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Chapter-I

The district is named after the headquarters town of Kurukshetra. According to Mahabhartata1, it came to be called Kurukshetra after the sage King Kuru who is said to have cultivated this land with passionate devotion. Kuru, a simple and pious man was the son of Samvarna and Tapati, the ancestor of the Kauravas and the Pandavas. The Vamana Puran ascribes the origin of Kurukshetra to courage, intensive devotion and asceticism of Kuru. It elaborates on the King’s cultivation of the eight-fold ethical conduct of austerity (tapas), truth (satya) forgiveness (Kshama), kindness (daya), purity(saucha), charity (dana), yoga and continence (brahmcharya)2. There are many references to Kuru’s association with Kurukshetra in the Puranas: Vayu, Vishnu, Markandeya, Matsya, Agni, Narada, Brahmand and Bhagyata. Al-Biruni, the Arab Historian of the early 11th century A.D., also elaborates on Kuru’s association with Kurukshetra3.