Known as the Hill of Many Wonders, Chitrakoot in Uttar Pradesh is one of the oldest pilgrimages in the country. Located on the banks of the Mandakini River (also known as the Paishwani River), the town is a gift of nature. It is believed that the incarnations of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh have been born here.
According to legend, Lord Ram, Sita and Lakshman stayed in the region for about 11 years of their 14-year exile and met Hermit Atri and Sati Anasuya. It is also believed that all the gods and goddesses came to Chitrakoot when Lord Ram performed the final rites of his father here and refused to leave as they were mesmerized by the beauty of the place. Vashishta, the priest forgot to utter the immersion chant and the gods made the town their permanent dwelling. The saint poet, Goswami Tulsidas could witness Lord Ram after pleading to Lord Hanuman in Chitrakoot. ALSO SEE Top 6 Ghats of Varanasi you must visit
Chitrakoot is of great religious importance as it is one of the most important teerths and has a status even higher than that of Allahabad. There are many festivals celebrated in the town like Shrawan Jhoola Mela, Amavasya Fair, Ramnavami, Diwali, Vijaydashami and Navratri.
Chitrakoot is a popular destination known for its natural beauty and numerous religious places of interest like Kamadgiri which in Sanskrit means the mountain that fulfils all desires. The peculiarly shaped mountain has many caves and also has a huge lake. Ram Ghat, on the banks of the Mandakini River with its temples, is worth visiting. DO SEE From Ayodhya to Rameswaram and beyond: 11 most important places in Lord Rama’s journey
There are a few ashrams like the Valmiki Ashram, Sutikshna Ashram and Sati Anusuya Ashram that are popular religious places of interest. For visiting natural creations, one must visit the Pramod Van and Mayurdhwaj Ashram. Janaki Kund, believed to be the bathing place of Sita, is on the Mandakini River and has clear blue water. CHECK OUT A photo walk through Char Dham – the sacred Hindu pilgrim sites in India!
Ram Shaiyya and Sphatik Shila are prominent tourist attractions as they are believed to be the places where Lord Ram and his wife, Sita stayed. There is a cavern known as Gupt Godavari where the Godavari River flows over rocks set deep inside the cave and the river disappears inside another cave. Other places worth a visit in Chitrakoot are Bharat Milap Mandir, Bharat Koop, Shabari Fall, Param Kutir, Hanuman Dhara, Viradh Kund and Lakshman Chowki.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN CHITRAKOOT
There are many budget and mid-range options when it comes to accommodation in Chitrakoot. You can also find guest houses, lodges, dharamsalas and a tourist bungalow. You can check out Kaamad Giri Bhawan, Jaipuriya Dharamshala and Rain Basera for accommodation.
BEST PLACES TO EAT IN CHITRAKOOT
There are several food stalls and restaurants clustered near Ram Ghat and they serve North Indian cuisine. Being a religious place all restaurants serve only vegetarian food.
Photograph courtesy: Bob K/Creative Commons
BEST TIME TO VISIT CHITRAKOOT
The average minimum and maximum temperature of Chitrakoot is as given below. The best time to visit Chitrakoot is also specified.