- The ‘Land of Mahabharta’ is one of the holiest Hindu pilgrim centres in the country.
- It is named after king Kuru, the descendent of legendary king Bharat, after whom India was named as Bharat.
- According to Puranas, Kurukshetra is the site from where Lord Brahma created the universes.
- It was here that 18 day long Mahabharta battle between Kaurvas and Pandvas was fought.
- Where Lord Krishna preached the philosophy of ‘Karma’ to Arjuna, before the start of the epic battle.
- The very first verse of ‘Bhagwat Gita’ describes Kurukshetra as ‘Dharam-Kshetra’ or the ‘Region of Righteousness’.
- Region has 360 sacred sites associated with Mahabharta.
- Kurukshetra is also a highly revered Sikh pilgrim site, as it is one of the very few places visited by all the Sikh Gurus.
- It also has sacred sites for Muslims like, the beautiful white marble tomb of Sufi saint Sheikh Chehli Jalal, Chini Masjid and Pathar Masjid etc.
MODE OF COMMUNICATION:
- Airport: Chandigarh Airport, Chandigarh (IXC), 116 kms away from Kurukshetra town.
- Rail: Kurukshetra Railway Station, Kurukshetra, 5.5 kms away from Kurukshetra centre of town.
- Road: Well connected with NH 1.
SIGHTSEEING AT A GLANCE
Brahma Sarovar Lakshmi Narayan Temple Sannehit Sarovar Gurudwaras Jyotisar Thanesar Pehowa
FORT & MONUMENTS
Sheikh Chehli’s Tomb Sri Krishna Museum
MUSEUM & AUDITORIUM
Kurukshetra Panorama Project & Science Centre
ATTRACTIONS OF KURUKSHETRA
- Brahma Sarovar:
- Huge water tank is one of the most sacred sites of Kurukshetra.
- Lotus like temple of Sarveshwar Mahadev in the centre of the tank is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
- According to mythological legends, Lord Brahma established a Shivalinga and worshipped Lord Shiva here.
- Holy water body is 1298 metres long and 630 metres wide and is dividing into two by a small passage.
- It is surrounded by 20 feet wide platforms, stairs and 40 feet wide ‘Parikrama’.
- There are also a number of meditation chambers built for the convenience of pilgrims.
- Some ancient shrines are located around the tank.
- A holy dip in the waters of the Sarovar absolves one of all sins and is considered to be of great importance, especially on the days of an eclipse, amavasya (moonless night) and during the Kumbh.
- Lakshmi Narayan Temple:
- This important shrine located just opposite to the Brahma Sarovar is dedicated to Lord Narayan (Vishnu) and his consort Lakshmi.
- The towering sprite of the shrine dominates the skyline and its architecture is noteworthy.
- Sannehit Sarovar:
- Sacred water body is located about 1 km north-east of Brahma Sarovar.
- Mythological legends suggest that the Sarovar was created by the holy water that flowed from Lord Brahma’s navel.
- It is believed that the devotees are blessed by praying, bathing or just by touching the water of the tank.
- There are a number of Gurudwaras at Kurukshetra.
- Most important are – Gurudwara Sidhbati, Gurudwara Patshahi and Gurudwara Rajghat.
- Sheikh Chehli’s Tomb:
- Beautiful tomb resembling the Taj was built by Dara Shikoh (Shah Jahan’s son) in memory of his spiritual teacher.
- Kurukshetra Panorama Project & Science Centre:
- Highlights the scientific progress of man and the epic Mahabharata.
- Sri Krishna Museum:
- It lies near the Brahma Sarovar and provides a glimpse of the history and archaeology of the region.
- Museum has beautiful sculptures of Lord Krishna.
FAIRS AND FESTIVALS OF KURUKSHETRA
- INTERNATIONAL GITA MAHOTSAV
To mark the birth of sacred bhagvad Gita, this festival takes place every year at Kurukshetra. It falls on eleventh day of Margaseersa month as per hindu calendar. It means that this festival is celebrated during December to January. Kurukshetra is the land where celestial song 'Bhagwad Gita' is believed to have been delivered by Lord Krishna to Arjuna. The place also holds significance as the famous sage Manu wrote Manusmriti here. The Rig Veda and the Sama Veda were also composed here. Apart from Lord Krishna, the land was visited by divine personalities like Gautama Buddha and eminent Sikh Gurus. This unique festival is full of devotion to lord and dedication to life at a place where the soul of Hinduism has its existence.
This famous fair takes place in Saraswati Tirath of Pehowa during the months of March-April every year. In this occasion, lakhs of people from Haryana, Punjab and the country visit this place for the rituals link Pind Dan (food offering to the ancestors of family) and Jal Tarpan (offering of water to these deceased souls of their ancestors). It has been said as per the popular beliefs that at this place, Pandavas performed these rituals for peace to the souls of their kin who lost their lives in the 18 days long fierce battle of Mahabharata. Thus, people from different parts of country come to Chaitra Chaudas Mela after completing the last rites of any deceased member of their family and pray for their resting in peace forever. It has been said if Chaitra Amavasya falls on Monday any year, its importance increases manifold.
Somvati Amavasya is celebrated by Hindus in Kurukshetra when the new moon’s day falls on Monday (Somvar). It is believed that by taking holy dip in sacred ponds, tanks, rivers on this day can relieve a person of all diseases, sorrows, and sins. It brings properity to their life and give peace to the souls of their ancestors. This belief increases the significance of all the tanks located on the banks of sacred Saraswati River and its tributaries in Kurukshetra. Thousands of devotees visit Sannihit Sarovar and Brahma Sarovar of Kurukshetra to take a holy bath in these sacred tanks and perform necessary rituals. It is also said that by observing one day silence (Maun) on this day, people can assimilate great spiritual benefits.
For more information, please visit: https://haryanatourism.gov.in
ATTRACTIONS AROUND KURUKSHETRA
- Small pond of Jyotisar or the source of light and inspiration is said to be the place where Lord Krishna preached the philosophy of Karma through the ‘Gita Upadesh’, just before the battle of Mahabharta.
- Jyotisar tank is surrounded by bathing ghats and ancient shrines.
- Main attractions on the banks of the sacred pond are – 150 year old Shiva temple built by the Maharaja of Kashmir; the Shankracharya temple, where Adi Shankracharya is said to have meditated.
- An ancient banyan tree, under which the marble image of Lord Krishna and Arjuna were erected by the Shankracharya of Kanchi in 1967.
- An excellent sound and light show is held in the evening which brings the message of Bhagvad Gita.
- The twin city of Kurukshetra is one of the most important Hindu pilgrim centres.
- Named after the ‘Sthan-esvar’ or the abode of God (Mahadev) and was an ancient centre of learning.
- Main attractions here are the temples of Sthanesvar Mahadev and Ma Bhadrakali.
- Pilgrim centre 27 kms west of Thanesar is regarded to be a sacred site for the ceremony of ‘pind-daan’, which grants Moksha (salvation) on the departed soul.