Kurukshetra in ancient times was situated between the two sacred rivers, Saraswati on the North and Drishadvati on the South. Its location then was not confined to the modern Kurukshetra as it exists today and it encompassed a wider area comprising 48 Kosas or 92 miles on a circuit covering the five Districts of the State of Haryana Kurukshetra, Karnal, Kaithal, Panipat and Jind.History remembers Mahabharata not for its battle alone but for the song celestial "Bhagwad Gita" which is believed to have been delivered by Lord Krishna himself to Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. In ancient times, the glory of Kurukshetra had spread far and wide. A 5th century AD inscription found at Laos, begins with an invocation of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva and mentions the greatness of place called Kurukshetra. The King of Laos, Devanika-wanted to build a city called "New Kurukshetra"
Brahma sarovar (Obeisance for salvation)
Brahma sarovar, as the name suggests, is associated with Lord Brahma, the creator of the Universe. Since times immemorial, Kurukshetra has been the venue of the great purification ceremonies for moksha (salvation) for pilgrims from the four corners of the country. The Matsya purana and Padma Purana, ancient Hindu text tell us that if an individual takes a holy dip in the sacred tanks of Kurukshetra, on the occasion of a Solar Eclipse, he attains the merits of a thousand Ashwamedha Yajna. The last Solar Eclipse held on 19th March, 2007 at Kurukshetra witnesses more than a million pilgrims from India and abroad visiting the banks of Brahma Sarovar for a holy dip. It is believed that the Mughal Emperor Akbar, accompanied by his court historian Abul Fazal, too visited Kurukshetra during the Solar Eclipse in 1567. Abul Fazal's Akbarnama refers to the Eclipse in Kurukshetra and the piligrims bathing in the Brahma Sarovar. The French traveller Francois Bernier of the Mughal Emperor Shajehan's era also mentions the sacred tanks of Kurukshetra.The word Brahma means nucleus or gigantic. Brahma Sarovar happens to be the largest man made tank in India. On seeing this huge water body, Abul Fazal, the famous historian called a ‘miniature ocean'.
Kurukshetra City of Parks
Nature has always been worshiped in the Hindu mythology; from animals to birds all have their own sanctity in the religion so ancient. No wonder the land which is so highly revered amongst the Hindus has now been beautifully dotted by dexterously built and designed parks. Purushottam Park, Harsh- Vardhan Park and Tapovan Park are some of the verdure attractions of the place, a refreshing evening or morning stroll can definitely rejuvenate your spirits.
Sheikh Chehli's Tomb (a symbol of religious harmony)
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.
Built of buff sandstone, the tomb is crowned by a pear shaped dome of marble on a high circular drum. The cenotaph of the revered saint is in the centre of the chamber while the graves rests in the lower. Another tomb of sand stone with a dome of marble decorated with floral designs is situated on the western wall of the enclosure. It is said to be Sheikh Chehli's wife. The beautiful monument resembles the Taj Mahal and in view of its architectural and historical importance, has been declared as a 'protected monument' of national importance by the Archaeological Survey of India.
Haryana's history has been synonymous with religious tolerance and communal harmony. During the Sultanate period, (C-1206-1526 A.D.), Haryana witnessed the growth of Sufism on its soil. The earliest seat of this order in this region-the Chistis, named after its founder, the great Sufi saint Mouiniddin Chisti had its centre at Hansi. Thanesar and Panipat also emerged as important centres of Sufism.
Archeological sites (Harsh Ka Tila)
Near the fort complex, an impressive mound, popularly known as Harsha Ka Tila exists. Here recent excavations have brought to light many hidden layers of Indian history ranging from early historical times to late Mughals. Quite a few Jain and Brahmanical sculptures and architectural fragments have been found
Raja Karan Ka Tila
The mound has yielded some objects of historic importance; these include relics of Harappan period, painted Grey Ware, a mould for printing of cloth, a double inkpot and a large step-well
Sri Krishna Museum
Situated near Brahma Sarovar and set up by the Kurukshetra Development Board, it is one of the finest museums on the theme of Krishna. It has a collection of wide variety of beautiful sculptures, paintings and other artistic creations relating to the legend of Krishna .The Sri Krishna Museum comprises of six galleries in which a variety of art objects such as wood carvings, metal castings, ivory carvings, miniature paintings, palm leaf etches, illustrated manuscripts, tableaux depicting facets of life and exploits of Sri Krishna have been displayed.Paintings of the Kangra and Madhubani styles, pattachitra-folk paintings of Orissa depicting scenes from Mahabharata have been prominently displayed.At the entrance of the Sri Krishna Museum , visitors are greeted by splendid sculpture of Ganesh in a dancing mudra (posture).
Buddhist Monuments & Remains in Greater Kurukshetra
The holy land of Kurukshetra has been a witness to moment’s events of historical, cultural and religious importance. During Budda's time, the king of Kurus was called Koravya, and his debates with the elder Rattahpala, also a scion of the noble family of Kurus, are emobodied I the Rattahapala Satta (The Buddhist Taxt). The famous Buddhist nuns Nanduttrara and Mittakali also belonged to this place. According to Dipavamsa Buddha went to a town of the Kuru region and recerved alms on the bands of Anotatta Lake, which he crossed. Udena's queen Magandiya belonged to the land of the Kurus, and Aggidatta, the prist of the Kosala king, lived on the boundary between the Kuru, Ariga and Magadha regions, and was honoured by the people of these kingdoms for forming his dutied honorably and efficiently. The Chullavagga mentions Aggalpura (Agroha) as a stronghold of Buddhism while the Miaya Pitaka recounts the visit of renowned physican Juvaka to the town of Rohtak. From the Somanassa Jataka it appears that at one time the Kuru kingdoms exteneded as far as Uttarapanchala, a town in the Kuruattha with Renu as its king.
One of the most revered placed of Dharama-Kshetra Kuruskhetra is Jyotisar. It is here under the holy banyan tree that Lord Krishna is believed to have delivered the eternal message of Bhagawad Gita to Arjuna before the commencement of the battle of Mahabharata.
The word Jyotisar constitutes of two parts - "Jyoti" meaning light and "Sar" meaning "tank" and "essence". Thus Jyotisar, symbolically signifies the essence of enlightenment.A beautiful marble chariot depicting Lord Krishna delivered the eternal message of Gita to Arjuna, canopied by a Banyan tree exists at the site. Recently, a Sound and Light Show, on the theme of Bhagawad Gita has been mounted by ITDC and Haryana Tourism at Jyotisar. This show tries to capture the drama of Mahabharata with special emphasis on the teaching of Bhagawad Gita.
It lies some 10 km from Mata Mansa Devi shrine. It is a small but famous temple worshipped as a Siddh Peeth- (a place where wishes are granted). It is after this temple that the town of Chandigarhgetsits its name. The temple falls on the Chandigarh- Kalka stretch of the national highway number 22. The Navratras sees thousands of devotees thronging to the temple.
Further along this highway the runis of the Bhima Devi temple lie in the small hamlet of Pinjore. This is a picturesque location built on the rising foot hills of the Shiwalik Mountains. The Bima Devi temple is an archaeological site that dates to the 11th century AD and projects the Panchayatan style of temple architecture. The temple is currently in runis. However, effort is on to design a site museum here to display the findings of the area.
The town lies on the Ambala-Shimla national highway. It forms the last stretch in Haryana, after which the highway passes into Himachal Pradesh. On this highway, lies the famous temple of Kalka Devi. Built on austere lines, the temple boasts of a large following in the area with special festivities held in the days of Navratra