Places to see in Kurukshetra



 
 

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The Land of Dharma (Kurukshetra, Haryana)
Location - Haryana in India
Ideal time to Visit - October to February
No of Days Reqd to see Kurukshetra - 1-2 days
Places to See - click here
Road Travel Information to Kurukshetra
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Home - Road trip logs - Land of Dharma (Kurukshetra) - Places to see
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The First Gallery
The major collections of this gallery pertaining to Krishna theme consist of a variety of art objects such as wood carvings, metal casting and ivory carvings. The wooden sculptures from Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Some striking among them are the four wooden panels showing the incarnations of Lord Vishnu and scenes from Krishna's early life. The style is typical of Orissa and belongs to the 18th to 19th century AD. Wood carvings from Tamil Nadu include some stylistically massive and thematically interesting specimens such as Venugopal, standing cross legged with a flute held in both hands. Dasavatara, Kaliamardana, Gajendramoksha etc. The artists from Karnataka have specialized in sandalwood carving. One such fine specimen is an exquisitely carved image of Krishna along with the episode of Gajendra Moksha.
The galley also showcases metal objects which include various exploits of Krishna such as Bal Krishna, Yashoda-Krishna, Navanita-Krishna, Venugopala, Krishna and Gopis, Kaliamardana, Krishna with Rukmini and Satyabhama etc. The ivory collections of this gallery is a beautiful ivory figure of Krishna standing in tribhanga pose. Some smaller pieces showing scenes from Krishna's early life are also displayed here.

Second gallery
This gallery is chiefly devoted to the archeological objects. It includes potsherds, replicas of original artifacts excavated from Kunal, Banawali and other important Harappan sites in Haryana. It also highlights the pottery sequence of ancient Kurukshetra region, antiquities of Dwaraka and exquisite stone sculptures ranging from 1st to 10th century AD. The most important sculpture on display is a Kushana sculpture of Ekanamsa recovered from Faridabad belonging to the 1st century AD. Another unique image is of Hari-Pitamaha made of buff sandstone from the 9th century AD. It is a rare composite image of Vishnu and Bhrama.
The underwater excavations of Dwaraka and on shore Dwaraka reveal important evidences of the submerged city of Dwaraka. Both the underwater and the on shore excavated materials from Dwaraka are on display. It includes the potsherds of protohistoric and early historic pweiod, conch shells, bangles and a seal showing a composite figure of a bull, goat and unicorn. There are also two stone anchors. The date of ancient Dwaraka or submerged Dwaraka is 15th century BC. It is confirmed by the occurance od let Indus potteries, conch shells, and the late Indus script found in one of the earthern jars.

Third gallery
This gallery shows some exquisite miniature paintings, palm etchings and some illustrated manuscripts. The cynosure of all eyes is on the collection of Pahari and Rajasthani paintings and the murals on the octagonal parapet wall depicting the episodes of Mahabharata. Several Pahari schools of painting developed in the states  such as Jammu, Basohli, Mankot, Kangra, Guler, Chamba, Nurpur and Tehri-Garhwal and other places. All these schools were deeply influenced by Vaishnavism. The major attraction of the gallery is a set of 26 late Kangra miniature paintings on Srimad Bhagawadgita theme. The other notable objects displayed in the galley are palm leaf etchings from Orissa showing the exploits of Krishna and ten popular incarnations of Vishnu. Pattachitra is a painting tradition of oriya folks, it is done on a cloth. The episodes of abduction of Rukmini by Krishna, Bhima tearing apart the body of Jarasandha etc are depicted in pattachitra here. The illustrated manuscripts collection includes the rare Yoga Vashistha in Gurmukhi, Bhagawatha Purana in Sanscrit, Bhagawatha Purana in Brij, Khari Boli written in Persian script, Bhagwad Gita in Sanscrit, Aswamedha Parva of Mahabharatha in Sanskrit.

Fourth gallery
The gallery houses 9 tableaux depicting the episodes of the life and exploits of Krishna. The episodes are birth of Krishna, stealing butter when young, killing the crane demon Bakasur, Lifting the mount Govardhana, subduing serpent Kaliya, Rasa the cosmic dance, killing of Kamsa, Krishna and Radha on the occasion of solar eclipse at Kurukshetra and Krishna delivering the Gita to Arjuna.

Fifth Gallery
Thanjavur paintings have brilliant colour scheme with a exquisite use of gold leaf and semi precious stones. The theme of child Krishna constitutes the main subject matter of these paintings.

Sixth Gallery
Madhubani paintings on paper are found here. Opposite to the Madhubani paintings is another parapet wall which displays patachittras, folk paintings of Orissa depicting the scenes from Mahabharatha and Harivamsa Purana. Seven mannequins depicting the Vasanta Rasa of Manipur is displayed in a glass cabin. The Abhimanyu vadha tableaux is depicted beautifully where he fought 7 powerful warriors like Dronacharya, Duryodhana, Karna, Shalya, Duhsashana, Jayadratha and Brihadval.


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Sri Krishna Museum
It was established in 1987 and displays Krishna as a godhead, avatara, philosopher, hero, statesman and above all a supreme lover. The museum is divided into 6 galleries:
Sheikh Chilli's Tomb
In the historic period the Grand Trunk Road must have passed through the town of Thanesar as there still exists an old bridge and Sarai adjacent to the Sheikh Chilli's Tomb, which probably is datable to the reign of Sher Shah Suri. The beautiful tomb and the attached Madarsa are associated with the Sufi Saint Abd-ur-Rahim alias Abd-ur-Razak popularly known by the name of Sheikh Chehli believed to be the spiritual guru of the Mughal Prince Dara Shikoh (AD 1650).

The architectural plan shows considerable Persian influence. Due to its unique and highly sophisticated architectural value it is ranked second only to the Taj Mahal in India. Close to the Western gate of the Madarasa is the small yet elegant Pathar Masjid of red sandstones. The masjid is assignable to the 17th century AD. Adjoining the southern flank of the complex is the Harshavardana park which on evidence of archeology, landscape design, architectural elements appear to be the garden complex typical of the Mughal Charbagh.

West of the tomb is the ruins of Harsh ka Tila. The site was excavated from 1987 to 91 and brought to light the continous habitation at the site from the 1st century AD to the late Mughal period. The findings of a few sherds of painted greyware, along with associated grey ware, black slipped and red wares in pre-Kushana levels also suggest the inhabitation of the site in the first millennium B.C. On the basis of various identifiable remains, the excavations revealed a sequence of six cultural periods:-
  1. Kushana Period 1st -3rd century
  2. Gupta Period 4th - 6th century
  3. Post Gupta Period or Vardhana Period 6th - 7th century
  4. Rajput Period - 8th - 12th century
  5. Mughal Period 16th - 19th century

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