Kurukshetra lies on the Delhi-Ambala stretch of the National Highway number 1. It has a history that goes back to times immemorial. The Purans tell stories of how Lord Brahma created the Universe from here. The legend of Shiva and Sati comes alive in the temples dedicated to the mother Goddess one sees here. The Mahabharatha battlefought here, extols innumerable places of pilgrimage, not to forget Kurukshetra as the land of Bhagwad Gita.
KurukshetraKurukshetra town is easily accessible by state transport services. It is well connected by rail, with the Shatabdi train making a halt here. The nearest airport lies at Chandigarh, which is 116 km away. To reach Kurukshetra, one has to branch into Kurukshetra town along a state road, from the national highway at the Pipli cross-road. The unmistakable Kurukshetra Gate welcomes all pilgrims to this land of holiness.
The Brahma Sarover is the best place to begin the pilgrimage. This is a vast water body. In the centre of the tank stands the Sarveshwar Mahadev Temple looking like a lotus. The eastern section of the tank is 1800 ft long and 1500 ft wide while the western section isa square of 1500 ft length and 1500 ft breadth. The tank is 15 ft deep. This large waterbody is edged with 20 ft wide platforms, stairs and a 40 ft wide `parikarma’. In this section, a number of meditation chambers have been built for the convenience of pilgrims.
Belief is, that Lord Brahma conceptualised the site of the tank, giving it special sanctity. To bathe here on the days of an eclipse, amavasya (moonless night) or the kumbh is believed to absolve one of sins. The tank lies about 3 km from the railway station. A number of temples lie in close vicinity of this holy water body, of which the prominent one is the Lakshmi Narayan Temple. This temple lies opposite the Brahma Sarover. It is dedicated to Lord Narayan and His consort Lakshmi. The architecture of the temple belongs to the late 18th century, which adds a touch of history to the visit. The temple’s tall pinnacle proclaims its presence from a distance.
Sannehit SaroverAnother water body of great sanctity is the Sannehit Sarover. It lies about 1 km from the Brahma Sarover. Legends tell us that the sarover was formed with holy water that flowed from Lord Brahma’s navel. As such, to pray at the tank, to bathe or even touch it, here, brings blessings on pilgrims. Prayer and ablutions done here on the nights of amavasya (night of total darkness), eclipse or the Kumbh bestows blessings of a thousand ashwamedha yajnas say the learned. Prayers offered here for the ancestors holds special sanctity.
The sarover spreads 1500 ft in length and 550 ft in breadth. Bathing ghats and steps have been set up here for pilgrims. Temples dedicated to Dhruva Narayan, Mother Goddess Durga and Lord Hanuman can be seen here.
The town of Kuruksheta also holds great sancitity for the Sikhs. The town has been visited by anumber of Sikh Gurus. As a result, a number of Gurudwaras can be seen here. The place where Guru Nanak stayed during his sojourn through Kurukshetra is known as Gurudwara Sidhbati. The Gurudwara dedicated to Guru Hargobind, the sixth guru, stands near Sannehit tank. On the bank of Brahma Sarover, stands Gurudwara Rajghat, built in memory of the visit of Guru Gobind Singh.
A touch of history and archaeolgy of the area can be seen at the Panorama project and the Sri Krishna Musuem setup near the Brahma Sarover. Besides a number of Dharamshalas and Sarais, Haryana Tourism provides facilties at its Krishna Dham Yatri Niwas.
How To reach
- Kurukshetra is well connected and has many access by Road, Rail and Air. The journey is comfortable with various facilities provided enroute.
- By Air: The Airports close to Kurukshetra are at Delhi and Chandigarh, which are well connected by road and rail. Taxi service is also available.
- By Rail: Kurukshetra is a railway junction, well connected with all important towns and cities of the country. The Shatabadi Express halts here.
- By Road: Buses of Haryana Roadways and other State Corporations ply through Kurukshetra and connect it to Delhi, Chandigarh and other important places.
Closely connected with the worship of Lord Shiva but far more widely spread, is the worship of His Consort in the form of Shakti or the Mother Goddess. The Goddess goes by many names like Durga, Kalika, Chandi, Naina, Mansa, Sharda, Ambika, Kali and Bhawani among others.
The Shiwalik foot hills are studded with temples dedicated to various names of the Goddess. For a visit to these temples, one must drive into the modern city of Chandigarh.
Mansa DeviAbout 8 km from the Chandigarh bus stand, lies the holy siddh peeth of Sri Mata Mansa Devi. Two temples have been built here. The temple on the mound has been built by the Maharaja of Patiala to commemorate his victory in a battle in 1861. The temple near the parking lot is believed to be the main temple. It has been built by the ruler of Mani Majra in 1815 A.D.
The temple is very popular among patrons, for the Goddess is believed to grant boons in keeping with Her name Mansa Devi. Fairs are held in its vicinity during the holy days of Navratra when devotees throng in lacs to pay obeisence to Her. Haryana Tourism has set up its Jatayu Yatri Niwas adjacent the Mata Mansa Devi shrine.
Chandi Mandir, 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 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.
Kalka 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 inthe days of Navratra.
Haryana Tourism catapulted into the arena of Adventure Sport with the forming if its Adventure Club in November ,1991. And Adventure sport had begun. The objective is to provide the young people with opportunities to realise their physical and mental potential by overcoming challenges and obstacles.Even as you read these words, some one somewhere in the state of Haryana will be venturing into our fascinating world of Adventure Sport.
He might be a speak. Aboard a rubber dinghy. Speeding down on white water river-rafting. Eating away miles of the river “Yamuna, near Hathinkkund. On braving a sheer rock-face; fighting to gain a foot hold in a bid to rock climb. At Damdama lake. Or the Morni Hills near Chandigarh. Speeding past in a canoe or a kayak. Straining muscles. To be spotted a winner. At Damdama Lake. At Surajkund: or Badkhal Lake… or, simply camping and cycling near Damdama. Getting a feel of rural Haryana. Taking in a whiff of the countryside at Sohna. Or relaxing by camp fires. Listening to the sounds of silence or thrilling to the joy of hovercraft rides.