Infobox Indian Jurisdiction
native_name = Thanesar | type = city | latd = 29.98 | longd = 76.82
locator_position = right | state_name = Haryana
district = Kurukshetra
leader_title =
leader_name =
altitude = 232
population_as_of = 2001
population_total = 120,072| population_density =
area_magnitude= sq. km
area_total =
area_telephone =
postal_code =
vehicle_code_range =
sex_ratio =
unlocode =
website =
footnotes =

Thanesar (Hindi: थानेसर) audio|Thanesar.ogg|pronunciation is an old and historic town on the banks of the Ghaggar river in Haryana state of northern India. It is located in Kurukshetra District, approximately 160 km northwest of Delhi. 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 "Kurukshetra" 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 Kurukshetra in order to capitalize on the purported mythological significance of the area. "Kurukshetra" is in fact the name of a mythological battlefield, where the Mahabharata war was waged, the actual location of which is impossible to confirm. Local hearsay identifies the legendary "Kurukshetra" with a nearby obscure hamlet, and with the active abetment of the state government, Thanesar is presently experiencing a tourist boom.

Historians are also trying for a long time to somehow establish this city's link with the Indus Civilisation. They are also trying to prove somehow 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 Sarovar, 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 ["Farishta Vo1 Page 29 Translation by John Briggs ] that

cquote|In the year 402(AD1011) Mahmood resolved on the conquest of Tahnesur, * in the kingdom of Hindoostan. It had reached the ears of the King that Tahnesur was held in the same veneration by idolaters, as Mecca by the faithful; that they had there set up a number of idols, the principal of which they called Jugsoma, pretending that it had existed ever since the creation. Mahmood having reached Punjab, re¬quired, according to the subsisting treaty with Anundpal, that his army should not be molested on its march through his country. An embassy was accordingly sent to inform the Raja of his in¬tentions, and desiring him to send safe-guards into his towns and villages, which he would take care should be protected from the followers of his camp Anundpal, agreeing to this proposal, prepared an entertainment for the reception of the King, at the same time issuing orders for all his subjects to supply the camp with every necessary of life.The Raja's brother, with two thousand horse was also sent to meet the army, and to deliver the following message:—“My brother is the subject “and tributary of the King, but he begs per-“mission to acquaint his Majesty, that Tahnesur “is the principal place of worship of the inhabit-“ants of the country: that if it is required “by the religion of Mahmood to subvert the “religion of others, he has already acquitted him-“self of that duty, in the destruction of the temple “of Nagrakote. But if he should be pleased to “alter his resolution regarding Tahnesur, Anundpal “promises that the amount of the revenues of that “country shall be annually paid to Mahmood; “that a sum shall also be paid to reimburse him “for the expence of his expedition, besides which, “on his own part, he will present him with fifty “elephants, and jewels to a considerable amount.”Mahmood replied, “The religion of the faith-“ful inculcates the following tenet: ‘That in pro-“portion as the tenets of the Prophet are “diffused, and his followers exert themselves in “the subversion of idolatry, so shall be their “reward in heaven;’ that, therefore, it behoved “him, with the assistance of God, to root out the “worship of idols from the face of all India. “How then should he spare Tahnesur?”This answer was communicated to the Raja of Dehly, who, resolving to oppose the invaders, sent messengers throughout Hindoostan to acquaint the other rajas that Mahmood, without provo¬cation, was marching with a vast army to destroy Tahnesur, now under his immediate protection. He observed, that if a barrier was not expeditiously raised against this roaring torrent, the country of Hindoostan would be soon overwhelmed, and that it behoved them to unite their forces at Tahnesur, to avert the impending calamity.Mahmood having eached Tahnesur before the Hindoos had time to take measures for its defence, the city was plundered, the idols broken, and the idol Jugsoma was sent to Ghizny to be trodden under foot. According to Hajy Mahommed Kan-dahary, a ruby was found in one of the temples weighing 450 miskals, and it was allowed by every one who saw it to be a wonder that had never be¬fore been heard of.Mahmood, after the capture of Tahnesur, was de¬sirous of proceeding to Dehly. But his nobles told him, that it would be impossible to keep pos¬session of it, till he had rendered Mooltan a pro¬vince of his own government, and secured himself from all apprehension of Anundpal, Raja of Lahore. The King resolved, therefore, for the present, to proceed no further, till he had accomplished these objects. Anundpal, however, conducted himself with so much policy and hospitality towards Mah-mood, that he returned peaceably to Ghizny. On this occasion, the Mahomedan army brought to Ghizny 200,000 captives, and much wealth, so that the capital appeared like an Indian city, no soldier of the camp being without wealth, or without many slaves

Modern Thanesar

The modern city of Thanesar is an important educational center; it is home to Kurukshetra University, the National Institute of Technology, Kurukshetra(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 [] (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 coord|29.98|N|76.82|E|. [ [ Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Thanesar] ] It has an average elevation of 232 metres (761 feet).


As of 2001 India census, [GR|India] 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.

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