"Let your life lightly dance on the edges of Time like dew on the tip of a leaf. " ~ Tagore



The State of Haryana came into existence in 1966 when it was carved out of Punjab. The capital of both Haryana and Punjab is Chandigarh, a delightful planned city, designed by the French architect Le Corbusier, which has many places of tourist interest. Haryana ranks as one of India's most prosperous states.


Haryana is an ancient land and archaeological digs in many places have unearthed evidence of pre-Harappan and Harappan culture. It was claimed that Rishi Vyas wrote the Mahabharata here. The legendary battle described in the Mahabharata was fought on the fields of Kurukshetra.

More on Haryana

Delhi to Chandigarh
Planned Harmony

The region has witnessed many successive invasions from the North. The Huns, the Turks and the Afghans invaded India through this area. King Harshvardhan became ruler of Thanesar (Kurukshetra) in the 7th Century AD and later ruled most of Northern India. The first battle of Panipat was fought here when the Mughals defeated the Lodhis in1526. Babur, a descendent of Timur and Genghis Khan, rode in with an infantry and cavalry of 25,000 soldiers from Samarqand, and defeated Sultan Ibrahim Lodhi of Delhi in this historic battle.

The Sultan of Delhi was defeated despite his army numbering 100,000 soldiers. This was the first battle in which artillery was put to such effective use to win against vastly superior numbers. The battle led to the establishment of Mughal rule in India, a period that saw the construction of many forts and architectural wonders including the Taj Mahal. 30 years later, in 1556, a second battle was fought in the plains near Panipat, a battle which firmly established the Mughals as rulers of North India. Hemachandra the King of Delhi was defeated by Akbar's armies in this battle.

In fact, Panipat was witness to a 3rd battle in 1761 when the Marathas, who were then ruling the area, were defeated in battle by Ahmed Shah Durani from Afghanistan. This battle marked the end of the period of Maratha rule. The period thereafter saw the advent of British rule in India.



Haryana is situated between 27 deg 37' to 30 deg 35' North latitude and between 74 deg 28' to 77 deg 36' longitude. Uttar Pradesh borders Haryana on the East, Punjab on the West, Himachal Pradesh on the North, and Delhi and Rajasthan on the South. The Shivalik range rises in the North and the ancient Aravalli hills slope in the south.

Haryana displays four main geographical features:

The Shivalik Hills: Altitude varying between 900 to 2300 meters. These hills are the source of the rivers like Ghaggar, Tangri and Markanda. Parts of Panchkula, Ambala and Yamunanagar districts are in these hills.

The Ghaggar-Yamuna Plain: This is divided into a higher and a lower plain. The higher one is called 'Bangar' and the lower one called 'Khadar'. The alluvium plains are made up of sand, clay, silt and hard calcareous balls like gravel, locally called 'kankar'.

A semi-desert sandy plain: This area borders the state of Rajasthan and includes the districts of Sirsa and parts of Fatehbad, Hissar, Bhiwani and Mahendergarh district.

Aravali hills: This mountain range is 20 million years old, older than the Himalayan range. It is a dry area with uneven, irregular landscape.

The river Yamuna flows along the Eastern boundary of the State. The ancient and some say mythical Saraswati river may have flowed throw Haryana but there are no traces of it evident today. The river Ghaggar is a seasonal river which flows from the outer Himalayas and traverses the districts of Panchkula, Ambala and Hissar before it flows into Rajasthan and is absorbed by that arid land.



At the time Haryana was declared a state, there were no historic sites or places of natural attraction that would attract tourists. The State innovatively took the initiative to promote tourism via its highways, by constructing motels that provided a respite from a long road journey. Well designed and affordable, these became a big draw for travellers as well as people who wanted a weekend getaway from Delhi and other neighbouring states.

Today, Haryana operates 44 tourist complexes, with over 700 rooms. Each complex has been named after a species of bird, native to the state, and has been designed aesthetically with lush landscapes. The complexes have restaurants, ice cream parlours, bars and health clubs. The Tourism Deptt has actively promoted canoeing, kayaking, trekking, rock climbing and now golf. The 9 hole Aravalli Golf Course at Faridabad is a well designed course spread over 67 acres The course is easily accessible via National Highway 2. A string of motels has been constructed on the interior roads as well as the following National highways that pass through the State.

NH 1 Delhi - Karnal - Ambala - Amritsar. Called the GT Road.
NH 10 Delhi - Rohtak - Hissar - Sirsa - Ferozepur.
NH 21 Chandigarh - Panchkula - Kalka - Shimla.
NH 2 Delhi - Faridabad - Mathura - Agra- Mumbai (Bombay).
NH 8 Delhi - Gurgaon - Mumbai (Bombay).

The Badkal Lake is a popular weekend getaway from Delhi located 32 kms from Delhi on the route to Agra. The resort offers boating and fishing and has a swimming pool and sauna.

Rajhans complex at Suraj Kund offers rock climbing. It is just10 kms from Delhi. Suraj Kund is also the venue of a Crafts Mela (fair) that takes place during the first two weeks of February each year where exquisite local crafts are displayed and sold directly by the craftsmen at bargain rates. These are the same wares that are sold at much higher rates in all the exclusive boutiques and showrooms in Delhi. The Fair is a major tourist attraction.



Agriculture is a major contributor to the economy of the State. The main commercial crops are cotton, sugarcane and oilseeds. The major industrial towns in Haryana are Ambala, Faridabad and Gurgaon. Gurgaon has been growing at a very rapid pace in the recent past because it has reaped the advantage of forward looking policies and its proximity to New Delhi. This has enabled it to attract investments from multinationals and large Indian industries. The list of industries operating from there includes Maruti Udyog, Hero Honda, Alcatel, IBM, Honda Motors, Bharti Telecom, Carrier Aircon, Siemens etc. Faridabad is the industrial Capital city of Haryana. It has also emerged as a popular tourist spot because of its proximity to Delhi. Places of tourist interest include the Badkhal Lake Tourist Complex, Suraj Kund Tourist Complex, Aravali Golf Club, Raja Nahar Singh Palace and Dabchick complex.

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Editor: Romola Butalia       (c) India Travelogue. All rights reserved.