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Chitrakoot Dhama

(harekrsna.com) – A serial exploration of the Holy Dhama of Chitrakoot.

Across the border of Uttar Pradesh from Lucknow, outside of Naimisharanya, and about 350 kilometers due south in Madhya Pradesh is another of India’s great pilgrimage sites – the Holy Dhama of Chitrakoot. This small town is in the Satna district of Bundelkhand region, which is a rich area of spiritual influence for the Vaisnavas.

In the deep forests of Chitrakoot (Chitrakuta), Lord Rama, Sita and Laksman spent eleven and half years of their fourteen years in exile. Many great sages and devotees have come to Chitrakoot to meditate and perform austerities, including Atri, Sati Anusuya, Dattatreya, Markandeya, Sarbhanga, and Sutikshna. Brahma, Visnu and Shiva have all incarnated at Chitrakoot at one time or another over the ages.

In this age, Chitrakoot is most famous for being associated with the pastimes of Lord Ramacandra. All the demigods assembled here when Rama performed shraddha for his father, and they took part in the shuddhi feast traditionally given to family and friends on the 13th day after a death in the family.

Chitrakoot DhamaRamayana, which describes the place as the abode of many great sages, with an abundance of monkeys and bears living in the lush forests. Both Valmiki and the sage Bharadwaja glorified Chitrakoot, encouraging Rama to take shelter there during his exile. Lord Rama himself sang the praises of Chitrakoot.

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