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Chitrakoot : Places to see



Boating on the river MandakiniRamghat :
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 dawon the gleam upon the river, Ramghat stirs into life as the devout of all ages take the ritual, purifying dip in the waers and invoke the blessings of the gods. The activity builds up in a crescendo of colour 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.

The rippling blue-green waters of the Mandakini can be traversed by boats, readily available for hire.



Sati Anusuya, set amidst tranquil forest groveSati Anusuya :
Sati Anysuya is located further upstream, 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 incamations 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 twon and can be reached by road-an undulating, curving drive through densely wooded areas.

Kamadgiri :
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 to the throne of Ayodhya. Many are the faithful who perfom the ritual circuit ( Parikrama), of the sacred hill, to ask for a boon or a blessing.

Janaki Kund :
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. In the idyllic pastrol setting, it is said, Sita would bathe in the crystal clear waters, during the years of her exile with Rama. Certainly, this quiet spot seems to have been specially blessed, for an aura of total harmony and quietitude haloes it, seting it apart from the bustle of the everyday world. There are two approaches to janaki kund: 2 km up from Ramghat by boat, or by road along a foliagelined drive.

Sphatik Shila :
A few kilometers beyond janaki kund is again a dessely 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 temples.

Gupt-Godavari : Gupt-Godavari
18 km from the town by road 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 Lakshman held court in the latter cave, which has two natural, throne like rocks.

Hanuman Dhara :
Located on a rock face several hundred feet up a steep hill side 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 peepul tree, a lovely halting place after the long climb up.

Bharat Koop :
Bharat koop is where Bharat stored holy water collected from all the places of pilgrimage in India. It is a small, isolated sopt a few kilometers from town.


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