Haryana – The Wonderland of Vibrant Culture, History and Heritage
Imagine a state in India where how wealthy an individual is judged by the number of cattle the individual has! Where the golden rays of the rising sun penetrate the verdant fields and the chirping of birds lend a sweet music to the ears. The hookas, the cows, the khaats, the milk, the paddy fields, the colorful festivals…..Yes, it is Incredible Haryana, also known as the “The Home of Gods”. Haryana shares its borders with several states of India like Rajasthan, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, and Himachal Pradesh. The state is a visitor’s delight because of its friendly people, pleasant climate, lush forests, beautiful fairs, translucent lakes, ancient monuments, serene landscapes, lip-smacking food and more. The list does not end here as there is a plethora of things to do and see things that you will certainly cherish and make you FALL IN LOVE with Haryana…
Let’s Explore the Dazzling Gems of Haryana
The majestic state of Haryana has progressed leaps and bounds over the years which can be largely attributed to the large number of tourist attractions at its disposal; many of these attractions have religious and historical importance and are effectively maintained and developed by the state’s tourism department. As a result, the state has been able to captivate the attention of the travelers who visit the region to marvel at the several awe-inspiring splendors of this quaint state.
Kurukshetra – land of the historical battle of ‘Mahabharata’
Nestled at the banks of the pious River Saraswati and River Godavari, the sacred Kurukshetra city is situated in Kurukshetra district of Haryana. It is in this place where Lord Krishna narrated the divine Bhagvat Gita to Arjuna during the epic battle of Mahabharata. A trip to this city offers a wonderful opportunity to marvel at the unique culture and remarkable history of Indian civilization. Some of the popular tourist attractions of Kurukshetra that entice the visitors to the magnificent state of Haryana are:
- Sannehit Sarovar
- Gurudwara Rajghat
- Sheikh Chehli’s Tomb
Kurukshetra tenders a great insight into the splendor and grandeur of ancient India and the memories of this city will remain etched in the heart forever.
Badkal Lake – Get Up Close and Personnel with Nature
It is one of the most prominent and well known picnic destinations of Haryana. The lake is enveloped by lush green gardens and offers a tranquil ambiance. The lake was constructed in 1947 with the motive of offering tourists a beautiful place where they can enjoy a fun-filled time with their near and dear ones. The pristine lake is one of the popular weekend getaways visited by the tourists. There are various options for the tourists as they can enjoy boating, swimming and angling.
Kingdom of Dreams – Enjoy a Day in India’s Extravagant Cultural and Entertainment Center
It is popular as India’s luxurious entertainment, leisure and theatre destination that offers a unique display of India’s culture, heritage, theater and performing arts. Located in the city of Gurgaon in Haryana, it is spread across 6 acres and takes the people into a spectacular world beyond their imagination. Kingdom of Dreams also has a Nautanki Mahal, which is one of the most spacious and advanced auditoriums in India. The auditorium seems like a majestic palace of any king and can easily accommodate more than 800 people. Everything you see here will be a larger than life experience for you. For example, if there is a show going on the delectable cuisines of India, then you will be astonished to know that you can actually smell the aroma of food items.
Panipat – Reminiscent of Epic Battles
The historical city of Panipat is situated around 90 kms from Delhi on the banks of the sacred Yamuna River. It is an ancient land where the battles of Panipat were fought. It is believed that the city was founded by the Pandavas during the period of the Mahabharata. Some of the popular destinations in Panipat that are frequented by the tourists are:
- Panipat Museum
- The Old Fort
- Kabuli Shah Mosque
- Grave of Ibrahim Lodhi
- Devi Temple (a temple dedicated to the local deity)
A trip to these major tourist destinations of Panipat will offer long-lasting and unforgettable memories. Panipat is also famous as one of the major producers of blankets and other stunning handloom textile products that have a huge demand not only in India but also many parts of the world.
Ambala – Get Immersed in Picturesque Beauty and Breathtaking Scenic Panorama
Ambala is one of the prominent cities of Haryana as the base of air force and military is located here. There are lots fascinating attractions in the city that entice the visitors from various parts of India and world.
- Manji Sahib Gurudwara
- Sis Ganj Gurudwara
- Badshahi Bag Gurudwara
- Municipal Park
- Hathi Khana Mandir
- Udyan Garden
- Patel Park
- Rang Mahal
Apart from being a major tourist destination, the city is also a pivotal hub of many industries like cotton ginning and food processing.
Gurgaon – Fastest Growing Industrial and Financial Center of India
If one has to see the rapid progress Haryana is making, then he or she must visit Gurgaon. You will be really amazed to see that most of the leading brands of India have set up their offices here. The towering shopping malls are a perfect example of growth the state is making. The city also has a historical connection because the legend has it that Guru Dronacharya gave spiritual knowledge to the Pandavas and the Kauravas here. One of the major attractions of the city is the Shitala Mata Mandir considered to be the goddess of small-pox. The temple is flocked by several tourists all around the year to get rid from the small pox disease and to seek the blessings of the Goddess. There are various other tourist attractions in the city, which must be in the bucket list of every tourist:
- Damdama Lake
- Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary
- Leisure Valley Park
- Kingdom of Dreams
- Museum of Folk and Art
- Heritage Transport Museum
- Sheesh Mahal
Faridabad – Industrial Hub of Haryana
Just 28 kms from Delhi, Faridabad is an emerging industrial and commercial hub of Haryana. The city is surrounded by the enchanting Aravalli Hills that certainly charm the visitors. A walk in the green pastures of these hills is a memorable experience that must not be missed. There are many striking attractions in the city:
- Surajkund Lake
- Badkhal Lake
- Camp Wild
- Baba Farid Tomb
- Raja Nahar Singh Palace
One of the major crowd pullers in Faridabad is the ‘Suraj Kund Fair’, which is organized every year in the month of February. In the fair, a rich collection of art and craft products belonging from various states of India is displayed.
Bhiwani – City of Temples
Bhiwani is a spiritual place also known as ‘Chota Kashi’ because it is replete with lots of temples devoted to various Gods and Goddesses. The divine and holy ambience of the temples offers a great peace of mind to the visitors. The popular temples of Bhiwani are:
- Jain Temple
- Hanuman Mandir
- Shri Rang Nath Mandir
- Star Monument
- Gauri Shankar Mandir
- Jogi Wala Mandir
- Shri Ram Pathshala and Sri Ram Mandir
All in all, a visit to Bhiwani will surely provide a great spiritual and mental peace to the tourists.
Hissar – City of Steel, Textile and Automobile Industry
Located around 64 kms from Delhi, Hissar was one of the largest districts in Haryana before it was divided into two new districts known as Bhiwani and Sirsa. Hissar was founded by Firoz Shah Tughlaq, a Turkic Muslim ruler of the Tughlaq Dynasty, in the 14th century. There are plenty of historical monuments and other attractions in Hissar, which are worth a visit.
- Feroz Shah’s Palace
- Baholshah’s Mosque
- The tomb of Chalis Haliz
- Ashoka Pillar
The district boasts of the largest automobile and spare parts market (in terms of radius and area). The Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University (One of the biggest agricultural universities in Asia) is also located in Hissar.
Karnal – Rice Bowl of India
Karnal is around 120 kms away from Delhi and was named after Karna, the eldest son of Kunti in the Mahabharata and hence it is also known by the name ‘The City of Daanvir Karna’. The city is an abode of many renowned Research and Development Institutes such as Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources (NBAGR), Central Soil Salinity Research Institute (CSSRI), National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI), and Directorate of Wheat Research (DWR). The major tourist attractions of the city are:
- Karnal Fort
- Pukka Pul
- Noor Mahal
- Cantonment Church Tower
- Karnal Lake
Karnal is also well known as the ‘Rice Bowl of India’ because various kinds of basmati rice are produced here. This city is also the birthplace of Kalpana Chawla, the first Indian-American astronaut and first Indian woman in space who was killed in the space shuttle Columbia in the year 2003.
Raja Nahar Singh Palace –Marvel Antiques and Relics of Bygone Era
The grand Raja Nahar Singh Palace is nestled in Ballabhgarh town in Faridabad district of Haryana. This palace was constructed by Rao Balram, who was the ancestor of the Jat Raja Nahar Singh. During the revolt of 1857, Jat Raja played a pivotal role in India’s struggle for independence from the Britishers. The Ballabhgarh Fort Palace magnetizes the tourists with its breathtaking architecture. It has now been converted into a highly capacious hotel to promote Haryana tourism. The hotel leaves no stone unturned to make the stay of its guests comfortable by offering world class facilities and services.
Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary – Paradise for the Bird Watchers
Located around 48 km from Delhi, Sultanpur National Park in Gurgaon is an empyrean for birdwatchers and photographers. The park is nestled in an area of about 1.43 sq km where the tourists can get a wonderful chance to see various species of both the resident and migratory birds. The different species of avifauna that can be seen in the park are black necked stork, cattle egret, Indian roller, white throated kingfisher, red collared dove, rock pigeon, great flamingo, striped snipe, spot billed pelican, spotted redshank, wood sandpiper, black tailed godwit, black crowned night heron, comb duck, blue-cheeked bee-eater, etc.
The best time to visit the Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary is between November and March when the climate is salubrious.
Haryana’s History and People
Haryana’s 5000 year old history is replete with myths, legends, valor and glory. The sacred Vedas were written here and very few people know that the state is the birthplace of the Universe. Lord Krishna narrated the sermons of Bhagwad Gita here and it was on this land where the great saint Ved Vyas wrote the Mahabharata in Sanskrit.
The people of Haryana are very humble and friendly. In the villages of Haryana, one can find joint families like tau –tai, bhabhi-devar, mama-mami, nana-nani living together in the same home. Even today, the important decisions are taken after consulting with the parents. The people of Haryana live a very simple life, are very straight forward and hard working.
Tickle Your Taste Buds with Finger Licking Cuisines of Haryana
The food..how can one ever forget savoring the mouth watering cuisines of Haryana? The breakfast of the people is not termed as complete unless they are served with dahi or lassi. The home made butter is popularly known as nooni or tindi in the state. Bajra Ki Khichdi is a famous delicacy, which is prepared with millet porridge and eaten with Kadi or Ghee. Bathua Ka Parantha, which is prepared with green leafy Bathua is eaten with tamarind chutney or Dahi (curd). The other finger licking food of Haryana include Kachri ki Sabzi, Bajra Aloo Roti Makhan, Churma, Malpuas, Bathua Raita, Besan Masala Roti, kheer, Methi Gajar, Singri ki sabzi, Mixed dal, Mithe chawal. The desserts contain Gajar ka Halwa, Kheer and Rabri made from wheat flour and buttermilk.
Festivals and Fairs of Haryana- A Perfect Example of History and Traditions of the State
Suraj Kund village in Haryana is at a distance of 20 km from Delhi. The village is famous for its handicraft fair held between the 1st and the 14th of February. Craft men sell potters, embroiderers, weavers, wood carvers, metal workers, stone smiths, and painters. For entertainment there are folk dancers, musicians, and magicians.
Teej is one of the famous festivals of Haryana and is usually celebrated on the third day of ‘Shrwana’ month. The festival is celebrated with great pomp and enthusiasm all over the state. Swings are set up in the gardens and the girls apply heena on their hands. On Teej, it is a tradition that the parents gift new clothes to their children. The pooja is performed in the morning. In the evening many women and girls dressed in colorful clothing engage in singing and dancing.
How to Reach Haryana
By Air: The nearest airport is at Chandigarh, which is well connected with all the major cities of India. The next closest airport is the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi. The tourists can take private cabs or taxis from outside the airport to reach their desired destination.
By Rail: An excellent network of trains connects Haryana with the prominent states and cities of India.
By Road: Haryana has a very good road network and the buses of Haryana Roadways provide an easy access to the other parts of the state. Besides buses, auto rickshaws and cabs are also available as a perfect means of transport.
The Last Words…
It is not wrong to say that a visit to Haryana takes you back to your childhood days and you can enjoy a memorable time in the lap of nature, fill in your lungs with unadulterated air, get an opportunity to enjoy a bullock cart ride, savor delectable cuisines, get to know about folk traditions and so on. COME AND GET IMMERSED in the vivacious culture of Haryana.