By Swami Harshananda
Significance of Kurukṣetra
Kurukṣetra, where the Mahābhārata war between the Pāṇḍavas and the Kauravas was fought, is a famous place of pilgrimage even now. It is situated in the Karnal-Ambala region of Haryana, about 40 km (26 miles) to the east of the Ambala city.
Location of Brahmasarovara
According to the purāṇas, Kurukṣetra was surrounded by five lakes called ‘Samanta-pañcaka.’ One of these lakes, the biggest is called Brahmasarovara or Brahmasaras. Since it is situated in the present-day Kurukṣetra region, it is commonly known as the Kurukṣetra lake. It is also called Pavanahrada. It is 1320 meters (4400 ft) long and 640 meters (2100 ft) wide.
Historical Significance of Brahmasarovara
Brahmā, the creator, is said to have had his yupasthambha or the sacrificial pillar here. Hence it is named as ‘Brahma-sarovara.’ King Kuru, from whom the race of the Kurus originated, is said to have performed tapas here. There are two small islands inside this lake containing an ancient temple of Viṣṇu and the ruins of some old temples.
Religious Significance of Brahmasarovara
Taking a bath in this lake, especially during the solar eclipse, is considered to be extremely auspicious. Great merit also accrues to those who circumambulate it.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore