It is also the country of the Bhagvad Gita. Kurukshetra is located about 170 km north of Delhi and is also known by many names like Brahmakshetra, Uttaradevi, Brahmadevi and Dharamkshetra. The place is known for the battle between the Kauravas and the Pandavas in the Hindu epic of Mahabharata. It claims its rich heritage and past glory in various majestic temples and sacred chariots like Brahma Sarovar and Sannihit Sarovar. Named after King Kuru, ancestor of the Pandavas and Kauravas, Kurukshetra has been a silent witness to many great events throughout history.
Places To Visit
1. Vishvamitra Ka Tila
It is located on the south bank of the now non-existent Sarawati River on the outskirts of the town of Pehowa. The site is archaeologically important due to two inscriptions from the Gurjar-Pratihara period (8th to 11th century) that have been found here. One of the inscriptions details the creation of the three temples of Vishnu in the city. The other inscription, in the Garibnath Mutth, dates back to 882 AD and records Raja Bhojdeva’s collection of the voluntary tax for the upkeep of Vishnu temples in the region from traders. Excavations in the area have yielded intricate stone carvings, depicting scenes from the Ramayana and Mahabharata. Another major excavation revealed the remains of an ancient baked-brick temple plinth.
2. Bhishma Kund
Bhishma Kund is associated with the famous legend of Mahabharata. It is where Bhishma Pitamah was laid on a bed of arrows made by Arjun for him to watch the battle. When he was thirsty and he requested for water, Arjun shot an arrow in the ground letting out a water spring to the quench Bhishma’s thirst. This water body is now known as the Bhishma kund.
3. Brahma Sarovar
- Timings : All time
- Entry Fee : No entry fee
It is considered sacred by Hindus and is incredibly beautiful. It is said that the water inside the tank can help those who bathe in it to achieve salvation. It has currently been renovated and is equipped with modern and state-of-the-art facilities. Brahma Sarovar is the most exquisite and breathtaking site in Kurukshetra. A beautiful temple is situated inside the water which can be reached via a concrete bridge. The religious aartis conducted here during sunrise and sunset offer an infinite sense of calm. The Bramha Sarovar also has a shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva in the middle which can be accessed via a small bridge.
Jyotisar is the place where the sacred Jyotisar, the birth place of Gita, is the most venerated tirtha of Kurukshetra. It is believed that Mahabharata battle started from Jyotisar, where on the eve of the battle deluded Arjuna received the eternal message of Gita from its propounder Lord Krishna. It is said that Adi Sankaracharya has identified the place during his sojourn to Himalaya in the 9th centenary of Christian era. It is believed that Mahabharat started from Jyotisar. Jyotisar means “the Core meaning of light” which is ‘symbolic reference to god’ or ‘divine wisdom’ and It is also believed, the Great Sage Manu wrote Manusmriti in this place. The Rig Veda and Sama Veda were also composed in this place. This is the place where Lord Shri Krishna unleashed his destructive force and initiated the end of the dwapar yuga.
The most sacred spot in Jyotisar is under the ancient banyan tree and next to it a beautiful marble chariot with the idols of Lord Shri Krishna and great warrior Arjuna. During the November-December every year in Gita Jayanti celebrations are held here with immense religious fervor and dedication drawing people from all the places. As per the holy vedas, Jyotisar is a very important place for Hindus and should be visit here by at least once in their lifetime.
- Timings: Jyotisar temple open at 07:00 AM to 09:00 PM – All Days
- Entry Fees: free
5. Sannihit Sarovar
The word sannihit means to collect. True to its meaning, the Sannihit Sarovar is believed to collect water from all sacred rivers and tiraths, especially the seven sacred rivers on the occasion of the solar eclipse and the Amavasya. The Scriptures say that a bath at Sannihit Sarovar on moonless days and on the day of eclipses earns the merit of an Ashwamedha Yagna. It is also believed that the bath in the tank accompanied by prayers, gifts and rituals, brings peace to the souls of loved ones who have passed away. A number of shrines dedicated to various gods and goddesses including Sri Hanuman, Lord Vishnu, Dhruv Bhagat, Goddess Durga, Lakshmi Narayan and many others are situated near the length and width of the sarovar. The sarovar is visited not only by the devout Hindus, but by Sikhs also.
6. Shrikrishna Museum
The Sri Krishna Museum, established by the Kurukshetra Development Board in 1987, is unique in India. It has six galleries that illustrate the life of Lord Krishna, the story of Geeta and the Mahabharata, all with the help of artefacts collected from all over India. It is also a very insightful museum for art lovers, as a myriad of paintings and sculptures from different Indian states are on display. One can see paintings by Chittara, Talapatrachitras, Warli and Madhubani in different galleries. There are wooden sculptures of Lord Krishna in different shapes and sizes. It shows Vasudev crossing the river in the middle of a heavy downpour with the infant Krishna placed in a basket over his head, Krishna lifting Govardhan hill on the tip of his little finger so that the villagers can be saved from damaging rain, and Krishna romancing his beloved Radha.
7. Sheikh Chilli’s Tomb
It contains the mortal remains of the great Sufi Saint Abudul-Karim popularly known as Sheikh Shehli, who was also the spiritual teacher of the learned prince Dara Shikoh. Constructed of buff marble, the tomb is crowned with a pear-shaped marble dome on a high circular drum. The cenotaph of the revered saint is in the center of the chamber while the tomb rests in the lower chamber. In the background of the monument is an archaeological site called Raja Harsha ka Qila. Excavations of this mound have revealed numerous cultural dwellings ranging from the Kushana period (C. 1st-2nd century CE) to the end of the Mughal period (18th century CE). The central part of the mound exhibited the huge building structures of the Vardhana and Rajput periods. A site museum has been established in the Madarasa complex by the Archaeological Survey of India, which features artefacts unearthed during the excavation of an archaeological mound.
Where To Eat
- Saffron: pipli road opposite P.N.B. Regional office, Kurukshetra
- MEZBAAN REGENCY RESTAURANT: Kalawati Market, Railway Road, Kurukshetra
- SHELL RESTAURANT: Railway Rd, Kurukshetra
Where to Stay
- PARAKEET, PIPLI (KURUKSHETRA): (A Unit of Haryana Tourism Corporation Ltd.)
Pipli, Kurukshetra – 136131, Haryana (India)
- Neelkanthi Krishna Dham Yatri Niwas: (A Unit of Haryana Tourism Corporation Ltd.)
University Road, Kurukshetra – 136119, Haryana (India)
How to Reach
Located in the state of Haryana, Kurukshetra is well-connected to many major cities like Delhi and Chandigarh via road. If you are travelling by air, you can travel to Delhi, which is around 179 km south of Kurukshetra. Flights of nearly all the major airlines operate from Delhi. From Delhi, take a cab or drive to the holy city. If you are planning to go by road, there are several, state and local run buses connecting Kurukshetra to Chandigarh, Delhi, Panipat, Amritsar, Ambala, Jaipur, Meerut, Patiala, Faridabad and Ghaziabad. Kurukshetra has a railway station, which is around 2 km away from the main city. You can take a local bus or a cab to travel from the railway station to the city center.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
The period between September and March is the best time to visit this holy land of Mahabharata, Kurukshetra. During the onset of the winter season, the weather is pleasant for exploring the region. The temperature soon drops and you will have to wear woollen clothes while travelling.
Places To Visit Around
Pipli Zoo: Located on Grand Trunk Road near the Pipli bus stop, Pipli Zoo is the perfect place to have fun. Pipli is only 2.5 km from the main town of Kurukshetra. Spread over 27 acres of land, the zoo has different types of animals and plants. It was established in 1982. You can spend a whole day in this zoo among beautiful animals. The zoo is also home to a Black Buck Breeding Center.
Lake Karna: Lake Karna is located in Karnal district in Haryana. Karnal is located 36 km south of Kurukshetra.
This lake is a popular tourist attraction. You can go boating in this beautiful natural lake. According to legends, Karna, who was Kunti’s son but fought for Kauravas, used to visit this lake to take a bath. It is also believed to be the very place where he gave his kundal and kavach to Indra, who was the godfather of Karna’s enemy, Arjuna.