(Last Updated on : 11/08/2012)
Chitrakoot, also known "the hills of many wonders" is indeed a gift of nature and the gods. Located in the Banda district of modern Uttar Pradesh (U.P), on the banks of river Paisuni (Mandikini), Chitrakoot is a tranquil retreat on the northern spur of the Vindhyas. Just 6 km south of Karvi and 72 km south east of Banda district on the road to Allahabad, Chitrakoot Dham is one of the most ancient holy pilgrim places of India. Legends have it that it was the abode of Lord Rama
, his wife Sita and brother Lakshman for eleven years of their fourteen years of exile. This is also the place, where they came in contact with sage Atri and sati Anasuya.
This abode of the gods is credited to have seen the incarnations of Lord Brahma
, Lord Vishnu
and Mahesh. Chitrakoot, sacred with the touch of Lord's feet, was where Goswami Tulsidas, the creator of the epic "Shri Ramcharitmanas" spent many years of his life. Dotted with innumerable temples and shrines, nature's splendour here is wrapped in peace and tranquillity, permeated only by singing birds and gushing streams.
A forested hill of prime religious significance, Kamadgiri is believed to be the original Chitrakoot. The Bharat Milap Temple is located here. Pilgrims perform a ritual circumambulation of the hill to seek blessings.
This picturesque spot - Sphatik Shila is marked by two immense rocks. It is believed to be the place where Lord Rama and Sita
feasted their eyes on the beauty of Chitrakoot.
Hanuman Dhara is situated on a steep hillside it is approachable by a flight of 360 steps. Here, the waters of a natural spring cascade over an image of Lord Hanuman
On the banks of the River Mandakini
, and centre of ritual activity, this Ram Ghat has the reputation of being the most frequented in Chitrakoot. The "Aarti" performed in the evening is particularly beautiful.
This is an unusual cave over the Mandakini, and is said to be the place where Sita bathed.