Kurukshetra, the ‘Land of Mahabharatra’ 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 universe. It was here that the 18 day long Mahabharta battle between Kaurvas and Pandavas was fought. And, 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 ‘Dharma-kshetra’ or the ‘Region of Righteousness’. The region has 360 sacred sites associated with Mahabharata.
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.
The huge water tank is one of the most sacred sites of Kurushetra. The 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. The holy water body is 1298 metres long and 630 metres wide and is divide into two by all small passage. It is surrounded by 20ft wide platforms, stairs and a 40 ft wide ‘parikram’. 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 spire of the shrine dominates the skyline and its architecture is noteworthy.
The 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. The most important are – Gurudwara Sidhbati, Guruwara Patshahi and Gurudwara Rajghat.
Sheikh Cheli’s Tomb
The beautiful tomb resembling the taj was built by Dara Shikoh (Shah jahan’s son) in memory of his spiritual teacher.
Kurukshetra Panorama Project and 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. The museum has beautiful sculptures of Lord Krishna.
Kurukshetra Tour Information
The 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. The Jyotisar tak is surrounded by bathing ghats and ancient shrines. Main attraction on the banks of the sacred pond are – 150 year old Shiva temple built by the Maharaja of Kashmir; the Shankracharya temple, where Adi Shankaracharya is said to have meditated and 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. Haryana Tourism has built Jyotisar complex here for convenience of the pilgrims.
Thanesar, the twin city of Kurukshetra is one of the most important Hindu pilgrim centres. It is named after the ‘Sthan-esvar’ or the abode of God (Mahadev) and was an ancient centre of learning. The main attractions here are the temples of sthanesvar Mahadev and Ma Bhadrakali.
The pilgrim centre 27km west of Thanesar is regarded to be a sacred site for the ceremony of ‘pind-daan’, which grants Moksha (salvation) to the departed soul.
Kurukshetra Distance Guide