I would love to visit and even play detective if I could! I am sure it’s inspired plenty of stories already!

  41. Tae says:

    The legend of why it was abandoned is a bit creepy – why did they go and whereee!? I love it. Thanks for the informative info and sweet pictures!

  42. Aditi says:

    I would be visiting Rajasthan in December for a festival, and I will surely add this to my list to visit!

  43. Anju says:

    This looks beautiful! I never got the chance to explore enough in India even though its my home country. this definitely makes me want to take a trip to Rajasthan. thanks for sharing 🙂

  44. What a beautiful fort and a great story about a fathers love of his daughter.

  45. It’s always nice to come across posts written about historic and cultural aspects of a destination rather than tourist traps. Well done.

  46. Carola says:

    Wow! I’m really impressed. This place is definitely going on my bucket list. It’s such a strange story. I always enjoy reading about legends. It’s great you had a guide who could tell you everything. Nice that there’s a museum as well!

  47. sabrina says:

    So beautiful. Thanks for sharing this lovely place. Hope I can visit one day.

  48. The history behind all these forts is really amazing and one feels transported back into time on hearing the stories by locals or guides.Out of the forts in Jaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer; I found the one in Jodhpur, The Mehrangarh Fort to be the best.

  49. Liana says:

    I’ve always been found of History, and discovering ruins and the stories behind is so interesting. So I’ve never been to Khaba Fort, but it looks absolutely mesmerizing!

  50. christine says:

    What an amazing story. The area is so deserted, yet beautiful and full of a strong history. Thanks for sharing.

  51. Joe says:

    Thanks for the heads up on this. I was in Jaisalmer last year, but missed out on this. The history sounds very intriguing indeed; if I go back, will be sure to check it out!

  52. Naomi says:

    It looks like a good part has been restored and worth a visit!

  53. Ali May says:

    How interesting it would be to explore the deserted fort. I’m sure there are plenty of interesting stories that those walls could tell.

  54. Very important place to a history

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