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Chitrakoot of MP - A Complete Tourist's Gude
Located at the northern side of the towering Vindhya hill, Chitrakoot or Chitrakuta , a forest town, is covering the prolonged area of both Satna (Madhya Pradesh) and Banda (Uttar Pradesh) districts. It’s a lovely destination, spread across the mesmerizing forests. Towering hills mark its territory. The Mandakini River, the sustenance of Chitrakoot, flows across the stunning manor.
Situated at an elevation of 50 meters, Chitrakut, is a well spread land along the villages of Sitapur, Kamta, Curvy, Kohohi and Naugaon. It was a divine land where holy Indian saints used to live at.
A number of tribes are now living in Chitrakoot. It’s a consecrated Hindu pilgrimage. The followers of the mythological Gods, Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshwar, flock to the city in numbers. The name of this famous divine land has been seen in various stories written by the saints and renowned writers, such as, Balmiki, Byasdeb and Kalidas. The historical names of Tulsidas and Abdur Rahim are associated closely with Chitrakoot as well.
The main city is spread along the Mandakini River banks. An array of residential homes, hotels, shops and temples are their alongside the banks for the entertainment of tourists and city dwellers. Plenty of devotees assemble on the River banks to worship the holy mythological God, Sun. According to the Hindu ritual, practiced for many years, pilgrims, take a bath in the holy water of the Mandakini River before paying honor to the Sun. The scenic splendor of the ritual of offering 108 diyas on the Ramghat or on the famous Mandakini River banks is one of the finest sights of the world. The Mattagajendra Shiva temple, Parnakutir, Totamukhi Monkey temple and plenty of mythological memorials are dotted in and around the city.
This is a wonderful place to enjoy the vista around the Mandakini River banks. Look yonder and watch the soaring mountains alongside the lingering Mandakini River banks. Go beyond the Mandakini River to its western banks from Ramghat. Hundreds of known and unknown mythological tales are associated with the River and the city. Hire a yacht from Ramghat and free yourself from the worldly worries. Spend 60-65 rupees for 2 hours and get to the fascinating coveted destinations of Chitrakoot, such as, Pramod Van, Sriram- Janaki temple and Glass temple. For a romantic and enticing experience everyone should enjoy a boat ride. The environment around the River banks is laudable.
Interested holiday makers can stay at Raghuraj and Mandakini Rest houses.
Nature lovers should hire an auto to visit the spring, about 4 km towards the eastern side of Chardham bus stand. Climb up the soaring hill crossing 360 stairways to watch the grandeur of Hanumandhara or the spring. It is believed that mythological hero, Ramachandra, had created this spring. To recall that glory and its associated stories a holy temple had also been constructed in the vicinity. The divine stream, coming down from the mountain, is the charm of the place. Sita Rasoi is placed on the towering hill.
To watch the hallowed places like Gupt Godavari, Sati Ansuya temple, Sphatik Shila and Janakikund, hordes of tourists have to avail a bus or hire a car from Chardham bus stand. Gupt Godavari or Sita kund, about 18 km from Chitrakoot, is an interesting creation which had been carved out of hill. The River Godavari which was vanished in Nasik has again come out of earth here. It is believed that Ram along with his brother and wife had stayed in Chitrakoot forest during his exile. Two adjoining stones, known as the thrones, were used by Ram and his brother Lakshman. The foot mark of Sita, the wife of Ram, had also been found here on a holy stone. Devotees can take pleasure in neighboring Ramkund as well. The floor of the Ramkund is inundated in water. According to the belief of the holy devotees, the hanging stone, present in the proximity, was owned by the devil Monkoii who had stolen the attire of Sita while she was taking a bath. The slender road of Ramkund is appealing. Electricity has also reached Ramkund. Devotees get into the Kund through 3 doorways. First door was built in the shape of the bow of Ram, the second one was built in the shape of a snake where as the last doorway was built in the shape of Ramdarbar.
Located at the slope of the mountain, about 12 km away from Chitrakoot, Sati Ansuya temple, enthrall the swarms of devotees and temple lovers, especially for the astonishing natural surrounds. The surrounded woodland would mesmerize the tourists as well. The temple is a captivating abode of innumerable Hindu mythological Gods and Goddesses. 24 incarnations of deities are dazzling the holy devotees. Previously the Ashrams of the saint Atri and Sati Ansuya, atop the hill, were the famous allurements. It is opined that Atri used to live on the hilltop along with his wife and 3 sons. The River Mandakini flows through the lower acclivity. Throw some foods to watch the playful fishes swallowing the foods in a flash. A group of city inhabitants believes that Sri Ramchandra had stayed in the Ashram for few days during his exile.
Pilgrims who want to witness the opulence of the holy footsteps of the mythological characters, Ramchandra and Sita, have to travel to the Sphatik Shila, about 11 km towards the city of Chitrakoot from Ansuya, on the elongated Mandakini River banks. The festival organized during Ramnabami recalls numerous mythological stories, associated with the righteous Sphatik Shila. Start driving your car towards Janakikund after watching the magnificence of Sphatik Shila. The adjoining pious temple also deserves a visit. You would be mesmerized watching the footstep of Sita.
According to the mythological tales, Sita used to take bath in the lucent water of the Mandakini River. To enjoy the splendid nature from a different perspective, you have to ride on a boat from Ramghat to Janakikund, about 2 km away from Ramghat.
Visit Kamadgiri, about 2 km towards the south- east side of Ramghat. The holy temple would definitely raise your spirit. Take a holy bath here in the water of Mandakini River and enjoy a barefoot walk to watch 360 temples of Chitrakoot within 5 km of territory. Circumambulate the Kamadgiri to fulfill your worldly desires.
Besides the Lakshman temple, atop the Lakshman hill, visitors would be able to see the ancient well in the hinterland as well. It is believed that Bharat (Brother of Ram) visited Chitrakoot to ask Sri Ram to go back to Ayodhya. To recall the old story, a memorial namely Bharat Milap temple, was constructed. Innumerable devotees congregate on the holy premise of Chitrakoot just to take a pious bath in the Mandakini River.
About 17 km away from Chitrakoot, the holy reservoir, is full of holy water, brought from different pilgrimage spots of India. Devotees soak themselves in the holy water with the desires of shedding their sins.
Atop the Sankarsan hill, the Koti tirtha or kund, was the habitat of millions of Gods and Goddesses. Hundreds of Goddesses still reside on the hilltop of Devangana Mountain. Nature is really generous both in Devangana and Sankarsana hills. Climb up the hills from Koti Tirtha, to watch the divinity of Banke- Siddha, Pampa Sarovar, Saraswati River, Yam Tirtha, Siddhashram and Topovan of Jatayu.
Nearby Manikarnika, is also known as Panch Tirtha due to the existence of five divine powers, such as, Chandra, Surya, Bayu, Agni and Barun. The pilgrimage, Brahmapad, is not far away as well.
Ganesh Bagh or Mini Khajuraho, adjacent to the Curvy railway station, is popularly known for the excellent architectural splendor of Pramod Kanan, built by Srimant Vinayak Peshwar in 19th Century.
Rajapur, The birth place of Tulsidas (the author of Ramcharitmanas), is located at a distance 38 km from Chitrakoot. Devotees would be fascinated with Sankatmochan temple, the commemorative of Tulsidas and the Manuscript of Ramcharitmanas. About 15 km away from Chitrakut, is the place where the great saint, Kabir, was born.
Mahoba, the ancient capital of the Chandela dynasty, was built in 800. After the triumph of Bundelkhand, the emperors of Chandela dynasty had taken the initiatives to decorate the city with numerous Lakes and holy temples.
Innumerable Buddha and Jain temples (12th century) which were dotted around the city had been destructed with time. The Gorakh Giri hill, located at a corner of the city, was the homeland of the primeval Jain saint namely Gorakh Nath. Plenty of stunning pictures are carved out of the hill. The gigantic singular Shiva idol engraved on the hill is another forte of Gorakh Giri hill. About 5 km away from Mahoba, the Sun temple, is a crowd puller as well. The bird sanctuary around the Vijaya Sagar is a heavenly paradise for the bird watchers. The entire tour of Mahoba can be completed by the end of the day if you visit the sought after destinations of Mahoba hiring a car.
Few noteworthy hotels of Mahoba are Rahi Tourist Bungalow, Shankar, Atithi, Parash and Shivam hotel.
Mahoba, located on the Jhansi- Manikpur railway track, is just 128 km away from Jhansi. Mahoba is well connected to Khajuraho and Jhansi by bus as well.
Charkhari fort, surrounded by the moat, is a wonderful destination amidst the beguiling natural setting. The places around the fort were ruled by the ruler Kutubuddin Aibak since 1195. Since then a number of temples were demolished and mosques were built on the destructed skeletons of these temples by Kutubuddin Aibak.
To watch the historical place and fort closely for some more time you can stay at the Tourist Bungalow. The Bungalow authority would arrange foods for you as well.
Ajaigarh: About 20 km away from the city of Kalinjar, two adjoining forts, called Ajaigarh and Kalinjar, are located at an elevation of 500 meters, atop the Vindhya hill. Willing tourists can climb up 250 stair steps to the fort. The captivating Ajaigarh fort which still has immense historical values, houses Hindu temple, Jain temple and Ajay Pal Ka Talao, in the middle of a well protected territory, shielded with a fortification. Gaze carefully at the ancient architectures of the hilly fort. These historical architectures and fine arts, however, are in ruins. Plenty of historical stories are associated with the striking fort. British also could not resist the temptation of owning this astonishing fort.
The nearest railway station of Ajaigarh is Atarra. Tourists won’t be able to stay overnight at Ajaigarh as there is no hotels.
If you are still interested to watch the ruins of few other historical monuments then make sure that you along with your family members visit Rajgaon fort, about 25 km away from Khajuraho. The history of the ancient fort dates back to 150 years. The neighboring temple is another pleasing site.
Panna Tiger Reserve: About 27 km away from Khajuraho, the lingering green meadow of primeval emperors, the Panna National Park, offers the most satisfying and gratifying sights to the nature lovers during November- June. On the sprawling banks of the Ken River, the green manor, built in 1981, is covering rambling 543 square km of land. Teak, Tectona Grandis, Bamboo and Acacia catechu are providing a dark shelter to the natural denizens of the forest, such as, tigers, Panther, Wolfs and Crocodiles.
Tourists, who desperately crave a break, have to visit the forest. The tranquility and quietness of the woods would be able to enthrall you, especially, for the astonishing waterfall. The Panna Nationa Park had added another feather to its crown with the honor of the Tiger Reserve in 1994. The undulating plateau of Panna Tiger Reserve is a thrilling homeland of 29 tigers. Apart from tigers, a number of Chinkaras, Nilgais and Shambars stroll in and around the territory.
Hundreds of itinerant birds fly in winters to enjoy the stunning façade of the woods. The hordes of holiday makers can take pleasure in the charming nature of the forest for the entire day. To enjoy the majesty and know the stories associated with the Panna National Park, hire a guide spending 200 rupees. The chance of getting a rented car of forest department is very little. You, however, can hire your own car by spending 800/1000 rupees. Avail an elephant safari to enjoy the wildlife of the forest.
Nevertheless, the temperature in summers stays around 44 degrees Celsius to 46 degrees Celsius. In winters the lovely territory enjoys a temperature of 5- 6 degrees Celsius. The average rainfall of the forest is 1100 mm.
Panna is connected to Jhansi, Bhopal, Agra and Satna by bus. Panna National Park can be accessed through Mandla by road. Mandla is located on Panna- Khajuraho road.
Forest Rest House- Mandla and Panna Tiger Resort are the places where tourists and nature lovers can stay overnight at.
Located at a distance of 4 km from the Tiger Reserve, Majhgawan, houses a diamond mine which is the largest one in Asia and is the only diamond mine of India as well. Grant permission from National Mineral Development Corporation ltd, at the entrance of the Diamond mine, before visiting the diamond mine. It is closed on Sundays though.
A number of divine temples are scattered in and around Panna as well. Most of these sanctified temples were creatively designed and built during Chhatrasal dynasty.
Pandav waterfall, about 14 km from Panna, is a joy to see, especially, after the heavy monsoon showers. A nearby cave is very popular as well. It is believed that the name of this cave was associated with the mythological character, Ramchandra.
The notable hotels in the vicinity are Lawania Jungle Resort (Diamond Mines Road) and Ken River Lodge (10 km from Pandav waterfall towards Khajuraho).
Gangau dam, at the confluence point of ken and Simri Rivers, about 34 km away from Panna Tiger Reserve, is a splendid place. Rajgarh palace (25 km), Beni Sagar dam (11 km), Benisagar Lake, Rane waterfall (about 20 km from Panna amidst the beautiful woodland), crocodile sanctuary and Bandhabragh National Park (237 km away towards the southern side of Panna) are other nearby sought after destinations.
All these neighboring destinations of Panna are not very popular but definitely deserve a visit. These noteworthy destinations can be accessed comfortably if you hire a car. All these destinations are inter-linked by roads.
How to reach: Chitrakoot Curvy railways station is located on Jhansi- Manickpur railway track. Chitrakoot is well connected to Khajuraho, Satna, Sitapur and Kanpur by bus as well.
Where to stay: Tourist Bungalow, Mandakini Rest House, Gahoi Bhawan and Radha Lodge. Check our hotel booking links below for photos, rates, options and online bookings.