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Haryana: Kurukshetra - A Traveller's Guide
Kurukshetra is not at all a bright spot to the eyes of travelers but as a Hindu pilgrimage spot it definitely deserves praise. This is the oldest pilgrimage point of ancient Indian Arya communities. Rajarshi Kuru, the ancestor of Kauravas and Pandavas, had meditated here on the holy premise of Kurukshetra. Since, then this particular place has derived its name (Kurukshetra). According to the Indian History, an 18 days long battle had taken place on Kurukshetra battle field. This was the biggest battle of the world between Kauravas and Pandavas. There are a number of stories associated with the historical battle of Kurukshetra. To recollect the memories of that primeval battle, a well-festooned orchard was formed to commemorate that battle. It draws attention of the swarms of tourists who like to revisit the historical days. During solar eclipse and in the month of Falgun (A month according to the Hindu calendar year), two huge fairs are organized on the finicky historical land of Kurukshetra. Pilgrims in abundance assemble in front of the Surya Kund to take a holy dip to eradicate their sins. It is believed that pilgrims who die here on the consecrated terrain achieve divinity. The dust of Kurukshetra also helps to get rid of sins of the pilgrims.
365 Hindu pilgrimages are dotted across a radius of 13 miles of Kurukshetra. Devotees and inhabitants believe that besides Brahma, a lot of other Hindu Gods and Goddesses used to live peacefully in Kurukshetra. It is said that Buddha had also appeared here. Even though the water stream of the River Saraswati used to mark its way through the northern valley of Kurukshetra, but the water of the holy River, however, has been dried up now.
One of the enthralling spots which pulls pilgrims for taking a dip is 15 km long Brahma Sarovar (Water Body) which resembles the grandeur and hugeness of an ocean. The appealing Sarovar is also known as Samantapanchaka or Ramahrada. Pilgrims, tainted with sins, congregate here to enjoy a bath and eradicate sins.
The hallowed Shiva or Sarveshwar Mahadev is residing for his followers on his own throne in a consecrated temple which is nestled in the water of the beguiling Sarovar. To access the temple to watch the façade of Shiva, pilgrims and tourists have to travel through a viaduct. The hallowed Birla Gita Temple, constructed artistically with white marbles, is erected on the banks of the Brahma Sarovar.
The splendor of the Sarovar, however, increases during winter when, migratory birds from their unknown nests fly in to search their new shack for the season of winter on the branches of the trees on the banks of the Sarovar.
The sanctified Sri Krishna Temple of Kurukshetra Development Board is another crowd puller. The mythological tales, associated with Sri Krishna, are scripted creatively on the walls of the temple. The commingling of Patachitra, Kangra, Madhubani and Pichabani art forms are exhibited classically on the portraits of the temple. The Bronze idols of Pallava, Cholas and Nayak dynasties showcase various stories of Sri Krishna. Another Sri Krishna idol, made up of elephant teeth, resembles the structure of Venugopal, a Hindu deity.
The grandest panoramic sight of the Kurukshetra Battle is demonstrated across a rambling 5 acres of lands on the banks of the riveting Brahma Sarovar. It is the newest attraction of historical Kurukshetra and is a praiseworthy initiative of the Studio Print Art. As much as 5 million was spent to give this the required shape.
The notable Science Center in Kurukshetra has become a coveted tourists’ attraction now, thanks to the initiative of the National Science Museum. The artist, Tapas Sen, was the responsible person to decorate the Science Center with dazzling lights.
The captivating Kurukshetra, Thaneshwar and Banganga Sarovars are other holy water bodies of Kurukshetra. The death spot of Bhim on the banks of the Kund, Aditi Van (Now known as Amin Village) of Mahabharata era, Mirzapur, holy Lakshmi Narayan temple, Gita Bhawan, Sitamai, Durga temple, Jyotishwar Kund and two banyan trees of Mahabharata era are the other attractive sites of Kurukshetra. Don’t miss the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the nearby Shankaracharya Math. The Gita Mandir and Karn Mandir, both are evenly popular to the travelers and pilgrims.
The Sanskrit University of Kurukshetra is a pioneer institute in educating students. The excavation that had taken place near the University had revealed the historical evidences of Harappa era. At that time, emperors Kama and Killa were the rulers of Kurukshetra. These prime evidences recalls the memories of 300- 400 A.D.
Kurukshetra was also known as the Sufi center earlier. The Jummah mosque, Pathariya Masjid, Chiniwala mosque, diminutive Lal Mosque, shrine of Sheikh Chilli Jalal and Muslim fortress are foremost enticements for the hordes of Muslim pilgrims.
Once well-known as Sthanu Tirtha, the Hindu pilgrimage point, Thaneshwar is only 3 km away from Kurukshetra. Besides Thaneshwar Mahadev temple, Ambika temple and Santoshi Mata temple, a number of other consecrated temples are scattered around Thaneshwar. Take a walk and gaze at the holy facades of the deities who are residing in these temples. The Bhadra Kali temple is another adjoining holy heaven for the spiritual crowds. According to the Hindu belief, the righteous Bhadrakali temple is one of the 51 divine pithas of Hindu communities. The Goddess is holding a trident in her own hand and is made up of black stones. Pilgrims gather on the temple premise to dedicate an earthen horse to the deity and ask deity to fulfill their worldly desires. The mosque and shrine of Sheikh Chilli are the other enticing spots of Thaneshwar. Thaneshwar was the capital of the munificent emperor, Harshvardhan (590- 647) previously. Harshavardhan started to rule Thaneshwar when he was only 14 but gradually he spread his empire from Bengal to Gujarat. Huen Tsang, the Chinese pilgrim had visited India during the ruling period of Harshavardhan. Huen Tsang had mentioned the name of Kurukshetra in his inscription. The scattered historical evidences of Thaneshwar were later on demolished by the emperor of Ghazni, Mahmud.
The Panipat Battle Field, located at the border of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, is the historical battle field which definitely deserves a visit. Panipat had seen the blood stream of innumerable brave soldiers thrice. The first battle that had taken place way back in 1526 between Babar and Ibrahim Lodi is commemorated by a memorial on the battle field. However, Panipat should be accessed by those who only want to recall the old war history standing at one end of the prolonged battle field. The sepulcher of Abu Ali Sikandar, built on the battle premise, is associated with a number of historical stories. People in the vicinity, nevertheless, know Panipat as a chief city which is rich for its textile industries. Woven textiles of Panipat are even exported to various overseas countries, such as, Britain, America, and Japan.
PWD Rest House, Sky Lark Resort, Hotel Gold and Hotel Mid Town are popular hotels in Panipat. Panipat is well-connected both by bus and by train to Ambala, Kurukshetra and Delhi.
The enchanting Karnal Lake is only 31 km away from Pipli. It’s a lovely place to be at. Panipat is not more than 35 km away from Karnal Lake. The ambiance around the Lake is truly mesmerizing. The rippling water stream of the Lake amidst wonderful natural locale looks even more appealing and pretty. Group of ducks enjoy nature moving along with the waves of the Lake. Hire a boat and swim along with the ducks.
For staying overnight lavishly, you can book a room for you in Karnal Lake Motel, on the banks of the absorbing Karnal Lake. The untamed water stream of the Western Yamuna Canal can be seen from the premise of Motel Karnal Lake. You can contact @(0184)- 2266996 to check the availability of a room in Hotel Jewels.
If you are astonished watching the sumptuousness of the Karnal Lake, then you can start your journey towards another artificial Lake at Uchana, lies 3 km off Karnal.
The absorbing Badkhal Lake connects between two hilly tilas, at an altitude of 760 feet, on the undulating slope of Aravalli hills. It is only 29 km away from Delhi. The territory of the Lake is spread across 127 acres of Lands. It is located at a distance of 5 km from Faridabad Railway Station. Buses, Taxis and Autos travel frequently from the railway station to Badkhal Lake. This is a sought after spot for the batches of picnic and outing lovers. The best time to view the natural locus is during October- March as this is the time when itinerant birds fly in from their distant nests to stay in tune with nature for some time. Take pleasure in Cool breeze of Badkhal Lake. The colorful sunset is a laudable allurement of this spot as well. Interested holiday makers should swim in the swimming pool. The gripping greenery around the Lake would pacify your soul for sure. Various multihued flowers bedeck the entire land. Camels, Elephants and Horses are there to entertain throng of tourists’ as well.
Some of the noteworthy hotels where tourists can stay for a night or two are Badkhala Lake hotel of Faridabad District, Minivel Hut and Falcon Suit D. The Holiday Inn is located at a distance of 8 km away from Badkhala Lake on Mathura Road.
Sohna Hill, about 54 km away towards the south- eastern side of Delhi towards Jaipur, is another fascinating tourists’ destination. This finicky destination is named as Sohna Hill due to the availability of gold on the river banks throughout the protracted city (Previously). Climb up the crest of the hill to witness a very special panoramic view of the surrounding places. If you can catch a glimpse of ambling peacocks here, then you can count yourself in the lucky lot. It’s truly a nice place to be at.
For staying overnight, you can consider booking a room at any of these hotels- Sohna Camper Hut, Barbet Motel, The Bristol Hotel, DLF Qutub Enclave Phase-I, Apra Motels, Country Touch Tourist Resort, The Resort Hotel, Vatika Garden Retreat and The Plaza Solitaire.
How to reach Kurukshetra: Trains travel to Kurukshetra from Ambala, Delhi, Howrah, Allahabad and many more Indian destinations regularly. Kurukshetra is well connected to Ambala, Delhi and Panipat by bus as well.
Where to stay at Kurukshetra: PWD Rest House, Thaneshwar Rest House, Jyotisar Canal Rest House, Panchayat Bhawan, Bharat Sevashram Sangha and Parakeet Resort.
Check our hotel booking links below for photos, rates, options and online bookings.