Idea of India75 learn more about India, its aspects & culture
In celebration of India At75, the Consulate General of India Hamburg is featuring stories from each state and every corner of India every week on Wednesday, taking you on a journey into irresistible India and its diverse and captivating beauty, art, culture, cuisine, people and places.
WEEK 66 – KURUKSHETRA
Kurukshetra, in the state of Haryana, is also known as Dharmakshetra (“Realm of duty”) and as the “Land of the Bhagavad Gita”. According to the Puranas, Kurukshetra is a region named after King Kuru, the ancestor of Kauravas and Pandavas in the Kuru Kingdom, as depicted in the epic Mahabharata. The Kurukshetra war of the Mahabharata is believed to have taken place here. In the Vedas, Kurukshetra is described not as a city but as a region (“kshetra” means “region” in Sanskrit). According to the Vamana Purana, King Kuru chose land at the banks of the Sarasvati River for embedding spirituality with eight virtues: austerity, truth, forgiveness, kindness, purity, charity, devotion, and conduct. Lord Vishnu was impressed with the acts of King Kuru and blessed him with two boons—first, that this land forever will be known as a Holy Land after his name as Kurukshetra (the land of Kuru); second that anyone dying on this land will go to heaven.
The history of Kurukshetra can be traced back as early as pre-Harappan and Harappan era. The potteries found from some of the archeological excavation sites can be traced back to 1700 BC – 1500 BC, the era which is considered as pre-Aryan and into the pre-Harappan to Harappan era. According to Dr. R.C. Majumdar, “it was a religion-cultural centre even before the immigration of the Aryans into India”. After the Kuru dynasty, Kurukshetra came under the influence of Buddhists and the Jains. Material evidences collected from excavation sites indicate the period to be around 600 BC. Later during the Greek invasion led by King Alexander, Kurukshetra came under Macedonian influence. The history and culture of Kurukshetra was also enriched by the influence of the Turks (Mahmud of Ghazni), the Huns, the Shaks, the Pathans and the Moghuls. In between these invasions, there came great and strong Indian dynasties who ruled over Kurukshetra like the Guptas, the Mauryas, the Pratihars and the Kalingas. These Indian and foreign influences enriched the history and culture of Kurukshetra.
The economy of the district is primarily agrarian, An overwhelming work force is engaged as cultivators and agriculture labourers. Farming is the main occupation of the people as a sizeable percentage i.e. over 90% of people are engaged in various agricultural pursuits. The district enjoys an ideal location being situated adjacent to NH1. It is coming up as an industrial belt and has started throbbing with a wide spectrum of developmental activities with immense potentials for industrial opportunities.
Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India
India in Germany (Embassy of India, Berlin)
Indian Council For Cultural Relations
Ministry of Tourism, Government of India
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