This article is about the municipality in India. For other uses, see Kurukshetra (disambiguation).

Bronze Chariot with Lord Krishna and Arjuna in Kurukshetra.
Coordinates: 29°57′57″N 76°50′13″E / 29.965717°N 76.837006°E / 29.965717; 76.837006Coordinates: 29°57′57″N 76°50′13″E / 29.965717°N 76.837006°E / 29.965717; 76.837006
Country India
State Haryana
District Kurukshetra
  Total 1,530 km2 (590 sq mi)
  Total 964,655
  Density 630/km2 (1,600/sq mi)
  Official Hindi, Punjabi
  regional Haryanvi
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 136118
Telephone code 911744
Vehicle registration HR 07X XXXX
Website kurukshetra.nic.in

Kurukshetra ( pronunciation ; Hindi: कुरुक्षेत्र) is a city in the state of Haryana, India. It is also known as Dharmakshetra ("Holy Place"). According to the Puranas, Kurukshetra is a region named after King Kuru, the ancestor of Kauravas and Pandavas, as depicted in epic Mahabharata. The importance of the place is attributed to the fact 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 terrible dilemma.[1]

Before the establishment of a refugee camp named Kurukshetra in 1947, Thanesar was the name of the tehsil headquarters and the town. Thanesar or Sthaneswar is a historical town located adjacent to what is now the newly created Kurukshetra city. Thanesar derives its name from the word "Sthaneshwar", which means "Place of God". The Sthaneshwar Mahadev Temple, whose presiding deity is Lord Shiva, is believed to be the oldest temple in the vicinity. Local hearsay identifies the legendary "Kurukshetra" with a place near Thanesar. A few kilometers from Kurukshetra is the village known as Amin, where there are remnants of a fort which is believed to be Abhimanyu's.

In most ancient Hindu texts, Kurukshetra is not a city but a region ("kshetra" meaning "region" in Sanskrit). The boundaries of Kurukshetra correspond roughly to the central and western parts of state of Haryana and southern Punjab. Thus according to the Taittiriya Aranyaka 5.1.1., the Kurukshetra region is south of Turghna (Srughna/Sugh in Sirhind, Punjab), north of Khandava (Delhi and Mewat region), east of Maru (desert) and west of Parin.[2]

In early July 2013 the Haryana Department of Archaeology and Museums announced that the earlier excavated remains of a Buddhist stupa in Kurukshetra were ready to be displayed for the public.


A manuscript of Mahabharata depicting the war at Kurukshetra

It is written in Puranas that Kurukshetra is named after King Kuru of the Bharata Dynasty, ancestor of Pandavas and Kauravas.

The Vamana Purana tells how King Kuru came to settle here. He chose this land at the banks of Sarasvati River (dried up before 1900 BCE[3]) for embedding spirituality with eight virtues: austerity (tapas (Sanskrit)), truth (satya), forgiveness (kshama), kindness (daya), purity (Shudhdhi suchee), charity (daan), yajna and brahmacharya. Lord Vishnu was impressed with the act of King Kuru and blessed him. God gave him two boons: one that this land forever will be known as a Holy Land after his name as Kurukshetra (the land of Kuru) and the other that anyone dying on this land will go to heaven. The land of Kurukshetra was situated between two rivers the Sarasvati and the Drishadvati.

The majestic statue of Arjun at the Arjun Chowk.

This land has been known as Uttarvedi, Brahmavedi, Dharamkshetra and Kurukshetra at different periods. When King Kuru came on this land it was called Uttarvedi. Over the period this land has been ruled by many empires. The Bharata Dynasty came and settled here.

According to the Hindu mythology, the Battle of Mahabharata was fought on this land, during which Lord Krishna preached Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna.

By the archaeological grounds it has been proved that Ashoka the Great made Kurukshetra a centre of learning for people from all over the world. It reached the zenith of its progress during the reign of King Harsha, during which Chinese scholar Hieun Tsang visited Thanesar.



The climate of the district is very hot in summer (up to 47 °C) and cold in winter (down to 1 °C) with rains in July and August.

Vegetarian status

In 2012, Kurukshetra banned the sale, possession and consumption of meat within the limits of the Municipal Corporation owing to its religious significance.[4]

Places of interest

See also: Kurukshetra War
Braham Sarovar
Bhishma Kund
Sannahit Sarovar

Hindu Religious Sites

The Holy Peepal tree - witness to the Divine message of Sri Bhagavad Geeta by Lord Sri Krishna to Arjuna at this place during the Mahabharata war.

Nearby Towns

Other Religious/Historical Sites

Sheikh Chilli Tomb, Kurukshetra, Haryana, India
The Sheikh Chilli's Maqbara at Kurukshetra.

General tourist Sites

Sudarshan Chakra Chowk near NIT - Kurukshetra

48 Kos Parikrama

Map with description of 48 kos parikrama (48 miles circle) around the holy city of Kurukshetra, displayed at Ban Ganga/Bhishma Kund

Kurukshetra has immense importamnce as a Hindu pilgrimage. There are several pilgrimages around the city of kurukshetra and a complete parikrama means to visit all these pilgrimages. 48 kos parikrama is a hindi phrase meaning 48 miles circle around the holy city of Kurukshetra.[10] The picture depicts the complete map of all these sites. For complete list, main page as mentioned above may be seen.

Educational Institutes

District administration

General information

Kurukshetra is well connected with NH1 and has much access by road, rail and air. The journey is comfortable with facilities provided in route.

Rashtrakavi Ramdhari Singh 'Dinkar' has written an epic poem by the title of Kurukshetra. It is a narrative poem based on the Santi Parva of the Mahabharata.[11] It was written at a time when the memories of the Second World War were fresh on the mind of the poet.[11]

Several films have been named Kurukshetra as it stands identified for the place of most deadly war in Indian history/mythology. A Bollywood film titled Kurukshetra in year 2000 directed by Mahesh Manjrekar is a famous example.

Notable Persons


Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kurukshetra.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Kurukshetra.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 12/3/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.