- Ramalakshmana Mandir
Mention Chitrakut, there flashes across our
mind the most holiest spot on earth exuding the
magnificence of brotherly affection and
heartless royal obligation. It is on this holy spor
Bharata, the loyal, regal brother demonstrated
his peerless swarthatyaga and inimitable
brotherly affection. It also witnessed Sri Rama's
Rajadharma and the glory of
Pitruvakyaparipalana, which the mother Earth
has not seen similar. Together with these
lakshmana s righteous indignation and poor
knowledge of psychology also. Viewed from any
angle, this sacrosanct place holds out the glory
of the eternal values of Hinduism. Bharata met
here his dear-most elder brother Sri Rama in
exile and pleads with tears for his return in
atonement of a great sin perpetrated by his
power crazy mother, guided by blind
Putravatsalya. Explaining the weight and merit
of father's word, Rama convinces him to go
back and rule Ayodhya as desired by Mother,
when the accumulated ripe wisdom of the
maharshis failed to bring effect on Bharatha.
Besides, this sacred name conjures up a host of
legendary and historical figures, who imprinted
their immortal names on the sacred hills, holy
banks and many consecreted sports. Its
sthalapurana takes us back to Tretayuga of the
Ramaavatara period and shows us the august
places of his dwelling, walking, counselling etc.
It was here sati Anasuya made river Ganga flow
to rejuvenate the drought hit area and later
gained the name of Mandakini. It is here
Tulasidas was blessed with the vision of Sri
Rama and lived adoring the image of Sri Rama
applying sandal paste everyday for long. It is in
its vicinity lived Valmiki and sage Bharadwaja
and finally it is here Bharata accepted to be the
ruler of a Rama's deputy. And here lies the
famous Bharatakupa into which Sri Rama threw
the waters collected from all the rivers for
crowning of Bharata. Consecrated by several
auspicious episodes, this holy region has been
luring a great influx of pilgrims since then.
Later, celebrated rulers built imposing shrines
numbering nearly thirty. the main one is
dedicated to Sri Rama and Lakshmana. And
they are at Sitapur lying close to Chitrakuta hill.
The temple is ancient and lies on the bank of
river Mandakini. It is quite imposing and vast in
dimensions. On account of immense spiritual
pre-eminence of the hill, its surrounding area
has developed into townships catering to the
needs of the visiting yatris and paryatakas. 'Ihe
river too has many convenient bathing ghats
with well-built steps for the benefit of theists.
Pious theists undertake the Panchakroshi -
going round the hill as pradakshana for merit.
Another temple next in importance to
Ramalakshmana, is lakshmi Narayana temple
built by the Maharaja of Rewa. And is visited
devoutly by all. Nityanaimithika worship is
offered with unparalleled devotional fervor.
Daily worship is offered with great zeal to those
holy images as laid down in agamas. Periodical
festivals like Sri Rama Navami and Diwali are
celebrated with great pomp and splendour.
Having turned out one of the most sacred
places of pilgrimage, it enjoys a steady influx of
pilgrims throughout the year. For Ramabhaktas,
it is as important as Ayodhya.
It lies 90' km off Prayaga of Uttar- Pradesh and
about 5 km off Chitrakoot railway station,
accessible by four wheelers.