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Thanesar ( ) is an old and historic town on the banks of the Ghaggar river in Haryanamarker state of northern Indiamarker. It is located in Kurukshetra Districtmarker, approximately 160 km northwest of Delhimarker. Prabhakar Vardhan, father of Harshavardhana, was the ruler of Thanesar and the first king of the Vardhan dynasty with his capital at Thanesar.

The name Thanesar is derived from the original name Sthaneshwar which means Lord of the Place. (Sthan-Place/region, Ishwar-Lord)



Thanesar was an obscure village until the 1950s. After the partition of India, a large refugee camp was set up here, which became the nucleus of a bustling commercial city. It grew so much that in 1973, a new district named "Kurukshetramarker" was created, of which Thanesar was the main town. People now tend, erroneously, to refer to Thanesar town as "Kurukshetra".

Mythological importance

The new district was named Kurukshetramarker in order to capitalize on the purported mythological significance of the area. According to the epic Mahabharat, Krishna along with his family came from Dwaraka to participate in the fair of solar eclipse at Kurukshetra. It is believed that the Mughal Emperor Akbar, accompanied by his court historian Abul Fazl, too visited Kurukshetra during the Solar Eclipse in 1567. Abul Fazl’s Akbarnama refers to the Eclipse in Kurukshetra and the Pilgrims bathing in the Brahma Sarovarmarker. The French traveler François Bernier of the Mughal Emperor Shahjehan’s era also mentions the sacred baths at the Indus, Ganges and the sacred tanks of Thaneshwar (Kurukshetra) on the occasion of the Solar Eclipse.

Historians are also investigating this city's link with the Indus Civilisation. They are also looking into the possibility that the Ghaggar river is actually the famous Saraswati river of the Vedas.

Religious and historical importance

Thanesar derives its name from the words "Sthaneshwar" which means "Deity of the Place". The Sthaneshwar Mahadev Temple, whose presiding deity is Lord Shiva, is believed to be the oldest temple in the vicinity. Other religious sites include the Brahma Sarovarmarker, the Sannihit Sarovar, Gurdwara 6th Patashahi and the Devi Bhadrakali temple, which is counted among the 51 Shakti Peethas. The bathing-fair held here on the occurrence of a solar eclipse is said to be attended by half a million pilgrims.

Thanesar was sacked and many of its temples were destroyed by Mahmud of Ghazni.

Firishta records that

The Place keep equally significance to sikhs. This place was visited by Guru Amar Das, Guru Har Rai, Guru Har Krishan, Guru Tegh Bahadur & Guru Gobind Singh. Three Gurdwaras are there in their memory that are Gurdwara Dasvin Patshahi , Gurdwara Tisari and Satvin Patshahi , Gurdwara Navin Patshahi

Modern Thanesar

The modern city of Thanesar is an important educational center; it is home to Kurukshetra University, the National Institute of Technology, Kurukshetramarker(Formerly Regional Engineering College) University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET) Kurukshetra University and the Shri Krishna Government Ayurvedic College.

The University Institute of Engineering and Technology[158431] (U.I.E.T.) is situated in lush green campus of Kurukshetra University with about 1000 students on its roll.It has grown into a big institute with excellent placement record right from its inception. The Kurukshetra Institute of Technology & Management (KITM) is located 10 KM from Kurukshetra University on Pehowa road, near Bhor Saidan Village.


Thanesar is located at . It has an average elevation of 232 metres (761 feet).


 India census, Thanesar had a population of 120,072. Males constitute 55% of the population and females 45%. Thanesar has an average literacy rate of 72%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 77%, and female literacy is 67%. In Thanesar, 12% of the population is under 6 years of age.

See also



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