Dear Divine Souls,
Chitrakoot Dham is not just a small town with temples inside . This Dham is a whole huge area of around 50 to 70 kms in circumference with lot of places where Shri Ram had performed Leela in his exile . Apart from this there were many ashrams of sages and rishis like Atri , Sarbhanga etc. There are lot of places which display the beautiful nature along side with rivers, calmness and serenity. I had only half a day with me to do the darshan of all the places in a hurry which was a big mistake by me while planning . But one who is visiting Chitrakoot should come here to do devotion , relieve all the stress, forget day to day life. I would suggest at least stay two full days here to experience the magic of nature here. especially after monsoon season where the lush greenery is at maximum.
After completing my trek to Hanuman Dhara , we proceeded to towards our next destination called Janaki Kund in our booked car .
राम जो परब्रह्म है यहाँ चित्रकूट के कोने कोने में महसूस होगा .
चित्रकूट धाम में जहा सीता माँ स्नान करती थी उसे जानकी कुण्ड कहते है . दर्शन कीजिये .
Janaki Kund जानकी कुण्ड
This is a lovely stretch of water where it is believed that Sita Maa used to take her bath during her exile at Chitrakoot. Janaki kund poses extreme serenity and tranquility to the pilgrims coming here . Pilgrims visiting Chitrakoot seldom spare the chance to take a dip in Janaki Kund since they strongly believe that these waters are blessed to be the bathing ghat of Sita devi. Nearby boulder houses some footprints, which are believed to be that of Sita Maa.
Entire surroundings of Chitrakoot is festooned with a lustrous greenery and everything around you sings the glory of this delightful place specially Janaki Kund. The water is clear and transparent and the nature is at its pristine best here. Everything in and around this holy place is in perfect harmony rhythm and it would be a great place to spend a leisurely time with your dear ones. One will be definitely impressed by the tranquil surroundings of this beautiful place.
Picture Credits : http://www.harekrsna.com
After spending few minutes here at Janaki Kund we went to our next destination called Sati Anusuya Ashram which is loccated around 16 kms from Ram Ghat. Maha Sati Anasuya is generally quoted as the model of chastity. She was the wife of Atri Maharishi, a great sage and one of the Sapta Rishis Sapta means seven and rishis mean sages in Sanskrit . She was well established in Pativrata Dharma.
a : Ram Ghat
b : Kamadgiri Mountain
c : Janaki Kund
d : Hanuman Dhara
e : diversion for Sati Anusuya Ashram
f : Sati Anusuya Ashram
g : diversion for Gupt Godvari
h : Gupt Godavari
i : Mankakini river
Legend of Mahasati Anusuya
Maha Sati Anasuya served her husband with intense devotion. She did severe Tapas for a very long time in order to beget sons equal to the Gods Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Also Sage Narada praised the satitva qualities of Mahasati in front of three devi Lakshmi. Saraswati and Parvati so much that they became extremely jealous.
Wanting to grant Maha Sati Anasuya her desire to beget sons equal to Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, Sarasvati, Lakshmi and Parvati requested their husbands to test the Pativrata Dharma of Maha Sati Anasuya, wife of Atri Maharishi, and ask her to give them Nirvana Bhiksha, that is, to give them food in a naked condition.
The Tri-Murtis(Gods Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) through their supernatural vision knew the divine wishes of their divine wives (Goddesses Sarasvati, Lakshmi and Parvati) and the wish of Maha Sati Anasuya. They agreed. The Tri-Murtis (Gods Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) took on the forms of Wandering holy ascetics and appeared before Maha Sati Anasuya and asked her to give them Nirvana Bhiksha that is, to give them food in a naked condition. Maha Sati Anasuya was in a great dilemma. She could not say ‘No” to them.She had to maintain her Pativrata Dharma also. She meditated on the form of her husband, took refuge in his feet and sprinkled over the three ascetics a few drops of water which were used for washing the feet of her husband. The Tri-Murtis (Gods Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) were converted into three children on account of the glory of the Charanamrita (Holy water). At the same time, there was accumulation of milk in the breast of Maha Sati Anasuya. She thought that those children were her own children and fed them with the milk in a nude state and put them to the cradle. She was eagerly expecting the arrival of her husband who had gone for taking his bath.
सती अनुसूया का आश्रम भी चित्रकूट धाम में बहुत प्रसिद्द है . यह घने जंगल के बीच में है राम घाट से १८ किमी दूर.इसका दर्शन करना बहुत महत्त्वपूर्ण है .
As soon as Atri Rishi came back home, Maha Sati Anasuya related to him all that had happened during his absence, placed the three children at his feet and worshipped him. But Atri knew all this already through his divine vision. He embraced all the three children. The three children became one child with two feet, one trunk, three heads and six hands. He is called Lord Dattatreya. Atri Rishi blessed his wife and informed her that the Tri-Murtis (Gods Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) themselves had assumed the forms of the three children to gratify her wish.
Picture Credit : http://shirdisaibaba100.blogspot.in
Sati Anusuya Ashram ( सती अनुसूया आश्रम )
The ashram is in extremely secluded place in between dense green forest 16 kms away from Ram ghat in Chitrakoot town . It is located with a green mountain on one side and river Mandakini on the other side . Lot of devotees flock to pay the visit to Maa Sati Anusuya . Even Goddess Lakshmi in human form ,Sita Maa learns satitva from her.
Now this place has huge concrete ashram showing lot of incidents and legends associated with the life of Maha Sati Anusuya Rishi Atri inside . .This ashram and place is worth watching.
Have a look at some of the pictures of this ashram in woods .
सती अनुसुया की सारी कहानिया यहाँ मूर्तियों द्वारा दिखाई गयी है .
मन्दाकिनी नदी का उद्गम यहाँ से ही हुआ है
Also there is one more legend related to origin of river Mandakini
Once there was no rain in this area for several years. There was huge drought in this place destroying all the vegetation and killing of all the animals. Finally Rishi Atri asked his students also to leave this place. So now here only Rishi Atriya and Sati Anusuya were present finally. Rishi with no work left started meditating severely on Lord Shiva for river granting water river Ganga here. Now when Rishi started his severe penance His wife Anusuya had nothing to do as everyone was left in ashram . As she was completely devoted to her husband and for her husband was more than anything else ,she started doing parikrama of her husband itself who himself was chanting mantras of Omkaar. This parikrama around Rishi Atri went on for several years by Sati Anusuya non stop. Due to this deep devotion for husband tremendous amount of punya was accumalated with Sati Anusuya.
Even Gods started to watch from the top. River Ganga Maa was so impressed that rather than giving darshan she wanted to take darshan of Sati Anusuya and ask something from here. At last Rishi comes out of his meditaton and asks for Ganga Jal. Sati Anusuya takes one vessel and moves in on e direction to fetch water for her husband. Lord Shiva Meets Sati Anusuya along with river Ganga Maa and asks for boon. Sati Anusuya asks for Ganga Jal from Lord Shiva. Ganga Maa gives her water and requests Sati Anusuya to give her one year of her punya accumalated while doing the Parikrama which was enough to wash sins accumalted by people who take bath in here for ages. Sati Anusuya gives all the punya accumalated during her lifetime to Ganga Maa for just one vessel of water for her husband . Ganga Maa tremendously impressed grants that she would flow here in Chitrakoot in form of river Mandakini and Lord Vishnu and Laskmi Maa would stay here when they will take avatar in form of Sita Ram.
Picture Credits :http://www.harekrsna.com
Our next destination was Gupt Godavari which was around 5 to 8 kms away from the Sati Anusuya Ashram
Gupt Godavari ( गुप्त गोदावरी )
Gupt Godavari is a cavern located at a distance of 18 km south of Ram Ghat in Chitrakoot Dham. As per the legend, the Godavari River emerging as a perennial stream from the rocks deep inside this cave, flows down to another cave below and then disappears in the mountain. A massive rock is seen protruding out of the ceiling which is believed to be the remains of the Demon Mayank (Mayanka).
This demon had the audacity of stealing Sita Maa’s clothes when she was bathing and hence was killed by Lakshman. It is believed that during their exile, Lord Ram along with his brother Lakshman held a court in this cave. Tourists can find a beautifully carved sculpture of Trinities Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva at the entrance of the cave.
Tourists visiting Gupt Godavari are advised to take precautions as there are several bats inhabiting the cave.
गोदावरी नदी का उद्गम पहले यहाँ हुआ है उसके बाद वह ज़मीन में चली जाती और फिर त्रम्बकेश्वर नासिक में निकलती है. यह गुफा में हैइस लिए इसे गुप्त गोदावरी कहते है .
From the parking area in the small village below, a stepped path leads, past a ticket teeth and a manned footwear rack, to the fairly narrow mouth of the upper cave. The mouth opens out into a large cavern with two interesting features,of which one is an outcrop of black rock protruding from the paler roof of the cave. According to the legend this is all that remains of the demon Mayanka. He dared to spy on Sita while set was bathing in a pool in the cave. The enraged Lakshman petrified him and stuck him onto the roof. Then there is Sita Kund, the small pond in which Sita was bathing when Mayanka peeped at her. Going out from this cave there is an entrance to the lower one through which a stream flows.
The stream which extends for about 100 meters, appears to have its source in a number of little springs gushing and trickling out of the mountain beside. Pilgrims seeking spiritual benefits, made knee deep through this stream and emerge out through the mouth of the lower cave. The descriptive board at Gupt Godavari says that this cave was formed naturally by water and dates back to nine and half lakh years,That’s 950,000 years ago. It is said that in order to have a glimpse of Lord Ram, the Godavari river came here secretly from Trimbakeshwar, Nasik . It is said that this place was visited by Ram, Sita and Lakshman. After emerging from the cave the Gupt or Hidden Godavari, flows into a pond and then vanishes, presumably in the ground. The legendary source of this important river is in the temple of Trimbakeshwar Jyotirling in the western state of Maharashtra.
Dear Divine Souls ,
Here I end my post. In next one I will take you to some more places in Chitrakoot Dham . This divine place is vast and beautiful. Stay glued . Till Then
Jai Bhole .