Chitrakoot

Location

Chitrakoot is located in Uttar Pradesh state in North India. Chitrakoot is 249 kms from Varanasi and 131 kms from Allahabad. Nearest airport is in Allahabad at a distance of 117 kms and Varanasi airport is at a distance of 257 kms.

How to Reach

Chitrakoot is well connected by road and has regular bus service from Banda, Allahabad, Jhansi, Varanasi, Chhatarpur, Satna, Kanpur, Faizabad, Lucknow, Agra, Maihar, etc. From Varanasi you may reach Chitrakoot by taxi also. If you are travelling by train then you have to get down at Karvi which is 9 kms from Chitrakoot and then take a taxi or rickshaw to reach Chitrakoot. Since there is no direct flight from Varanasi to Allahabad so one has to take flight via New Delhi or Mumbai.

Best Time to Visit

Anytime of the year but preferably from October to March to avoid hot summers.

Highlights

Chitrakoot also means the hill of many wonders, lies in the northern part of Vindhya mountain range and considered as a very sacred place for Hindus. It is believed to be the place where Lord Rama and Goddess Sita spent eleven of their fourteen years of exile. It is also believed that the Sage Atri and Sati Anasuya had meditated in Chitrakoot which is nestled in peaceful surroundings on the banks of the River Mandakini (also known as Payaswaini River). The banks of River Mandakini is lined up with various ghats while the town has many temples dedicated to several Hindu deities’ temples. Chitrakoot is a beautiful place of historical importance with its spiritual heritage stretching back to the legendary ages of Ramayana and also believed to be the place of incarnation of Hindu Gods Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. The serene and scenic woods, peacefully flowing river and Vindhya Range peaks provide idyllic surroundings to the visitors who find pleasure in a soothing atmosphere. Every year thousands of pilgrims visit Chitrakoot for offering prayers in the number of temples and sites mentioned in Hindu scriptures. Special occasions such as Amavasya, Deepawali, Sharad-Poornima, Makar Sankranti and Ramanavami attract more devotees to Chitrakoot. “Arogyadham”, a famous ayurvedic and yoga center is also located in Chitrakoot.

Places of Interest in Chitrakoot

Bharat Milap

Bharat Milap Temple located here is believed to be the place where Bharat met Lord Rama with intention to persuade him to return to the throne of Ayodhya. The meeting of Lord Rama and his brother is believed to be so emotional that even the rocks and mountains in the surrounding had melted. The foot marks of Lord Rama and his brothers were imprinted on these rocks and presently seen in Bharat Milap Temple. The devotees perform ritual circumambulation of this hill to seek blessings.

Bharat Koop

Bharat Koop located few kilometers from Chitrakoot is believed to be the place where Bharata had stored holy water collected from all sacred rivers. There is also a temple of Lord Rama.

Sphatik Shila

Sphatik Shila is located on the banks of River Mandakini, few kilometers from Chitrakoot and it is marked by two huge rocks. Visitors may climb up to see the footprints of Lord Rama and Goddess Sita. It is believed to be the place where Lord Rama and Sita admired the beauty of Chitrakoot.

Hanumaan Dhaara

Hanumaan Dhaara is located on a hillside and approached by climbing 360 steps. At Hanuman Dhara, water from a natural spring falls over a statue of Lord Hanuman.

Chitrakoot Waterfalls

Chitrakoot Waterfalls are located 48kms west of Jagdalpur in Chattisgarh region in the middle of Vindhya ranges and fed by River Indravati - a tributary of Narmada River. Chitrakoot waterfall is the largest waterfalls in India and also referred as “Niagara Falls of India”. The height of the falls is about 100 feet. The width of the waterfall varies due to the level of water in the river and it widens up to 150 meters in the monsoons when it turns a bit wild and violent. Best time to visit and enjoy the beauty of Chitrakoot waterfall is after the monsoons. Chitrakoot waterfalls is a favorite picnic spot where one can spend hours just sitting and enjoying the scenic beauty of the place. The water colour changes to brown during the monsoons due to silt whereas in other season it’s white and clear. The shape of the waterfall is like a horse-shoe.

Ram Ghat

Ram Ghat is the most important place in Chitrakoot for ritual activities. Ram Ghat is located on the banks of River Mandakini and evening Aarti performed here are very beautiful. During the exile period Lord Rama, Lakshman and Goddess Sita had taken bath here and believed to have appeared before the poet Tulsidas.

Janki Kund

Janki Kund is believed to be the place where Goddess Sita had bathed in the clear waters of River Mandakini during the years of exile.

Gupt Godavari

Gupt Godavari is located at a distance of 18 kms from Chitrakoot where a tiny stream flows into tanks at the end of an underground cave. The source of this stream is unidentified. There is a pair of caves, one high and wide with an entrance through which one can barely pass while the other one is long and narrow with stream of water running along its base. Two natural throne-line rocks in the cave have led to the belief that Lord Rama and his brother Laxman held court here.

Sati Anasuya Ashrama

Sati Anasuya Ashrama is located at a distance of 16 kms from Chitrakoot in the thick forests. Atri Muni, his wife Anasuya and their three sons (who were the three incarnations of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh) meditated here in Ashrama. Hindus believe that River Mandakini emerged as a result of Anasuya's meditation to remove sufferings of sages and the animals which was due to no rain for a period of ten years in Chitrakoot. Sati Anusuya ashrama is a very peaceful place where various streams from the hills converge and form the Mandakini River. It is believed that Lord Rama and Goddess Sita had visited this Ashram to meet Atri Muni and Sati Anusuya.

Rajapur

Rajapur is located at a distance of 38 kms Chitrakoot and famous for being the birthplace of Goswami Tulsidas, the author of world famous Shri Ram Charita Manas. There is also a temple of Tulsidas here.\

Ganesh Bagh

Ganesh Bagh is located at a distance of 11 kms from Chitrakoot which is near to Bankey Siddhapur village. Ganesh Bagh is famous for a richly carved temple, a seven storied baoli and the ruins of a palace which was built by Peshwa Vinayak Rao as a summer retreat.

Kalinjar

Kalinjar is located at a distance of 88 kms from Chitrakoot which is famous for the impregnable fort of Kalinjar. Within the fort of Kalinjar lies the Nilkanth temple, Swarga Rohan Kund, Vakhandeshwar Mahadev Temple, Shivasari Ganga & Koti Tirth. Also, there are other interesting places within the fort like Sita Sej, Pataal Ganga, Pandu Kund, Budhi Taal, Bhairon ki Jharia and Mrig Dhara.

Marpha

Marpha is located at a distance of 4 kms from Gupt Godavari which is famous for the waterfalls, Jal Mochan Sarovar, Shri Balaji temple, five faced statue of Lord Shiva and ruins of a fort (believed to be built by Chandel Rajas).

Fairs and Festivals in Chitrakoot

  • Ramayan Mela: February to March

  • Ramnavmi: March to April

  • Dipawali: October to November

  • Navaratri: March and in October

  • Vijayadashmi: October

  • Shrawan Jhoola Mela: August

  • Amavasya Fair: Every month

Accommodation

Accommodation provided by Uttar Pradesh State Tourism Department Corporation:
1.    Tourist Bungalow (UPSTDC).
        Contact number: +91 5198 224219, 222218
        E-mail: rahitochitrakoot@up-tourism.com  
2.    Yatri Niwas 'Chitrakoot' (UPSTDC)

Tourist information / Office of the Assistant Tourist Officer, Tourist Bungalow Campus, Chirakoot.
        Contact number: +91 5198 224218
        E-mail: rtoalld_upt@yahoo.com

Tourists can stay at the government owned resorts or at the camps near the banks of river. There are also various other hotels in the vicinity for lodging.