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Kuru Kshetra

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Kuru Kshetra

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)

A visit to this hallowed land of high religious and cultural significance is indeed a rewarding experience! The founder of this land was King Kuru who practiced austere penance to make this land righteous that is why in the first verse of Bhagvad-Geetaa, Kuru Kshetra has been prefixed with an epithet Dharm Kshetra. King Kuru was the ancestor of Kaurav and Paandav, that is why they are called Kaurav.

Kuru Kshetra the holy pilgrimage in which 360 places of pilgrimage related to the Mahaabhaarat can be seen. It is one of those holy towns that have borne the imprint of Shree Krishn's footsteps. Kuru Kshetra, referred to as "Dharm Kshetra" also, is the place in Hariyaanaa state. Indian government has named the state as "Hariyaanaa" which in Hindi means: "Hari kaa aanaa" (Coming of Hari or Lord Hari came here). Kuru Kshetra lies on the Dehlee-Ambaalaa stretch of the National Highway No 1. Kuru Kshetra has been a symbol of sanctity and holiness for centuries.

History of Kuru Kshetra:
This region comprises 48 Kos or 100 miles with a large number of temples and tanks of antiquity and traditions. It covered a wide area with present Paaneepat and north-west corner of Jind district in south and eastern part of Patiyaalaa district in the west; Saraswatee and Yamunaa rivers as its northern and eastern boundaries. King Kuru is said to have made this land a great centre of spiritual culture. The Pauraanik story about this land is very interesting.

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
Kuru Kshetra is 2 hour journey from New Dehlee by train and about 3 and a 1/2 hour journey by Bus. From Vrindaa Van to Kuru Kshetra is about 5-6 hour journey by train via Mathuraa-New Dehleei route. While traveling by bus there is a stop called "Piplee" on Kuru Kshetra by-pass. From there catch an an auto-rickshaw to reach ISKCON Main Bazaar temple and then see the holy places with the assistance from the local devotees, or at a nominal cost one can take the auto-rickshaw to visit all the important places to be seen in and around Kuru Kshetra.

Jyoti Sar
This is the exact spot where Krishn spoke Bhagvad-Geetaa. It is the most important place to be seen because there is a Banyan tree in this place under which Krishn explained Bhagvad-Geetaa to Arjun - his greatest friend and devotee about 5000 years back. There is a board placed on the tree in which is written "The immortal banyan tree witness of the celestial song Bhagvad-Geetaa". In fact this place is named as the "Geetopadesh Sthal" - means the place where the Bhagvad-Geetaa was spoken.

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.

There are some other places to visit there --
--Brahm Sarovar - lakhs of people take bath here on Somvatee Amaavasyaa, and on solar eclipse. This is a huge lake, the size of 5 football stadiums put together where people do "Pitri Tarpan". Performing Pitri Tarpan on the day of Amaavasyaa is considered to be very auspicious. There are so many temples situated along a strip of land extending right into the middle of the huge pond including a huge beautiful black chariot with Krishn and Arjun. Among the holiest of water tanks in India, the Brahm Sarovar is an important place to visit in Kuru Kshetra. This is a vast water body. In the centre of the tank stands the Sarveshwar Mahaadev Temple in a lotus design. The eastern section of the tank is 1800 ft long and 1500 ft wide while the western section is a square of 1500 ft length and 1500 ft breadth. The tank is 15 ft deep. This large water body is edged with 20 ft wide platforms, stairs and a 40 ft wide "Parikramaa". In this section, a number of meditation chambers have been built for the convenience of pilgrims. The tank lies about 3 km from the railway station. A number of temples lie in close vicinity of this holy water body.
--Sthaaneshwar Mahaadev,  
--Vaalmeeki Aashram, 
--Baan Gangaa (one of 52 Shakti Peeth also), at Dayaalpur village, This is the lake from which Ganges emanated after Arjun shot an arrow at the ground after Bheeshm requested him to give water while lying on Shar Shayyaa. Besides the Baan Gangaa is a very tall and huge figure of Hanumaan.
--Bheeshm Kund - where Arjun shot lots of arrows at Bheeeshm to kill him and fell him. he lay there on Shar Shayaa for several days and later Paandav came there to to quench the thirst of Bheeshm), at Dayaalpur village


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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 10/01/12