Chitrakoot- Hill of Many Wonders

Chitrakoot is a small town located in Madhya Pradesh with a shared border with Uttar Pradesh. Known for places of religious importance. A city that every devout Hindu aspires to visit in order to learn about the years that Lord Rama spent in this hill for the better part of his exile.

The town borders the eponymous district of Uttar Pradesh and nestles in the North Vindhya Hills. It is a region that reverberates with the mythological tales of Ramayana making it a ‘must visit’ place for the worshippers of Lord Rama. Legend has it that Rama along with his brother Laxman and wife Sita spent over 11 years in the ‘hill of wonders,’ the name by which it is often referred to. That is not all though. The town is believed to have been a favourite site of meditation frequented by numerous saints and sages in the ancient times. The Holy Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh are believed to have achieved their incarnated form at this very place making it a hugely significant location for the Hindus who seek salvation.

Although this tiny town is substantially visited by tourist and no doubt amazingly awed by the spirituality, beautiful temples and bountiful nature. The town is well maintained by the local bodies as well as the Tourism Department with easy commutation points and hotels for stay.


Chitrakoot is a part of the Bundelkhand region at present and had been named after the Cheetal Deer that roamed in the forests. A particular significance in the mind of Hindus as it is mentioned time and again in the grand old Epic Ramayana. Apart from Lord Rama and his brother along with Sita, (the obedient wife of Rama), the place is known to be visited by various Gods and goddesses at a different period as well. The names of numerous sages have performed their rituals here too. The Holy Trinity of Gods according to the Hindu mythology had been incarnated at this very place.
The town had been ruled by the Chandela Rajputs from 10th-6th A.D. when the attack by Mahmud of Ghazni was thwarted. However, it soon came under the rule of the Mughals with repeated uprisings by the Marathas. The British began to govern the area from 1802 until India achieved its Independence in 1947.


Chitrakoot or the ‘Hill of many wonders’ is predominantly known for its mythological heritage. Believed to be frequented by Lord Rama for as many as 11 years, the tales of Ramayana heavily influence the city’s culture. Almost all the places of tourist interest here are associated with Hindu mythology particularly the folklore that has grown around Lord Rama and his life in exile. Ramayana also influences the art and craft with a small stone, and wooden idols of the Lord is a must buy in Chitrakoot.

The town is dominated by Hindu’s followed by the Muslims, Christians and other minorities of India. Almost all Hindu festivals including Diwali, Dussehra, and Ram Navami are celebrated here with pomp with the religiously minded choosing to visit the places that have been touched by Lord Rama. While Hindi is the commonly spoken language here, several dialects such as Bundeli and Bagheli are also in existence with the local populace communicating with each other in the local dialect of the specific region. The tribal population of the town practice their art and show their gratitude by means of multiple folk dances namely Badhai, Saira, Rai, Akhada, Jawara, and Dhimrai.

The town received wide acclaim for its National Ramayana Fair that is held every year during the last year of February or first week of March. The recitation of the entire Ramayana that includes all 24,000 couplets is one of the highlights of this fair.

Places of Interest

Almost all the sites worth seeing here are linked to the great Epic of Ramayana. The temple of Bharat Milap, for instance, marks the spot where Lord Ram was met by his brother Bharat who requested him to return to Ayodhya and rule as the King. The footprints of the brothers have been preserved within the temple.

It is possible to visit Kamtanath, the temple standing at the site of Param Kutir or the shack where Lord Rama stayed with his wife Sita and brother Laxman.

People lose no chance of gazing at the beautiful body of water, Janki Kund, where Sita is believed to have bathed during her years of exile.

Many people prefer to visit Chitrakoot during the month of Karthik as per the Indian Calendar and float lighted lamps on River Mandakini as a part of paying homage to Lord Rama. Known as Deep Daan, this ceremony is indeed beautiful, and womenfolk cherish it mainly by visiting this place in hordes during October-November that coincides with Karthik.   

Meandering through the caves of Gupt Godavari is an adventure of sorts. The ancient cave walls contain carvings while the traipsing through the narrow path is intensely exciting. The perennial streams of water gushing through the cave may need it a delightful nature study that is seldom found elsewhere.

Lord Ram absolved his sins by bathing at this spot (Ramghat) on the banks of River Mandakini. Pilgrims are eager to follow his footsteps when visiting this area.

The Bow like Kamadgiri Mountain is believed to be a hollow structure and the site of many legendary tales. The temple is found to be chock-a-block with devotees almost perpetually it is believed to be an intensely Holy place where Brahma performed a Havan before going on to create the universe.

Food at Chitrakoot

There are several eateries in the town too that serve strictly vegetarian fare in accordance with the religious significance that happens to be the main attraction of the place. The variety of food is not too diverse though with North Indian food being offered at the stand-alone restaurants and hotels. Samosa is street food that is available widely in the town along with the sweet, syrupy jalebis that are preferred by both the tourists as well as the locals.

The Ashoka Restaurant at Ramghat offers delicious vegetarian food of North Indian cuisines. It is perfect for people with a limited budget as food for two will only amount to Rs 200.

The Jaipuria Smriti Bhawan is a local Dhaba that does brisk business by serving sumptuous but everyday North Indian, vegetarian food at Rs 100.


Reach Chitrakoot over a weekend by alighting at the Chitrakoot Dham Railway station. Alternatively, you can also fly to Khajuraho, the nearest airport and hire a taxi for about Rs. 2500 for reaching the town.

Day 1- Check into your hotel and take some well-deserved rest. Go up the hill to the Hanuman Dhara Temple and soak in the spirituality of the place. Look down to the beautiful panoramic view of the area and do not hesitate to capture it in camera. Head straight to Ramghat by the side of River Mandakini and take a dip to get rid of all sins just like Lord Rama. Soak in the atmosphere of the holy passage of Lord Rama and visit the Bharat Milap temple nearby where Rama was met by his brother Bharat who requested him to return to Ayodhya and rule as the King. Trace your footsteps back to the ghat for the evening Aarti by the priests and revel in the holy atmosphere created by the chanting, flowers, lamps, and the heady smell of incense.

Day 2- Go upstream from Ramghat at Chitrakoot and familiarize yourself with the terrain where Lord Rama had spent a significant part of his exile. Check out the Sphatik Shila where Ram-Sita used to converse with each other and look into Param Kutir where the holy couple used to live together. Be sure to worship at the adjoining Kamtanath temple and dip into the waters of River Mandakini at Janki Kund. You might even go on an adventure trail by following the narrow channels of Gupt Godavari within the cave. Admire the carvings on the walls and trudge along slowly with the water coming up to your knees. Have your lunch by tucking into a pure vegetarian Thali that might be plain but is definitely satisfying.

Day 3- Set the last day of the tour for a parikrama (circumvention) of Kamadgiri Mountain and pay your homage to Kamadnathji (Lord Rama) so that your every wish comes true. The route is 5 km long so dress accordingly and wear footwear fit for walking. No matter whether you o it in 45 minutes or take more than an hour, you will have the rest of day free to roam around seeing the sights that you had missed so far. You can head out of the town to Bharat Koop where the waters from all holy places of India are accumulated together. You may also want to stop by Ram Shaiya, the place where the brothers Ram & Laxman used to spend time together.

What you will like

Numerous shrines, serenity and divine aura attracts many pilgrims.

What you might not like

Stay aware from Touts and thags, unhygienic alleys

Ideal For

Hindu worshippers,