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Updated:Monday 13th October 2014

Karnal Definition

Karnal is an important city and the headquarters of Karnal District in the Indian state of Haryana.. Located around 110 kilometers north of Delhi, it once had strong city walls and Karnal was the place of a decisive battle between Nader Shah and Mohammad Shah forces on Feb, 13, 1739. (Wikipedia) - Karnal For other uses, see Karnal (disambiguation). Karnal करनाल ਕਰਨਾਲ Elevation Population (2011)  • Total Languages  • Official Time zone PIN Vehicle registration
A house decorated with lights in Karnal during Diwali
Coordinates: 29°41′N 76°59′E / 29.69°N 76.98°E / 29.69; 76.98
228 m (748 ft)
Hindi, Punjabi
IST (UTC+5:30)
HR 05

Karnal  pronunciation (help·info) (Hindi: करनाल; Punjabi: ਕਰਨਾਲ) or Rice Bowl of India; is a city in NCR (National Capital Region) and the headquarters of Karnal District in the Indian state of Haryana. Since 20 January 2014, Karnal is now in NCR Delhi Region under NCR Planning Board (NCRPB). Karnal was also known as Karnaal, Kurnaul or Karnaul during the British Raj. Karnal is one of the Counter Magnet Areas.

Karnal is governed by a municipal corporation that comes under the Karnal Metropolitan Region (which is in A2 category of seven cities in the State of Haryana which have municipal corporations ). Karnal Cantonment was once the site of a cantonment of the British East Indian Company army established in the year 1805 AD but later were forced to leave due to malaria outbreak, whereas there were no known effective control & remedies in those days and this very Karnal Cantonment was subsequently shifted to Ambala and later came to be known as the Ambala Cantonment established in 1843 AD.

Karnal is said to have been founded by Karna, a key figure in the epic Mahabharata. It is midway between Delhi and Chandigarh, being 123 km (76 mi) north of Delhi and 126 km (78 mi) south of Chandigarh, on the National Highway NH-1, also known as the Grand Trunk Road. Delhi and Chandigarh can be reached from Karnal within 2 hours using a high frequency bus service provided by Haryana Roadways, Punjab Roadways and Delhi Roadways. Karnal is also the headquarters of Karnal Range (including Karnal, Yamunanagar, Kurukshetra and Kaithal districts) under an Inspector General of Police.

Karnal is very famous for its world class research and development institutes, namely Central Soil Salinity Research Institute (CSSRI), National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI), Directorate of Wheat Research (DWR), National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources (NBAGR), Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), and a regional centre of the Indira Gandhi National Open University. Karnal is widely known for its lush green pastures, and the cultivation and production of very high-quality basmati rice.Taraori is famous for its Basmati Rice which is exported to many European, middle east and Latin countries.

  • 1 Geography
  • 2 History
  • 3 Demographics
  • 4 Cityscape
    • 4.1 Agricultural & Dairy Research Hub
    • 4.2 Haryana Police Academy, Madhuban
  • 5 Pash Memorial Library
  • 6 Transport and communication
  • 7 Health care
  • 8 Notable people
  • 9 See also
  • 10 References
  • 11 External links


Karnal is located at 29°41′N 76°59′E / 29.68°N 76.98°E / 29.68; 76.98. It has an elevation of 235 to 252  meters (748 feet) above Sea Level. It is roughly equidistant almost midway from New Delhi and Chandigarh & almost in center heart of Haryana state and lies on the main Grand Trunk Road and on the Delhi-Kalka line and has Railway short index name code as KUN. The Karnal district is surrounded by Kurukshetra district on its north-west, Jind and Kaithal district on its west, Panipat district on its south and Uttar Pradesh on east. Yamuna River forms eastern boundary of the district and flows from north to south. The district is a part of the Ganges–Indus (Indo-Gangetic) plains and has a well spread network of western Yamuna canal. Its geographical area has been divided into three agro climatic 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 Khaadar area covering Gharaunda, development block. The Nardak area lies in Nissing, Nilokheri and Assandh development block. The city is divided into several sectors, colonies and mohallas.


The original name of Karnal city is Karnalaya (home of Karna). It has been a walled town as far as its history can be traced. It is said that it had 10 gates. Some of these remain, i.e., Karn Gate, Kalandari Gate, Arjun Gate, Subhash Gate, Jaataan Gate, Jundla Gate, Baanson Gate, Dyalpura Gate, and a citadel. Karnal sprang into prominence in 1739 when Persian emperor Nadir Shah defeated the numerically superior, but inferior Mughal army in less than three hours and captured the Mughal ruler Muhammad Shah in the Battle of Karnal, laying the way open for his humiliating complete sack and looting of Delhi, the Mughal capital. 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 Karnal (then also known as Kurnaul, Karnaul, Kurnaul) called Karnal Cantonment in 1805 AD but later abandoned it due to an outbreak of malaria & this very same Karnal Cantonment was shifted to Ambala and later it was known as Ambala Cantonment established in 1843 AD. 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. Karnal was the part of Ambala district of Punjab till Haryana was founded in 1966.


As per provisional reports of 2011 census of India, population of Karnal in 2011 is 286,974; of which male and female are 151,668 and 135,306 respectively. Although Karnal city has population of 286,974; its urban population is 303,425 of which 160,659 are males and 142,766 are females. In education section, total literates in Karnal city are 220,711 of which 121,652 are males while 99,059 are females. Average literacy rate of Karnal city is 86.32 percent of which male and female literacy was 90.55 and 81.64 percent. The sex ratio of Karnal city is 892 females per 1000 males. Child sex ratio of girls is 807 per 1000 boys. Total children (0-6) in Karnal city are 31,291 as per figure from Census India report on 2011. There were 17,319 boys while 13,972 are girls. The child forms 10.90% of total population of Karnal City. The predominant religion here is Hinduism with a sizeable Sikh minority. Hindi, Haryanvi & Punjabi are the major spoken languages.

Cityscape Agricultural & Dairy Research HubImperial Cattle Farm, 1927

Karnal is a Major Center of Agricultural and Dairy Research with the World Class Famous & Prestigious Research Institutes such as:

  • National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI)-It is Asia''s Largest Diary Research Institute, a Deemed University & which also has been designated as an Agriculture Hub for Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh etc. in 2012.
  • Regional Station of Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI)-Karnal Bunt, a major disease of wheat which 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 centre for production and distribution of high quality seeds of various cereal crops (basmati rice and wheat) and vegetables.
  • 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
  • Sugarcane Breeding Research Institute
  • Horticulture Training Institute Uchani, Karnal, Haryana
Haryana Police Academy, Madhuban

Madhuban, Karnal has Haryana Police Academy and Police Training Complex .It is located at a distance of 10 km (6 mi) from Karnal Bus Stand on the NH-1 Southwards in the direction of Delhi. It recruits students not only from Haryana but also from other Indian states and partner countries from around the world .

Pash Memorial Library

Theres library in Karnal in memory of legendary Punjabi poet Pash.

Transport and communication


Karnal is midway between Delhi and Chandigarh, being 123 km (76 mi) north of Delhi and 126 km (78 mi) 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 has a Railway Station KARNAL Railway Station with Railway short index name code as KUN. It was Established in 1892 A.D. It is well connected through Railway lines with other major Indian cities. It lies on Delhi-Ambala-Kalka Section (Popularly Known as DUK(DLI-UMB-KLK) Line). It is well connected with Delhi, Ambala and Chandigarh with Superfast, Mail/Express, Passenger Trains.


Karnal Airport as popularly called is also known as Karnal Flying Club is operational since 1967 A.D. under the aegis of H.I.C.A. Haryana Institutes of Civil Aviation. Karnal Airport is located on Kunjpura Road and is near Sainik School Kunjpura Karnal .

Television & FM radio stations

There are two Television High Power Transmitters ( Doordarshan Prasar Bharti ) and Also two main FM Radio stations in Karnal, namely :

  • D.D.1 - HPT High Power Transmitter &
  • D.D. News - LPT Low Power Transmitter
  • Radio Mantra (91.9 FM)
  • Radio Dhamaal (106.4 FM).
Health care

Kalpana Chawla Government Medical College, named after the astronaut Kalpana Chawla Government of Haryana is under construction and will be the major hospital.

Notable people

Liaquat Ali Khan, was born in Karnal India on 1 October 1895 . He was the First Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Kalpana Chawla, was born in Karnal on 1 July 1961, the first ever Indian Female Astronaut. Chawla completed her earlier schooling at Tagore Baal Niketan Senior Secondary School, Karnal. She died in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster on 1 February 2003. In her honor, Kalpana Chawla Government Medical College''s foundation stone was laid on 18 November 2012 in Karnal city.

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