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Travel to Kurukshetra, The Holy Land of the Mahabharata

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Kurukshetra when translated literally means the field of righteousness. It is a land filled with history and mythology. It was here that the historic battle of Mahabharata took place between the Pandavas and the Kauravas, and also the place where Lord Krishna sermonised the Bhagwad Gita to Arjun. It is a sacred place for the Hindus and is visited by many pilgrims and tourists round the year.

 Travel to Kurukshetra, The Holy Land of the Mahabharata

Photo Courtesy: Shekhartagra 

The region enjoys a rich and colourful history and with the passage of time the sacredness of this place has only grown. The region is said to have been visited by Lord Buddha and various other Sikh gurus, thus increasing its religious importance. The town has a large number of devotional centres that includes holy shrines, temples, Gurudwaras and kunds, some of which trace their roots to the Mahabharata period. Here is a guide to the places you must visit when travelling to this holy land.

Bhishma Kund

Bhishma Kund is located in Narkatari village of Kurukshetra and is dedicated to the sage Bhishma who was a fatherly figure to both the Pandavas and the Kauravas. According to the scriptures, during the battle of Mahabharata, the sage was felled by a volley of arrows shot by Arjun. Later when both the Kauravas and Pandavas came to pay homage to the sage, he felt thirsty and asked for water. Arjun is then said to have shot an arrow on the earth from where water gushed out to quench the sage's thirst. Today, there is a small temple near to the kund that commemorates this event. It is visited by many pilgrims who come here to offer respect to the valiant warrior. It is also believed that those who take a dip in this kund are cleansed of all their sins and given the strength to walk on the righteous path.

 

The well created by Arjun's arrow to quench Sage Bhishma's thirst.
Photo Courtesy: Giridharmamidi

Bhadrakali Temple

The Bhadrakali Temple in Kurukshetra is dedicated to Goddess Kali and is said to have been built by the Pandavas who offered worship to the goddess. The temple showcases the various incarnations of the goddess and is also one among the Sakthi Peeths as it is believed that the lower limb of Goddess Sati fell here. The temple is made of red sandstone and retains its grandeur to this day. Pilgrims coming here seek the blessing of the goddess. During the Navratri celebrations the temple is lit up with numerous lamps, and various rituals are performed in worship of the goddess.

Brahma Sarovar

The Brahma Sarovar is a sacred water body in Kurukshetra and is dedicated to Lord Brahma. It is believed that Lord Brahma designed this place and set the ball rolling for what was to happen here. There is a huge statue of Lord Shiva that stands here and can be reached by the help of a bridge. The water tank is visited by pilgrims all throughout the year, and there is a belief that those who take a dip in this holy water are bestowed with the fruits of performing the Ashvamedha Yajna. During the festival of Gita Jayanti the entire tanks is filled with lamps, floated here by the pilgrims. There is also a special puja done here to thank the lord for having blessed the place.

 

The lake created by Lord Brahma.
Photo Courtesy: Ratnadeep Chaskar

Arunai Temple

The Arunai Temple at Kurukshetra is believed to have been built by the sages Vishwamitra and Vashishta, both of whom belonged to the Mahabharata period. It is believed to have been dedicated to their guru. Today, this temple is dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva and pilgrims coming here offer worship to the lord. There is another small temple that is dedicated to the great sages present here as well.

Jyotisar

Jyotisar in Kurukshetra is the most religious place, as it is believed that it was here that Lord Krishna delivered the Bhagwad Gita to Arjun. It is the central point of the battle field of Kurukshetra from where the lord and Arjun could see both the armies. According to scriptures just before the battle Arjun broke down and was unwilling to fight as he saw people dear to him facing each other. Lord Krishna is then supposedly said to have enlightened him, after which Arjun himself blew the conch to proclaim the beginning of the 'Dharma Yudh'. It is a revered place for the Hindus, as they believe that this spot showed the truth to Arjun, and pilgrims coming here seek the blessings to seek the right path in their lives. The word 'Jyotisar' when translated literally means the 'enlightenment of the truth'. Today there are several pujas held here to commemorate this event, and also a play performance that showcases the events of the sermon of the Gita.

 

The spot where Lord Krishna delivered the Bhagwad Gita to Arjun.
Photo Courtesy: Vjdchauhan

How to Reach Kurukshetra

By Air: Chandigarh airport, which is about 85 kms away, is the nearest airport to Kurukshetra. It is well connected with all the major cities from here.

By Train: Kurukshetra Railway Station also known as Kurukshetra Junction is a major railway junction here and is connected to other important railway stations in the country.

By Road: Kurukshetra is well connected by road to other cities and towns in Haryana such as Pehowa, Ladwa, Shahabad, Ambala, Thanesar and Kaithal by bus. You can also hire a cab to reach this place.

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