In the past, I assumed Karnal was a district you probably wouldn’t spend much time in, as I had only heard of it from a friend who went there to attend a wedding and I saw the name popping up when I travelled from the capital to Chandigarh. But it only took a little bit of research for me to become a visitor of Karnal.
The place has more mythological value than I realised. Karnal is also known as the home of Karna, who is a prime character in the Mahabharata. Along with being a part of Haryana, Karnal is also a hub of prime educational institutes like CSSRI (Central Soil Salinity Research Institute) and IARI (Indian Agricultural Research Institute). It has river Yamuna flowing on the west side of it which makes it a fertile land. Did you know Karnal produces the most premium quality of Basmati rice in India? Hence, it’s also known as the ‘Rice bowl of India’. Karnal also takes the lead in the production of wheat and milk in the country. Karnal has seen the reign of many rulers as the city stands still and tells the story of India’s history and mythology.
No, it doesn’t end here. There’s so much more you can do and places you can visit in the home of Karna that’s situated on NH1 aka the Grand Trunk Road.
If you are into mythological stories and history, you will love the places in Karnal and the tales they tell. Explore the charm o’ Karnal that makes it a perfect weekend getaway for you!
Karnal lake aka Karna lake is popular for its mythological reference. It is said that Karna, Kunti’s son and a prime character in Mahabharata, used to bathe in this lake. It was at this spot, Karna gave away his defensive armour to Indra, the Godfather of Arjuna, who was Karna's arch-enemy. Amidst a busy city, the lake stands beautifully surrounded by a soul-satisfying view. The lake has an island in the centre. Due to the lush foliage of this island, a lot of birds are attracted to the place. Here, you can for leisure walks like locals do or do boating as it’s mesmerising for all to see the reflection of the sky in the lake waters as the birds start chirping.
This famous Muslim sage was built in the memory of Bo-Ali-Qualander Shah. It was constructed by Ghias-ud-din Tughlaq, who was a ruler of Delhi. It’s beautifully constructed in marble. The tomb is considered important because of the stories related to Bo-Ali-Qualander Shah. He was known for his new-age thinking and ideas that were supported by the followers of all religions. It is said that the saint was blessed with miraculous powers. The tomb is surrounded by beautiful fountains and lush gardens.
Cantonment Church Tower is a great example of British architecture. The tower has an ornamental cross on the top and is thirty-five metres high. The tower can be seen from a 7 km radius around the church. The church is dedicated to a disciple of Jesus Christ, St. James. The church was dismantled when the cantonment shifted from Karnal to Ambala. However, the tower got permitted to stand there. Close to the tower, there is a cemetery of the European soldiers. The tower was certified as a historic monument in the country by the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage.
Constructed by Kalsia kings, the fort in Karnal that dates back almost 250 years. It’s a great example of Indo-western architecture. The fort also has a beautiful clock tower constructed out of stone. The walls are adorned with murals and paintings. It once housed the State Departments of Treasury. The fort is nearly ruined today but is a beautiful symbol and story-teller of the bygone era.
Also known as Sayad’s shrine, Pukka Pul is located 7 km away from the main district of Karnal. It is considered a sacred monument by Muslims. The shrine is in the vicinity of the Mughal bridge and is known to have encountered ghostly spirits and cure serious diseases. Devotees from around the world come here to seek blessings and the shrine is illuminated with lamps on Thursdays.
For the longest time, Mugal Canal Park has been a good destination for picnics. However, now the flowers, fountains and bushes in the park are drying out. Let’s just say, at the moment, this park isn’t a well-maintained place but in the right season, you may get to witness a beautiful view here.
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