Karnal (kərnälˈ) [key], city (1991 pop. 176,131), Haryana state, N central India. The town's name is derived from Karna, the rival of Arjuna in the Sanskrit Mahabharata epic. It is on the Delhi-Ambala railroad. Karnal is a market for cotton, salt, wheat, and metal. It is a cattle-breeding center and the site of the National Dairy Research Institute. There are manufactures in vegetable oil, perfume, and liquor. The British occupied the town in 1805.