Chitrakoot Dhama, Part 2
BY: SUN STAFF
Sri Rama Kamtanath, Kamadgiri Temple, Chitrakoot
Jan 18, CANADA (SUN) A serial exploration of the Holy Dhama of Chitrakoot.
The area known as Kamadgiri tirtha is the original Chitrakoot, a place of great religious significance. The base of this great forested hill is encircled by a chain of temples, and the complex is venerated as the holy embodiment of Lord Ramacandra. To this day, it is considered the main holy site in Chitrakoot. Kamadgiri Hill is lush and green throughout the year, except during the dry summer. It is believed to look like a great bow, when viewed from any direction in Chitrakoot.
In Sanskrit, the term kamadgiri means 'the mountain which fulfills all the desires'. This wish-fulfilling place was the abode of Lord Rama, Sita and Laksman during their exile.
Another of Lord Rama's names is Kamtanath, and Lord Kamtanath is the principal Deity not only of Kamadgiri, but of the whole of Chitrakoot region. Lord Kamtanath's consort is also here, of course. Sita Devi resides here in the form of Kamadgiri Devi, an appearance very similar to Kamtanath's.
Lord Kamtanath and Kamadgiri Devi
Much like Naimisharanya, the parikrama path around Kamadgiri is said to be comprised of all the holy tirthas, which co-exist here. The parikrama path around the sacred hill is about 5 kilometers long. It was built by Pratap Kunwari, the Queen of the Bundela King, Maharaja Chatrasal, in 1725.
Many temples are located along the parikrama path, and the devotees making pilgrimage circumambulate the Kamadgiri Dhama, stopping to get darshan of the many Deities residing here.
Kamadgiri temple is known as a wish-fulfilling shrine, and it is the main attraction of Chitrakoot. Situated on the banks of the Mandakini River, it is framed by a beautiful backdrop of the Vindhya Hills.
At the temple's main entrance are statues of lions and elephants, sitting on either side of Laksmi Devi. The central hall of Kamadgiri temple is dedicated to Lord Rama, who is flanked by his wife Sita and brother Laksman. Devotees come in large number to get their darshan, offering flowers, incense, coconuts and red cloth to the Deities.
Some photos courtesy of Mohan@Flikr.
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