VII. Multimedia Mahabharata & Gita Gallery
Kurukshetra is popular for its association with the battle of Mahabharata and deliverance of the sermon of Srimad Bhagawadgita. The epoch ending battle of Mahabharata was fought in the hallowed plains of Kurukshetra for eighteen days between two diametrically opposite forces of Kauravas and Pandavas at the end of Vedic period. The epic is symbolic of the ultimate triumph of righteousness over evil or unrighteousness. The Mahabharata narrative leaves an indelible impression being deeply entrenched in the psyche of the people. The Mahabharata is a maha-kavya or a great epic comprising more than one hundred thousand verses or slokas. It is a treasure house of Indian wisdom and knowledge, therefore, traditionally it is also called Pancham or fifth Veda. In addition to being an epic, the Mahabharata contains a collection of writings on a broad spectrum of human learning including ethics, law, philosophy, history, geography, genealogy and religion. It also features a number of legends, moral stories and local tales - all woven into an elaborate narrative. With a view to impart ideas and ideals enshrined in the Mahabharata and to enlighten the people through the philosophies of Krishna, Bhishma, Vidura and other ancient philosopher and seers in state -of - the -art manner, the gallery has been set up as an extension of the existing Sri Krishna Museum by Haryana Tourism in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India under the project 'Integrated Development of Panipat-Kurukshetra- Pinjore Circuit'. The Kaleidoscope Entertainment Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi has executed the project. The gallery is extended over three floors adjoining the second block of Srikrishna Museum building with entrance through the second floor of the existing museum building.
The Gallery is an attempt to present the Mahabharata in a linear fashion. An "experiential space" has been created herein by using different media. Through murals, mannequins, paintings and scenographies the story of Mahabharata has been depicted in an emphatic and effective way.
In order to take revenge of his father's death, Janmejaya,the son of Parikshit and great grandson of Arjuna performed a snake sacrifice. Sage Vaisampayana, the pupil of Vedvyasa after completion of the sacrifice, recited the Mahabharata to Janmejaya.
The story of Mahabharata in fact begins on the bank of the river Ganga, where the Kuru King Shantanu falls in love with Ganga, the human form of river goddesses. She accepts the proposal of marriage made by the king. Devavrata was the eighth and only surviving child of this alliance.
After the departure of Ganga, Shantnu fell in love with Satyawati, the daughter of fishermen's chief who, before according approval of the proposed marriage extracted the promise from Shantanu that only Satyavatiís son would be the heir apparent. The condition dejected the King . When Devavrata came to know the cause of his father's grief, he surrendered his right to the throne in favour of Satyawati's sons and took a vow of life long celibacy. Thereafter, he was known as 'Bhishma'- the terrible.
Satyawati gave birth to two princes called Chitrangada and Vichitravirya. Chitrangada died defending his kingdom in confrontation with the namesake Gandharava on the banks of Saraswati in Kurukshetra. Bhishma with the advice of Satyavati, acted as regent for the prince Vichitravirya.
The Jealousy of Kauravas against Pandavas had started right from their childhood when they were under the tutelage of Guru Drona for martial arts. Kauravas were always envious of the Pandavas' skills. The childhood enmity grew to hatred. The Lakshgraha episode of Mahabharata reveals the extent to which Duryodhana could go with a desire to eliminate the Pandavas by setting their palace of lacquer on fire.
Besides, the first gallery also depicts the swayamvara of Draupadi and Arjuna, disguised as Brahmin winning Draupadiís hand after the superhuman feat of shooting the eye of a revolving fish tied on the pole above by looking at its reflection below. The gallery also displays the Maya Mahal in Indraprastha built out of Khandvaprastha, a barren stretch of land gifted by Dhritrashtra to the Pandavas followed by the infamous Game of Dice in Hastinapur in which Yudhishthira lost everything and as a result had to go in exile with his brothers and Draupadi for twelve years. Consequent upon the period of exile the Pandavas were also to live in agyatvas for a period of one year.
At the ramp leading to the second gallery, the episode of dialogue between Yaksha and Yudhisthira is on display. To make the exhibit interactive and entertaining a kiosk has been installed here wherein one can get the answers of the questions raised by Yaksha. During the agyatvas, Draupadi who was living in disguise as hairdresser to the queen Sudheeshna, the wife of King Virat is insulted by queen's brother Kichaka. The way to the second gallery also displays vain attempt of Krishna for peace between the Kauravas and the Pandavas when he pleds for grant of only five villages for Pandavas but Duryodhana refuses to part with even an inch of land.
Second Gallery :
The second gallery comprises the audio-visual show-the major attraction of the gallery. Through the show the philosophy of Bhagwad Gita delivered by Krishna to the bewildered Arjuna has been communicated in the language of common man.
Third Gallery :
After Bhishma's fall in the Mahabharata, Dronacharya was appointed as the supreme commander of the Kaurava army. On the thirteenth day of the war, the Kaurava army formed itself into the Chakravyuha formation and lured Arjuna away to battle on the opposite end of the field. Abhimanyu, Arjuna's son, was the only Pandava warrior who was able to penetrate the formation but he had no clue of how to get out of it.. Abhimanyu was killed in the Chakravyuha. A round to the gallery introduces the visitor to arrayed soldiers inside the chakravyuha in form of paintings.
Under the commandership of Karna on the seventeenth day of the war, a fierce battle takes place between Arjuna and Karna. Although both match each other, the curse upon Karna results in his chariot's wheel getting stuck in the mud. Arjuna kills Karna. At this juncture.
At the bank of Vyasa Sarover or Vyasa's pond ,the Pandavas for the ultimate and decisive duel challenged Duryodhana. A single combat of clubs between Bhima and Duryodhana started. So, equal were the combatants that a prolonged fight ensued. Episode is depicted here through an audio-visual show. The duel starts after touching the mace displayed here.
To avenge the dying Duryodhana, Aswatthama, Kritavarmana and Kripacharya torch the Pandava camp at night. Everybody, including the Panchalas and the Pandava's sons were killed. Krishna was able to revive Uttara's (Abhimanyu's wife) unborn child, who was born as Parikshit. Accepting defeat, Ashwatthama relinquished the jewel from his forehead and was banished to the forest.
Before leaving the mortal world, Bhishma gave a discourse to Yudhisthira on anushasan (discipline) and rajdharma ( the statecraft). The eulogy of Vishnu sung by Bhishma known as Vishnu Sahstranama in form of audio chanting available in this gallery. The other episodes of Mahabharata displayed in this gallery include Gandhari cursing Krishna, the horse sacrifice of Pandavas, departure of Dhritrashtra, Gandhari and Kunti to the forest hermitages, Krishna leaving the mortal world and journey of Pandavas to the heaven.