After roaming in the streets of blue city, let me take you to Kurukshetra-a place very close to my heart. This is not just one place, I visited! You can say, it’s my second home.
Kurukshetra is a renowned tourist destination located 160 kilometers north of Delhi and 100 km south of Chandigarh, in the state of Haryana.
A journey down the history lane
According to Puranas, Kurukshetra was named after King KURU, the ancestor of Kauravas and Pandavas. It is well known for the preaching of ‘Bhagwat Geeta’ and the grand battle, ‘Mahabharata’. According to the legends, Kurukshetra was not the name of the city but a vast area; the city was known by the name of ‘Thanesar’ or ‘Sthanesawar’ meaning ‘The place of GOD’. King Kuru received two boons from Lord Vishnu: First, the land will always be known by his name and second, anyone who dies on this land, will go to heaven.
Places of interest in Kurukshetra:
Brahma Sarovar is associated with Lord Brahma, the creator of the Universe. According to myths, Lord Brahma created entire Universe from the land of Kurukshetra, after a huge Yajna on an island situated in the middle of this Sarovar.
Taking dip in holy water of Sarovar during Solar Eclipse and Amavas (no moon) is considered equal to the merits of performing thousands of Asvamedha Yajnas. The temple of Lord Shiva, ‘Sarveshwar Mahadev’ is located on the northern bank of the Sarovar. It is said that the Shiva Linga here was installed by Lord Brahma himself. Many devotees consider one Prikarma (circle) of this tank equal to making one visit to all the tirtha lying within the holy circuit of Kurukshetra 48 Kos.
Jyotisar (Jyoti means Light and Sar means Core)
It is the birth place of Bhagwat Gita-the doctrine of Karma and Dharma. It is believed that Mahabharata battle started from ‘Jyotisar’, where on the eve of the battle, confused Arjuna received the eternal message of ‘Gita’ from Lord ‘Krishna’. It is here that Lord showed his ‘Universal form’ to Arjuna.
The sole witness, a Banyan Tree still stands tall. Architectural remains of an ancient temple of 9th-10th century, is placed on the main platform. The Haryana Tourism is running a light and sound show daily here in Hindi and English in the evening.
This place is associated with the spot where Bhisma fell on the battle field on the 10th day of Mahabharata battle. Arjuna pierced the ground to quench Bhisma’s thirst. The spot where Arjuna’s arrow struck into the ground is called ‘Bhisma Kunda’.
According to local legends, Bhisma remained here on the bed of arrows for 58 days before leaving for the heavenly abode.
The word sannehit means to congregate or assemble. It is believed that all the scared waters or tirthas assemble here in this Sarovar.
The temple is dedicated to ‘Bhadrakali’, a form of Shakti. This is considered to be one of the fifty two Shakti Pithas of India. It is believed that the right ankle of sati fell here in a well in front of the temple. Presently a marble ankle has been shown here that recalls the mythical incident of Sati. Here the Devotees offer terracotta horse to the deity having fulfilled their wishes.
The temple of ‘Sthaneswar’ is the abode of Lord Shiva. It once formed an important part of the Kingdom of King Harsha Vardhan.
The ‘linga’ is ancient and worshipped with faith. It was here that the Pandavas prayed to Lord Shiva and received His blessings for victory in the battle of Mahabharta.
Other places of Interest within Kurukshetra
Sheikh Chehli Tomb
It is a beautiful monument of medieval times. It contains the mortal remains of the great Sufi saint Abudul-Karim popularly known as ‘Sheikh Chehli’, who was also the spiritual teacher of the scholar prince ‘Dara Shikoh’, son of the Mughal Emperor ‘Shah Jehan’.
The beautiful monument is of architectural and historical importance, and has been declared as a ‘protected monument’ of national importance by the Archaeological Survey of India.
Gurdwara Chhevin Patshahi
Dedicated to ‘Guru Har Gobind’, this Gurudwara is situated about 2 kilometres from the Kurukshetra bus stand. Guru ka Langar, sarovar and availability of accommodation for pilgrims is available at this place.
Panorama & Science Centre
The Kurukshetra Panorama & Science Centre is a beautiful cylindrical building that is used for exhibitions and working models for visitor’s activities. In the ground floor, there is an exhibition ‘India-a Heritage in Science, Technology and Culture.
Housed in a tall and cylindrical building, the main attraction of the Centre is a life-like ‘Panorama’ of the epic battle of Kurukshetra. There is a three dimensional display of 34 feet high paintings of the battleground from the 18-day confrontation between the Pandavas and the Kauravas.
The chanting of ‘Gita’ and distant war crimes blended with lighting illusions create the perfect ambiance.
Kalpana Chawla Memorial Planetarium
The Kalpana Chawla Memorial Planetarium is housed in 12 meter dome having seating arrangement of 120 persons. Planetariums shows named “Astronaut” and “Oasis in Space” are being run for general visitors and students. The gallery of the planetarium has interactive exhibits on astronomy. Monday is off. Visiting hours 10.00 am to 4.30 pm.
Jindal Park and Musical Fountain
The ‘Jindal Park and Musical Fountain’ is built in fond memory of the great leader, Sh. O. P. Jindal. The main focus in the park is the memorable garden, where a beautiful torso bust (4ft ht.) of Late Sh. O P Jindal, has been built in his memory.
Annual Attraction Of Kurukshetra: GITA JAYANTI
Gita Jayanti Samaroh, a religious festival of Hindus, is celebrated to commemorate the birth day of ‘Srimad Bhagwat Gita’ the sacred scripture containing invaluable advises of Lord Krishna that he offered to Arjuna, in the battlefield of Kurukshetra, on the first day of the famous 18-day battle in the Mahabharata.
It is celebrated every year in the month of November or December, at the magnificent Braham Sarovar. The Sarovar comes to vibrant life for more than a week with attractive lighting, enthusiastic crowd and talented artists. Craftsmen from all over INDIA assemble here with unique artifacts.
Various types of religious and cultural events are organized and the celebration ends with unforgettable vista of Deep daan and Evening Aarti.
This article is not a typical orientalafterglow travel tale. I hope you liked it.
That’s all from Dharam Kshetra for now.