Skip to main content

Featured Post

The Vaishnodevi Experience 2023

My first trip to Vaishnodevi was unimpressive. Climbing was hard, and it only served to highlight how badly out of shape I was, while my in-laws managed to cope so much better. Further, I hadn’t quite realized that the cave experience wouldn’t be the same as I had imagined, since the original cave was only opened at certain times a year, and that we only entered a newly created tunnel, one far easier to access, and hence more manageable with the crowds that thronged the mountain shrine. The resulting experience at the shrine, for barely a fraction of a second, hardly compared to what I had expected / imagined / heard about. So, for me, Vaishnodevi was like any other temple, nothing to write home about, something that was reflected (though not explicitly mentioned) in the blog post I wrote then.

Sunrise on the Mountains of Sikkim

Waking up at 4 AM is never an easy task for me. But waking up at that unearthly hour to climb up a mountain to see the sunrise? I wasn’t sure if I would even be able to walk. But the activity guy at Club Mahindra’s Baiguney resort was persuasive. “You will easily be able to walk. Its not really a trek. There are steps too.” He assured me, and I finally gave in. Leaving Samhith to sleep in peace, the two of us managed to be awake, and ready at 4:15, all set to see our first sunrise at Sikkim! We had company from the resort, and all of us huddled into cars, and headed to the place from where we would have to walk. And then began the strenuous climb. The sky was already turning orange, and I didn’t want to miss anything, so I managed to pull myself up the steps, just in time to see the beautiful sight. Without wasting any more words, let me show you the sunrise through my lens…

The sky began to turn orange, readying for the sun to rise

As we climbed higher, the valleys were clearly visible in the east, the river flowing between them, and the sun rising somewhere behind them

On the west were the mighty Kanchenjunga range of mountains, and it was on them that the first rays of the sun fell 

As the sun's rays caressed the snow clad peaks, they glowed , bathing them in a golden light!

The highest peaks stood out, bathed in this glow, while the rest remained dark

Slowly, the light began falling on the other peaks too...

And as they moved, the shadows moved downwards too

as if forming patterns on the mountains... can you see the pattern here? What does it remind you of?

On the other side, the sun had just begun to show itself, a tiny ball of light

The ball of light seemed to grow

As the sun spread its light, the mist began to rise...

The heat of the sun and the cold of the mist were fascinating to watch! 

And this was the last of the ball that we saw. For then, it was too bright to capture!

Meanwhile, on the other side, the mountains were now white and bright, in all their snow clad glory! 

The sun had risen, and it was even more beautiful... the sun peeping through this tree for instance

The path too was bathed in a golden glow as we turned back

On our way back, our driver stopped to show us the point from where we had watched the sunrise. Can you spot it?
(Hint: you can see the watchtower atop the greener peak )

Here is a closer look at the watchtower.

We returned to the resort in time for breakfast, and it was surely the heartiest breakfast I have ever eaten! After all, we had woken, walked and climbed, all to see our first sunrise in Sikkim!

I am posting this as part of Skywatch Friday. For more gorgeous skies from around the world, visit the Skywatch Page


The watchtower is on forest land, in what is called the Sunrise / Sunset Point in Baiguney, West Sikkim. We visited the place along with a group while staying at the Club Mahindra Resort


  1. Wow - stunning shots.

    1. Thank you so much, Ladyfi!! have a great weekend!

  2. Simply magnificent shots! I'm sure it was worth getting up for!

  3. There are beautiful colors on the tops of mountains. Fabulous pictures

    1. Thank you Jarek! Absolutely! the variety of colours is astounding!

  4. Some really good wow photo's from a stunning landscape. Thanks for showing.

  5. Wonderful images. Love the morning rays on snow mountains.

  6. Absolutely stunning photos!! The colors and the view, WOW!!

  7. Great snaps!! The mountains look beautiful.

  8. Himalayan sunrises and sunsets are really something, aren't they/ Seeing yours, I was reminded of the ones I experienced at Himachal Pradesh, especially at Kalpa over the Kinner Kailash range.

    Beautiful pics, Anu. Very soothing and relaxing too.

    1. Absolutely, Sudha! I havent yet seen the sunrise at Himachal, but I remember some we saw at Badri-Kedar, loong back.. and they were just as beautiful. I can imagine how beautiful the Kinner Kailash would look at sunrise! and thanks so much!

  9. Beautiful shots, well worth getting up so early.

    1. Thank you so much! It certainly was worth getting up so early! will do it more often now!

  10. Great snaps!! The mountains look beautiful.

    1. Thank you so much, Yogi Saraswat! and welcome here!!! Yes, the mountains do look so beautiful...


Post a Comment

Thanks so much for stopping by. Please leave a comment for me so that I will know you have been here....

Popular posts from this blog

Gokarna Part II – The Five Lingams

We continued our Gokarna trip by visiting four other Shiva temples in the vicinity, all connected to the same story of Gokarna. The story of Gokarna mentions the Mahabaleshwara Lingam as the one brought from Kailas by Ravana, and kept at this place on the ground by Ganesha. (See my earlier post- Gokarna – Pilgrimage and Pleasure). However, the story does not end here. It is believed that, in his anger, Ravana flung aside the materials which covered the lingam- the casket, its lid, the string around the lingam, and the cloth covering it. All these items became lingams as soon as they touched the ground. These four lingams, along with the main Mahabaleshwara lingam are collectively called the ‘ Panchalingams’ . These are: Mahabaleshwara – the main lingam Sajjeshwar – the casket carrying the lingam. This temple is about 35 Kms from Karwar, and is a 2 hour drive from Gokarna. Dhareshwar – the string covering the lingam. This temple is on NH17, about 45 Kms south of Gokarna. Gunavanteshw

The Power of 8 - The Ashta Dikpalas and Ashta Vasus at Khajuraho

The four cardinal directions form the axis on which a temple is built, and are thus the basis of temple architecture. Leading from them are the eight directions, which are believed to be guarded by the eight guardians, or Ashta Dikpalas . In the temples of Khajuraho, great care has been taken by the sculptors to carve the Ashta Dikpalas on the walls, both inside and outside. They not only guard the temple, but also look over us as we circumambulate the shrine, protecting us by their presence. They are augmented by the Ashta Vasus , celestial beings which represent natural phenomena. Together, they enhance the idea of the temple as cosmos, enfolding within it, all the aspects of nature, both, on earth, as well in space.

Rama Temple, Gokarna

To my right , the waves rush to the shore, eager to merge with the sand. To my left, the same waves crash against the rocks, their spray diverting my reverie as I ponder over the beauty of nature, and wonder what first brought people here. Was it this beauty that encouraged them to build a temple here, or was it the fresh, sweet spring water flowing from the hill here that made this place special? No matter what the reason, I am glad my auto driver brought me here. We are at the Rama temple in Gokarna, just a few minutes away from the Mahabaleshwara Temple, yet offering so different a perspective.