Things to do in Rishikesh: Kunjapuri Temple at Sunrise

Sunrise at Kunjapuri Temple

Rise and shine everyone! Ever wanted to experience the magnificent sunrise by the majestic Himalayas? Then don’t forget to make a visit to the Kunjapuri Devi Temple to catch the sunrise!

Kunjapuri Temple before sunrise

Even if you’re not a morning person, you definitely would want to try and get up early for this! It’s such a magical experience that I promise you won’t regret.

Twinkles of city lights in the mountains

Most booked tours and hired drivers will set the itinerary for a 4:00am wake up call and pick up at your destination when the sky is still dark. The Kunjapuri Devi Temple is around 25km from Rishikesh and located off of highway 34, taking the Kunjapuri road to the very end.

80 steps up to Kunjapuri Temple

Be wary though! If you haven’t experienced riding in vehicles in Asia, the ride will be quite a surprise. Succinctly put, expect narrow roads, aggressive driving, lots of honking and passing. The drive up the mountain was beautiful! As you ascend higher up you will see the twinkle of the city when it’s just waking up. The skies are still dark but you can slowly make out the faint outlines of the grandeur mountains in the distance.

 Sunrise!

However the ride back was a lot less enjoyable. As the sun was up and I could see the road clearly, I realized how narrow the road was, how close the wheels were to the edge of the barriers less edges of the mountains and with every car we passed or tried to pass us, we felt like our lives could end up tumbling down the steep mountain. The constant acceleration and braking on a winding narrow path was enough to make several people on board the car a little queasy. If you need, ask the driver to take a stop and he would gladly accommodate!

One of the locals visiting the temple

Anyway, back to the temple. Unfortunately we took the tour as part of the yoga teacher training program at the World Peace Yoga School and they didn’t provide us too much information on the temple. This blog post here provides a wonderful story behind the temple. While I didn’t learn of the story before visiting the temple, I did thoroughly enjoy it.

Standing half lotus pose in front of the mountains

The temple itself offers a gorgeous panoramic view of the himalayas and you can see some snow peaked mountains as well. There is a short but steep 80 step climb up to the top but is worth it at the end!

World Peace Yoga School meditating in the sunrise

Things to bring:

  • It gets very chilly in the morning so bring lots of warm clothing.
  • Bring your camera!
  • A yoga mat if you would like to meditate during the sunrise.
  • Water and snacks if you plan to stay a bit, there is a small shop that sells warm drinks as well.
  • If you can, bring your loved ones!

 

Endless sea of mountains illuminated by the sun

I wanted to conclude with how much I loved the sunrise here. Every moment was so magical and beautiful. The photos I share here don’t compare to what the human eye could really see. I cried thinking how I couldn’t share the moment with friends and family back at home and wished everyone would be able to experience this at least once. If you have a chance, please visit!

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