One of the holy cities of Haryana, Kurukshetra has a whole lot of significance in Indian history. It is known as the Land of Bhagwat Gita which is the holy book of the Hindus, and even the epic Mahabharata revolved around Kurukshetra.
The city has been named after King Kuru who was the ancestor of Kauravas and Pandavas, as depicted in the epic. Also, the historic Kurukshetra War of Mahabharata was fought on this land only. Apart from that, it’s exactly where Lord Krishna recited Bhagwat Gita for the first time.
There can be no other holy place with such great significance and rich history for the Hindu devotees than this one. According to ancient texts, Kurukshetra is not just a city but an abode for Lords and Kings. It is a Hindu pilgrimage destination that has immense importance and a lot of devotees visit here to explore temples, pilgrimage centres, and other holy sites.
Best Time to Visit Kurukshetra
While this destination is definitely worth a visit, it is better that you do so between September and March, as during these months, the overall weather is quite pleasant and ideal for sightseeing.
History of Kurukshetra
The ancient Hindu texts have the mention of King Kuru on many occasions. He was the one who used to rule the Bharata Dynasty which was also considered as the ancestral origin of Kaurava and Pandavas (two groups of brothers during the time of Epic Mahabharata).
The Puranas also talk about the great battle of Mahabharata which was fought on the land of the city of Kurukshetra.
Later in the history, Kurukshetra was conquered by the Mauryan Empire in the late 4th century BCE and subsequently became a centre of Buddhism and Hinduism. However, the history of Kurukshetra is little-known amid the collapse of the Mauryans and the rise of the Kushans who later conquered the region.
After the decline of the Kushan power in the region, Kurukshetra became independent only to become conquered by the Gupta empire in the early 4th century CE. Under Gupta rule, Kurukshetra experienced a cultural and religious revival and became a centre for Hinduism. After the fall of the Gupta, the Pushyabhuti dynasty ruled over Kurukshetra.
In 736, the Tomara dynasty was founded and they took over the region. Around the early 9th century, Kurukshetra lost its independence to Bengal. Mahmud of Ghazni sacked Kurukshetra in 1014 and Muslim raiders sacked it in 1034. Kurukshetra was incorporated into the Delhi Sultanate in 1206. Other than a short moment of independence from the result of a rebellion within the Sultanate in 1240, Kurukshetra was under the control of Delhi until 1388.
Kurukshetra became part of the Mughal Empire after Babur quashed a local rebellion in 1526. Under Akbar, Kurukshetra once again became a spiritual center not only for Hindus but also for Sikhs and Muslims.
Between the late 17th and early 18th centuries, Kurukshetra was controlled by either Mughal or Sikh forces, until the British took over Delhi in 1803. In 1805, the British took over Kurukshetra after defeating the Sikh forces who were controlling the city.
Since 1947, Kurukshetra has become a popular spiritual center and has seen much infrastructure development and restoration of old structures.
Places To Visit In Kurukshetra
1. Brahma Sarovar
Dedicated to Lord Brahma, what is really worth knowing about this place is that the Lord created Mother Earth from this particular Sarovar. Moreover, it has also been mentioned in the memoirs of Al Beruni, who had mentioned this water tank to be 1800m deep and 1400m wide.
2. Krishna Museum
This museum was founded in 1987 and houses various artefacts of Lord Krishna and his incarnations from the 1st century AD to the 11th Century AD. Another fact that you must know is that this museum also houses six galleries that specifically showcase the statues in the forms they are depicted and described in the Bhagavata Purana as well as the Mahabharata. There is no doubt, this is one of the best places to visit in Kurukshetra.
3. Sannihit Sarovar
550 ft in width and around 1500 ft in height, the Sannihit Sarovar is believed to be the point where the seven tributaries of the Saraswati River meet. And this is also the very place which is considered as the home of Lord Vishnu.
This place is associated with the legend of Mahabharata and is considered as a sacred site, located in Kurukshetra. This is considered as the place where Lord Krishna had recited the Bhagwad Geeta under the shade of Banyan tree to Arjuna, to prepare him for the war against the evil.
5. Bhadrakali Temple
It is believed that it was this temple where the Pandavas had offered their prayers to God before waging a war against the Kauravas.
6. Bhishma Kund
This place is associated with one of the most amazing parts of Mahabharata. Bhishma Kund is the same place where, it is believed, that Bhishma Pitamah was laid on the bed of arrows which was made by none other than Arjuna himself. Later, Arjuna established this Kund when Bhishma Pitahmah requested for water.
The Kurukshetra festival is one of the major festivals in which a great number of pilgrims gather around to take a holy dip in the Brahma Sarovar. The waters of this place are more or less considered quite sacred. Overall, it is a great option to explore and experience.
How to Reach Kurukshetra
To reach Kurukshetra, you need to cover an approximate distance of 155, 1,564, 1,672, 2,317 km from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru respectively. Following are the travel details on how you can easily reach Kurukshetra via different modes of transportation.
The nearest airport is Chandigarh International Airport (IXC) which is located at a distance of 91km from Kurukshetra. Another nearest airport that also has good international flight connectivity is Indira Gandhi International Airport situated (approx) 169.9 kilometres away from the city. Once you deboard at either of the airports as per your convenience, you can easily get local means of transport to reach your destination.
From Ahmedabad - Board Spicejet, Vistara, Air India flights from Ahmedabad Airport. The airfares start from INR 3,000-4,000
From Patna - Board IndiGo, Air India flights from Patna Airport. The airfares start from INR 5,000-6,000
From Jaipur - Board Air India, IndiGo flights from Jaipur Airport. The airfares start from INR 4,000-5,000
Here is a list of Indian cities from where flights are available to Kurukshetra
If planning a trip via train then deboard at Kurukshetra Railway Station. The railway station is well-connected to major cities of India offering overall good train connectivity to the passengers. After deboarding at the station, you can continue your journey via some means of public transport.
The overall connectivity via road network is quite good as well. Frequent public and private buses are available. Also, if you belong to neighbouring states or cities, you can easily enjoy a road trip via your personal motor vehicle. Thus, if you are planning a road trip then it would prove to be a convenient experience for you.
Q. Where is Kurukshetra located?
A. Kurukshetra is a city located in the state of Haryana
Q. What are the main tourist attractions in Kurukshetra?
A. The main tourist attractions in Kurukshetra include the Brahma Sarovar, the Sannihit Sarovar, the Jyotisar Light and Sound Show, the Bhishma Kund, and the Kurukshetra Panorama and Science Centre.