Kurukshetra is a very holy place where the battle of Kurukshetra took place and where the “Bhagavad-gita” Bhagavad-gita was spoken. This event is described in the Mahabharata. It is believed that all the holy waters of India flow into the Kurukshetra tank at the time of an eclipse. At that time, one million people come to bathe. It is said that those who visit this area, reside here, take bath in the tanks here, or die in Kurukshetra go to heaven after death. The Mahabharata states that one who dies at Kurukshetra attains salvation.
Kurukshetra is 160 km north of Delhi.
The Kurukshetra area covers a 160km (100 miles) area and is home to many places of pilgrimage related to the Mahabharata events. The area includes Pehowa, Kalayat, Amin, Phalgu, Thanesar, Jyotisara, and Kurukshetra town.
It is said that after performing a great yajna, Lord Brahma created the universe from here. It is said that Manu wrote his Manu-smriti here, and that the Rig and Sama Vedas were compiled in this place. Kurukshetra is named after King Kuru, who also performed a great sacrifice here.
Buddha is said to have visited Kurukshetra.
Bhisma Kund is where Bhisma lay on a bed of arrows. Ban Ganga was created by Arjuna shooting an arrow into the earth there, and the now subterranean Saraswati River once flowed at this place. The astronomical meridian goes through Kurukshetra, Mathura, and Ujjain.
Gita Jayanti is a major event celebrated in December. This is the anniversary of the speaking of the Bhagavad-gita.
Brahma Sarovara Tank
This is one of the holiest tanks in India. It is said that by bathing in this tank, pilgrims receive the benefit of performing an Ashvamedha-yajna. It is said that those who bathe in this tank during a solar eclipse are absolved from all sins. The tank consists of a large lake about a half a km wide and 1km long (3,600 by 1,500 feet).
The water is clean, and there are ghats for bathing set up at regular intervals. It is said that Lord Brahma created the universe from this place. Krishna, Balarama, and Subhadra came here to bathe during a solar eclipse. Since ancient times, millions of people have bathed during eclipses.
In the middle of the Sarovara is the Mahadeva Siva Temple, which is linked to the shore by a small bridge.
There is a well on the large island in the middle of the tank called Chandra Kupa, and it is one of the four sacred wells in Kurukshetra. There is a temple near this well. After the battle of Kurukshetra, Yudhisthira is said to have erected a victory pillar here.
The area by the tank is peaceful.
This is a holy bathing tank 500m by 150m, believed to be the meeting point of seven sacred Saraswatis. It is said that those who perform sraddha ceremonies here and then bathe in this tank on the day of an eclipse will be cleansed of sin and will receive the results of performing 1,000 Ashvamedha-yajnas. All the tirthas are said to assemble at this tank on the Amavasya (new moon) day. It is said that this is the place where Lord Krishna met the gopis and the residents of Vrindavan, and that he bathed in this tank.
There is a temple dedicated to Dhruv Narayana with the deities of Lord Vishnu, Dhruv Bhagat, Hanuman, and goddess Durga on the bank of this tank. On the other side of the tank is the Lakshmi Narayan Temple.
This is said to be the place where the Gita was spoken. There is a banyan (vat) tree marking the spot where Lord Krishna stood and showed his universal form (virata-rupa). There is a marble chariot under the tree. The Jyotisar tank is 325m by 165m. There is an old Siva temple here, which is sheltered by a banyan tree.
Jyotisar is located about 8 km west of Brahma Sarovara on Pehowa Road. Visitors can stay overnight at the Canal Rest House.
Bana Ganga Narkarati (Bhisma Kund)
Bana Ganga is 5km from Brahma Sarovara on the way to Jyotisar. If you get an auto-rickshaw to Jyotisar, you can see both places at the same time. On the eleventh day of the battle of Kurukshetra, Bhisma lay on a bed of arrows and asked for water. Arjuna pierced the earth with an arrow to bring water to quench his thirst.
It is said that those who bathe in this tank will receive the benefits of bathing at all the tirthas. Bhisma rested on a bed of arrows until the end of the war, then instructed Yudhisthira on the path of dharma (religious activities). There is a Deity of Lord Krishna in his Viswarupa form, and a huge 8m (26 ft) tall Hanuman deity.
Sri Krishna Museum
On the ground floor of this museum there are many ancient stone carvings and Deities of Krishna and Vishnu. On the next two floors, there are paintings of Krishna from all over India. Recommended.
Ban Ganga (Dyalpur)
Arjuna shot an arrow in the ground here to get water for his horses during his pursuit of Jayadratha. Jayadratha had helped to unfairly kill Arjuna’s son, Abhimanyu, so Arjuna vowed to kill him before sunset or to kill himself. The Kauravas hid Jayadratha in hopes that Arjuna would be forced to kill himself. His horses were wounded in the battle and required attention. Lord Krishna then bathed and watered the horses from this well. It is a tank 33m by 23m about 3 km south of Brahma Sarovara.
Sthaneswara Temple and Tank
It is said that at the Sthaneswara Mahadeva Temple the Pandavas prayed to Lord Siva to receive his blessings in the battle at Kurukshetra. The Siva-linga is ancient. The water of the tank next to the temple is said to be holy. This temple is located a short distance north of Thanesar town.
Kamal Nabhi is a tank next to the town of Thanesara. It is said that Brahma was born from the lotus growing from Lord Vishnu’s navel here. There is a Vishnu and Brahma temple here.
The Bhadra Kali Temple is located near Sthanu Siva Temple on Jhansa Road. This is said to be the place where Sati’s right ankle fell when Lord Vishnu cut up her body, which was being held by Lord Siva.
Nine of the ten Sikh gurus came to Kurukshetra. Gurudwara Sidhabati is said to be the place where Guru Nanak stayed when he came here.
There is an ISKCON temple in the town of Thanesar, a few km from Brahma Sarovara. It is a small center with helpful devotees, but there are no guest facilities. It is located near a monument of a man riding a horse, in downtown Thanesar.
The closest airports are in Delhi and Chandigarh.
There is a railway junction in the town of Kurukshetra. There are regular trains to and from Delhi (4 hr). There are direct trains to Mumbai, Mathura, Agra, Vadodara, Chandigarh, and Shimla.
There are regular buses to Haridwar (4 hr), Chandigarh and Delhi.