Haryana’s top tourism places: Explore Gurgaon, Karnal and more!

Haryana, nestled beside Delhi, blends ancient traditions with modernity, featuring Gurugram’s cosmopolitan vibe. Best visited from October to March, its top spots include Kurukshetra’s mythological significance, Gurgaon’s urban allure, and the natural beauty of Morni Hills.

Haryana, a state in North India, envelops Delhi on three sides, serving as a meeting point of ancient traditions and modernity. It seamlessly integrates rural and urban lifestyles, boasting Gurugram as India’s cosmopolitan and corporate centre. Additionally, Haryana’s historical significance is rooted in its association with the legendary Kurukshetra battle from the Mahabharata.

Best time to visit: The optimal time to visit Haryana is from October to March, as the weather during this period is favourable. With temperatures cooling down and becoming pleasant, it’s an ideal time for sightseeing and outdoor activities.

 

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Here are the top places to visit on your next trip to Haryana:

 

Gurgaon

Once little more than a dull and comparatively unknown suburb of the national capital region, today, Gurgaon is not only one of the most urbanised cities of India, but it also boasts a skyline that can easily rival those of Hong Kong and Singapore. A
Contrary to what you might expect from a landlocked city, Gurgaon has quite a few attractions for nature lovers. Home to a vast variety of unique flora and fauna as well as bird species, the Sultanpur National Park and Bird Sanctuary is a place where you can go to sit back and relax amidst nature. Another popular tourist attraction is the Sohna Lake, which is named after a stream of whole sand that is believed to contain gold particles (thus the name ‘Sohna’). Offering a scenic view of the Aravalli mountains, the Sohna Lake is a popular picnic spot among both locals and tourists.

 

Kurukshetra

Kurukshetra, a city in Haryana state, is known as the “Land of the Bhagavad Gita.” It is famous as the location where the battle between the Kauravas and Pandavas took place in the Hindu epic Mahabharata, and where Lord Krishna narrated the Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna.

In ancient times, Kurukshetra was an important centre for Vedic civilization and education. It was visited by Lord Buddha and Sikh Gurus. The city has numerous sacred sites, shrines, and ponds dating back to the epic era and early Indian civilization.

Archaeological evidence suggests Kurukshetra existed during pre-Harappan times. It was known as Thanesar or Sthaneswar, meaning “place of God.” The Mauryan ruler Ashoka made it a renowned centre of learning.

Kurukshetra is famous for its temples, lakes, and museums exhibiting the history of pre-Harappan and Harappan civilizations. Near Kurukshetra is the village of Amin, which has remnants believed to be the fort of Arjuna’s son Abhimanyu.

Panchkula

Panchkula is a town located on the way to the hill station of Shimla. It is known for the ruins of the Chandela dynasty that ruled from the 9th to 12th century, and for trekking opportunities in the Morni Hills, which are home to many peacocks.

One of the most planned cities in Haryana, Panchkula is a satellite town that forms a tri-city area along with Chandigarh and Mohali. Its name is derived from the five irrigation canals (‘kuls’) that draw water from the upstream Ghaggar river.

Sector 5 in Panchkula is popular for its entertainment options, eateries, an open-air amphitheatre, and the presence of the Terminal Ballistic Research Laboratory of the DRDO.

Panchkula also serves as a stopover for travellers heading to nearby hill stations in Himachal Pradesh. It combines urban amenities with proximity to historical sites and natural attractions like trekking trails.

Karnal

Karnal, situated in Haryana, India, has a long history dating back to the time of the Mahabharata. It’s known as the ‘Rice Bowl of India’ due to its extensive rice fields near the Yamuna River.

Though not overflowing with tourist spots, Karnal’s main attraction is Karna Lake, where legend has it that the mythical figure Karna once gave charity to the needy. Karnal is also home to prestigious research institutes like the National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI) and the Directorate of Wheat Research (DWR). To truly experience Karnal, take a stroll through the town and indulge in its delicious local cuisine.

Rohtak

Rohhtak, known as the Heart of Haryana, sits just 70 kilometres away from Delhi, making it part of the National Capital Region (NCR). While the city’s name and origins have sparked various rumours, evidence suggests its roots trace back to the ancient Indus Valley Civilization, adding to its allure.

Divided into Rohtak and Meham, the district is located about 250 kilometres south of Chandigarh, accessible via NH9. By aligning with the NCR, Rohtak has gained access to affordable infrastructure loans, enabling steady development while preserving its rich historical significance.

Rohtak boasts a profound history reflected in its ancient ruins, alongside natural wonders like Bhindawas Lake and Tilyar Lake. Tilyar Lake features a zoo within its expansive grounds, offering a delightful outing for visitors. For those seeking thrills, Splash Water Park ensures a fun-filled experience. While not widely recognized in India’s tourism landscape, Rohtak’s vibrant celebrations and heritage eagerly await discovery by travellers worldwide.

 

Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary

For those seeking a refreshing weekend retreat, Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary offers a delightful escape, especially for nature enthusiasts and birdwatchers. With its diverse array of migratory birds, it provides an excellent opportunity to observe various species, particularly during the winter months. Situated just 40 kilometres from Dhaula-Kuan in Delhi, along the Gurgaon-Farukh Nagar Road, it’s easily accessible.

Designated as a National Park by the Haryana Government, Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary hosts a wide range of resident and migratory birds. During the peak season, especially in September and winter, the sanctuary welcomes an astonishing 250 bird species. Migratory birds from Europe, Siberia, and Central Asia cover incredible distances to flock here.

To enhance the birdwatching experience, the sanctuary features four observation towers strategically positioned across the property, providing visitors with optimal vantage points to observe the avian residents and visitors alike.

Morni Hills

Morni Hills, nestled on the outskirts of Panchkula in Haryana near Chandigarh, stands out as the sole hill station in the region, drawing both locals and tourists for leisurely picnics. With an elevation of 1,220 meters, these hills offer breathtaking panoramic views. Beyond its scenic allure, Morni Hills holds archaeological significance, evidenced by ancient carvings dating back to the 7th century discovered at Thakur Dwar Temple.

Adventure enthusiasts find Morni Hills an ideal destination for trekking and birdwatching. The area teems with diverse avian species, including the Wallcreeper, Crested Kingfisher, and Bar-tailed Treecreeper, among others. Birdwatchers may also spot the vibrant Blue Peafowl, Kalij Pheasant, and Red Junglefowl, adding to the area’s natural charm. With its scenic beauty, historical importance, and abundant wildlife, Morni Hills offers a captivating experience for visitors seeking tranquillity amidst nature.

Manesar

Manesar presents a unique blend of modernity and tradition, making it a must-visit destination on your road trip from Delhi to Jaipur. It’s recommended to spend at least a day here to immerse yourself in its farm tourism and rejuvenating spas before embarking on your journey.

As a developing industrial suburb, Manesar offers a glimpse into rural life amidst rapid urbanization. Its charm lies in its rustic atmosphere and stunning views of the majestic Aravali Hills. Manesar’s farm tourism is particularly renowned, offering visitors a chance to experience Haryanvi rural life firsthand. Several resorts in Manesar provide an authentic rural experience, akin to the famed Chokhi Dhani of Jaipur. These resorts offer various activities throughout the day, followed by campfires at night.

Overall, Manesar offers Delhi residents a refreshing rural getaway, providing a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of city life. It’s an opportunity to immerse oneself in the tranquillity of the countryside and enjoy a different kind of experience along the journey to Jaipur.

Haryana offers a rich tapestry of experiences, from historical landmarks to bustling urban centres and tranquil natural retreats. Whether exploring ancient legends in Kurukshetra or indulging in modern comforts in Gurugram, Haryana promises an unforgettable journey through time and culture.

 

(The article has been modified using artificial intelligence (AI) tools.)