Kurukṣetra, where the Mahābhārata war, between the Pāṇḍavas and the Kauravas, is said to have been fought, is a famous place of pilgrimage even now. It is situated in the Karnal-Ambala region of Haryana, about 40 kms. (26 miles) to the east of the Ambala city.
According to the purāṇas it was surrounded by five lakes called ‘Samantapañcaka.’ One of these lakes, the biggest, is called Brahmasarovara or Brahmasaras. Since it is situated in the present Kuru-kṣetra 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.
Brahmā, the creator, is said to have had his yūpasthambha or the sacrificial pillar here. Hence the name ‘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.
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.
See also KURUKṢETRA.