Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Akshardham & Kurukshetram

Day 1 :

A very early start to the day with early morning flight to Delhi. Reached Delhi with no issues. Then transfer to hotel.  Checked into the hotel and had lunch at a nearby Gujarati restaurant.


Post lunch, we went to a place called Akshardham in Delhi. It is a cultural cum spiritual complex in Delhi built in remembrance of Swaminarayan. (1781 - 1830). The complex showcases and exhibits various traditional Hindu and Indian culture, spirituality and architecture.  

-  A robotics show portrays the life of Swaminarayan and his message about  the importance of peace, harmony, humility, service to others and God. 

-  The second highlight was a 40 minute film about 7 year pilgrimage (Nilkanth yatra) made by Swaminarayan during his teenage years throughout India. The screen was huge. I have never seen such a big screen. I googled and here are the details 

The theatre houses Delhi's first and only large format screen, measuring 85-foot (26 m) by 65-foot (20 m)

-  The highlight for us was a 15 minute boat ride. The boat ride was fantastically designed and took us through years and years of Indian heritage through all walks of life right from family life to bazaar to medicine, research, science, maths and education. Both the kids and us thoroughly enjoyed the boat ride.

There are other attractions like musical fountain show in the evening, a surrounding lake etc. A very small play area for the  preschoolers too to engage them and a food court to wind up for our dinner :)

Altogether a novel place to visit once.

Unfortunately, mobiles, cameras were prohibited inside the campus and we had to hand over everything in a locker facility. So i dont have any photographs of this place.

Day 2 : Kurukshetram

Kurukshetra, punya kshetram dharma kshetram where Mahabharata war was fought. It is at Haryana at a distance of 150 kms from Delhi. The region got its name from king Kuru, ancestors of Pandavas and Kauravas. It is here that Sri Krishna Bhagvan preached Bhagwad Gita to Arjuna when he was in a dilemma and it was also here that Sri Bishma pithama was laid down in a bed of arrows by Arjuna. 

Once we reached kurukshetra, our first stop was Bhrahma Sarovar.

Brahma Sarovar:

It is an ancient water tank sacred to Hinduism. It is believed that Lord Brahma created the universe from this place. It is one of the largest man made ponds.

Actually, one thing that i was dreading was our trip to Kurukshetra due to the weather conditions as we would be out in the sun most of the day. The month of May in and around Delhi, one can imagine how hot it would be. But we were extremely lucky. The day was very cloudy and pleasant, completely shielding us from the scorching heat and sun of the Delhi summer. 

The place had a wonderful ambience. The atmosphere was calm, peaceful and eternal beauty of the place brought an inner peace. 

A sacred shrine of Lord Shiva stands within the Sarovar. It is believed to be very auspicious to take a dip in the sarovar on solar eclipse day.

Another point of interest is an ancient Draupadi kupa (well)

Jyotisar : 

A travel of a few kms from Bhramasarovar brought us to Jyotisar, holy place where Shrimad Bhagwad Gita was born.

We tried to envisage /visualize the long ago scene of the battlefield with thousands and thousands of sainyams standing on the ground, waiting for the war to start. It gave goosebumps just trying to imagine and to think that we were standing in that very place of such historic importance.

Here, you can witness idols of many characters of the great epic Mahabharatha. Bhishma, Dhuryodhan, Arjun, Guru Dhronaachaariyaar, Naradhar, Dhirudharaashtran, Bheem etc.

Bhishma Kund:

3 kms away from Jyotisar brought us to Bhishma kund. It is here that Arjuna (with the help of an arrow) brought Ganga water to Bhishma Pitahma to quench his thirst. It is also here that Bhishma Pitahma was lying on a bed of arrows wounded in the war and was waiting for Uttarayan (even after the war was over) to depart from this world and attain the lord's lotus feet.

There is a goshaala maintained here. It is so very rare to find goshaala these days. 

We sat down nearby a tree and took the time to recite vishnu sahasranaamam in the Bhishma kund before taking leave.

Kurukshetra Panorama and Science Centre:

This museum is amazing. You can spend hours here and you wont know how the time flies. There are numerous scientific exhibits that interests both the kids and the adults simultaneously. Unfortunately, we could not spend more than an hour and a half here as we had to head back to Delhi. Please allocate time for this if you are planning to visit kurukshetra. You can spend atleast half a day here. 

There is also a world class panoroma that depicts the war scenes of the kurukshetra war with real effects.

Other places of interest that we could not visit

1. Sannihit Sarovar
2. Sri krishna Museum
3. There are 2 durga mandirs

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