Chitrakoot, Madhya Pradesh
Information about Chitrakoot
Chitrakoot, 'the hill of many wonders', nestles
peacefully in the northern spurs of the Vindhyas,
a place of tranquil forest glades and quiet
rivers, and streams where calm and repose are all
pervading. This loveliest of Nature's gifts is
also hallowed ground, blessed by the gods and
sanctified by the faith of pilgrims. Sufferers and
seekers, poets and visionaries, princes and
noblemen have, through the ages, sought and found
solace in Chitrakoot, drawn inspiration from its
beauty, gained spiritual strength from its serene
temples and in turn, become part of the hallowed legend
that is Chitrakoot. The best season to visit this place
is from October to March.
History of Chitrakoot
The Chitrakoot's spiritual legacy stretches back to
legendary ages. It was in these deep forests that Rama
and Sita spent eleven of their fourteen years of exile
and the great sage Atri and Sati Anusuya meditated. Here
the principal trinity of the Hindu pantheon, Brahma,
Vishnu and Mahesh, also took their incarnations.
Tourist Attractions in Chitrakoot
The ghats that line the banks of the river Mandakini
reveal a constantly moving and changing kaleidoscope of
religious activity. Here, amidst the chanting of hymns
and the sweet fragrance of incense, holy men in saffron
robes sit, in silent meditation or offer the solace of
their wisdom to the countless pilgrims who converge
here. With the very first rays of dawn that gleam upon
the river, Ramghat stirs into life as the devout of all
ages take the ritual, purifying dip in the waters and
invoke the blessings of the gods. The rippling blue
green waters of the Mandakini can be traversed by boats,
readily available for hire.
The religious activity builds up in a crescendo of
colours and spontaneous expressions of faith through the
day, past high noon, gently diminishing as the setting
sun picks out the bright colours of flower petals
floating down the river, while the evening 'arti' lends
its melodious cadences to the deepening dusk. At all
times, Ramghat witnesses a deep and abiding faith which
finds expression in the rituals which honour the
sanctity of Chitrakoot.
Kamadgiri, the original Chitrakoot, is a place of prime
religious significance. A forested hill, it is skirted
all along its base by a chain of temples and is
venerated, today, as the holy embodiment of Rama.
The Bharat Milap temple is located here, marking the
spot where Bharat is said to have met Rama to persuade
him to return to the throne of Ayodhya. Many are the
faithful who perform the ritual circuit (Parikrama), of
the sacred hill, to ask for a boon or a blessing.
Sati Anusuya is located further up-stream, set amidst
thick forests that resound to the melody of birdsong all
day. It was here that Atri Muni, his wife Anusuya and
their three sons (who were the three incarnations of
Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh) are said to have meditated.
The Mandakini is believed to have been created by
Anusuya through her meditation. Sati Anusuya lies about
16 km from the town and can be reached by road - an
undulating, curving drive through densely wooded areas.
A few kilometers beyond Janaki Kund is again a densely
forested area on the banks of the Mandakini. One can
climb up to the boulder which bears the impression of
Rama's footprint and where Sita was pecked at by Jayant
in the form of a crow. There are large fish in the river
here easily visible in the pellucid water, and a few
Upstream from Ramghat is a serenely beautiful stretch of
the Mandakini, a symphony of nature in tones of
earth-brown and leaf-green, the intense blue of the
river waters finding a paler echo in the canopy of the
sky. There are two approaches to Janaki Kund, 2 km up
from Ramghat by boat, or by road along a foliage-lined
In this idyllic pastoral setting, it is said, Sita would
bathe in the crystal clear waters, during the years of
her exile with Rama. Certainly, this quite spot seems to
have been specially blessed, for an aura of total
harmony and quietness haloes it, setting it apart from
the bustle of the everyday world.
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 Chitrakoot.
There is an open, paved area here in the shade of a
massive Peepal tree, a lovely halting place after the
Bharat Koop is where Bharat stored holy water collected
from all the places of pilgrimage in India. It is a
small, isolated spot a few kilometers from town.
18 km from the town is a natural wonder located some
distance up the side of a hill. The wonder 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 a stream of water running along its
base. It is believed that Rama and his brother Laxman
held court in the latter cave, which has two, natural
Excursion from Chitrakoot
Chachai and Keoti Falls
Situated 46 km from Rewa on the banks of the river
Bihad, Chachai Falls are a beautiful spectacle of
water falling in torrents from a height of 130 meters.
Nearby, the Keoti and Bahuti Falls are also worth
40 km from Satna, Maihar is famous for its Sharda
Devi Temple built on a hilltop. It is an important
centre for Indian classical Music.
Situated amidst sylvan surroundings, Govindgarh is
19 km from Rewa, the capital of the old Vindhya
State, on National Highway 7. it is famous for its
scenic beauty, mangoes and the White Tigers. The
banks of a huge lake houses the personal museum of the
Maharajah of Rewa. The first White Tiger, Mohan,
captured in 1951 in the nearby jungles, was kept in this
palace till his death.
These caves are situated in the Singhrauli Tehsil of
Sidhi district. The ancient caves stand in the middle of
the jungle about 22 km from Singhrauli. For sheer
majestic beauty, they can be compared with the caves of
Ajanta and Ellora.
Only 3 km from Shahdol, Sohagpur in the former State of
Rewa has a beautiful Hayahaya temple dedicated to Shiva
as Virateswara that bears close resemblance to the
Khajuraho temples. It has a square sanctum, a vestibule
and a large enclosed hall, in front of which originally
was a beautiful pyramidal roof.
How to Reach Chitrakoot
The nearest airport is at Khajuraho, about 175 kms,
connected with Delhi and Agra.
The nearest railhead is at Chitrakootdham or Karwi,
about 11 kms. on the Jhansi-Manikpur main line.
Regular bus services connect Chitrakoot with Jhansi,
Mahoba, Chitrakoot Dham, Harpalpur, Satna and Chhatarpur.