January 25, 2021

Chitrakoot with Shruti Pandey

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This week, The Musafir Stories speaks to Shruti Pandey, as she takes us to the land with connections to the Ramayan, Chitrakoot!

Today's destination: Chitrakoot, MP

Nearest Airport: Allahabad/Prayagraj Airport, IXD

Nearest Railway Station: Karwi railway station


Packing - Pack according to the weather

Time of the year - Nov-Dec, Feb-Apr

Length of the itinerary:  2-4 days

Itinerary Highlights:

- Shruti speaks of the connection of Chitrakoot to the hindu epic of Ramayan - the place where Ram, Sita and Laxman spent close to 12 years while on exile.
- Chitrakoot has been a religiously significant place given its connection to the Ramayan, there are plenty of pilgrims that visit Chitrakoot through out the year
- First on our itinerary is the Kamtanath Parikrama, named after the principal deity of Chitrakoot. Pilgrims perform a circumambulation/parikrama around the Kamtanath mountain which is about 5 kms long. It is believed to be equivalent to performing a pilgrimage to the holy Chardham!
- After the parikrama, one can visit the Ram Ghat - the banks of the river Mandakini. It is said to be the place where Lord Ram used to bathe and the place where Tulsidas wrote the Ramayana. The ghat is also popular for the Aarti and the boat rides.
- Day 2 starts off with a visit to Hanuman Dhara, a natural spring from the Hanumagiri mountain. This is a bit of a hike and one has to climb 500 steps to reach the spring. Hanuman is supposed to have cooled off here after ransacking Lanka. The climb also makes for a beautiful sunrise here.
- Next on the agenda is the Chardham yatra (not the same as the one is Uttarakhand) that covers Sita Kund/Janaki (Sita's pond), Sphatik Shila (crystal like rock formation), Gupt Godavari (two caves which believe to the source of Godavari), Sati Anusuya Ashram (an ashram dedicated to the wife of Sage Athreya)
- One of the stop overs is Ram Darshan, that has a beautiful gallery depicting the epic in the form of paintings and sculpture.
- There are other places of importance like Bharat coop, Bharat Milan and Kalinjar fort (of Paatal Lok fame).

Link to Shruti's bloghttps://minireads.in

Photo by Jyoti Singh on Unsplash

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