Tourist Destinations Near Haryana

Travel to Kurukshetra


Kurukshetra Travel



The town of Kurukshetra is situated in the district of the same name in the state of Haryana. It is famous for its links with the Indian epic the Mahabharata and is generally associated with the great battle between the Kauravas and the Pandavas. Kurukshetra is also associated with a particular Vishnu-Purana and has many other such mythic associations.

Kurukshetra has become a very important pilgrimage spot for Hindus as it is seen as the birthplace of one of the main texts of their religion. It is said to be the place where the Bhagavad Gita was first recited by Lord Krishna to his disciple and friend, Arjuna. Kurukshetra is thus a must-visit for any devotee of Lord Krishna.

The rich religious and cultural heritage sites in and around Kurukshetra have been drawing tourists and history buffs from all over the country. Even many years back, these seemed to have been important travelling sites, as can be seen in many ancient texts.

Places to visit

Kurukshetra, with all its associations with Hindu epics and ancient Hindu civilizations, has many interesting tourist destinations. Many are pilgrimage spots and some are historical sites with archaeological ruins or legends attached to them.
  • The Brahma Sarovar, a beautiful water body in town, is said to have been the place where Lord Brahma created the world. It is thus called the cradle of Hindu civilization. Brahma Sarovar and its beauty have been mentioned in various ancient texts such as Al Beruni's travelogues about medieval India.
  • Another famous water body in the city is the Sannihit Sarova, said to be the mythical meeting point of the seven Saraswatis, the mythical rivers along which Hindu civilization supposedly came into being. It is also said to be the permanent abode of Lord Vishnu.
  • For mythology and history buffs, the Krishna museum in the town is an excellently curated place, where the various myths and avatars around the divine personalities of Lord Krishna find a place in a detailed exhibit.
  • Pilgrims also tend to flock to the Bhadrakali Temple and the Sthaneshwar Mahadev Temple, both of them holy sites associated with the Pandavas and their journey through the epic of the Mahabharata.

Best time to visit

The town of Kurukshetra experiences extreme climates through the year, with very hot summers and spine-chillingly cold winters. In the summers, the heat is quite unbearable and the temperatures remain between 35 and 47 degrees Celsius. It is not at all suited for tourism and travelling. The monsoons are very humid, and while the temperatures come down a little, it is still quite uncomfortable to travel in Kurukshetra.

The winters here are harsh and temperatures stay between seven degrees Celsius and 22 degrees Celsius. It is too cold for tourism to flourish in this part, and the frost that is common during this time can become a problem for many tourists. Therefore, the best time to visit Kurukshetra is during spring, around February to Match, when the temperatures are moderate.

Visitors should also try and coincide their trips with the main Hindu festivals such as Deepavali and Holi, or the main Sikh festivals of Lohri and Baisakhi, to witness the town in its brilliantly festive avatar.

How to reach

Kurukshetra, due to its proximity to the national capital of New Delhi, is fairly easy to access by air, trains or road. The nearest airports are at Chandigarh and New Delhi. The Indira Gandhi International Airport at Delhi is about 160 kms away from Kurukshetra town and easily accessible by private cars and taxis which are available both at the airport as well as Kurukshetra town.

Chandigarh and New Delhi airports are very well connected to the rest of the country as well as internationally via operators such as Air India, Jet Airways, SpiceJet, JetKonnect, SpiceJet, Bangladesh Air, Druk Air, Myanmar International Airlines, British Airways, Lufthansa, Emirates Air, Virgin Atlantic, etc.

Kurukshetra has its own railway station that is an important junction within the railway network of the country. It connects to all major cities all over the country via trains such as the Kalka Shatabdi (Delhi), the Shan-e-Punjab (Delhi) and the Jhelum Express (Pune).

Kurukshetra is the most easily accessible by buses, cars and taxis. Many Haryana Roadways buses as well as Punjab Roadways buses ply through Kurukshetra and it is very well connected to nearby metropolises such as Chandigarh, Karnal, Ambala and New Delhi.

Local transport

The town of Kurukshetra has a fairly decent local transport system and is convenient to navigate through. The main and easy way to travel through the town is by the Haryana Roadways state buses, which are pocket friendly and well connected to all the main tourist spots, eating joints, etc., throughout the town. But these buses are not so frequent and that might cause a problem for tourists in a hurry.

Travellers who are travelling alone, especially women travellers are strongly advised to not use the Haryana Roadways local buses too much as there is a little bit of a safety issue and unless one is absolutely sure about one's safety, these buses, though very efficient, are completely avoidable.

Auto rickshaws are definitely a better and more ubiquitous option in town and they connect to all parts of the city and are fairly pocket friendly and safe. There are share autos that are also available for pilgrims who do not have enough financial means. The best way to travel across town, for those who can afford it, is by hiring a taxi or car from Delhi or Chandigarh.

Hotels

Kurukshetra is a fairly popular tourist destination, especially with local tourists who are also mostly pilgrims and Krishna devotees. Because of this, the accommodation options in Kuruksehtra are also varied according to many kinds of financial capacities of different kinds of tourists, travellers and pilgrims. There are many budget dharmashalas in town for pilgrims without luxurious demands and limited financial means.

Some of these are the Jat Dharmashala near Birla Mandir, the Agarwal Dharmashala, Bhraman Dharmashala, near the old bus stop and the Saini Samaj Dharamshala. These are pocket friendly and hygienic and fairly safe options. But it needs to be kept in mind that all these dharamshalas serve vegetarian food and smoking and drinking alcohol is not allowed on their premises.

For tourists and pilgrims who want to go for more luxurious options, there are many mid to high range hotels in town. Some of these are Neelkanth Hotel, Heritage Hotel and Saffron Hotel. For travellers who are looking at high-end luxury options, the Parakeet Resort in the neighbouring village of Pipli is the perfect place for a weekend getaway.

Travel tips

There are certain things that need to be kept in mind while travelling through this city. It is mainly a Hindu pilgrimage spot and since most of the faith that is seen in the area is Vaishnavite, most hotels and dharmashalas do not allow non-vegetarian cuisine on their premises. Tourists with different demands about food should be prepared with their own arrangements.

Smoking and consumption of alcohol would also be likely to be prohibited on the premises of most accommodation options. Tourists are strongly advised to be careful as not to hurt religious sentiments of the people of the town or other pilgrims. Kurukshetra can get really chilly during winters, with occasional frosts that appear. Tourists travelling during the winter months are suggested to definitely carry some heavy-weight warm clothing to deal with the chill. Women travellers are especially advised to be vigilant about their safety while travelling and avoid staying at the dharmashalas or low-budget hotels or travelling by cheap local transport.

How many days are enough to travel

Kurukshetra is ideally a weekend destination from cities like New Delhi and Chandigarh. It is often clubbed with larger tours by Krishna devotees that ply between Mathura, Vrindavan and Kurukshetra.
If that is the tour option that a traveller opts for, that will take up more of an extended weekend; at least three to four days. Travellers who are specifically going to the town for festive occasions such as Deepavali, Holi, etc., obviously need a little more time to settle in and enjoy the joyous mood that the town has during these times.

Some tourists go to Kurukshetra only to laze about in Haryana Tourism's luxury resort Parakeet, which has all deluxe amenities and is a beautiful retreat away from the hustle bustle of cities. While it is a slightly expensive staying option, a weekend retreat at the Parakeet along with day-long excursions to Kurukshetra is also a very good plan for a short duration travel.

Tourism department contacts

Kurukshetra, being so near to the capital of the country, has quite a bit of ease of access and the Haryana Tourism Department treats it with some importance. It is a fairly pilgrim-friendly spot, and navigating through is not very difficult, as it is also not a very big town. Still it is important for tourists to keep handy the numbers of the government tourism department and contact them for any accurate information.

In case of any help, tourists and travellers can contact the following numbers and addresses for any information. The Haryana State Tourism Development Corporation has to be directly contacted in order to make prior bookings and reservations at government resorts like Parakeet.

Delhi Office
Haryana Govt. Tourist Bureau,
36, Janpath
Chanderlok Building, New Delhi.
Tel : 011-23324910-11. Fax: 23713373.
Email: haryanatourism74@gmail.com

Chandigarh Office
Haryana Tourism Corporation Limited
SCO 17-19, Sector 17-B, Chandigarh-160017
Tel : 0172-2702955-57, 0172-2720437.
Fax : 0172-2703185, 2702783
Email: haryanatourism@gmail.com

Parakeet Tourist Complex,
Pipli, Kurukshetra,
Tel: 01744-230250
Email: parakeet@hry.nic.in

Emergency contact numbers

Kurukshetra is a fairly easy and tourist friendly place to be in, but being a pilgrimage site filled with touts and other kinds of fraudulent holy men, it is important for tourists to stay safe and secure. Women tourists are requested to stay extra cautious as Haryana is not a very women-friendly state.

Pilgrims are requested to keep their belongings close and under constant supervision. Travellers staying in the dharmashalas should not carry too many valuables with them. Tourists travelling to Kurukshetra during winter need to keep a check on their health and not expose themselves too much to the cold. Here are some of the emergency contact numbers that tourists can keep handy while travelling through the town of Kurukshetra. 01744 is the STD code for Kurukshetra.
  • Fire Brigade - 101Haryana Roadways - 220468
  • Ambulance, (Red Cross) - 102
  • Railways - 131
  • Emergency, Gen. Hospital - 102
  • Parakeet Tourist Complex, Pipli - 230250
  • Police (City), Thanesar - 292100
  • Nilkanthi Yatri Niwas - 291615
  • Police (Sadar), Pipli - 230251
  • Krishna Museum - 291288
  • Electric Break Down-220071Water Supply Complaints - 220358
  • SP, Kurukshetra - 01744-220320
  • LNJP Hospital - 293580




Last Updated on : 19/11/2013



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