KARNAL / करनाल

Karnal (Hindi: करनाल) is an important city and the headquarters of Karnal District in the Indian state of Haryana. Karnal is said to have been founded by the Kauravas in the Mahabharata era for the king Karna, a mythological hero & a key figure in the epic tale. It is midway between Delhi and Chandigarh, being 123 km north of Delhi and 126 km south of Chandigarh, on the National Highway NH-1, which is famous as the Grand Trunk Road. Delhi and Chandigarh can be reached from Karnal within 2 hours using the very high frequency bus service provided by the Haryana Roadways. Karnal is famous for lush green pastures, Liberty shoes, the production of high-quality basmati rice and for its many agricultural and dairy research institutions. Liberty shoes was started from Karnal and has its largest manufacturing facility in the city.

The city of Karnal is said to have been founded by Raja Karna, a central character in the Mahabharata war. This is the same Karna, who was the eldest son of Kunti and thus Karnal is called the city of Daanvir Karna. It has been a walled town as far as its history can be traced and it may have had a citadel at one time.
Karnal sprang into prominence in 1739 when Persian emperor Nadir Shah defeated and captured the Mughal ruler Muhammad Shah in the Battle of Karnal. Raja Gopal Singh of Jind seized Karnal in 1763, and the Marathas established themselves at Karnal in 1785. Skirmishes followed between the Marathas and the Sikhs and in 1795, the Marathas finally wrested the city from Raja Bhag Singh of Jind and made it over to the British-Irish military commander George Thomas, who took part in the fight. The British established a cantonment in 1811 but abandoned it after 30 years due to an outbreak of malaria. The fort which had been built by Raja Gajpat Singh of Jind, was taken over by the British and converted into a residence for Dost Mohammad Khan, Amir of Kabul. The fort was used as a jail, as quarters for native cavalry and as a poorhouse. In 1862, it was made over to the Education Department, when the district school was moved into it from the city.
There is an interesting story that links Karnal with the birth and early history of Pakistan. History suggests that the person who dragged back Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah into politics was from Karnal and lived in Kalandri Gate. The district of Karnal has given a lot of big political figures to Pakistan and Nawab Liaqat Ali Khan, the first Prime Minister of Pakistan, ranks foremost amongst them. Liaqat Ali Khan was the Nawab of Kunjpura and his palace has now been converted into a Sainik School, Kunjpura and it is situated at a distance of 10 kilometres from the city of Karnal. The former President of Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf also belongs basically from Karnal, his Haveli in ruins is still in Karnal city.
Karnal is located at 29.68°N 76.98°E. It has an elevation of 235 to 252 metres (748 feet). Karnal is known for its lush greenery. It is roughly equidistant from New Delhi and Chandigarh and lies not only on the G.T. road but also on the Delhi - Ambala railway line. The Karnal Distt. is surrounded by Kurukshetra District on its north-west, jind & Kaithal Distt. on its west, Panipat Distt. on its south and Utter Pradesh on east. Yamuna River forms eastern boundary of the district and flows from north to south. The district is a part of the Ganga-Sindus (Indo-Gangestic) plains and has a well spread net work of western Yamuna canal. Its geographical area has been divided in to three agroclimatic regions, Khadar, Bhangar and Nardak belt. Khadar starts from Indri-Karnal road one mile away from Karnal covering the area in between Yamuna river and National Highway Road No.1 up to Patti-Kalyana village. Bhangar area starts from west of Khadar area covering Gharaunda, development block. The nardak area lies in Nissing, Nilokheri and Assandh development block. However, its water is saline and not fit for irrigation. The city is divided into several sectors, colonies and mohallas. Due to its strategic location, several big-brand builders like Sahara, Narsi Village, Palm Residency, Alpha City and Ansal Royale have built new luxury apartments and villas in the city. Mohit arora used too live here

Famous Natives
Liaquat Ali Khan (Pakistan's first prime minister)
DemographicsAs of the 2001 India census, Karnal had a population of 12,74,183. Males constitute 53% of the population and females 47%. Karnal has an average literacy rate of 72%, which is higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 76%, and female literacy is 68%. In Karnal, 12% of the population is under 6 years of age.
The primary language spoken here is Hindi, the national language. Other languages which may be heard here are Punjabi,Haryanvi and Urdu.
The predominant religion here is Hinduism (87%), and Sikhism (13%).

Agricultural research
Karnal is a major centre of agricultural and dairy research with the National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI), Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) Regional Station, Central Soil and Salinity Research Institute (CSSRI), Directorate of Wheat Research (DWR), National Bureau of Animal Genetics Research (NBAGR), Regional Research Station of Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University and Regional Station of Sugarcane Breeding Institute having major research facilities and centers in and around the town. Karnal Bunt, a major disease of wheat was first discovered in 1931 in IARI, Regional Station Karnal and that is how it got that name. Now it is one of the premier center for producing and distribution of high quality seeds of various cereal crops (basmati rice and wheat) and vegetables.

Kalpana Chawla
It was at the Karnal Flying Club that Kalpana Chawla, a native of the city, first became interested in flying. She did her schooling from Tagore Baal Niketan Sr. Sec. School, Karnal in 1976 and completed her Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering in 1982 from Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh and Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from University of Texas in 1984. She completed her Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from University of Colorado in 1988. She was the first Indian origin woman to go on a voyage in space. She died in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster on February 1, 2003.
Karnal is an excellent center of school education and it boasts of a number of good schools. The Himalaya Public School was the first 10+2 school in Karnal. Delhi Public School , St. Theresa's Convent Sr. Sec. School , Tagore Baal Niketan Sr. Sec. School, Pratap Public School, Guru Harkrishan Public School and Dyal Singh Public School among others are well established institutes.Doon Valley Institute of Engineering and Technology is a leading engineering college many others have recently been established in Karnal and they offer various courses of engineering along with a few courses in management like MBA as well. Meanwhile, NDRI also offers degrees in Agricultural & Dairy Research. A proposal to develop a medical college in Karnal is being considered by the State government.

Madhuban Police Training College
Madhuban has a Haryana police training complex and it is at a distance of 10 km from Karnal on the NH-1 in the direction of Delhi. It recruits students not only from Haryana but also from other states The Forensic Science Laboratory, Haryana is also located in Madhuban. Madhuban has excellent sports facilities and has been declared a sports district. The annual police sports meets draw police personnel not only from the state but also from across the nation.

Places of interest
  • Karna Lake
  • Hotel Jewel's
  • Karnal Haveli (A theme resort)
  • Oasis Tourist Resort
  • Golf Club,
  • Atal Park,
  • Rose Garden,
  • Karna Taal
  • Devi Temple
  • Cantonment Church Tower
  • Old Fort
  • Gurdwara Manji Sahib
  • Karan Gate market
  • Savoy Green (Food Court)
    old city
  • Namestey Chowk
  • Sandhu Colony, sec-33
  • Global Spaces-a integrated tounship developed by global reality venture, sector-32 & sector-33

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