Chitrakoot: Hills of Many Wonders
Richly carved temples, cascading streams, verdant trees and calls of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ together welcome you to the embrace of Chitrakoot. Satiate your soul by simply sitting along the banks of River Mandakini and watching the site- simple, yet surreal!
The word 'Chitrakoot' literally means 'hills of many wonders'. Sprawling over the North Vindhya ranges, Chitrakoot district is a famous pilgrimage site shared between the states of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Numerous devotees assemble near the ghats of the Mandakini River in the district during Diwali (October- November) for a holy dip. Travel to Chitrakoot for a spiritual and soulful experience.
It is a home to the famous religious circuit called Chitrakoot Parvat Mala. This circuit comprises of sacred mountains namely Hanuman Dhara , Devangana, Kamadgiri, Lakshman Pahari and the Janki Kund. Hundred of devotees flock every day with a belief that these sites have miraculous power and can grant all their wishes.
Chitrakoot Tour lets you feel closer to God through its beautiful shrines. The small legends attached to almost every site make Chitrakoot sightseeing even more interesting. Presumably, Lord Rama along with his wife Goddess Sita and brother Lakshmana stayed in the forest of the district for eleven and a half years out of their of 14 years of exile.
History of Chitrakoot suggests that it was previously known as Chhatrapati Shahuji Nagar. The district was renamed as Chitrakoot on September 4, 1998.It is believed that Saint Tulsidas, the author of Ramcharitmanas(epic poem) created a major part of this poem at the Ram Ghat. Book for a boat ride and let the healing aura of the site penetrate inside your soul.
Following are the main tourist attractions of Chitrakoot
It is a lush green hill highly revered by the Hindus. The site is famous for two temples namely Bharat Milap and Kamtanath. Kamadgiri hill is the main pilgrim site where devotees come for parikrama(circumambulation). The word 'Kamadgiri' actually means the 'wish fulfilling mountain'. It is believed that a parikrama around the hill can fulfil every wish of an individual.
The circumambulation starts with the worship of Lord Kamtanath who is believed to a re-incarnation of Lord Rama. Most of the devotees prefer to remove their shoes while doing the parikrama. The tract is smooth and laid with tiles for the convenience of the devotees. The next site you come across is the Bharat Milap temple where Lord Rama is believed to have met his brother Bharata after their father’s death.
This is a picturesque stretch of water along the serene Mandakini River. Presumably Goddess Sita used to take her bath in this kund. Devotees coming to Chitrakoot make sure to take a holy dip in this water. A huge rock along the bank bears footprints presumed to be of Goddess Sita.
Lush greenery envelops the surrounding giving a soothing feel to the eyes. The water is crystal clear. It is great place to spend some lone time with your family. Temples like Ram Janki Raghuvir and Sankat Mochan are located near the kund.
It is one of the major holy tourist attractions of Chitrakoot. It has two red coloured massive stones closely associate with the Lord Rama and his wife. It is believed that Lord Rama and Goddess Sita used to sit here and relax during their days of exile. Gradually, due to the divine powers, these rocks became soft like silk to give soothing effect to the couple.
The stones stand on the left bank of River Mandakini. Shilakhand, a piece of rock is located close to the site. It bears human footprints believed to be of Lord Rama. An interesting fable is also related to this spot.
Goddess Sita was pecked by a crow while she was resting with Lord Rama on this stone. The crow was the disguised Jayanta- son of Lord Indra(Leader of all the Gods in heaven). He was jealous of the happy life of the couple. Lord Rama immediately attacked him and plucked one of his eyes. This is the reason why crows even today tilt their heads to observe anything.
Sati Anusuya Temple
Anusuya was the wife of Rishi Atri who lived during the era of Lord Rama. It is said that once the town was suffering from a famine. Her strong faith and prayers caused River Mandakini come on earth as a descendant of River Ganges. The temple is devoted to Goddess Anusuya.
Sati Anusuya Temple is a small shrine cuddled amidst a dense forest. It is situated in an ashram which belonged to Goddess Anusuya and his husband. Legend has it that once three Gods-Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva decided to test the loyalty of Anusuya for her husband. They made a plan and sent her husband out for some work.
Devi Anusuya on realising their intention cursed them by turning into infants. Later the Gods were born to her as sons named Soma, Durvas and Dattatreya.
It is long step built along the River Payaswini. It is believed that a mere dip in this river will erase all the sins of one’s life. You will sight men in saffron attires bathing or mediating on the ghat. Presumably, Saint Tulsidas had a sight of Lord Rama at this place. A tablet inscribed with inscriptions in Hindi is kept to mark the sight’s relevance.
Locals also say that River Sarayu arrives at the surface through some unknown source and then vanishes at a distance. Millions of Hindu devotees gather at Ram Ghat especially during Ram Navami festival (March- April).
Excursions from Chitrakoot
Satna(90km), Banda(93km), Gorihar(135km), Mirzapur(178km) and Khajuraho(190km) are some of the must-explore getaways included in the Chitrakoot Travel Guide.
Shopping in Chitrakoot
Tourists can buy religious books, small idols of deities and other devotional objects from the local shops.
When to Reach
The best time to visit is during October- March when the weather is cool and pleasant. Festivals like Ram Navami(March- April) and Makar Sankranti(January) are also a sought after time to take the trip to Chitrakoot.
How to Reach
Air: The nearest airport is in Varanasi, about 200km away from the destination.
Rail: Varanasi Junction (271km) is the closest rail-head connected to cities like Agra, Delhi and Mumbai.
Road: Direct buses run from Agra, Allahabad, Lucknow, Patna and Sarnath for the site.
Experience the true essence of the famous epic Ramayana. Book for Chitrakoot Tour Package for a soulful journey today!
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