Why Chitrakoot Dham is more than just a religious hub
Located on the border of UP and MP, Chitrakoot is a small town but it has been bestowed with a ethereal charm. Given the fact, there are many breathtaking places to visit in Chitrakoot Dham .
However, Chitrakoot tourism mainly revolves around spirituality. This place has always been the most suitable spot for meditation of saint. Even Tulsidas Ji, the writer of Ramayana, spent his entire life in Chitrakoot.
Combined with serenity, divinity, and natural beauty, Chitrakoot Dham is a spiritual bliss for the tourists.
Why you should visit Chitrakoot?
Before heading to Chitrakoot, better you know the significance of the city. Chitrakoot holds a strong significance in Hindu mythology. According to Hindu epic Ramayana, Chitrakoot is the place where Lord Ram had spent nearly 11 of his fourteen years of exile along with his wife Sita and his younger brother Lakshman.
In Ramayana, Chitrakoot has been detailed cited. It is also the place where Bharat, the second younger brother of Ram, came to meet Ram. Owing to its awe-inspiring natural beauty and such a strong religious significance, Chitrakoot is often tagged as ‘The Hills of many Wonders’ and is today a much-loved tourist destination in India.
Today, let’s explore the town that is entirely entwined in the mythological saga of Shree Ram.
let’s start the list of places to visit in Chitrakoot with its crowning jewel ‘Ram Ghat’. Located on the edge of holy Mandakini River, Ram Ghat is the place from where the pious Parikrama of Chitrakoot (the traditional round) starts. Ram Ghat is actually a long stretch of huge stairs where the devotees take bath. After taking the bath, people seek the blessing of ‘Mattgajendreshwar Swami’ (Lord Shiva) in a marvelous temple overlooking the Mandakini River. According to legends, it is the place where Lord Ram used to bath thousands of thousands years ago. So, don’t miss to take a dip in this pious Chitrakoot river.
Interestingly, it is also believed to be the same place where Lord Ram appeared in front of the greatest poet and saint Tulsi Das. There is also a seat named ‘Tulsi Chabutra’ which is believed to be exactly the place where Tulsi das Ji sat and penned down the Ram Charit Manas. In Ram Ghat, even today, the chant of Ramayana is always going on.
No matter when you visit throughout the year and 24×7, you can listen the ‘Doha’ of Ramayana from far away. Thus, Ram Ghat always reverberates with the echoing sound of Mantra creating an ethereal aura all around.
- Distance: 9Km from Chitrakoot railway station
- Key Attractions: Mandakini River, continuous recites of Ramayana, Kamtanath Temple, throngs of devotees
- Must-do Activities: Take a dip in the sacred water of Mandakini river, visit Kamtanath temple
With the name, what can you guess? What this place would be all about? Well, Kamadgiri is a Sanskrit word which literally means ‘a mountain which fulfills all the desires’. Kamadgiri is not just an another hill, rather it is the essence and soul of Chitrakoot. Dotted with many religious spots and numerous temples, Kamadgiri is a large forested hill which is said to be the abode of Lord Ram in Treta Yug during his exile. so, catch a sight of this hill.
The bow-shaped hill is believed to have an underground lake where some saints are lost in deep meditation even today. The forested area around the entire hill is nearly 5 km. Devotees do the circumambulation of hill barefoot to appease the Lord and make their wishes come true.
Kamadgiri Parikrama is said to have a strong significance, so this should be the first thing for you to do in Chitrakoot. With my personal experience, I’m telling you that it really makes the wishes do come true. And, the most interesting fact, you won’t even realize when the whole circumambulation is done. In between this route, you’ll find many temples and other interesting places recounting the legendary saga of Ramayana.
- Distance: 11.6 km from Chitrakoot railway station
- Key Attractions: A number of temples.
- Must-do activity: perfom the circumambulation of the hill. Kamadgiri Parikrima distance is 5km.
With the name, you must have assumed that this place has something intriguing. Yes, as the name suggests, Gupt Godavari is a cave where the Godavari River emerges, flows down to another cave and then disappears somewhere in the mountain. Mind-blowing. No?
The cave has two entrances- one is large while the other is very tinny and narrow. The second entrance is so narrow that it seems not to be ideal for even a 10 years slim kid. For your surprise, around 90% people pass through this entrance. That’s the beauty of Gupt Godavari. The local priests believe that who had committed a bundle of sins can’t pass through the cave’s entrance. Interesting No? BTW, I passed through this gate.
It is said that once Lord Ram had a court meeting along with his brother Lakshman inside the cave. Apart from its such a huge religious significance, the exceptional carvings on the walls of this enigmatic cave give the visitors another reason to visit Gupt Godavari.
- Distance: 26km from Chitrakoot railway station
- Key Attraction: the intriguing and narrow cave and Godavari river.
- Must-do activity: Snap hundreds of Gupt Godavari images.
After the intriguing amazement of Gupt Godavari, turn your head to Marpha where spirituality, nature’s glory, and architectural splendor stand side by side. Marpha is just 4 km from Gupt Godavari. Its the panoramic milieu, breathtaking waterfall, splendid Bala Ji Mandir, and majestic Chandel Fort that makes Marpha a must-visit Chitrakoot sightseeing place. If you want all these experience together, just head over to Marpha Chitrakoot.
Today, Chandel fort is in a derelict state, but it is still stately enough to bewilder you. In fact, it is one of the most popular historical places to visit in Chitrakoot. Over all, Marpha is the best place for picnic expedition in Chitrakoot.
- Distance: nearly 30 km from Chitrakoot railway station
- Key Attractions: Sparkling waterfall, Chandel fort, and awe-inspiring natural beauty
- Must-do activities: Bird-watching, exploring the fort, and enjoying the cascades of waterfall
Sati Ansuya Ashram
Every Indian knows about Sati Ansuya and her interesting story with ‘Tridevas’ but a very few would be aware of fact that it’s only Sati Ansuya who brought Mandakini River on earth from the heaven. It is said that in ancient time, there was severe famine in Chitrakoot and the region hadn’t received the rainfall continuously for ten years. Then, Sati ji performed a deep meditation and austerities and brought the river on earth. Owing its significance, Sati Ansuya Ashram definitely deserves a visit.
Also, it is the place where she used to live with her husband and also performed the meditation.
- Distance: Nearly 20 km from Chitrakoot railway station
- Key Attraction: Artifacts associated with Maa Ansuya
- Must-do activity: Just feel the calmness.
The next name on list of places to visit in Chitrakoot is Hanuman Dhara. It is the probably the most enchanting place in Chitrakoot. Located at a steep terrain hill which requires a tiresome ascend of nearly 500 rocky steps, Hanuman Dhara is actually a cascade.
It originates from a hill, falls upon the statue of Hanuman and then goes to a Kund. The presiding deity of this temple is Lord Hanuman. Getting in the hill atop is a bit tedious but as soon as you’ll reach there, the gleaming waterfall and the exceptional statue of Lord Hanuman will enthrall you.
There are some other noticeable temples too in the hill but Hanuman Dhara is the jewel.
- Distance: 9km from Chitrakoot railway station
- Key Attraction: An ethereal cascade of water.
- Must-do activity: Capture the mystical charm of Hanuman Dhara in your digital lens.
Bharat Milap Temple
The sightseeing in Chitrakoot can never be completed without a visit to Bharat Milap Temple. In between your Parikrama, you’ll find this temple. This is actually the place where Bharat met to Ram coming all the way from Ayodhya . Now, at that place, three temples have been built which still consist of the engraved footprints of Ram and Bharat. Yes, those footprints!
This is a must visit place because of these implausible footprints that have been existed since the Treta Yug. There is a comprehensive account of Bharat Milap in Ramayana that can melt even a stone heart with the love of Bharat for his elder brother Ram.
- Distance: 13km from chitakoot railway station.
- Key Attractions: Footprints of Rama and Sita and also that of Bharat.
- Must-do activity: Again, capture this unbelievable charm in your camera.
The next place to visit in Chitrakoot is Janki Kund, where Goddess Sita used to bath during the period of her exile. Located along the bank of Mandakini river, Janki kund is a natural pond. Since it is a forested area, is always packed with the lush greenery and offers a soothing atmosphere.
Sitting for a moment near the temple capturing the panoramic view from the high above and feeling the spirituality of god is the best thing you can do in Janki Kund.
- Distance: Nearly 12 km from Chitrakoot railway station.
- Key attractions: Eye-popping milieu and a sparkling pond.
- Must-do activity: Capture the splendour of nature at its best.
Best time to visit Chitrakoot
So, these are the places of interest in Chitrakoot. Before heading out, know the best season too if you want to enjoy your Chitrakoot tour
out and out.
To be honest, Chitrakoot isn’t a kind of tourist hub. Still, the place is always thronged by the visitors. It’s the devotees who make it the year-round tourist destination.
As it is a pilgrimage spot, the magnetism of city remains same throughout the year. It neither fades down completely nor gleams exceedingly. But yes, if the allure of a city gets assorted with the exhilarated spirits of people, it creates a magical aura inevitably.
So, to feel this magical aura, visit Chitrakoot during the festivals related to Lord Ram such as Diwali, Ram Janmashtami, Dussehra, and Holi. During this time, the place is always brimmed with the visitors. You may even require the advance booking of hotels. If you’re concerned about the weather, Chitrakoot can be explored in any month of any season.
- Best Season to visit: Winters.
How to reach Chitrakoot
As I said before, Chitrakoot is a town, so don’t expect a top-class transportation service here.
Road-network is the best way to get the city. The regular bus service plies from Chitrakoot to nearby cities on a daily basis, not on frequent intervals. Once you have reached Karwi, the connecting city of Chitrakoot, you won’t face any problem.
Myriads of autos, rickshaws, taxis, and jeeps would be there waiting for your single call only. But the actual problem is ‘how to get Karwi’ which is a bit difficult. To be more honest, going Chitrakoot by your own vehicle is the best possibility to reach there because you won’t have to waste long hours waiting for the public transport.
If we talk about rail network, you have to keep eye on the trains. Though Chitrakoot Dham Karwi Railways Station, the nearest railway station, is linked by the major cities of India, still, there are only a handful of trains that pass through this station in a day.
Going Chitrakoot by airways is difficult. Bamrauli Airport Allahabad is the nearest airport, nearly 106 km away. From here, you would need to get a bus or a train.
Where to stay in Chitrakoot
Thoroughly associated with the interesting and curious tales of Ramayana, now Chitrakoot has garnered huge name and fame throughout the country as a tourist destination. Given the fact, you won’t face any problem for the stay.
There are many hotels, lodges and guest houses in Chitrakoot. Here, we have mentioned the most suitable stay possibilities near Chitrakoot.
- Shree Jee Bhawan Chitrakoot (1.1 km from Chitrakoot)
- Bindiram Hotel Chitrakoot (2.5 km from Chitrakoot)
- Anand Bhawan Guest House Chitrakoot (0.7 km from Chitrakoot)
- Tourist Bunglow Chitrakoot (1.8 km from Chitrakoot)
These are some of the most beautiful places to visit in Chitrakoot. Every visitor coming to Allahabad more likely visits Chitrakoot as well. We have just mentioned the famous places to visit in Chitrakoot. There is a lot more to explore.