Chitrakoot

 
 
Chitrakoot.jpgChitrakoot,"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 Brahma,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 splendor here is wrapped in peace and tranquility, permeated only by singing birds and gushing streams.

Area: 38.2 sq. km.
Population: 37494 (1991 census)
Altitude: 207 mtrs. Above sea level.
Season: July-March
Clothing (Summer): Light Cottons (Winter) :Woolens
Language: Hindi, Bundeli, English
Local Transport : Cycle Rickshaw during fairs and festivals, taxis also ply between Chitrakoot, Rajapur and Karvi.
STD Code : 0519 (Half of Chitrakoot lies in U.P. and the other half in M.P. To dial for U.P. Chitrakoot 765 has to be added to the Banda Code 0519. To dial for M.P. Chitrakoot 865 has to be added instead

Places to visit

Kamadgiri

A forested hill of prime religious significance, this 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.

Sphatik Shila

This picturesque spot 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
Located 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.

Ram Ghat
On the banks of the River Mandakini, and center of ritual activity, this Ghat is the most frequented in Chitrakoot. The "Aarti" performed in the evening is particularly beautiful.

Janki Kund

An unusual cave over the Mandakini. Said to be the place where Sita bathed.

Excursion

Gupt Godavari
19 km. This is a tiny rivulet which flows into tanks at the end of an underground cave. The source of this rivulet remains unfathomable. Two natural throne-line rocks in the cave have led to the belief that Lord Rama and his brother Laxman held court here.

Bharat Koop
To attain Salvation, the pilgrimage to Chitrakoot is incomplete without a visit to this hallowed place of worship. It is said that , to crown Lord Rama as the king of Ayodhya, his brother Bharat, collected the waters of all sacred rivers to anoint him with. On the advice of Sage Atri, the waters were later poured into a deep well popularly known as Bharat Koop. A temple dedicated to Lord Rama is also found here.

Sati Anasuya
13 km. It was here that Atri Muni, his wife Anasuya and their three sons meditated. An ashram in Anasuya's name is located here. It is believed that the Mandakini river emerged as a result of Anasuya's meditation.

Rajapur
38 km. The birthplace of Goswami Tulsidas, who wrote the world famous Shri Ram Charita Manas.

Ganeshbagh
11km. On the Karvi-Devangana road near Bankey Siddhapur village, is located Ganeshbagh, where a richly carved temple, a seven storeyed baoli and ruins of a residential palace still exist. The complex was built by Peshwa Vinayak Rao as a summer retreat and is often referred to as a mini-Khajuraho.

Kalinjar

88 km. From Chitrakoot lies the invincible Fort of Kalinjar. Once desired by kings & dynasties, it houses within itself the Nilkanth temple, Swarga Rohan Kund, Vakhandeshwar Mahadev Temple, Shivasari Ganga & Koti Tirth. Other interesting spots within the fort area are Sita Sej, Patal Ganga, Pandu Kund, Budhi-Tall, Bhairon Ki Jharia and Mrigdhara.

Sitapur
Lying on the left bank of Payaswani about 8 km. From Karvi, it is intimately connected with the sacred hills of Kamtanath, which is 2 km to its south west. Pilgrims first bathe in payaswani at Sitapur and then move on to do the Parikrama of Kamtanath hill. Originally known as Jaisinghpur, it was given to Mahant Charandas by Aman Singh Raja of Panna, who gave it the new name Sitapur in honour of maa Sita. There are twenty four Ghats and several temples along the river, which add to the glory of the town.

Rajapur
42 km from Chitrakoot, this place is believed to be the birth place of Goswami Tulsidas. A Tulsi Mandir is situated here.

Marpha
4 km from Gupt Godavari is Marpha, famous for its natural beauty alongwith waterfalls, Jal Mochan Sarovar, Shri Balaji mandir, 5 faced statue of Lord Shankar and ruins of a fort, believed to be built by Chandel Rajas.

Accessibility

Air
From Chitrakoot the nearest airport is Khajuraho : 185 km.

Rail

The nearest railway station for Chitrakoot is Karvi : 8 km. Some of the major trains are 1181.1182 and 1159/1160 Agra Howrah Exp); 1107/1108 Bundelkhand Exp; 1449/1450 Mahakaushal Exp (Kutub Exp_; 5009/5010 Chitrakoot Exp (Lucknow-Jabalpur); 1069/1070 Tulsi Exp (Allahabad-Mumbai), Bundelkhand Exp (Gwalior-Allahabad).

Road

Chitrakoot is well connected by road. There are regular bus services to Banda, Allahabad, Jhansi, Varanasi, Chhatarpur, Satna, Kanpur, Faizabad, Lucknow, Agra, Maihar, etc. Some Road distances are : Allahabad - 125 km. Satna - 75 km. Lucknow - 285 km, Mahoba - 127 km, Kalinjar 88 km, Jhansi 274 km.

Accommodation

Pramod Van (Anand Ram Jaipuria Smriti Bhawan Ph : (0519-765)2221
Kamad Giri Bhawan (MP) Ph : (0519-865)357
Annapurna (Vinod Lodge) (MP). Ph : (0519-865)301
MP State Tourism Bungalow. (MP). Ph : (0519-865)326
Roopali Lodge, (Near Dharmshala)
Mata Shri Chitrakoot Dam Karvi Rly. Stn.) Ph : (0519-765)3024

UP Tourism Accommodation

Tourist Bungalow (UPSTDC). Ph : (0519-765)2219
Yatri Niwas 'Chitrakoot' (UPSTDC) - offers affordable
Accommodation for groups and is specially designed with facilities for cooking.

Bank


State Bank of India, Sitapur, Chitrakoot Dham, Near Bus Stand. Ph : (0519-765)2216.

Post Offices

Post Office, Chitrakoot Dham, Sitapur, Chitrakoot. Ph : (0519-765)2252.
Office of the Asstt. Tourist Officer, Tourist Bungalow Campus, Chtrakoot Dham, Ph : (0519-765)2218. 

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