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Chitrakoot

Location

Chitrakoot ('hills of many wonders') falls in the northern range of the Vindhyas spreading across the states of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. The cluster of hills known as Chitrakoot Parvat Mala makes it a holy place for Hindus: Kamad Giri, Hanuman Dhara, Janki Kund, Lakshman Pahari.

 

The district of Chitrakoot lies between Lat. 240 48 ' to 250 12' N and Lang. 800 58 ' to 810 34' E.

 

The extent of the district from east to west is 62 km, and from north to south is 57.5 km.

Beliefs

The Ramayana says that Rama along with his wife Sita and brother Lakshman stayed in Chitrakoot for long during his exile. The river Mandakini, also known as Payaswini, is one of the sacred rivers of India. The spiritual aura of the place drew a range of sages like Atri, Anasuya, Dattatreya, Maharshi Markandeya, Sarbhang and Sutikshna to perform arduous tapasya (austerities).

Chitrakoot in texts

As a holy place it is mentioned in many ancient texts, namely Valmiki Ramayan, Ramopakhyan, Adhyatma Ramayan, Brihat Ramayan, Raghuvansha, Meghdoot, Ramcharitmanas, Kavitawali, Dohawali and Vinay Patrika.

Places to see

Kamad Giri: Believed to be the original Chitrakoot where Rama stayed for long. The Bharat Milap temple is located here and pilgrims perform a circumambulation of the rock during Navaratri.

 

Sphatik Shila: Two huge rocks which devotees believe bear the foot prints of Rama and his wife Sita. A narrator often recites Ramkatha at this site.

 

Hanuman Dhara:  A flight of 360 steps leading to a natural spring cascading over an image of Hanuman.

 

Ram ghat: The main ghat at the banks of the Mandakini. The central spot for all the rituals and the evening arati.

 

Janki Kund: A cave inside the Gupt Godavari caves where it is believed Sita bathed.

Connectivity

The main Railway station is situated at Karwi which is connected to most big cities.

 

Chitrakoot is well connected with National Highway 76 and other road tracks.

 

Nearest airports are in Allahabad (135 km) and Khajuraho (175 km).