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The Elephanta Caves

The Elephanta Caves , located on Elephanta Island, or Gharapuri, about 11 Km off the coast of the Gateway of India, Mumbai, are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A visit to these caves, excavated probably in the 6 th century CE, is awe-inspiring, and also thought-provoking. Over the years, I have visited the caves a number of times, and also attended a number of talks by experts in the fields of art, history and archaeology on the caves. Together, they help me understand these caves, their art, and the people they were created for, just a little bit better. Every new visit, every new talk, every new article I read about the caves, fleshes out the image of what the island and the caves would have been like, at their peak. I last wrote about the caves on this blog, in 2011, almost exactly 11 years ago. Since then, my understanding of the caves has, I would like to think, marginally improved. Hence this attempt to write a new and updated post, trying to bring to life, the caves of Elephan

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...


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