Chitrakoot Dham- the Hill of many wonders

Mandakini river at Chitrakoot Dham
Mandakini river at Chitrakoot Dham
Janki Kund - a serene place where Sita Devi used to bath in the river Mandakini
Janki Kund - a serene place where Sita Devi used to bath in the river Mandakini

Chitrakoot Dham : the introduction

Chitrakoot Dham is an important place of pilgrimage to millions of Hindus. It is the place where Lord Rama along with his wife Sita & brother Lakshman spent eleven & half years when he was in exile -at-forest (Banabasa). The place is situated on the northern spur of Vindhya mountain, amidst lush green forests & sparkling rivers. The holy river Mandakini (not to be confused with the river with the same name situated in the Garhwal Himalayas) flows through the place, adding serene beauty.

The name Chitrakoot means “Picturesque hills” or “Hills with many wonders”, & the name is totally apt for the place. A visit to this place is sure to bring peace & calm in the minds of any visitor, pilgrim or not.

Location

Chitrakoot Dham is a small town situated at the border of two largest states of India, Uttar Pradesh (U.P.) & Madhya Pradesh (M.P.). Part of it is in U.P. & part is in M.P. The connecting railway stations Karwi (6 km from Chitrakoot Dham) & Manikpur (31 km from Chitrakoot Dham) are both in U.P. It is about 130 km from Allahabad, a major city in U.P.

Mythological connection

Chitrakoot Dham is closely connected with Lord Rama as described in the great Hindu epic the Ramayana. There are many spots associated with Lord Rama & his wife Sita as well as with Bharata & Lakshman, brothers of Lord Rama. All those spots are revered greatly by the devotees.

Chitrakoot Dham was also the residing place of the great sage Atri & his pious wife Anusuya. It is said that the three great gods or Trinity of Hinduism Bramha, Vishnu & Maheswara visited the dwelling place (Ashrama) of the sage Atri.

It is also said that the monkey god Hanuman came here to the great devotee-poet Tulasi Das to help him in writing the extremely popular Ramayana in Hindi language, & that Hanuman helped Tulasi Das to have a glimpse of Lord Rama here.

Raghav Prayag Ghat , the place where Lord Rama paid ritualistic homage (Tarpan) to his departed father Dasharata's soul
Raghav Prayag Ghat , the place where Lord Rama paid ritualistic homage (Tarpan) to his departed father Dasharata's soul
Ram Ghat, where the devotee-poet Tulasi Das had a vision (Darshan) of Lord Rama
Ram Ghat, where the devotee-poet Tulasi Das had a vision (Darshan) of Lord Rama

Places to see at Chitrakoot Dham

There are so many places to see at Chitrakoot, that it is very difficult to describe them all in a single article like this. However, a short treaties on the most important of those will be given here.

These include the holy river Mandakini with its many Ghats (bathing places), many temples that dot the banks of Mandakini, Kamad Giri (a low hill believed to be the body of Lord Rama), Sati Anusuya, Janki Kund, Sphatik Shila, Gupt Godavari, Hanuman Dhara, Ram Darshan (an excellent museum dealing with Lord Rama & the Ramayana) etc.

All these will be described serially in a number of hubs.

Gupt (Hidden) Godavari - a natural cave with a natural stream
Gupt (Hidden) Godavari - a natural cave with a natural stream
Ram Ghat at night
Ram Ghat at night
A bridge over Mandakini
A bridge over Mandakini
Mandakini river with the sacred hill Kamad Giri in the distant horizon
Mandakini river with the sacred hill Kamad Giri in the distant horizon
A Sadhu (sage) at Chitrakoot
A Sadhu (sage) at Chitrakoot
Mandakini at Chitrakoot Dham
Mandakini at Chitrakoot Dham
The soldier of Lord Rama!
The soldier of Lord Rama!
Fauna of Chitrakoot Dham 1 : White Browed Wagtail
Fauna of Chitrakoot Dham 1 : White Browed Wagtail
Fauna of Chitrakoot Dham 2: Rock Vulture
Fauna of Chitrakoot Dham 2: Rock Vulture
Fauna of Chitrakoot Dham 3 : Egret
Fauna of Chitrakoot Dham 3 : Egret
Fauna of Chitrakoot Dham 4 : Red Wattled Lapwing
Fauna of Chitrakoot Dham 4 : Red Wattled Lapwing
Fauna of Chitrakoot Dham 5 : Small Brown Dove
Fauna of Chitrakoot Dham 5 : Small Brown Dove
Fauna of Chitrakoot Dham 6 : Lesser Pied Kingfisher
Fauna of Chitrakoot Dham 6 : Lesser Pied Kingfisher

Comment : Continuation

This is only Part I of a long article on Chitrakoot Dham. Those who are interested, please see the other parts to have a comprehensive idea about this beautiful & holy place.

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