In Haryana, a state in the northern part of India, Kurukshetra is considered to be a sacred city. It is the same location, where the epic war of Mahabharata took place and this same place has witnessed the birth of Srimad Bhagwat Gita. In between the two holy rivers named Saraswati in the north direction and Drishadvati in the southern direction, the city of Kurukshetra was situated in the archaic times. In the ancient times, the city of Kurukshetra used to cover a much larger area of land – it consisted of 48 kosas or 92 miles. It comprised of as many as five numbers of districts of Haryana namely Kurukshetra, Karnal, Kaithal, Panipat and Jind.
The city of Kurukshetra is termed as Dharamkshetra in Bhagwad Gita’s first verse. The term ‘Dharamkshetra’ means “Region of Righteousness”. For its deep linkage to the Vedas and the Vedic Culture, Kurukshetra is considered to be highly significant in terms of history and religion. This place is also connected deeply to the Aryan civilization and also to the development of the city along the holy river named Saraswati.
The prosperity of Kurukshetra in the archaic times was widespread. At a place called Laos, inscriptions were discovered, in which it was found that Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva have all related Kurukshetra with greatness. The inscriptions date back to 5th century AD. It was Devanika’s wish that he would construct a city named “New Kurukshetra”. Devanika was the King of Laos.
TOURIST PLACES IN KURUKSHETRA
Kurukshetra City of Parks: The historical city of Kurukshetra is splashed all over with beautiful and nicely designed parks such as the Purushottam Park, Harsh- Vardhan Park and Tapovan Park. One can enjoy and spend some relaxing time or take a brief morning walk in these parks and inhale in the fresh morning air.
Sheikh Chehli's Tomb: The spectacular memorial that is the Sheikh Chehli’s Tomb is dated back to the medieval times. Abudul Karim, the renowned Sufi Saint was buried here. He was also called Sheikh Chehli. He was also a spiritual teacher to Shah Jahan’s son named Dara Shikoh.
On top of the tomb, a dome, which is pear shaped in situated on an elevated circular drum. The tomb is made out of buff colored sandstone. In the lower chambers, the graves are present, while the memorial of the renowned saint is present in the heart of the chamber. On the wall situated on the western side, there is one more tomb, which also contains a dome made up of marble. This tomb is made up of sand stone and the dome is ornamented with designs of flowers. This tomb is believed to belong to the wife of Sheikh Chehli. Keeping in the mind, the significance in terms of history and architecture, the Archaeological Survey of India has given this monument, the status of “a protected monument”.
Archeological sites Harsh Ka Tila: The Harsha Ka Tila, which is a huge mass or mound, is located close to the fort grounds. Many an important facts from the time period of the early history to the Mughal era were known, when numerous excavations were carried out here. Also discovered here, are some few numbers of sculptures and other architectural specimens belonging to the Jain and Brahmanical faith.
Sri Krishna Museum: The Kurukshetra Development Board has constructed the Sri Krishna Museum close to Brahma Sarovar. It is believed to be one of the greatest museums done on subject of Krishna. The Museum displays a wide assortment of items, ranging from spectacular statues, paintings and other compositions, all linked to the myths of Krishna. There are a total of six numbers of galleries present in the Shri Krishna Museum. Various precious and beautiful items such as carvings made out of wood and ivory, castings made out of metals, small scale drawings, etches done on palm leaves, manuscripts with illustrations on them and tableaux, which reflect the occurrences in the life of Sri Krishna, are present in these galleries. Other than these, Kangra and Madhubani styles of paintings, pattachitra-folk paintings from the state of Orissa which speaks about the chapters of Mahabharata are also put on display for the visitors.
Buddhist Monuments & Remains in Greater Kurukshetra: Numerous historical, cultural and religious occurrences, which bear great importance, have been overseen by this sacred land of Kurukshetra.
Bhadra kali Mandir: There is a strong link of the Pandavas to the Bhadra Kali Mandir. A big amount of religious importance is held by the Bhadrakali Temple, which is situated in the north part of Thaneswar. Prior to the last battle against the Kauravas, numerous rituals and austerities were carried out by the Pandavas – as per the myths. After restoration of the temple had been done with spectacular red colored stones, the temple got a breathtakingly beautiful new look. On the Navarathri festivals, people in large numbers come here on the sacred grounds of the temple and also daily on Saturdays.
Bhishma Kund at Naraktari: In order to relieve Bhisma Pitamah of his thirst, an arrow was shot by Arjuna in the direction of the earth. This is the precise location, at which Arjuna shot the arrow.
Brahma Sarovar: During the time of “Somavati Amavasya”, people in huge numbers come to the Brahma Sarovar in order to take a sacred dip. “Somavati Amavasya” is the holy No-Moon Day that occurs on a Monday.
Dharohar: If one wishes to really know the customs and traditions of Haryana, one should visit Dharohar. It is situated in the University of Kurukshetra.
Jindal Park: Another of the main attraction of Kurukshetra is the Jindal Park and Musical Fountain. In order to honor the memories of Late Shri O.P Jindal, the ‘O.P Jindal Park and Musical Fountain’ was constructed. He was the Power Minister of Haryana in the year 2005. He was also a famous industrialist, philanthropist, a protector of the farmers and the society’s weaker parts. The area of the park is a huge 14 acres. A Musical Fountain is situated in the park, which is known to be the largest of its type in the whole of North India. A spectacular garden with a sculpture, torso bust of Late O.P. Jindal is the key feature of the park. The height of the statue is 4 feet.
Jyotisar: The town of Jyotisar is located at a distance of 5 Kms in the west direction of Thaneswar, which is located in the district of Kurukshetra in Haryana. The town lies on the road leading from Kurukshetra to Pehowa. The worf “jyoti” stands for light and the word “Sar” stands for the core meaning. Thus the two words come together to form the words “core meaning of light” which refers to God. In the entire city of Kurukshetra, this location is one of most respected and honored sacred sites. On top of a raised platform, a Vat or Banyan tree is present. As per the myths, beneath this very tree, which is the outgrowth of the original sacred Banyan Tree, Lord Krishna gave preaching of Bhagavad Gita, the doctrine of Karma and Dharma to Arjuna, his friend.
The tourism department of Haryana daily hosts a light and music show in which the chapters of Mahabharata are renewed in front spectators.
Kurukshetra Panorama and Science Centre: The war of Mahabharata is explained with logical reasons and explanations, chapter by chapter, in the Kurukshetra Panorama and Science Centre.
Sannihit Sarovar: The spot named Sannihit Sarovar is considered to be the point, where the seven holy Saraswatis converge together. As per myths, the water of this sarovar is holy. The blessings received when one carries out ashvamedh yajna is also received, when one takes a dip in these holy waters during the day of Amavasya. It is so believed that Lord Vishnu dwelled here.
Sthanswer Mandir: It is so believed that at this very location, the Pandavas offered their prayers to Lord Shiva and in return Lord Shiva endowed upon them the victory in Mahabharata’s battle.
HOW TO REACH
By Air: The nearest airports are located at Delhi and Chandigarh.
By Rail: The railway terminal of Kurukshetra is a railway junction. All the major cities and towns of India are linked to Kurukshetra via this railway station.
By Road: Major cities and town are connected to Kurukshetra via the numerous number of private as well as state transport buses that offer their services.