Chitrakut

Chitrakut is one of the most sacred pilgrim sites of north India. It covers a vast area comprising five villages: Sitapur, Karvi, Nayagaon, Kamta, and Khohi. The mountain ranges of the Vindhya surround the area. Mixed forests spread in all directions. An aura of sanctity surrounds the place. The countryside seems to exert a peculiar power over the residents and visitors alike. Today, the main pilgrim center, Ram Ghat, on the banks of the river Mandakini is synonymous with Chitrakut. This small, sleepy village is associated with many a legend and epic. It is believed that Rama and Sita, the leading dramatis personae of the epic Ramayana, spent 11 years out of their 14 years of exile in the forests around Chitrakut.

Most of the spots of tourist importance are along the river Mandakini. Janaki Kund is a straight stretch of river and a series of steps on the left bank descended to the water, almost greenish-blue in color. According to a legend, it was the favorite bathing spot of Sita. Beyond Janaki Kund, the river is enchantingly beautiful. Ram Ghat is a long stretch of steps cut into the banks where pilgrims perform religious ablutions and rituals. Many compare its hallowed sanctity to Rishikesh and Benaras. At Sphatik Shila, a large boulder has impressions of Lord Rama's footprints. In addition, there is Deva Ganga, Sati Anasuya, and Gupt Godavari.

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