Since yoga teacher training kept me busy six days out of the week, I remember being especially excited for our first Sunday off. We had plans to visit a nearby temple in the Himalayas and even though we needed to be up earlier than usual, it was for sunrise, so I didn’t exactly mind.
On that particular day, we woke up to a power outage, so we bundled up in the dark with our flashlights and headlamps, then met downstairs for tea and to grab the bus to the temple. For about half an hour, the bus climbed up the mountains, twisting and turning on roads with huge drops and no guardrails. For the first portion of this it was dark, but as we climbed higher and light began to appear, I just tried not to look down.
Eventually, we reached the parking area, which offered beautiful views, but we still had to climb some stairs to reach the temple.
It was worth it, as the views at the stop were stunning with miles and miles of mountains around us. The sun rose slowly lighting up the sky in a golden hue as the clouds scattered throughout the sky. It was easily one of the best sunrises I had seen in a long while, especially because of where I was and that it capped off the end of my first week of training.
After watching the sun rise, we visited the temple itself and were led into a room where we were given a blessing.
Then, we had some time to take in the scenery and take a few yoga photos before heading back to the school.
On our way down the stairs, we stopped at the small shop and had chai and cookies. Everything in India seems to end in tea, which was more than fine by me. Then, we made our way back to school on a drive that seemed less frightening than the way up.
We were back by nine o’clock for breakfast and had the rest of the day free to do whatever we wanted. We chose shopping, lunch on the Ganges River, and exploring the Beatles’ Ashram. All in all the perfect first day off in Rishikesh.
If you’re in Rishikesh, I’d highly recommend a visit to this temple. Sunrise and sunset are ideal for the views, but I’d imagine any time of day would be worthy of a trip. Being up high in the mountains at a holy place is a special experience and one I will never forget.
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