Chitrakoot – Introduction

Published on Dec 16, 2014

( ValmikiRamayan:Ayodhyakandha 29.54)
That divine mountain range where monkey and bear live protected and that which is named as Chitrakut is beautiful and wonderful just like the mountain of gandhamadan.
Chitrakut means “delightful ashram,” and it has long been a place of austerity. The hills and forests have many caves, providing shelter for sages and ascetics. The area is beautiful and suitable for spiritual life.
There are big hills all around, with forests filled with singing birds and many, many monkeys. Although Lord Rämacandra was banished to live in the forest, Chitrakut was pleasant for Him and Sitä.

Even today Chitrakut is ideally situated for an ascetic life. It is distant from any major city, situated where the plains of Uttar Pradesh in northern India give way to the hills, forests, and mountains of Madhya Pradesh in central India. The present town of Chitrakut has two sections, one in Uttar Pradesh and one in Madhya Pradesh.
The local people live simply and austerely. The rooms for pilgrims are extremely simple, and so is the food. Since Chitrakut is away from the big cities, the only fruits or vegetables available are those grown nearby.
Chitrakut has many temples. Most are near Räma-ghat, where Lord Räma would bathe in the Mandäkini Ganges, and around KämadaNäthaji Hill (“the hill of the desire-fulfilling Lord”). Most are Sitä-Räma temples, but there are also two Narasimha temples, a few Krishna temples, a JagannäthaBaladevaSubhadrä temple, and quite a few Shiva temples. It seems that about a hundred years ago there was a lot of building in Chitrakut because so many temples date from around that time. Many Kings and Prince built temples here.
Most of the temples are taken care of by married couples or a few sädhus. The arrangements for the deities are nice, and the temples are kept neat and clean.

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