Kurukshetra (Hindi: कुरुक्षेत्र) is the name of a city in Kurukshetra District of the Indian state of Haryana हरियाणा. The name literally means "Land of the Kaurava" after the Kuru clan. It is supposed to be the site of the Mahabharata War or Kurukshetra War, described in the epicMahabharata.
Tahsils in Kurukshetra district
Kurukshetra district was created out of district Karnal in the year 1973. Later on some area of the erstwhile district were transferred to Kaithal and Yamuna Nagar Districts when these two districts were created. Kurukshetra district forms a part of Ambala division. At present Kurukshetra district is divided into 2 Revenue Sub Divisions namely Thanesar & Pehowa. Thanesar Sub Division comprises of Thanesar and Shahabad tehsils and Ladwa, Babain Sub Tehsils. Pehowa Sub Division includes Pehowa tehsil and Ismailabad Sub Tehsil.
Thanesar or Sthaneswar, a historical town is located adjacent to what is now newly created Kurukshetra city. Local hearsay identifies the legendary "Kurukshetra" with a nearby obscure hamlet, and with the active abetment of the state government, it is presently experiencing a tourist boom.
A few kilometeres from Kurukshetra is the village, Amin where there are remnants of a fort and it is said to be Abhimanyu's fort.
Kurukshetra town is situated 160 km north of Delhi on the national highway NH1. Other towns of the district are Pehowa, Ladwa, Ismailabad and Shahabad. The total area of Kurukshetra district is 1,682 sq kms and its population is 6,41,000. Total area under cultivation is 1,68,000 hectares out of this, 1,47,000 is irrigated area. The Kurukshetra district lies between latitude 29o-52' to 30o- 12' and longitude 76o-26' to 77o-04' in the North Eastern part of Haryana State. The district has a total of 419 villages. Ghaggar, Markanda and Saraswati are the important rivers of the district.
The district is a plain which slopes generally from North East to South West. The plain is remarkable flat and within it, are the narrow low-lying flood plains, known as either Betre Khadar of Naili. A good network of canals is providing irrigational facilities. Underground water level is not relatively high. Tube well irrigation is also common in the district. It is one of the prosperous district from agriculture point of view. Kurukshetra along with Karnal and Kaithal districts is known as the 'Rice Bowl of India' and famous for Basmati Rice. The soil is generally alluvial, loam and clay does not constitute average texture of the soil.
Places of national importance
Sheikh Chehli's Tomb
This beautiful tomb and the attached Madrasa are associated with the sufi saint Abd-Ur-Rahim alias Abudul-Karim popularly known by the name of Sheikh Chehli, believed to be spiritual teacher of Mughal prince Dara Shikoh (1650 AD) the tomb. Built of buff sandstone, the tomb is crowned by pear shaped dome of marble on a high circular drum. Another tomb of sand stone with a long dome of marble decorated with graved floral designs is on the west wall of the enclosure. It is said to be of Sheikh Chehli’s wife. in view of its architectural and historical importance it was declare protected as a monument of National importance.
Kurukshetra Panorama and Science Centre
The Centre is situated adjacent to the Sri Krishna Museum in Kuruksheta and has a magnificent two-storied building used for exhibition and visitors’ activities. In the ground floor, an exhibition called ‘India-A Heritage in Science, Technology and Culture, consisting of working and interactive exhibits on ancient Indian concept of properties of matter, structure of atom, geometry, arithmetical rules, astronomy medicine and surgery. Housed in a tall and cylindrical building, with its elegant architecture and ambience, the main attraction of the Centre is a life-like Panorama of the epic battle of Kurukshetra. Standing at the centre of the cylindrical hall, one can feel the towering 34 feet high paintings of the episodes from the 18-day confrontation between the Pandavas and the Kauravas come alive before his eyes. Merged with this is the diorama of the battleground that epitomizes the carnage realistically. The chanting of Gita and distant war cries mingled with lighting illusions create the perfect ambience. A Science Park has also been set up outside the four walls of the center’s building. This is a refreshing concept of science learning for the children through fun and enjoyment.
Archeological Site Museum
An archaeological site museum has been set up here to enlighten the people the history of Thanesar as revealed by archaeological excavations carried out by The Archaeological Survey of India. It houses a variety of exhibits unearthed from the mound such as stone and terracotta sculptures, coins, ornaments, ritualistic objects etc. The exhibition also includes schematic plan and its findings as well as the architectural buildings as have been exposed after the excavation. This site museum is the first of its kind in Haryana.
Harsha Ka Till - An Archeological Excavated Site
It is an archaeological mound excavated by Archaeological Survey of India. The excavation has revealed cultural occupation from 1st century B.C. to 18th century AD. Various archaeological findings pertaining to different periods of history unearthed from the mound depicts the cultural history of Thanesar through the ages. The excavated passions have been scientifically conserved and made available for the tourists and scholars.
Sthaneshwar Mahadev Temple
Small and distinct. With an air of an ancient presence, lies the Sthanesvara Mahadev Temple at Thanesar. It was here that the Pandavas prayed to Lord Shiva and received His blessings for Shiva and received His blessings for victory in the battle of Mahabharata legend has it that the waters of the tank adjoining the temple are holy. A few drops of water cured King ‘Ben’ of leprosy. And, no pilgrimage of Kurukshetra is believed to be entirely complete without a visit to this holy temple. The temple of Sthaneswar is the abode of Lord Shiva. It once formed an important part of the kingdom of King Harsha Vardhana of the Pushyabhuti dynasty. The architecture of the temple is regional is style-it has a domical roof and the façade of this dome is given an ‘Amla’ shape along with a tall pinnacle. The ‘Linga’ is ancient and worshipped with a lot of ritual and prayer.
The temple is dedicated to Bhadrakali a form of shaktiand consort of Virabhadra. This is considered to be one of the fifty one Shakti pithas of India. It is believed that the right ankle of Sati fell here in the well. The consort of Savtri is called Sthanu. Hence, the city is called Sthanesvar meaning abode of Shiva. It is believed that the mundan (hair removing) ceremony of Krishna and Balarama was also performed in this temple.
On of the most revered of holy places of Kurukshetra is Jyotisar, which lies 5 km from Kurukshetra on Kurukshetra-Pehowa road. It is believed that here under the holy banyan tree Lord Krishna delivered the eternal message of Bhagawadgita to Arjuna before commencement of Mahabharata battle. The Bhagawadgita has been immortalised in the sacred ambiance of a small village named Jyotisar one of the most revered holy places of Kurukshetra. In fact, the word Jyotisar constitutes of two words that is ‘Jyoti’ meaning light and ‘Sar’ meaning tank. Thus, it symbolically signifies the sacred tank of enlightenment. Tradition says here stands a banyan tree, may be an offshoot of the original banyan tree under which Krishna delivered the Bhagawadgita on the eve of battle just before its commencement. Sound & Light show on the theme of Bhagawadgita in the light of Mahabharata has been mounted by ITDC as a part of the tourism promotion in Kurukshetra. The show enlivens the story of Mahabharata through the powerful dialogues and the hymns from the Bhagawadgita. An ambience of the battle is created in the secluded environment of Jyotisar.
The temple is dedicated to Bhadrakali. The main deity worshipped in the sanctum sanctorum is Kali, a form of ‘Shakti’. As such Thanesar is known for Shaktism and tantricism. Apparently the temple might have existed in some or other form. The temple is double storied structure. Architecturally it is an off-beat style as the sanctum sanctrum and sanctum are juxtapositioned in such a way that it forms one single structure bearing composite style of domical and vaulted roofs.
Sri Krishna Museum
Krishna means ‘all that is attractive’. He embraces all that is beautiful, enchanting, and eternal. Look at him as an incredible hero. Perceive him as the destroyer of evil. Feel in your heart and soul his love and compassion. He is the symbol of time, space, and eternity, the manifestation of justice, goodwill, fraternity and universality. Every museum has its own character and personality. With a view to awakening the people morally and culturally through the ideas and ideals of Krishna and to enlighten the people the history of the region, the Sri Krishna Museum was established in 1987. Subsequently it was shifted to the present building in 1991 and new block was added in the year 1995. The artefacts displayed in the museum represent Krishna as godhead, an avatara, of Vishnu, a great Philosopher, an epic hero, an astute statesman and a supreme lover. There are six galleries displaying different terms of Madhubani Paintings, Thanjarur Paintings, Miniature Paintings, Archaeological Objects and Krishna Paintings.
Notable Jats from Kurukshetra district
Jat Gotras in Kurukshetra district
- Gagain (गगैन)