Visit The Historic Karna Lake In Karnal
The stories and events of the past always fascinate me. My grandmother was a story-teller, and I grew up listening to her retellings of the legends of Mahabharata and Ramayana. The battles waged by the different kings boosted my interest in history, and I went on to pursue my higher studies in it. Indian history is one of the most enthralling subjects I have ever come across. You can find a diverse range of events and emotions embedded in this subject. I always wanted to know more about the epics of our country.
It was during my childhood that my grandmother told me about the famous Karna Lake and how it got its name. I got so intrigued by it that I decided to visit the place one in my life. So, last winter, when my uncle asked me to travel to the city of Karnal, I got super excited.
I was visiting my uncle in New Delhi during my winter vacation. The winters are pleasant in Delhi, and I was enjoying my days there. Suddenly, one day he said he needed to go to Karnal city for a two-day work trip. He warned me that I would have to travel around the city all alone as he would be busy. This would give me the chance of wandering around as a lone traveler, so I immediately packed my bags and got ready for the trip.
To reach Karnal, we took a road trip, and the best thing about a road trip is that you can make stops at nearby places while traveling. I did get a bit tired along the road trip, but the excitement of seeing the historical sites in Karnal kept me going.
If you have been to this place, then you would know the beauty of the area. But if you haven’t, then this place is ideal for weekend getaways for people coming from its neighboring cities. Also if you are planning to visit New Delhi or Northern India, try to pay a visit here for its historical values. Whether you are a part of a group or a solo traveler, this place will surely fill you with serenity and peace.
I am here to share all the details of my journey, especially to Karna Lake. So, let me start by introducing you to the Karnal city of Haryana.
Where Is Karnal Located?
Karnal is a city situated in the Karnal District of Haryana at 29.68°N 76.98°E. It is at a distance of 125 km from both Delhi and Chandigarh. Thus, it comes equidistant from both cities when traveling between the two cities on the famous Grand Trunk Road.
How to Reach the Place?
Before I jump into my story of visiting the great lake, let me guide you a bit about how to reach this city. This city is well connected by road, air, and railways to all the major cities of India.
- The nearest airports are the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi and the Chandigarh airport.
- You can check out the different trains from the IRCTC website to this city. There are a few trains which stop at the Karnal Junction. They are- Mussoorie Express, Jhelum Express, Shatabadi, Unchahar Express, etc.
- If you want to take a bus ride, you can get bus services from cities like New Delhi, Chandigarh, etc. This city lies on the NH 1, and one can get both regular and Volvo bus services to this city.
Stories and history go hand in hand with a place. My main motive for visiting a place is to connect the pieces of history in that place. The same thing happened with this place too. I reached a little late to my homestay and hence did not get the chance of sightseeing that day. However, I did visit the nearby areas in the evening to take the essence of the local folk there.
So, after taking a nap, I went out for a stroll in the evening and found a nearby temple where the puja had just begun. I sat there for some time to see the rituals of the temple. Suddenly, I could hear some children giggling and saw an older man narrating some stories to them. Since I also went there with the hope of gathering some information about this place, I asked him about this place and its attractions. The older man startled me with his version of the history of Karnal city. I hope you would also find this history fascinating.
History of Karna Lake
The city got its name from Raja Karna, who was an important character from our Hindu epic, Mahabharata. People believe that the town came into prominence in 1739 when Nadir Shah defeated Muhammad Shah at Karnal. Later, the Mahrattas established themselves at Karnal in 1785. Finally, after decades of battles, this city came under the control of the British Empire in 1805.
The British converted the place into their cantonment, and later it became a quarter for the native cavalry. In 1862, the Education Department took this place and hence maintained its beauty and grandeur. The famous Kalandar Shah’s Tomb lies just outside this town. The grave is immensely popular for its incredible sculptures and architecture.
The older man also told me about the places to visit. He told me about the famous Sita Mai Temple. This temple marks the spot where Mother Earth swallowed Goddess Sita Mata while she had to demonstrate her purity. I was fascinated to know that I was standing in the land of Mahabharata and Ramayana.
I immediately made a list of a few places to visit. One of the places which got my particular attention was Karna Lake. I had heard stories about its serene beauty before, and now I was looking forward to visiting the area.
The lake also gets its name from the legendary warrior, Karna. This place is a 15-minute drive from the central city of Karnal. According to the scriptures, the famous fighter used to take a bath in this lake known as Karna Tal or pond. It is said that Karna donated his illustrious protective armor to Lord Indra here.
This lake has become a popular tourist resort over the years because of its historical values and tranquil beauty. Since this city is located near the National Highway and easily accessible, it remains crowded most of the time. The tree-lined lake and a collection of excellent eateries are encircled by beautiful landscapes and manicured lawns. The people of this city and the surrounding areas frequently visit this place for picnics.
Things to do in Karna Lake
Once I visited this place, I was mesmerized by the stunning aesthetics of the lake. The deep blue water spreads across miles and provides the most spectacular sight. The clean and pollution-free environment offers the best location for boating in the deep waters. The lake is also the best spot for family picnics and spending some quality time. One can also spend their leisure time sitting by the lake appreciating the beauty of nature.
I did go for boating and stopped for some time in the middle of the lake. I felt incredibly calm and peaceful there. It was so silent that I could hear my breathing. I realized that the noise and stress of a busy life have made us so jaded that we often forget to appreciate our own experiences.
The magnificence of this lake lies in its calmness and simplicity. This place isn’t decorated with anything expensive or made into a costly tourist place. Instead, anyone can sit across the banks of the lake and observe nature and life.
I saw a group of budding photographers there. They were trying to capture the beauty through their lenses. Many were there to catch a glimpse of the stunning sunset by the lake. Others were busy playing badminton and other games near the lake. I met a poet there who was writing about the marvelous beauty of the lake along with its illustrious history.
There are few accommodations available near the lakes. These places provide a panoramic view of the lake from their rooms. You can quickly get a room at affordable prices near the lake. Many bars, food stalls, and restaurants are located in close vicinity to the lake.
I spent around 4 hours at the lake and saw the spectacular sunset by the lake. It is said that God took a lot of care while designing some places on earth. I firmly believe this place is one of them, for the Almighty must have poured his love and peace into this place while making it.
After visiting this place, I also visited a few of the historical sites around this lake. They were the Kalander Shah’s Tomb and the Sita Mai Temple. All these places have their places in Indian history for many different reasons. The Miran Sahib Tomb stands in the memory of a saint, Syed Mohammad, alias Miran Sahib. It is said that he once rescued a Brahmin girl from the rules of a Raja in a pitched battle.
When to Visit
The period between October-March is the best time to visit Karna Lake. The weather conditions here are delightful during these months, and they offer the best atmosphere for a picnic or any sport.
If you ever plan to visit the place of Karnal, please make sure you visit Karna Lake. The city itself has an immense reserve of history here. So, I hope this article takes you through all the necessary information and motivates you to pay a visit here.