Kurukshetra, popularly known as Dharmakshetra (holy place). This land is named after King Kuru who did rigorous penance for making it the land of religion or Dharmakshetra. The district is situated in the Indian northern state, Haryana. It had been known since the ages of Mahabharata, as the battle of Mahabharata was fought in Kurukshetra. Kurukshetra is known for its holy places that serve as an excellent destination for pilgrimage as well as other tourists. The government of India declared the Kurukshetra a holy city in 2017.
- Kurukshetra was triumphed by the Mauryan in the late 4th century BCE. It then became a centre of Buddhism and Hinduism.
- After that, it goes in hands of Kushan. After the collapse of Kushan power, Kurukshetra became independent.
- After that, it was conquered by the Gupta empire in the early 4th century CE. Under Gupta rule, Kurukshetra experienced cultural and religious activities and became a centre for Hinduism. After the decline of the Gupta rule, the Pushyabhuti dynasty took over Kurukshetra.
- Civil war broke out when the Harsha ( Pushyabhuti dynasty) died without a successor in 647.
- In 736, the Tomara dynasty was founded and they took over the region. Around the 9th century, Kurukshetra lost its independence to Bengal. Mahmud of Ghazni sacked Kurukshetra in 1014.
- Kurukshetra was incorporated into the Delhi Sultanate in 1206. Kurukshetra became independent once again after the steep decline of the Delhi Sultanate and the raids of Tamerlane near the region.
- The Sayyid dynasty incorporated Kurukshetra into their territory. The area was under the control of the subsequent Lodhi dynasty. In between some damages to Kurukshetra and its structures occurred during this period.
- Kurukshetra came under the Mughal Empire after Babur defeated a local rebellion in 1526. Under Emperor Akbar, Kurukshetra again became a spiritual centre for the inclusion of religious, Hindi Sikhs and Muslims.
- Kurukshetra was controlled by the Maratha forces( between the 17th and 18th centuries) until the British took over Delhi in 1803. The British took Kurukshetra In 1805, after defeating the Maratha forces in the Second Anglo-Maratha War.
- Kurukshetra has become a popular spiritual & religious centre, since 1947. The development of infrastructure and restoration of old structures took place.
Kurukshetra is located in the northern parts of the Indian state, Haryana. The capital of Haryana is Chandigarh. Haryana is ranked 22nd in India in terms of land with an area of 44,212 sq. km. The Kurukshetra shares a 1,530 Km2 area of Haryana. The state is home to religious spots & attracts lots of pilgrims from India as well as from outside of India.
How to reach Kurukshetra?
Kurukshetra is an easily accessible city of Haryana. It is well connected & maintained by roads, highways, train & airways. You can consider the following ways to reach Kurukshetra:
- There is no airport in kurukshetra.
- The nearest airport from kurukshetra is Chandigarh International airport & Indira Gandhi international airport, Delhi.
- You can book a flight from Delhi Airport to Pipli, or Chandigarh airport to Pipli.
- Pipli is 6 km away from kurukshetra.
- Taxi services are available at the airport. It takes around 2 hrs 40 min to reach Kurukshetra.
- By Bus: you can get the buses from Delhi ISBT Kashmiri gate to kurukshetra. The distance of kurukshetra from Delhi is 160km. Haryana roadways buses & other state buses also connect kurukshetra to other cities. It takes 3 hrs 45 min to reach.
- By car: You can also book a cab for reaching kurukshetra. If you want to drive by yourself then you can take the NH 1 route which takes you to kurukshetra. The driving refreshes your moods as well as you get the chance to view the beauty throughout the journey.
- The Kurukshetra railway station is well connected with major cities like Delhi, Chandigarh etc.
- The station is also called kurukshetra junction ( KKDE), located on the main Delhi- Ambala railway line.
- There are 5 direct trains available from New Delhi.
- The Shatabdi Express also has a stoppage here.
- It takes 2 hrs 36 min & the cheapest way to reach Kurukshetra.
When to visit Kurukshetra?
The best time considered for tourists to visit kurukshetra is from October to September. Because weather during the summer is very hot & humid. During monsoon the city experiences heavy rain & high humidity in the air. The weather during winter period is cool & enjoyable. The winter brings pleasant days & chilly nights.
The official language spoken in Kurukshetra is Hindi. Haryanvi is commonly spoken by local people. Some people also speak Punjabi & English.
- Summer Season: April to June
- Average Temperature: 42°C – 47°C
- Monsoon Season: July to September
- Average Temperature: 32°C – 40°C
- Winter Season: October to March
- Average Temperature: 7°C – 22°C
Fairs & Festivals in Kurukshetra
Kurukshetra has varied cultural heritage and mythological significance. Since the Vedic times, this city has been a sacred place of learning. Kurukshetra has lots of temples and sacred tanks. A holy dip in these tanks is believed to solve all the sins. The most popular festivals celebrated in Kurukshetra are:
Gita Jayanti is also known as the Kurukshetra festival & Celebrate at Jyotisar. Jyotisar is the birthplace of Gita. According to Mahabharata, here Shri Krishna gave Gita Updesh to Arjuna. This festival is celebrated by a huge number of people. It is celebrated on the 11th day of Margashirsha as per the Hindu calendar. It is celebrated once a year in November or December.
The fair held during the solar eclipse. A huge number of crowds visited the fair. In this Fair, pilgrims wash their sins in the tanks. As per Hindu mythology, it is believed that it frees your soul from a vicious circle of life & you become free from your sins. Further, one dip in the tanks is equal to thousands of Ashwamedha yajna. It is generally celebrated in December.
ISKCON Jagannath Rath Yatra
The festival has been celebrated since 1993. Every year it takes place in Kurukshetra at ISKCON temple. A large number of crowds mark the popularity of yatra.
The fair celebrated on new moon day, it falls on Monday ( somvar) & thus it is called somvati. In this festival people take a dip in sacred water. It is believed that it can cure all diseases & sins. Also it brings happiness & wealth in life. The fair is celebrated at Sannihit Sarovar & Brahma Sarovar. The fair is held generally in August.
Chaitra Chaudas Fair
It takes place at the Saraswati trieth of Pehowa. In this Fair, very prestigious rituals like Pind Daan ( offering food to our ancestors of the family) & Jal Tarpan are performed. In this ritual, people pray for their loved ones to rest in peace.
Accommodation/Stay to prefer
The Haryana tourism corporation Ltd. has taken care of your stay in Kurukshetra so that you can explore the best of the city. It provides comfortable staying at a reasonable price.
Parakeet Tourist Complex
It is located in Pipli, Kurukshetra. This tourist complex consists of designer rooms, bars, restaurant, green lawns etc. Staying in this tourist complex surely makes your trip a memorable one.
Neelkanthi Krishna Dham Yatri Complex
It is a very vast tourist complex. It can accommodate a large number of tourists at once. You can find 4-6 bedded rooms. It has restaurants, bars with excellent hospitality. It ensures a comfortable stay.
Some other hotels you can consider for comfortable staying are:
- Best expensive hotels: Hotel Grand Rajj, Hotel Amber, Hotel Pride etc
- Best moderate price hotels: Hotel Mayur, Crystal Inn, C Seven Hotel etc.
- Best cheap price hotels: Hotel Saffron, R.K. Riyasat, Hotel M.G. Grand etc.
Places to visit in Kurukshetra
Kurukshetra Panorama & science centre
Kurukshetra Panorama & science centre was established in 2001. It is located near Pehowa road. The motive to create the science centre is to explain the role of science in the traditional Indian religion. A combination of cultural & emerging technologies are displayed at the centre including the legendary battle of Kurukshetra.
Kalpana Chawla memorial planetarium
Kalpana Chawla memorial planetarium was established in memory of Kalpana Chawla. The theme based on astronomy and its study in the Indian civilization since prehistoric times. The planetarium has interesting exhibitions and short films that help visitors gain knowledge. The motive to create the museum is to develop an inclination towards the subject in young minds.
Sri Krishna Museum
Sri Kishna Museum was established in 1987. The Museum has various art forms of Lord Krishna and Krishna’s incarnations from the times of Mahabharata. The museum has six galleries. It also showcases the statues in the forms as described in the Bhagavata Purana.
The Museum has a rich historical, cultural, and architectural heritage of the state. It was founded on Golden Jubilee year of the Kurukshetra University. The museum has over 23 galleries. It display the rich heritage of the region through paintings, photographs, artforms and manuscripts.
The Sarovar dedicated to Lord Brahma. According to mythological history, it was believed that Brahma created mother earth from this Sarovar. The sacred water tank is 1800 meter deep and 1400 meter wide.
The Sarovar is 550 ft in width and 1500 ft in height. According to mythological history, It is believed to be the meeting point of seven tributaries of the Saraswati River. The Sarovar is the home of Lord Vishnu.
This temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali. According to Mahabharata, the Pandavas were performed the prayers and rituals in this temple, before the final battle of Kurukshetra.
Jyotisar was the birthplace of Bhagwad Gita. Here Lord Krishna gave the Updesh of Bhagwad Geeta under a Banyan tree to Arjuna, to prepare him to fight the war. As per believes, the tree still exists in the town.
Sthaneshwar Mahadev Temple
The temple is dedicated to lord Shiva. It is said that the Pandavas gain the blessings of Lord Shiva in this temple. The water tank of the temple is believed to have healing properties.
Sheikh chilli tombs
The Mausoleum was built in the memory of Sufi master of Prince Dara Shikoh. It was made of red sandstone. The tomb has illustration of Persian architecture with stunning floral designs. The complex has Sheikh Chilli’s and his wife’s tomb. It has madrasa, beautifully maintained lawns and an Archaeological Museum making it a perfect tourist attraction.
According to Mahabharata, It is a place where Bhishma Pitamah was laid on a bed of arrows made by Arjuna. When he was thirsty, he requested for water, Arjuna shot an arrow in the ground & water spring is out to quench Bhishma’s thirst. The kund attracts large no of pilgrimage.
Laxmi Narayan Mandir
It is dedicated to Lord Narayan and Goddess Lakshmi. It was built during the reign of the Chola Dynasty. It is located near Dukh Bhanjan Colony. It is believed that devotees visit this temple and complete seven circumambulations around the shrine is equal to visiting Char Dham pilgrimage.
Karn ka kila
The kila is located near the campus of Kurukshetra University. The artforms here belong to three cultural periods, from the 4th Century BC to the 3rd Century AD.
Chhilchhila Wildlife Sanctuary
The Chhilchhila Wildlife Sanctuary is also known as Seonthi Reserve Forest. It is located near Kurukshetra University. The wildlife is home various species of animals.
OP Jindal Park
The Park was built in the memory of the Power Minister of the state, OP Jindal. There is a beautiful fountain in the centre. The park covers an area of 14 acres of land. It has lush green lawns, a jogging park, a children’s play area, a quiet meditation centre and a charming fragrant rose garden.
Tau Devi Lal Town Park
This park is located near sector -7. This park is for birds lover & nature lovers. Some of exotic species of birds, Plain Prinia, the Ashy Prinia, the Green Bee-eater, etc can be seen here. You can spend some peaceful time while watching birds. Also take a tour to variety of plants that are housed here.
Pipli zoo (Mini Zoo & Black Buck Breeding Centre)
Pipli Zoo was established in 1982. The Zoo covers the area about 25 acres of land. It is home to various species of animals. The zoo also includes a blackbuck breeding centre. It is a popular picnic spot for animal lovers.
Cuisines to taste in Kurukshetra
Kurukshetra has a delicious & nutritious food variety. The cuisines are healthy & beneficial for everyone. The city is related to religious beliefs so mostly vegetarian foods are available in Kurukshetra. Here are the best food to taste in Kurukshetra.
It is a very popular meal in Kurukshetra & in some temples, it is distributed as prasad. It is prepared from gram flour, spices & yoghurt that gives it a tangy flavour.
It is a dessert, prepared from rice, milk, sugar nuts & resins. It also served as prasad in the temples.
Lassi is a summer cooler drink made from yogurt, water & sugar. It is also very popular among north Indians.
Raabri is thickened sweetened milk having layers of cream in it. It is prepared with cardamoms, saffron, dry fruits like almonds and pistachios.
It is known as Sweet rice. It is sort of dessert prepared from basmati rice, sugar, desi- ghee, saffron, dry fruits, raisins etc.
Roti is a must eat meal specially for North Indian. In kurukshetra you can find multigrain rotis made up of gram, bajra, wheat etc.
Bajre ki Khichdi
Bajre ki Khichdi is one of nutritious as well as healthy dishes of the city. It is prepared from bajra, rice, and lentils. It is wholesome dish & mostly preferred in winters.
Things to do in Kurukshetra
- Enjoy the beauty of sarovar at Brahma sarovar
- Enjoy the silence of Jyotisar – Birthplace of Bhagavad Gita
- Take a dip in to Bhisma Kund
- Know the history of kurukshetra at Srikrishna Museum
- Discover the beauty of Sannihit Sarovar
- Take a walk to Sheikh chilli tombs
- Visit the Sthaneshwar Mahadev Temple
- Enjoy the culture of kurukshetra at Dharohar Museum
- Discover the power at Bhadrakali Temple
- Don’t forget to visit Kalpana Chawla memorial planetarium
- Go to wildlife sanctuary
- Go on the shopping
- Taste the popular cuisine & local food
Souvenirs to buy in Kurukshetra
The city has a wide variety of handicrafts to offer & are available mostly in the rural areas. The items boost its economy and enhance the tourist attractions here. As the city is related to the era of Mahabharata, it attracts a large no. of tourists who come to explore its spirituality and history.
Kurukshetra’s milk products
The city has many medium or small scale industries producing milk foods including skimmed milk powder, condensed milk, butter, desi ghee, infant milk food etc. So you can get the pure & original milk products there.
Kurukshetra’s pottery items
These items are generally produced in the rural cottage industries of Kurukshetra. Traditional pottery items such as utensils, vases, toys; decorative pieces, etc. are famous for their beautiful designs and fine finish. These are easily available in the markets.Kurukshetra’s
Kurukshetra’s Handlooms are must-buy items in the city. You can buy robes, lungis, woven fabric, woven shawls etc. These items are quite famous among tourists.
Famous markets for shopping
The shopping places are located in the main areas of the city & can be easily reachable through the local transport. The old markets in the main city are full of local stuff. Kurukshetra is full of sacred activities and fun for the visitors. The city has developed the modern concept of shopping malls as well. Sector 17, Railway Road Market, Old City Market, Kessel MallAnsal Plaza, Huda Shopping Complex, NIT Market, Shri Krishna market, etc. are the most famous markets in this city.