The “Land of Bhagavad Gita” is very well known for its pilgrimage. This city of Haryana is known today as Kurukshetra, which is situated at the distance of 160 km from Delhi. It is also known as Dharmakshetra (“Holy Place”). It is also known as the “Land of Bhagwad Gita”. Kurukshetra lies at distance of 160 km from New Delhi and about 80 km from Chandigarh – city with the nearest airport.
As per the depiction of Mahabharata, they had an ancestor of Kauravas and Pandavas named King Kuru, after whom the name of the city was named Kurukshetra. The fact being known that the Kurukshetra War of the Mahabharata was fought on this land and the Bhagavad Gita was preached here during the war when Lord Krishna found Arjuna in a dilemma.
According to ancient Hindu texts, Kurukshetra is not just a city but a region as ‘kshetra’ which in Sanskrit means region. Since this place has religious importance, various festivals are celebrated here to remember the saints and traditional stories. Namely :
Gita Jayanti is celebrated in Kurukshetra since ages. It was also known as ‘Kurukshetra Utsav’. Hence in 2016, The Government of Haryana decided to honor it as a ‘global flavor’ and therefore started organizing ‘International Gita Mahotsav’ at Kurukshetra. The duration of this festival is from 1 December to 11 December.
Hindu Religious Sites
Since this place is filled with the air of pilgrimage, it also has some ancient religious sites:
a). Brahma Sarovar: Lakhs of people gather here to take a holy bath on the rare occasion of solar eclipse believing that a bath in holy Sarovar frees all sins. It is said to be the world’s largest man-made pond. It is believed that when Duryodhan lost the war of Mahabharat, he tried to hide in this lake.
b). Sannihit Sarovar: This Sarovar is the meeting point of 7 sacred Saraswati. This Sarovar contains sacred water.
c). Jyotisar: The famous site where Bhagavad Gita was delivered to Arjuna under the tree. The tree of that time is the witness to Gita. It also has a newly built tourist spot where lights and sound show is arranged. Here, some aspects of Geeta Saar are highlighted during the show.
d). Dharohar Museum: It shows the tradition and culture of Haryana which is located in Kurukshetra University.
e). Bhishma Kund at Naraktari: This was the place where Arjuna shot an arrow towards the earth to quench the thirst of Bhishma Pitamah. This Kund lies around 3 km before Jyotisar.
f). Bhadrakali Temple: This temple is believed to be one of the 52 Shakti Peethas.
g). Shri Durga Devi Mandir: This temple is in Pipli as the entrance of Kurukshetra as the name of Gita Dwar.
Hence, such is the region of Kurukshetra which is rich with heritage. Aged people urge to visit this place at least once in their lifetime due to its religious importance and to experience the history of Mahabharat closely. Kurukshetra has always been crowded but during special festivals, it receives an immense response from the public, may it be foreigners!