Rajapur, the birthplace of Goswami Tulsidas, Uttar Pradesh Photo journal

Rajapur’s claim to fame is Goswami Tulsidas (1532-1623 AD) who wrote Sri Ram Charit Manas.

Rajapur’s claim to fame is Goswami Tulsidas (1532-1623 AD) who wrote Sri Ram Charit Manas. He was born here.

Tulsi temple, Sri Tulsidas’s birthplace on the banks of River Yamuna at Rajapur in district Banda, Uttar Pradesh

Sri Tulsi Janma kutir temple, Rajapur, Chitrakoot

A view of river Yamuna from Tulsidas temple at Rajapur

View of river Yamuna, Sri Tulsi Janma kutir temple, Rajapur, Chitrakoot

The prolific writer was a saint, and a yogi as well. He never missed his morning exercise regimen, and is said that when plague hit Varanasi during his lifetime, he trained his students at the akhara (a physical fitness center in those days) to take care of themselves and the ailing.

Hanuman Chalisa video, lyrics and translation

The Hanuman Chalisa, written by Tulsidas is by far his most popular work. He wrote these 40 verses in his student days at Kashi, as a personal prayer to Lord Hanuman to free him from fears.

His other literary works include Dohavali, Kavitavali, Vinay Patrika, Hanuman Bahuk, Sankat Mochan, Janaki Mangal, Parvati Mangal and Vairagya Sandipani.

Tulsidas’s handwritten edition of Ayodhya kand (Ramcharitmanas)

He began writing Sri Ram Charit Manas in Ayodhya on the day of Ram Navmi, and continued writing while moving to Varanasi and Chitrakoot.

A chapter from Tulsidas’s handwritten edition of Ramcharitmanas is still available at Rajapur. I was surprised to see it written on paper, instead of birch tree bark (bhojpatra) like other old manuscripts. The paper is old and preserved with a tissue covering. The protective covering was sponsored recently by somebody living in Kanpur.

Ramayan manuscript at Rajapur, Chitrakoot

Ramcharitmanas manuscript at Rajapur, Chitrakoot

Ramcharitmanas, in Goswami Tulsidas handwriting

Tulsidas’s handwriting!

Handwritten Ramayan by Goswami Tulsidas

How to reach Rajapur

By Road: I had taken a bus ride from Karwi (Chitrakoot, Uttar Pradesh, India) to Rajapur. It is a 40 km away and took about an hour to reach.

Map to Chitrakoot

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Anisha Sharma
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