Kurukshetra is as old as the history of India. The history of the area in which Kurukshetra district lies can be traced back, howsoever dimly at times to the ancient Aryan Past. According to Dr. R.C. Majumdar, “it was a religion-cultural centre even before the immigration of the Aryans into India”1
The history of Kurukshetra can be traced back as early as pre-Harappan and Harappan era. The potteries found from some of the archeological excavation sites can be traced back to 1700 BC – 1500 BC, the era which is considered as pre Aryan and into the pre-Harappan to Harappan era. Later after the Aryan came to India and settled here. The Aryan civilization, in all probability, might have started around 1300 BC. During the early period of the Aryan dynasty, the battle of Kurukshetra took place.
From the literary evidences and the material evidences, it can be said that the Kurukshetra war took place anytime between 1200 BC to 1000 BC. During those times this place was ruled by king Kuru, after whose name the place was called Kurukshetra (meaning ‘place of Kuru’). After the Kuru dynasty, Kurukshetra came under the influence of Buddhists and the Jains. Material evidences collected from excavation sites indicate the period to be around 600 BC. Later during the Greek invasion led by King Alexander, Kurukshetra came under Macedonian influence. The geographical location of Kurukshetra always led the place to come under influence of the invading army.
The history and culture of Kurukshetra was also enriched by the influence of the Turks (Mahmud of Ghazni), the Huns, the Shaks, the Pathans and the Moghuls. In between these invasions, there came great and strong Indian dynasties who ruled over Kurukshetra like the Guptas, the Mauryas, the Pratihars, the Kalingas etc. These Indian and foreign influences enriched the history and culture of Kurukshetra. The ancient period extended till a little after 1200 AD. During the asncient period of Indian history, Kurukshetra played a significant role and in many cases the invading army into Kurukshetra turned the Indian history. The area of Kurukshetra engulfed almost all of the present Haryana state.