Kunjapuri Temple: The Aura of the Sunset
The pious town of Rishikesh is filled with mystical wonders that not only touch your heart but also your soul. Flanked with sprawling hills, Rishikesh also has several beautiful temples that make the hills look even more captivating than they already are.
These temples are crowd pullers and give Rishikesh the charm that it holds. Rishikesh has two extremely famous temples- while one- Neelkantha Mahadev Temple– is a temple that everyone aspires to visit, the other is relatively lesser-known.
The marvelous Kunjapuri Temple proudly sits on top of one of the many picturesque hills of Rishikesh. The temple is highly revered among the locals, and many locals even visit the temple before starting the New Year and the tourist across the globe go there to enjoy the Mountaintop Sunset & Sunrise at Kunjapuri
The temple is dedicated to Goddess Sati and is located on Kunjapuri Hill. What really makes this temple distinct from the rest is the amazing panoramic view that one can witness from here. Here you will feel the presence God, as you stare at sun when setting in the midst of endless peaks of the Himalaya and the glistening snow-covered peaks of the Himalayas. If you are blessed with a clear, no foggy day, you will also be able to see peaks like Gangotri, Swarga Rohini, Chaukhamba, Banderpunch.
As you look to your other side, your eyes will be treated to the holy view of Rishikesh, Haridwar and the Doon Valley.
The temple, except for the fact that it is highly revered is also famous for two other marvelous things- the sunrises and sunsets that can be witnessed from here. It is said that if you want to see India’s best sunset and sunrise you must come here.
It is highly recommended to trek either before sunrise or before sunset to catch the mystifying sun.
If you come here during the sunset, you will be blessed with a golden view, as the entire area is painted with a hue of gold. The peaks of the Himalayan range starts to glitter as the soft, sleepy rays of the sun slowly colors it gold. The entire sky changes into a reddish golden color, as the birds slowly start making their way back home. The temple itself acquire a spiritual aura, as the sun rays start painting the temple as well. The entire atmosphere reverberates with a magical kind of sensation, as you stand there to witness the slow descent of the setting sun.
Before you even know it the sun goes behind the mountain peaks, and lies down in slumber, as the sudden darkness fills you with a sense of calm.
The whole scene is absolutely breathtaking and you will find yourself wishing for more.
The popular legend that talks about the origin of the temple, says that Sati’s father was not too pleased when Sati married Lord Shiva- because of which he performed a yajna and didn’t invite his daughter Sati and her husband. This made Sati fill up with rage and she still decided to barge into the ceremony, which led her father to humiliate Shiva in public. Sati was disturbed by this, that she jumped into the fire and ended her life right there. This made Shiva take her body and go towards the Himalayas, but due to certain reasons her final rites couldn’t be completed and she couldn’t go through the process of rebirth. To complete this, Lord Vishnu cut her up into pieces, which Shiva carried while the body parts fell into different places. The places where the parts fell now emerged as temples or Shakti Peethas. Kunjapuri Temple is one just Shakti Peetha, and it is said her chest fell here.
With such high importance, there is no doubt that this temple commands great respect from the locals in Rishikesh.
How to reach there:
The way to reach here is best through trekking. The route is wonderful and you will find yourself motivated all through the way. The trek is pretty short, but rewarding nonetheless. You will be blessed with amazing views here, and you certainly cannot help but stare at the view.
As you find yourself still reeling from the beauty you just witnessed, you will realize that this little yet hight powerful temple is like a hidden treasure in this town. While locals absolutely believe in this temple, the tourists don’t really know this as well as they know the Neelkanth Mahadev Temple. Yet, this temple in some ways is more pious and the views are more resplendent than the Neelkanth Mahadev Temple. While both temples are the pride of Rishikesh, it is important that you don’t give Kunjapuri Temple a miss, if you have to choose between the two.