Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Kurukshetra - Birthplace of the Universe

India's largest water tank, the Bhramasarova

Some seven kilometres off National Highway 1 between Delhi and Chandigarh lies the regional centre of Kurukshetra. Seen from the outside it looks like nothing but yet another mid-sized Indian town of less than 50,000 people. Only a decorated gate on the road leading from the highway down to the town indicates that this is in fact the birthplace of the entire universe! It is also where good triumphed over evil in the most epic battle the world has ever seen, that of the Mahabharata. Other singificant events include Krishna delivering his legendary Bhagavad Gita Sermon here. All this, according to Hindu teachings of course.

Kurukshetra was the first short stop on our Easter trip en route to Shimla. It is the kind of place very few foreign tourists visit as there is no infrastructure in place for it. Only because we had a car could we do it. Our visit was limited to two attractions although there are more things to see there.

First we visited India's largest water tank, the Bhramasarovar, of which you see just a small part in the top picture. It is quite huge.

After that we went to the Kurukshetra Panorama and Science Centre, which displays a curious combination of science and religion. While the ground floor is dedicated to science the panorama upstairs scenes from the mythical Mahabharata Battle. Real figures fight it out in the front with dead soldiers and vultures adding to the drama, while paintings on the panorama wall attempt to add some depth and show the scope of the entire battle.

Above the ghats of the Bhramasarova. I expect this place would be packed in the early morning, but since we arrived around noon only few people were out in the scorching sun.

Present Danish Embassy intern Jeppe, joined us on our trip. Here he is looking out on the tank.

Panorama and Science Centre.

The ground floor of the centre has a number of interactive scientific exhibitions, allowing visitors to discover scientific principles themselves. There is a focus on scientific discoveries made by Indians.

One of the funnier exhibits allows you to literally have your head served on a plate.

A scene from the panorama upstairs. Fun to see but not as well made as Ranjit Singh panorama in Amritsar.

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