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Haryana :- Kurukshetra
 
"Your freedom is only in the field of action, and not in the field of bringing about the
fruits of action, Never take yourself as the cause of bringing about a karma-phala
(situation), and never resort to a life of inaction."
 
Origin of the Land Divine
 
The land divine-the soil that witnessed the royal battle of Mahabharata and where the words of wisdom were once spoken by the Almighty Himself-has an interesting story behind its origin. A noble Aryan king called Kuru renounced his kingdom and started for a pilgrimage and chanced to come upon the banks of the holy river, Saraswati. He wanted to make the adjoining area, the land of ethics and values.
 
Lord Vishnu appeared before Kuru and asked him as to from where would he find the seeds for the same. Kuru started offering his limbs one by one with alacrity and Lord Vishnu had strewn those all over the area and named the place-Kurukshetra, meaning Land of Kuru. Years after, members of the ruling tribe and descendants of King Kuru Pandavas and Kauravas (cousins) fought the battle of Mahabharata. Pandavas turned out to be the victors under the guidance of Lord Krishna. The epic battle symbolizes the victory of good over evil.
 
Kurukshetra is dotted with numerous spots of historical & religious importance that offer more than a sneek preview into India's rich cultural past.
 
History
 
Kurukshetra town is situated 160 km north of Delhi on the national highway NH1. Other towns of the district are Pehowa, Ladwa, Ismailabad and Shahabad.
 
Kurukshetra the holy pilgrimage in which 360 places of pilgrimage related to the Mahabharata can be seen. Kurukshetra has been the germinating ground of the essence of Hinduism. The call of duty is the supreme religion. Lord Krishna's dictat of "karmanyev adhikaraste" (believing in karma (efforts/action), not in results) is a philosophy that has guided the Indian psyche for thousands of years. It is one of those holy towns that have borne the imprint of Lord Krishna's footsteps.
 
Kurukshetra is a place of great historical and religious importance, revered all over the country for its sacred association with the Vedas and the Vedic Culture. It was here that the battle of Mahabharat was fought and Lord Krishna preached his Philosophy of 'KARMA' as enshrined in the Holy Bhagwad-Gita, to Arjuna at Jyotisar. In the very first verse of Bhagwad-Gita, Kurukshetra is described as DHARAMKSHETRA i.e. 'Region of righteousness'. According to Hindu mythology, the name Kurukshetra applied to a circuit of about 48 KOS or about 128 Km, which includes a large number of holy places, temples and tanks connected with the ancient Indian traditions and the Mahabharat War and Kurus, the ancestor of Kouravs and Pandavs. Kurukshetra is intimately related to the Aryan civilization and its growth along the Saraswati river.
 
What to See
 
There are about 360 Tirthas of religious and historic importance.
 
Brahma Sarover: The holy town of Kurukshetra is made venerable by the presence of many holy temples and water tanks. The Brahma Sarover is a sacred water tank that is revered as the cradle of civilization. Belief is, that Lord Brahma conceived that the Earth herein all its diversity. Today massive renovation plans have returned it to its formal glory as a major center of pilgrimage. The vicinity of the tank is marked by the presence of a number of small temples. Noteworthy among these are the small Mahadev temple (Sarveshwar Mahadev Temple) in the Sarover itself, the Birla Gita Mandir, Baba Sharwannath's Temple and Haveli. But the beauty of the Sarover is distinct on the day of Solar Eclipse, Amavasya-the night of complete darkness-and the day of the Gita Jayanti Celebrations in the town. To bathe here on the day of an Eclipse brings upon one the blessings of having performed the Ashwa Medha Yajna. To bathe here on the days of Amavasya brings salvation form all sins. The Deep Daan ceremony at the Gita Jayanti Aarti of Haridwar.
 
Sannihit Sarover: It is believed that the Sannihit Sarover is the meeting point of the seven sacred Saraswatis and to bathe here on the day of amavasya, absolves one of all sins. And hereby hangs a tale. In the days of yore, holy waters of all the country went up to the Lord and with burdened hearts prayed for assistance. "Man cleans himself of sins by taking a dip in our waters. It is we who have to carry this burden, of which we are tired. Please relieve us of these sins". Realising the validity of this request, the Lord ordained", On the days of amavasya collect in the waters of Sannihit Sarover and your sins will be absolved. "Ever since, the sanctity of the tank grew. Adjacent to the holy water tank is lie small temples of Dhruv Narain, Lord Vishnu, Laxmi Narain, Lord Hanuman and Mother Goddess Durga.
 
Sthaneshwar Mahadev: Sthaneshwar Mahadev Temple at Thaneswar is another holy center. It is small and distinct. It was here that the Pandvas prayed to Lord Shiva and received his blessing for victory in the battle of Mahabharata. Legend has it that the waters of the tank adjoining the temple are holy. A few drops of water cured the King Ban of leprosy. And, no pilgrimage of Kurukshetra is believed to be entirely complete without a visit to this Holy Temple. The tank and temple lie a short distance from Thanesar town, which gets its name from this temple. the temple of Sthaneswar is the abode of Lord Shiva say the devote. It once formed an important part of the kingdom of the King Harsha Vardhan of the Pushyabhuti dynasty. The architecture of the temple is regional in style-it has a domical roof. The facade of this dome is given an amla shape alongwith a tall pinnacle. The Linga is ancient and worshiped with a lot of ritual and prayer.
 
Kamal Nabhi: Adjacent the town of Thanesar lies the temple of Kamal Nabhi. Mythology has it that here Lord Brahma the creator was born out of a Lotus that grew from the naval of Lord Vishnu. The temple here has the images of Lord Vishnu and Brhama.
 
Bhishma Kund Narkatari: About one and half miles from Thanesar on Kurukshetra-Pehowa road lies a tank named Narkatari. It is here say legends, that Bhishma Pitamah of Mahabharata epic lay on a bed of arrows.
 
Bhadarkali Temple: It is an ancient temple situated on the Jhansa Road in the north of Thanesar Town. Here Pandvas are stated to have worshipped the Goddess and performed sacrifices for their victory before the commencement of Mahabharat war. This is one of the Sith Peetha of the 51 sacred peeths which had their origin from the scattered parts of the body of Sati. It is said that the right foot heel of Devi Sati fell here.
 
Jyotisar: One of the most revered of holy centers of Kurukshetra is Jyotisar. Renovated recently, it retains its sanctity and the birthplace of the Holy Bhagwad Gita. A vat (Banyan) tree stands on a raised plinth here August. Spreading Venerated. It is believed that it was under this holy Banyan that Lord Krishna delivered the doctrine of Karma a wavering Arjun. He showed too, His Virat Roop the image of Himself as the Creator, the Preserver, the Destroyer-under whose will every leaf, every bud, every event, every man moved as automation. A marble chariot depicting Lord Krishna delivering to Arjun marks the site the Shrimad Bhagwad Gita. In one secluded section of this center an old Shiv temple can also be seen. Hundreds of years ago, a holy water tank was built here. Today the Kurukshetra Development Board has renovated the site. A mango shaped lake has been constructed here. Covered bathing ghats for the ladies have been provided. Cement parapets and enclosures have been built for protection. A restaurant and accommodation wings of Yatries has been built here. The area has been landscaped with flowering bushes and eucalyptus trees. Jyotisar lies on Pehowa road, 5 Km from Kurukshetra.
 
Pehowa: 27 km west of Thanesar lies Pehowa. Cunningham dates the town back to 882 AD. Another inscription on a temple proclaims that Pehowa was built as late as 895 AD. This was during the reign of King Mahenderapal. Excavations done here from time to time have revealed a number of ancient sculptures made in buff sand stone. The town finds special mention in the Vaman Puran and the epic Mahabhartha.
 
Prithudaka Tirath: During the period of ancient India the town was known as Prithudaka after King Prithu. Legend has it that King Rasthangu, the father of King Prithu lay dying. As a last wish, he called his son to his beside and asked him to take him to the banks of the holy river Saraswati. King Prithu did as he was told. But on his father's death, he was filled with great anguish. He sat for days on the bank of this river offering Shardha. Ever since, the ritual of offering shardha of fathers here has come into vogue. This place where the unhappy King prayed for the salvation of his father came to be named Prithudaka tirtha. Ghats and temples were built here.
 
Arunay Tirtha, Arunay: This tirtha is situated at a distance of six Km from Pehowa in the village Arnai. The temple is named after the confluence of river Aruna and Saraswati. For prayer and worship of Lord Shiva, a big fair is also held here on the occasion of Shivratri.
 
Museum: Kurukshetra situated in the state of Haryana is one of the most sacred places in India. It is hallowed by its association with Lord Krishna's sermon to Arjuna and mankind in the form of Shrimad Bhagavad-Gita. It is but appropriate that there should be a museum to present and preserve the multifaceted personality of Lord Krishna, the episodes of his childhood, his rasalila, philosophy and teachings in the form of rare manuscripts, paintings, sculptures and other artistic creations as well as archaeological material unearthed in Kurukshetra and its neighborhood. These artifacts present Lord Krishna as a revered God, an avatar of Lord Vishnu, a great philosopher, an epic hero, an astute statesman and a supreme lover. Personality and teachings of Lord Krishna have permeated the national ethos and the cultural personality of the Indian people for thousands of years and continue to serve as its beacon light. Awakening the people ethically, morally and culturally through the ideas and ideals of Krishna, is the aim of this museum, which was established in 1987 and was shifted, to the present building in 1991. Museum continues to grow with additions of new artistic representations of the Krishna theme and archaeological finds. As a visitor enters the Museum, he finds himself face to face with a huge sculpture of Sri Ganesha in dancing posture. This gallery also preserves stones sculptures pertaining to the Krishna legend ranging from 1st Century AD to 11th Century AD. Some of them have been acquired on loan from the Archaeological Survey of India and the department of Archaeological and Museum, Government of Haryana.
 
Archeological Sites
 
Raja Karana Ka Tila: It is a small mound about 3 miles (5 kilometres) to the west and south-west of Thanesar. It is about 500 square feet (46.5 square metres) at the top 800 sq. feet (74 square metres) at the base with a height of 30to 40 feet (9 to 12 metres). Shreds of Painted Grey Ware and some other objects such as flesh-rubber, a terra-cotta reel, a mould for printing cloth, a human head, a double inkpot, a hollow terra-cotta rattle, an earthen chati (pot) having a line of trisula and wheel carved on it, one earthen pitcher ornamented round the shoulder and some pieces of glazed pottery of the Muslim period have been found here. There is also a large step-well of the Muslim period.
 
Asthipura: The site lies to the west of Thanesar and to the south of Aujas Ghat and marks the place where the bodies of the persons slain in the Mahabharata war are said to have bee cremated. Cunningham excavated the mound which measures about 700 feet by 500 feet (213 metres by 152 metres) and found "an extensive platform of unbaked bricks still 364 feet (111 metres) in length. Besides many remains of walls and fragments of terra-cotta sculptures.
 
Bhor Saidan: About 8 miles (13 kilometres) to the west of Thanesar towards Pehowa lies the Bhurirava Tank. Tradition associates the Place with treacherous murder of Bhurirava by Arjuna during the Mahabharata war. Bhurisrava was son of Somadaatta, Raja of Varanasi.The village is named Bhor after him. This small village is situated on an ancient mound. The houses are built of old large size bricks of 12 3/4" x 9 1/2 "x 2".
 
Bhagwanpura: Bhagwanpura, situated in the north-west of Ladwa on the right bank of the Saraswati river, is a prehistoric site which presents,for the first time, the overlap between the late Harappan and the Painted Grey Ware cultures which is of considerable significance, so far as the reconstruction of a continuous history of Haryana from the middle of the second millennium B.C. is concerned. Continuity on the tradition supported by characteristic finds in pottery type, painted designs, art of terra-cotta figurines and burials provide evidence of the two cultures here. The three phases of the structural activity of the Painted Grey Ware people are represented successively by the round or semi-circular thatched huts followed by, mud-walled houses and then by houses built with baked bricks. Curious oval-shaped structures meant for some religious functions have also bee discovered.
 
Daulatpur: Daulatpur is another important archaeological site, situated on Thanesar-Ladwa road near Pipli crossing, where excavation have revealed a relationship between the late phase of the Harappan and Painted Grey Ware cultures. The structural activity of the period I is represented by walls of baked and half-baked bricks, osern, and mud cornbias. The antiquities of the period include: bangles, chisels, fishhook of copper, wheeled bird and animal figurines, beads, bangles and balls in terra-cotta: few steatite disc beads: bone points, shell bangles, etc.
 
Sikh Heritage
 
Truly a land divine! The place is revered amongst the Sikhs, the city being an important part of their heritage. There are a number of sacred Gurudwaras dotting the city. It is believed that nine out of ten Sikh Gurus visited this city.
 
Religious Great
 
Kurukshetra is of immense religious and cultural significance, as it is the gracious host to monuments and temples that represent the ethos of the Indian culture. The temples of Laxmi Narayan, Bhadra Kali, Sthaneshwar Mahadev, Kamal Nabhi and Bhishma Kund are some major attractions. The sacred towns of Pehowa and Prithudaka lie in the vicinity of Kurukshetra. Tourists from India and abroad flock here in great numbers every year.
 
Colourful Fairs & Festivals Galore
 
The backdrop of the longest Indian Epic- Mahabharata, the land of Kurukshetra is full of religious and cultural activities round the year. Festivals here, are celebrated with a different verve and in a different spirit altogether.
 
Gita Jayanti
 
Gita Jayanti is celebrated every year in November/December to mark the birth of Srimad Bhagwat Gita. The festival showcases the divine moment when Lord Krishna acted as a friend and guide to Arjuna in the form of a charioteer and delivered the Gita Updesh advocating the path of selfless Karma, Gyana and steadfast devotion to the Almighty. The moving Aarti and Deep-daan at the Brahma Sarovar mark the event.
 
The water-body is a scenic delight with the earthen lamps floating on it, the glow of the lamps and the shimmers of the water make the entire area glitter with mirth. Recitals of shlokas from the Gita, the colourful tableaux Shobha Yatras, ballets based on episodes from the epic Mahabharata, alongwith the seminars discussing the relevance of Gita in today's scenario form some of the major attractions of the festival.
 
Shivratri
 
The festival that marks the marriage of Lord Shiva and Parvati, is celebrated every year in the month of February/March. The popular belief behind says that if one stays awake all night long in deep meditation of Lord Shiva, one achieves Salvation or Moksha i.e., freedom from the cycle of life and death.
 
Somavati Amavasya
 
Brahma Sarovar and Sannihit Sarovar are the focal points of attractions as myriad devotees flock here to take the holy dip in waters of the two sarovars on the first day of new moon Amavasya.
 
Kurukshetra Fair
 
Pilgrims assemble here in great numbers at the Brahma and Sannihit Sarovar. The Kurukshetra Fair is held during the Solar Eclipse Fair.
 
Solar Eclipse Festival
 
Since times immemorial, Kurukshetra has been the venue of the great purification ceremonies for Moksha (salvation) for pilgirms from the four corners of the country. The Matsya Purana and Padma Purana, ancient Hindu texts tell us that if an individual takes a holy dip in the sacred tanks of Kurukshetra on the occasion of a Solar Eclipse, he attains the merits of thousands of Ashwamedha Yagnas. Primary amongst these important occasions is the Somavati Amavasya (held on the first day of the new moon falling on Monday) and on a Solar Eclipse (held on a new moon day as the moon comes between the sun and the earth, thereby causing the eclipse of the sun). The Brahma Sarovar and the Sunnihit Sarovar are the focal points of the holy purification ceremonies.
 
The earliest reference to the Solar Eclipse at Kurukshetra is found in the Hindu epic the Mahabharata when mention is made of pilgrims taking a holy dip at Kurukshetra during the Solar Eclipse. This also has a cross reference in the Van Parva and Udyog Parva of the Mahabharata. The Bhagwad Purana has an exclusive chapter on the visit of Lord Krishna to Kurukshetra on the occasion of the Solar Eclipse.
 
It is belived that the Mughal Emperor Akbar, accompanied by his court historian Abul Fazl, too visited Kurukshetra during the Solar Eclipse in 1567. Abul Fazl's Akbarnama refers to the Eclipse in Kurukshetra and the pilgrims bathing in the Brahma Sarovar. The French traveller Francois Bernier of the Mughal Emperor Shahjehan's era also mentions the sacred baths at the Indus, Ganges and the sacred tanks of Thaneshwar (Kurukshetra) on the occasion of the Solar Eclipse.
 
The last Solar Eclipse held on 19th March, 2OO7 at Kurukshetra witnessed lakhs of pilgrims from India and abroad thronging the banks of these sarovars for a holy dip.
 
How to Reach
 
Kurukshetra lies 150 km from Delhi, 95 km from Chandigarh, 5 km away from the National Highway No. 1 (Delhi-Ambala stretch). Kurukshetra is well connected and has easy access by Road, Rail and Air. The journey is comfortable with various facilities provided enroute.
 

By Air: Buses of Haryana Roadways and other State Transport Corporations ply to Kurukshetra. Taxi service is also available.

By Road: Buses of Haryana Roadways and other State Transport Corporations ply to Kurukshetra and connect it to Delhi, Chandigarh and other important places.

By Rail: Kurukshetra is a railway junction, well connected with all important towns and cities of the country. The Shatabadi Express Halts here.

 
Where to Stay in Kurukshetra
 
Kurukshetra being the place of great historic and religious importance has been developed as a big tourist centre, where a number of visitors come daily. There are good facilities available for stay of tourists who come from distant places.
 
Government has been providing stay facilities in its centre Parakit Motel Pipli, Neelkanthi Yatri Niwas Kurukshetra and Jyotisar Tourism Centre. In addition, there are number of Government Guest houses like PWD Rest house Pipli, Youth Hostel Pipli, University Guest House, RECK guest house.
 
As the Kurukshetra is religious town and during Solar Eclipse Fair, hundreds of thousands pilgrim visit the place. A number of Voluntary Organizations have constructed Dharamshalas, which too have good and clean accommodation.
 
Anjan Yatrika (Pehowa): Located 110 km from Chandigarh, in the district Kurukshetra. Nine luxurious Air-conditioned/Air-cooled, Single/Double Room accommodation available with in-house restaurant & bar facilities.
 
Jyotisar Complex: Located 160 km from Delhi, in the district Kurukshetra. Air-conditioned/Air-cooled, Single/Double Room/Dormitory accommodation available along with modern dining facilities.
 
Neelkanthi Yatri Niwas: Located 154 km from Delhi in the district Kurukshetra. Over twenty Air-conditioned/Air-cooled, Single/Double Room/Dormitory accommodation available along with conference, meditation facilities.
 
Parakeet (Pipli): Located 145 km from Delhi in the district Kurukshetra. Over fifteen Air-conditioned/Air-cooled, Single/Double Room/ Dormitory accommodation available along with well-equipped bar & restaurant.
 
Krishna Dham Yatri Niwas: Located in the district Kurukshetra. Lodging & dining facilities equipped with modern amenities available.
 
Tourist Advisory
 
• Do not use soap in the tanks while taking a holy dip.
• Seek permission before taking photographs of temples, gurudwaras/museum etc.
• You can hire a cab, rickshaw or a three-wheeler to move around town.
• Meat and alcoholic beverages should be avoided.
• Temples/gurudwaras are usually closed from 12 noon to 4 pm and again at 9 pm for the night.
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Most Popular Places to
see in Haryana

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  • »Faridabad
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  • »Gurgaon
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  • »Jind
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  • »Karnal
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  • »Kurukshetra
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  • »Panchkula
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  • »Panipat
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  • »Pinjore
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  • »Sirsa
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  • »Yamunanagar
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Mahabharata
 
 
 
 
Harsha Ka Tila
 
 
 
 
Jyotisar
 
 
 
 
Sannihit Sarovar
 
 
 
 
Brahma Sarovar
 
 
 
 
 
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