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Chitrakoot, “the hill of many wonders” nestles in the northern Vindhya Ranges over the states of Madhya Pradesh in Satna and Uttar Pradesh in Banda district. Gifted with charming hills, tranquil forest glades, gurgling waterfalls and sparkling river Mandakini, Chitrakoot is made up of the five segregated villages of Karvi, Sitapur, Kamta, Kohhi and Nayagaon. Also known as Chitrakoot Dham or Sitapur, it is a major vaishnovite pilgrimage center. The rich spiritual legacy of this town dates back to legendary ages. According to the great epic, Ramayana, Lord Ram with his wife Sita and brother, Laxman spent eleven years of their fourteen years of exile in the deep jungles of Chitrakoot. It is also believed to be the birthplace of principal trinity of the Hindu pantheon, Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. Sprinkled with innumerable temples and shrines, Chirtakoot amazes everyone with its breathtaking natural beauty.
What to buy – Chitrakoot offers very little shopping options. Only items that could be bought as souvenirs are small wooden toys and ritual items.
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Best Time to Visit - October to March Pilgrimage Attractions
Ramghat Spread on the banks of the holy river Mandakini, Ramghat remains the central point of all religious and leisure activities. Throngs of devotees visit Chitrakoot to take a holy dip in the sacred river Mandakini, meditate at the ghats and attend the grand evening aarti. During the exile period, Rama, Lakshmana and Sita took bath here and believed to have appeared before the poet Tulsidas. A lovely boat ride in the deep waters of Mandakini affords a panoramic view of Chitrakoot.
Kamadgiri The forested hill of Kamadgiri is known to be the original Chitrakoot. This venerated hill has many temples and shrines. The famous Bharat Milap temple stands here marking the spot where Bharat met Lord Rama and convinced him to return to Ayodhya.
Hanuman Dhara Hanuman Dhara is a thin stream of water that cascades over a statue of lord Hanuman. Located on the edge of a steep hill, the site is approachable by a flight of 360 steps. The place offers a spectacular view of the town of Chitrakoot.
Sphatik Shila Located a few kilometers away from Janaki Kund, Sphatik Shila is a densely forested area on the banks of Mandakini River. This tranquil spot is famous for its two huge boulders, which bears the impression of Lord Ram’s footprint. According to a legend, it was here that Jayant, (son of God Indra) pecked at Sita in the form of a crow.
Bharat Koop It is a sacred tank where Bharat, the younger brother of Rama stored holy water collected from all the pilgrimage places of India. A temple dedicated to Lord Rama is also here.
Sati Anusuya Ashram Sati Anusuya Ashram , about 16kms from the town, rest midst lush green forests. It is believed that Lord Rama and his wife Sita had visited this holy place to meet Atri Muni and Sati Anusuya. It was here that Maahrishi Atri, his wife Anusuya and their three sons (incarnations of Brahma,Vishnu and Mahesh) lived and are said to have meditated. The holy Mandakini River emerged as a result of Anasuya's meditation.
Janaki Kund Located just two kilometers upstream from Ramghat on the banks of river Mandakini is the sacred reservoir called JanakiKund. It is believed that Janaki (another name for Sita), daughter of king Janaka would bath in the holy waters of the river during the period of her exile with Lord Rama. The Rama Janaki temple dedicated to Rama and Sita is situated here.
Excursions – Gupt Godavari (19 km), Rajapur (38 km), Ganeshbagh (11km), Kalinjar (88km), Marpha (23 km), Govindgarh ( 19km from Rewa), Sohagpur ( 3 km from Shahdol), Chachai and Keoti falls (46 km from Rewa)
How to Get There
By Air: The nearest airport is at Khajuraho (175 km), connected with Delhi & Agra.
By Rail: The nearest railhead is at Chitrakootdham (Karwi) (11 km) on the Jhansi-Manikpur main line.
By Road: Regular bus services connect Chitrakoot with Jhansi, Mahoba, Chitrakoot Dham, Harpalpur, Satna and Chhatarpur.