In the remote city of Chitrakoot, located in Uttar Pradesh, lie the Gupt Godavari caves. And, as the name might suggest, these are no ordinary caves.
These twin natural caves — one narrow and one wide — feature a fascinating natural phenomenon. A water stream that flows through the narrow passage in the cave simply disappears mysteriously towards the end, as if swallowed up by the ground. This curiosity is why the caves came to be known as gupt (or “secret”).
And this is not the only interesting fact associated with these caves. Legend has it that Lord Ram and Laxman held court here during their exile. Two natural throne-like rocks are offered as proof.
It is also believed that during his exile, many gods came to Chitrakoot to meet lord Rama. Godavari, the river goddess (and the eponymous river, which begins near Nashik) is also believed to have visited him — even changing course to do so.
The river is said to have secretly appeared here in the caves, and to have again disappeared beneath the ground into a water pond outside the caves.
Natural carvings and designs also add to the beauty and mystery of the place. As visitors move further along the cave, the water reaches as far up as their knees.
Watch this video that will take you on a virtual tour of these peculiar and captivating caves: