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Karnal

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Best Time: October - March  Read More

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Nearest Airport: Chandigarh Airport Check Flights

Karnal Tourism

Karnal, a city in the Indian state of Haryana, boasts of a history reaching into the period of the Mahabharata. Nestled in the banks of the sacred Yamuna River, Karnal today is popularly called the ‘Rice Bowl of India’ for its vast rice fields.

Located in the National Capital Region, Karnal has limited tourist attractions to see, the most popular of which is Karna Lake. It is believed that it was here that the mythological hero Karna, after whom the city is named, gave alms to the poor. Karnal is home to some world-class institutes of research and development like the National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI) and Directorate of Wheat Research (DWR). The best way to explore this town is to take a leisurely walk, gorging on the local food.

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Languages

The city is located in the state of Haryana, where most residents speak Haryanvi. This is a dialect similar to Hindi. Most locals speak Hindi as well, so you should be fine if you have a working knowledge of Hindi. Guides and employees at tourist centres speak English as well, as do most taxi drivers. It is advisable to learn some basic phrases in Hindi or Haryanvi before you visit Karnal. In the central city, knowledge of English will see you through. Signboards in the town have instructions in English and Hindi, so it is convenient for solo travellers and backpackers as well.

History

Legend has it that the city of Karnal was founded by Karna, one of the most prominent characters of the Hindu epic Mahabharata. Famous for his bravery, honour and unparalleled works of charity, the city is popularly known as the abode of ‘Daanvir Karna’ – the brave and charitable Karna. A site of historical wars of the Mughals and the British too, monuments in the city stand testament to the rich history and culture of Karnal.

Festivals

Events and festivals make up plenty of celebrations at Karnal. The Hariyali Teej Festival is celebrated in the month of August-September every year. Commemorating the marriage of the Hindu Gods Shiva and Parvati, the locals herald this festival by preparing unique delicacies and holding folk performances. Dussehra is held on the tenth day after the nine-night Navratri festival. This marks the victory of the Goddess Durga over demons and is celebrated by taking out processions of the decked up idols of the goddess. This is held in September-October. Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, is marked by glorious firework shows and special prayers to the goddess of wealth – Lakshmi. Diwali is celebrated in October-November. Vasant Panchami is a kite-flying festival that marks the beginning of spring. Held in February, this event is a sight to behold – the myriad of colours that dot the sky in various patterns is breathtakingly beautiful. Holi, the festival of hues and tones is delightful at Karnal. Watch a riot of shades come to life as you play with coloured powders and celebrate the victory of good over evil.

Shopping

The city is famous for its handicrafts and jewellery. The Mughal influence on the local culture is apparent. Stroll into the local central market to try on Punjabi and Haryanvi attire with its characteristic patterns and embroidery. Silver, gold and terracotta jewellery are popular here, and they make for great souvenirs as well.

Restaurants and Local Food in Karnal

Since Karnal is close to Chandigarh, you can hope to find delectable Punjabi food in the city. Haryanvi and Punjabi delicacies prepared on the characteristic Tandoor oven are a must-try. The sweet and savoury Lassi is bound to have you craving for more. Do not miss out on sweetmeats as well. There are ample vegetarian restaurants available, and there are Jain options too. Vegans may find it difficult to adjust with food choices, so it is advisable to pack accordingly.
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FAQs on Karnal

What are the places near Karnal?

The top places near to Karnal are Shimla which is 158 km from Karnal, Delhi which is located 115 km from Karnal, Rishikesh which is located 130 km from Karnal, Mussoorie which is located 134 km from Karnal, Kurukshetra which is located 41 km from Karnal

What is the best way to reach Karnal?

Karnal is easily accessible by air and road. If you’re looking to travel on a budget, a bus or train journey are your best options.
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What is the best time to visit Karnal?

The winter months between October and March are the best months to visit Karnal. With temperatures averaging between 4°C and 25°C, the weather is pleasant and ideal for sightseeing. Visibility is excellent during the day, and the sky is mostly clear. Early morning fog may hamper visibility for a few hours though. The nights may get too cold, so it is advisable to take woollens to stay warm. The monsoon months between July and September see moderate rainfall that refreshes the landscape. Although this might deter travel plans, the monsoon is the best offseason time to visit Karnal. Summer is the least advisable season to visit Karnal as the heat is scorching and unbearable. Temperatures soar to 44°C, and it becomes very uncomfortable to travel.
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What are the things to do in Karnal?

The top things to do in Karnal are Noor Mahal, Karna Lake, Babur's Masjid, Kalander Shahs tomb, Gurudwara Manji Sahib, Durga Bhavani temple. You can see all the places to visit in Karnal here

What is the local food in Karnal?

Since Karnal is close to Chandigarh, you can hope to find delectable Punjabi food in the city. Haryanvi and Punjabi delicacies prepared on the characteristic Tandoor oven are a must-try. The sweet and savoury Lassi is bound to have you craving for more. Do not miss out on sweetmeats as well. There are ample vegetarian restaurants available, and there are Jain options too. Vegans may find it difficult to adjust with food choices, so it is advisable to pack accordingly.
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