Chitrakoot town in the Satna district in the state of Madhya Pradesh, India. Chitrakoot is a town of religious, cultural, historical and archaeological importance. It is known for a number of temples and sites mentioned in several Hindu scriptures. Many people gather here on each Amavasya. Somwati Amavasyas, Deepawali, Sharad-Poornima, Makar Sankranti and Ramanavami for celebrations. Chitrakoot Parvat Mala includes famous Religious mountains such as Kamad Giri, Hanumaan Dhara, Janki Kund, Lakshman pahari, and Devangana . Ram, Sita and his brother Lakshman spent a few months of their fourteen years of exile in these deep forest.
The first known mention of the place is in the Valmiki Ramayan, which is believed to be the first ever Mahakavya composed by the first ever poet. Bharat Milap episode-When also took place at Chitrakoot, when Bharat was asked by his ministers to take his seat upon the throne of Ayodhya, then he refused and came to Chitrakoot to meet Lord Ram. Here, Bharat met Lord Ram and requested him to return to Ayodhya and rule; but Lord Ram denied the request. Then Bharat returned to Ayodhya and installed the sandals on the throne.
Religious importance of Chitrakoot
1) Ramghat-The ghats that line the Mandakini river are called Ramghat. During the exile period Rama, Lakshmana and Sita took bath here and are believed to have appeared before the poet Tulsidas.
2) Kamadgiri- the original Chitrakuta, is a place of prime religious significance. A forested hill, it is skirted all along its base by a chain of temples. Lord Rama is also known as Kamadnathji which literally means ‘who can fulfill’ all wishes. There is a 5 km Parikrama Path around the Kamadgiri Mountain.
3) Bharat Milap temple is located here, marking the spot where Bharata is said to have met Rama to persuade him to return to the throne of Ayodhya. It is said that the meeting of four brother was so emotional that even the rocks and mountains of Chitrakut melted. Foot prints of Lord Rama and his brothers were imprinted on these rocks and are still present today and seen in Bharat Milap Mandir. Bharat milap mandir is situated beside kamadgiri mountain.
4) Janaki Kund- is situated upstream of the Ramghat where it is believed that Sita bathed in the crystal clear waters of Mandakini river during the years of her exile with Rama.
5) Sati Anasuya ashrama- is located further upstream, 16 km from the town, set amidst thick forests. It was here that Atri muni, his wife Anasuya and their three sons (who were the three incarnations of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh), lived and are said to have meditated. Sati Anasuya ashrama at present is a very peaceful place where various streams from the hills converge and form the Mandakini River. It is said that Rama along with Sita had visited this place to meet Maharishi Atri and Sati Anasuya. It is here Sati Anasuya explained to Sita the grandeur and importance of Satitva.
6) Sphatic Shila-A few kilometres beyond Janaki Kund is another densely forested area on the banks of the Mandakini. One can climb up to the boulder, which bears the Rama’s footprint and Sita.
7) Gupt-Godavari- is situated at a distance of 18 km from town. Here is a pair of caves, one high and wide with an entrance through which one can barely pass, and the other long and narrow with stream of water running along its base. It is believed that Rama and Lakshmana held court in latter cave, which has two natural throne-like rocks.
8) Pampapur-It is situated in the valley of Devangana. Here we find sacred caves. Sacred caves related to Lord Rama.
9) Hanuman Dhara-Located on a rock-face several hundred feet up a steep hillside is a spring, said to have been created by Rama to assuage Hanuman when the latter returned after setting Lanka afire. A couple of temples commemorate this spot, which offers a panoramic view of Chitrakut.
10) Bharath Koop- is where Bharata stored holy water collected from all the places of pilgrimage in India. It is small, an isolated spot a few kilometres from the town. It has a small well and temple situated next to it. The water in the well remains pure and clean round the year.
11) Ram Shaiya-This place is located on the way between Chitrakoot and Bharat Koop, in an isolated location. It is the place where Shri Ram, Sitaji and Laxmanji used to sleep and rest in the evening after wandering around the forest of Chitrakoot. It is located between mountains with no town near-by, with absoluted silence in the environment. It has a large flat-bed rock which bears imprints of Shri Rama, Lakshman, and Sita Mata. There is a tree above it and the entire place is walled by brick structure on the sides to preserve it.
12) Ganesh Bagh- Located just 11 km on the Karvi-Devangana road, Ganeshbagh is a place with a architecturally beautiful temple, baoli with seven stories and ruins of a palace exist.The whole complex was built by Peshwa Vinayak Rao as a summer retreat and is also known locally as mini-Khajuraho.
13) Chitrakoot Waterfall-is a natural waterfall located to the west of Jagdalpur, in Bastar district in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh on the Indravati River. It is located at a distance of 38 kilometers (24 mi) to the west of Jagdalpur. The height of the falls is about 29 meters (95 ft).It is the widest fall in India. Because of its width and wide spread during the monsoon season, it is often called the Niagara Falls of India. See more beautiful Forest and waterfalls in Madhya Pradesh.
14) Marpha is located just 4 km from Gupt Godavari and is famous for its natural beauty, temples and ruins of a Chandel Fort.
15) Valmiki Ashrama is located 18 km away from the district headquarter, on the Allahabad Road. This Ashram is situated on a lofty hill, on the bank of the Valmiki River. As per Hindu Mythology, Sita gave birth to her two sons Lava and Kush here in this ashram, after she was abandoned by Lord Rama. It is also said that Lord Rama, Sita and Laxman has passed through this Ashram on their way to Chitrakoot.
16) Mayurdhwaj Ashrama is located near the village Pathra Pal Deo about 10 km south west of Chitrakoot. This Ashram is situated amidst hills and beautiful waterfall.
17) Lakshman Chowki is a rock located about 100 m from the Ram Shaiyya rock. It is believed that Laxman used to sit on this rock to guard Lord Rama and Sita. It carries imprints of Laxman sitting down on this rock, with a bow on his side. Tourists can easily see the Ram Shaiyya rock from here.
18) Shabari Fall is a beautiful spring at the origin of Mandakini River, near Jamunihai village about 8 km from the south of Markundi village of the district. The unique characteristic of this fall is that one stream flows under the other. The Mandakini Kund is a deep reservoir located just below this fall.
19) Pramod Van is located on the Satna road, just 2 km south of Ram Ghat. This is a beautiful garden situated on the bank of the Mandakini River. The king of Rewa, Maharaja Vishwanath Pratap Singh Judeo, built this place for his own pleasure. It also has a temple of Lord Narayana surrounded by a number of rooms. Das Hanuman is another popular place located near this Van.
20) Viradh Kund is a vast water reservoir situated on the Amrawati Ashrama Road. It is located at the meeting point Bambiha and Tikariya villages, about 6 km East of the Shabari Fall. It is believed that the water of this reservoir reaches till the Paataal Lok. As per legend, a terrible monster Viradh used to live here and through the reservoir, he used to escape to the Paataal Lok. Later, this monster was killed by Lord Rama.
How to reach Chitrakoot :
Air- Khajuraho Airport is the nearest airport from Chitrakoot, at a distance of 192 km. The airport is connected to Varanasi, Delhi and Agra. There are easy availability of taxis and buses going towards Chitrakoot.
Rail- Located at a distance of about 8 km, the nearest train station to Chitrakoot is Karvi which is well-linked to other major cities of the country like Delhi, Mumbai and Jaipur. Taxi and bus services are available from Karvi train station to Chitrakoot.
Road- There are frequent bus services available to Chitrakoot from Agra, Allahabad, Banda, Chattarpur, Faizabad, Lucknow, Jhansi, Kanpur, Maihar, Satna and Varanasi.
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