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Kurukshetra

Kurukshetra War

Kurukshetra is a holy place and is also known as Dharmakshetra and Karmakshetra According to the Puranas, Kurukshetra is 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 on this land during the war when Lord Krishna found Arjuna in a terrible dilemma.

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

The Vamana Purana tells how King Kuru came to settle on this land. He chose this land at the banks of Sarasvati River for embedding spirituality with 8 virtues: austerity (tapas), truth (satya), forgiveness (kshama), kindness (daya), purity (sucha), charity (dana), yagya 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 be going to heaven. The land of Kurukshetra was situated between two rivers — the Sarasvati and the Drishadvati.

Kurukshetra is probably the most famous religious site in India and one of the most ancient places of pilgrimage in the world. The name of Kurukshetra derives from a tribe, Kuru. By the evidence of its name and its archaeological remains there can be no doubts that Kurukshetra was occupied by the Aryans. The city is said to be as old as the Rigveda, and was also called Saryanvat.

According to Mahabharat the land between the Saraswati and Drishdvati was called Kurukshetra, which covered an area of five yojanas in radius. The territory between Tarantuka and Arantuka and between Machkruka  and Ramhrada is called Kurukshetra, Samant Panchaka and the Northern Vedi of Brahma. Kurukshetra derives its religious sanctity from more than one source. Its religious importance has been described as the land of righteousness in Rigveda, Sathpath Brahaman, Jabali Upnishad, Puranas, Bhagwat Gita, Mahabharat and other religious books.

Kurukshetra has been delcared as the land of Dharma or righteousness in the very first shloka of Srimadbhagwad Gita and it is quite evident that the name Kurukshetra was prevelent even before the great war of Mahabharat. It was after the name of King Kuru, the ancestor of Kauravas and Pandavas this place was called Kurukshetra. Prior to the name of Kurukshetra this place of pilgrim was known as 'Brahmkshetra', 'Bhrigukshetera', 'Aryavarat' and 'Samant Panchak ' etc. All these names can be found in the holy pages of Mahabharat.

This land has been known as Uttravedi, 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. Bharata Dynasty came and settled on this land.

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

It reached the zenith of its progress during the reign of King Harsha, during which Chinese scholar Hieun Tsang visited this land at Thanesar. 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.

 

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