Chitrakoot has truly preserved the mythological footprints of time even today. If you visit it, you could be spellbound by the recipe made with nature and mythology. Therefore, I must say, it is a perfect travel spot for both nature as well as mythological lovers. It is full of nature’s blessings in the form of lush green forests, sparkling waterfalls and crystal clear streams.
Feeling pitched enough for visiting Chitrakoot! Hold on! Let me tell you some more things and sights to be explored there.
Let’s live the Ramayana Era
Chitrakoot is located on the holy bank of river Mandakini in Madhya Pradesh. Mythological stones depict the story that it is the place where Lord Rama met his Brother Bharat during his 14 year long exile. Rama also spent a very significant proportion of time during his exile. It is the place where Bharat came after searching very long for his beloved brother Rama, and pleaded him to come back to Ayodhyaya. He requested him earnestly to take the charge of throne of Ayodhyaya, but Rama didn’t agree. Then, finally Bharat returned Ayodhyaya with the slippers(Padukas) of Rama and kept it on the throne as a symbol of authority of Rama. Chitrakoot stood still as a vouchee for the epic story of selfless love and dedication of two brothers. The place where two brothers met was later called as Bharat Milap Mandir . It is situated near Kamadgiri hills. The holy ritual of circumambulation of Kamadgiri hills holds significant importance in Indian mythology and it is believed to free mankind from their sins.
Ram Ghat is considered as one of the most auspicious places in Chitrakoot. People believe that during his stay in Chitrakoot, Lord Rama along with Sita and Lakshman used to take bath at this holy bank of river Mandakini. Legends also depict the tale of meeting of Lord Rama with his ardent devotee Saint Tulsidas. Once Tulsidas was worshipping and chanting names of shri Rama while making sandalwood paste at Ram Ghat, when Lord Rama Came there along with Lakshman, Hanuman and Sita. Lord Rama knew that Tulsidas is one of my dedicated devotees, so he along with Lakshman transformed himself into small kids. They reached there and asked Tulsidas to put chandan tilak(sandalwood paste) on their forehead. Tulsidas agreed and applied the chandan paste on their forehead. Hanuman started reciting the famous religious verse,
“Chitrakoot ke ghat pai bhai santan ki bheer,
Tulsidas chandan ghise tilak det Raghubeer”
After the burning of Lanka, when Lord Hanuman returned, he was trembling with the heat of fire in his tail as well as his anger. Lord Rama shot an arrow on a big rock which resulted in the formation of fresh spring water which immediately poured over Lord Hanuman to calm him down. Even today, you can see this cool spring of water falling on the idol of Lord Hanuman. Many black faced monkeys can also be easily spotted here which are believed to be derived from Lord Hanuman itself. The whole environment fills your heart with heavenly feeling.
Also known as secret water springs of Chitrakoot, Gupt Godavari is a place which definitely should not be missed during your trip to Chitrakoot. It is located almost 18 kms away from Ram Ghat. It is actually a pair of caves wherein clean and clear spring water is located along with two thrones of Lord Rama and Lakshman respectively. This cave water is believed to be internally connected with Godavari River which is the reason of it being known as Gupt Godavari.
Rasoi of Sita
People believe this place to be Kitchen of Goddess Sita when she was in Chitrakoot. It is located at about 100 feet above the Hanuman Dhara Temple. This place is surrounded by lush green trees and is very beautiful and serene. Stories are told that it is the place where Goddess Sita cooked food for five sages. A unique imprint of Chakla- belan ( a rolling stick and a flat surface for making chappatis) can be seen on one of the rocks.
On the bank of Mandakini River, you could spot a big rock wherein footprints of Lord Ram and Goddess Sita could be traced. It is believed that this heavenly pair (pair of god) sat on this rock to gaze at the picturesque view of nature from here. People come here to have a look and feel of footprints of their Lord Ram and Sita and get blessings from them.
Mighty Water falls of Chitrakoot
For enjoying adventure, you must visit the water falls of Chitrakoot. Chachai and Keoti water falls are most beautiful and majestic ones. The water falls from a daring height of 128 meters. You would melt in the nature’s beauty. A complete calmness and serenity of nature could be experienced which is only interrupted by the sound of water fall and words of your soul.
Shri Ram Darshan Musuem
This museum depicts whole Ramayana in the form of sculptures and idols. The whole museum is filled with Idols of Ram and Sita depicting the story of their life. The museum is surrounded by beautiful greenery and milky white ducks were adding to the beauty and allure of the place. Inside the museum, you could appreciate the beautiful and gigantic idol of Lord Hanuman. It is a must place to visit and frame and preserve memories in the form of photographs.
Apart from above mentioned places, there are some others like Bharat Koop, Janaki Kund, Sati Anusuya Ashram, Sharbhanga Ashram and Kamadgiri Temple to name a few.
How to reach
- By Road: one can go through buses which are frequently available from Satna(75 km), Karwi(8 km), Jhansi(274 km), Luckhnow(285 km) and Allahabad(125 km).
- By train: The nearest railway station is Chitrakoot Dham (Karwi)(11 kms) from where you could easily get taxis and buses for the tourist locations to be explored.
- By Air: The nearest airport to reach Chitrakoot are Khajuraho(185 km) and Varanasi(260km).
Chitrakoot has truly stopped the time machine in the era of Ramayana. When you visit there, you could actually live in the era of Ramayana. You can feel the aroma of devotion in the form of chanting of “Sita Ram” and “Jai shree Rama”. You could see the actual footprints of the epic Ramayana in the innocent eyes of villagers who hold their firm belief in the Lord Ram. The fragrance of incense and purity is bound to stir your soul for the good. Let’s come and explore the legend of Ramayana through the lens of Chitrakoot.