Located in the north-western part of India overlying the foothills of the Aravalli mountain range, the state of Haryana needs to be paid a visit if you’re a traveller looking to explore the roots of Indian culture and customs. Also known as the Abode of God, and estimated to be inhabited since prehistoric times, Haryana provided the venue for the Indian epic Mahabharata, penned by Sage Vyasa.
The Mahabharata, which celebrates the victory of the Pandavas over their arch-rivals, the Kauravas, and also features Lord Krishna, casts a massive influence over the present-day composition of Indian culture and tradition. Not limited to this, it bore witness to countless battle scenes throughout the tumultuous history of warfare to gain control of North India, between Harshavardhana’s empire, the Chauhans, the Lodhis, Afghan warlords, the Mughals, and the Marathas in different eras.
Apart from history lovers and spiritual travellers, Haryana also attracts nature enthusiasts with its rolling hills, scenic lakes, and unparalleled biodiversity. Haryana is a highly industrialized Indian state and is well connected by air, railway, and road transport with all major Indian cities.
Exciting Destinations in Haryana
- Kurukshetra: The site for the combat between the Pandavas and the Kauravas in the Mahabharata, Kurukshetra is of insurmountable relevance to the history of India. Jyotisar, lying nearby, was where Lord Krishna immortalised the sacred Bhagavad Gita, the holy book which guides all Hindu customs. Kurukshetra, located at the confluence of the Rivers Saraswati and Godavari, also offers other sights such as the Sthaneshwar Mahadev Temple, the Panorama Museum, Sheikh Chehli’s tombstone, and the Brahmasarovar.
- Faridabad: Lying adjoining Delhi, Faridabad offers a relaxing weekend getaway, with its views of the Aravalli Hills, and numerous picturesque lakes. The Surajkund Lake, Dhauj Lake, and the Badkhal Lake comprise some of Faridabad’s natural sights.
- Bhiwani: A religious site in Haryana which has earned the moniker of ‘Little Kashi’, a trip to Bhiwani bears spectacle to numerous temples dedicated to a plethora of Indian Gods and Goddesses. The city is also home to the colossal Star Monument, the Shyamesar Tank, the Loharu Fort, and the resting place of Rajput chieftain Todar Singh.
- Hisar: Hisar holds a host of enchanting religious and historic sites, such as the Agroha Dham Temple, the Firoz Shah Palace, the Barsi Gate, numerous British palaces, and many others. Hansi, situated 26 kilometres from Hisar City, formed the prize for many erstwhile military expeditions by different aspirants and houses the Hansi Fort.
- Chandigarh: Serving as the capital for both Haryana and Punjab, Chandigarh was India’s first planned city, designed by the French architect Le Corbusier. It has exquisitely maintained gardens, picture-perfect lakes, numerous museums, craftsmen’s markets, and elegant British buildings, amongst its attractions. The city has a unique man-made rock garden which was brought to life by Nek Chand, the eminent Indian rock sculptor. The Sukhna Lake comprises another relaxing destination, hosting various migratory birds.
- Panchkula: Located in the picturesque Morni Hills of the Aravalli range, with thickly wooded forests and lush greenery, Panchkula is a satellite city of Chandigarh that relaxes one and all with activities like rock climbing, hang gliding, and boating. Panchkula offers sites such as the largest Asian Cactus Garden, the Mansa Devi Temple, and the Ramgarh Fort. A short distance of 15 kilometres away, the enchanting Pinjore Gardens offer another sight to behold.
- Karnal: The city of Karnal is believed to be established by Karna, the benevolent stepbrother of the Pandavas. Karnal brings tranquil to travellers, through the serenity of the Karnal Lake, several revered religious sites, and the soothing Atal Nature Park.
- Rohtak: Its prime attractions include sights of leopards, jackals, and other wildlife at the Rohtak Zoo and the Tilyar Lake which lies amidst an idyllic natural setting.
- Ambala: Assumed to be inhabited since the Palaeolithic times, Ambala was an epicentre for uprisings against the British, and houses several intricately constructed Sikh Gurudwaras.
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