Known as a mini Varanasi because of its many temples and ghats (but not cremations), this small, peaceful town on the banks of the River Mandakini is the stuff of Hindu legends. It is here that Hinduism’s principal trinity – Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva – took on their incarnations. It is also the place where Lord Rama is believed to have spent 11½ years of his 14-year exile after being banished from his birthplace in Ayodhya at the behest of a jealous stepmother.
Today Chitrakut (Chitrakoot) attracts throngs of pilgrims, lending the area a carnival quality, and the lack of foreign tourists means there's a refreshing lack of hassle here. It's a great choice if you want an authentic Indian experience.
Chitrakut is actually in Madhya Pradesh state, but is most easily accessed from Uttar Pradesh.