Dictionary Of Hindu Religion | Locations
Kuru is a name of a king and Kshetra means region, so Kuru Kshetra means Kuru's region. It is a holy place, now located in Hariyaanaa, and an 18-day Mahaabhaarat war was fought here between Kaurav and Paandav. Before Kuru Kshetra, this place was called Samant Panchak Kshetra. Here Parashuraam Jee filled five ponds with the blood of Kshatriya, when he killed them 21 times. Later king Kuru came here and ploughed it with his plough and did austere Tap, since then it has been called as Kuru Kshetra. According to Padm Puraan, 3/1, the area from Tarandak to Arandak; and from Raamhlad (Parashuraam Kund) to Machkrukat, is called Samant Panchak, and the same is known as Kurukshetra today. (p 349)
History of Kuru Kshetra:
King Kuru selected this land on the bank of sacred River Saraswatee for spiritual culture and cultivation of eight-fold virtues. King came here on his golden chariot and utilized its gold for making a plough for cultivation. He took the bull of Shiv and buffalo of Yam Raaj on loan and started plowing the land. Indra, the King of Heaven, came and asked Kuru as to what he was doing? King replied that he was preparing the land for growing eight-fold virtues of religious austerity (Tap), truth, forgiveness, kindness, purity, charity, Yog and continence (Brahmcharya). Indra asked him to where he would get the seed of these virtues. King replied that the seed was in his possession. At this Indra laughed and went away.
After king had cultivated land for several days, Vishnu appeared before him and asked as to what he was doing? King replied in the same manner as he had replied when questioned by Indra. Vishnu asked Kuru to give Him the seed and that He would sow it for him. At this Kuru put forward his right arm and the same was cut into 1000 pieces with the Chakra of Vishnu and sown in the field. In the same way king Kuru's left arm, his 2 legs and then his head were offered by him to Vishnu for sowing the seed of virtues.
This act of Kuru pleased Vishnu very much and He blessed him. Indra also appeared at this stage and told that he was also very much pleased with his sacrifice and told him to ask for any boon from him. Kuru thereupon begged of him for two boons - one, that this land would forever remain a holy land named after himself, and the other, that anyone dying here would get relieved of the birth and death cycle irrespective of his sins or virtues. Thus King Kuru with wealth of his state and his austerities established at Kuru Kshetra an extensive institution of spiritual culture for humanity as a whole.
Shreepaad Madhwaaachaarya, a great Vaishnav Aachaarya, who is also the third son of Vaayu (after Hanumaan and Bheem) visited here around 1250 AD. During his visit he dug-up a certain piece of land in Kuru Kshetra and found the mace (club/Gadaa) used by Bheem. Later after showing this to his disciples he again kept it back to its place - where Bheem originally kept it after the battle.
How to Reach Kuru Kshetra
The tree is full of birds and squirrels which adds to the mystic aura of that place. This place is eternally peaceful despite amidst coming and going of pilgrims throughout the day. Doing the Parikramaa or circumambulation of the tree is considered as a very auspicious. There is also a small chariot in a glass and marble case below the banyan tree where one can see Krishn and Arjun speaking to each other. There is also another chariot nearby much bigger entirely in glass casing where both Krishna and Arjuna are seated. In the same courtyard of the Geethopadesh Sthal is a Ved Paathshaalaa, rooms containing different characters of Mahaabhaarat like Gangaa, Bheesm, Krishn, Arjun etc… There is also an ancient Shiv temple which is sheltered by the Banyan Tree. This temple is a witness to foreign invasions. Then there are also several other temples for other divinities. There is a small water body in front of the Geetopadesh Sthal. Jyotisar lies on Pehowa road, 5 km away from Kuru Kshetra.
some other places to visit there --
Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 10/01/12