Dec 06, 2023
Dec 06, 2023
A diversion from the mundane was long overdue. To avoid further unpleasant situation in the family till the next summers or its thereabouts, I agreed to a proposal by my wife to take a break for a day or two and visit a place in the vicinity to unwind from the routine. After much discussion, it was decided that we would visit Kurukshetra. The district of Kurukshetra in Haryana is a famous religious destination for the Hindus, a place where the Mahabharata war took place and was a hub of learning during the Mauryan rule.
Setting off early at the crack of dawn we reached Kashmere Gate ISBT within an hour and refreshed ourselves with a cuppa. Thereafter we touched Murthal around 9am and had our breakfast at the famed Amrik Sukhdev Dhaba. The place was swarming with people at that early hour. We ordered the usual parathas (Gobi/ Aloo) that the eatery is known for and stuffed ourselves with energy needed for the onward journey.
From this point our destination was a journey in excess of a couple of hours.
Reaching Kurukshetra, we went to Shri Devikoop Bhadrakali temple. This is a Shakti Peet and it's believed that a section of the right ankle of the feet of Maa Kali had fallen on this spot when Lord Vishnu used his 'Sudarshan Chakra' to cut Goddess Sati into 52 pieces. There was quite a crowd at the temple. An interesting fact we found at the temple was that people whose wishes were fulfilled made an offering of twin horses to the deity.
It's said that Lord Krishna and the Pandavas made an offering of the horses of their chariots at this temple praying for their victory before marching off for the battle of the Mahabharata. Since then, there has been a custom of offering horses of silver, mud etcetera based on one's means.
After the experience with the divine it was time to look into the achievements of mortals through the ages. We made a trip to the Kurukshetra Panorama and Science Centre. It was nice to see many school children among the visitors. They seemed very happy even on a Saturday to be at this place with their teachers keeping a watchful eye. The only gripe I harbour is that there appeared to be no one among the staffs available as an Expert who could have made it more informative for the kids and the visitors.
The KPSC is a two storied building. The ground floor contained illustrations, facts and figurines that highlights the glory of ancient Indian achievements. There are sections on Harappan Technologies, Susrata's surgical instruments and Ayurvedic Science, Ancient Glass Technology, Ancient Coin Making mould, and illusory items like Infinity Well, Endless Tunnel, and one on Virtual Reality. The upper storey housed an Audio-Visual section with brilliant lighting having scenery and exquisite paintings from the Mahabharata. At the entrance of KPSC sculptures of iconic scientists like Sir J C Bose, C V Raman, S N Bose, Ramanujan greets a visitor.
There were more of the divine experience when we reached Sannihit Sarovar/Ghat.
Mythology has it that it's the meeting point of the seven Saraswatis, a sacred river. It's believed that bathing in the tank on the night of a total eclipse is equivalent to performing a Yagya. The place is said to be the abode of Lord Vishnu. One can see shrines dedicated to Lord Vishnu, Goddess Durga, Lord Hanuman and others at this place.
Nearby is Nabha House. This is a palatial building built by the royal family of the Nabha principality for the purpose of staying here during religious performances. It bears influences of Hindu architecture during the early British period. One can witness decorative iron nails on the wooden door at the entrance which lead towards a rectangular courtyard. There is also a temple dedicated to Lord Brahma within its precincts.
Next up was Brahma Sarovar. Located in Thanesar area, this is a beautiful water tank which is believed to provide redemption to someone who takes a dip at the lake.
One can see terracotta art with depiction from the Mahabharata along the sides of the Sarovar. I am told that the sunset and its reflection on the lake is something to behold. We missed that since we were visiting it during the daytime.
It was past 2pm already and time for lunch. After a brief search we found a restaurant named Fusion. The food served at the place was enjoyable.
We were contemplating of our return journey when wife expressed a desire to visit Sheikh Chilli's tomb. Her wish can't be overlooked, and anon we were at the resting place of the Sufi Saint Sheikh Cheila in whose memory the tomb and surrounding structures were built by Prince Dara Shikoh, the eldest son of emperor Shahjahan. The sufi saint, a learned and witty man, was a teacher of Prince Dara. The place has a museum that houses artifacts excavated from archaeological sites in the vicinity.
It had been quite an eventful site-seeing day and we retraced our path and was homebound soon thereafter.
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More by : Subhajit Ghosh