Kurukshetra is a city in the state of Haryana, India. It is also known as Dharmakshetra(“Holy Place”). Kurukshetra About this sound pronunciation is a land of historical. According to the Puranas, Kurukshetra is named after King Kuru, the ancestor of Kauravas and Pandavas, as depicted in epic Mahabharata. The importance of the place is attributed to the fact that the Kurukshetra War of the Mahabharata was fought on this land and the Bhagavad Gita was preached on this land during the war when Lord Krishna found Arjuna in a terrible dilemma.
Venue of the epic battle Mahabharata, Kurukshetra occupies pride of place in Indian religious mythology and literature.For thousands of years, from the days of the Mahabharata, people have been congregating at Kurukshetra for salvation. A dip in the holy tanks of the Brahma Sarovar or Sannihit Sarovar here, is said to do the trick, which makes it one of the holiest pilgrimage centres in India. Kurukshetra is the land between the holy rivers Saraswati and Dhrihaswadi where the Vedic civilization was born. A place of myths, legends, great battles, empires and the canvas of the epic Mahabharata, It is a city of holy tanks and lakes and though it is a modern, well-developed town, its character is unmistakably religious. The climate of the district is very hot in summer (up to 47 °C) and cold in winter (down to 1 °C) with rains in July and August.
There are about 360 Tirthas of religious and historic importance. The foremost among the Kurukshetra tirthas are Brahmsarovar or Kurukshetra Tank, Sannihit Tank, Sthanesvra Mahadev Mandir, Jyotisar, Baan-ganga, Bhisam Kund (Narkatari) Chandrakupa, Nabhi Kamal, Bhadarkali Mandir, Arnai Temple, Prachi Tirath Pehowa, Saraswati Tirath Pehowa, Prithduk Tirath Pehowa, Rantuk Yaksh Bir pipli, Karan Ka Tila,etc. Major attractions of this city include Kalpana Chawla Planetarium, Bhor Crocodile Park and Krishna Museum that attracts large number of travelers from all over the country. December-January is considered as a vibrant time when many visitors coming to the city just to celebrate Kurukshetra festival and Lohri. It is one of the amazing tourist destinations where one can explore the ancient history of India.
Kurukshetra Attraction :
Brahma Sarovar :
Hinduism stresses on having a bath in the sarovar for internal and external sanctity, purity and bliss forever. Most religious places have water tanks or sarovars in the vicinity of temple or gurdwara. Every year lakhs of people come to take a holy bath at Brahma Sarovar on the occasion of “Somavati Amavasya” (Sacred No-Moon Day that happens on a Monday). Brahma sarovar, as the name suggests, is associated with lord Brahma, the creator of the Universe. It is supposed to be the world’s largest man-made pond. The world’s largest chariot of bronze is placed in purushotam bagh in the center of Brahma Sarovar. It is believed that when Duryodhan lost Mahabharta war, he tried to hide in this lake. The northern bank of the Sarovar nestles a shrine to Lord Shiva and legend has it, that the Linga at the shrine was placed by Lord Brahma himself. Truly historic, this water tank is mentioned throughout various ancient texts, making it a must see destination.
Shri Krishna Museum :
Founded in 1987, Krishna Museum houses various artifacts of Lord Krishna and Krishna’s incarnations from 1st Century AD to 11th Century AD. Situated near Brahma Sarovar and set up by the Kurukshetra Development Board, it is one of the finest museums on the theme of Krishna. It has a collection of wide variety of beautiful sculptures, paintings and other artistic creations relating to the legend of Krishna. The museum housing six galleries also showcases the statues in the forms as described in the Bhagavata Purana and Mahabharata. The exhibits in the galleries consist of exquisite woodcarvings, wooden panels, bronze casting, ivory works, palm- leaf etchings, stone sculptures, archaeological artifacts and miniature paintings. There is also a tableaux made from Papier-mache and clay, based on Bhagavata and Mahabharata. It has some historical artifacts and paintings depicting the Mahabharata war.
Jyotisar is a town on the Kurukshetra-Pehowa road, 5 km west of Thanesar in the Kurukshetra. Jyotisar is an important place of religious tourism. The holy land of Jyotisar is believed to be the cradle of Hindu civilisation and culture. The famous site where Bhagavad Gita was delivered to Arjuna. A beautiful marble chariot depicting Lord Krishna delivered the eternal message of Gita to Arjuna, canopied by a Banyan tree exists at the site. A mango shaped lake has been constructed here with covered bathing ghats for ladies. Cement parapets and enclosures have been built for protection. A light and music show is organized by the tourism department at the site, on a regular basis, which recreates episodes from Mahabharta.
Sannihit Sarovar :
One of the most venerated sites in Kurushekthra is the Sannihit Sarovar, which is believed to be the meeting point of seven sacred Saraswathies. It is believed to be the abode of Lord Vishnu. Devotees seldom spare a chance to get a dip here since it holds the myth that a dip in the holy waters of this Sarovar takes away all their sins. Sarovar spreads to a large expansion of 550 ft in breadth and 1500 ft in length. Devotees gather here to offer their reverence and prayers to their departed souls. Kumbha Mela in the Sarovar attracts thousands of devotees and visitors each time. Amidst chanting of Vedic mantras, the pilgrims take a dip in the Sarovar when the eclipse starts. Many people come here for salvation on such occasions. Kurukshetra has been the germinating ground of the essence of Hinduism. It is one of the holy towns that have borne the imprint of Lord Krishna`s footsteps.
Sheikh Chilli’s Tomb :
Charming in stature and instilled with delicate Persian overtones, this tomb consists of the mortal remains of the great sufi saint, Sheikh Chilli. Sheikh Chilli’s Tomb is located in Thanesar , This beautiful tomb and the madarasa (school) are associated with the Sufi saint Abdu’r-Rahim alias Aabd-ul-Razak, popularly known as Shaikh Chehli (also pronounced Chilli) believed to be the spiritual teacher of the Mughal Prince Dara Shikoh, the eldest son of Emperor Shahjahan. The tomb, overlooking the madarasa and standing on an artificial terrace, is octagonal in shape with the entrance in the south. There is a mosque called Pather Masjid (Stone Mosque) that was built in red sandstone. On the north side are the Mughal Gardens, there is also a second smaller tomb said to be dedicated to the saint’s wife. The museum within the complex contains some rare artefacts from nearby archaeological sites from various eras of civilization and is truly fascinating to explore.
Sthaneshwar Mahadev Temple :
It is said that the Pandavas obtained the blessings of Lord Shiva in Sthaneshwar Mahadev Temple situated in Thanesar. It is also believed that the sacred waters of the tank cured Banasura’s long-term leprosy. Hence a visit to Lord Shiva’s temple here at Sthaneshwar tops pilgrim’s itinerary. Archeologists trace the architecture of the temple to Sthaneshwar, an ancient capital of Harsha Vardhana. One can see the roof of the temple shaped like an amla dome with lofty pinnacles. The temple houses an ancient statue of the Shiva Linga which is believed to be the first idol of Shiva in the phallic form.
How to Reach :
By Air : The nearest airport to the city is Chandigarh airport which is located at a distance of 91 km from Kurukshetra.
By Rail : Kurukshetra has its own Junction which is well connected with all major cities of India.
By Road : There are regular buses from all major city of India.
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