A couple of days ago, I was watching a youtube video from PowerDrift, where two riders Shumi and Akshay watch the sunrise on one side of India (east coast) and ride their bikes 650kms to the opposite side of India (West Coast) on the same day to see the same sun set into the distance. That sparked an idea in me to write about a few places where you can watch the sunrise in all its brilliance. Just to be clear, there are hundreds if not thousands of places around India where you can see the sunrise, but these are worth mentioning and can be reached easily. So, here are five of them:
Tiger hill is one of the most famous locations in Darjeeling, West Bengal. This is because it offers a panoramic view of Mt. Everest and Mt. Kanchenjungha together.
It is just 11 km from Darjeeling and is reachable by a shared taxi or even on foot if you start early. At sunrise, the snow-covered peaks of the Kanchenjungha and the other tall mountains get illuminated first against the dark sky creating a magical and mystical view. On a clear day, you can also see the Kurseong town and also the Teesta, Mahananda, and Balason river.
Just imagine a scene, you are at the beach with a cool, moist air blowing past you. You can hear the waves breaking up on the shore and retreating back. You are missing the sea... aren't you? After a while, the landscape changes completely. The dark skies are illuminated by the first rays of the sun and after a while, it is reflected off the wet sand and the top of the waves. And right there on the waves is a wooden boat anchored to the seabed, rising and falling along with the waves. Then slowly, the sun rises from the sea and bathes the whole area in its glory. That's all I can say about the sunrise at Puri Beach. You need to visit this place to experience it. Also, don't forget your camera as the early morning will provide you with an ample amount of photo opportunities.
Geographically, Puri is a city in the state of Orissa and is one of the Char Dham pilgrimage sites for Hindus. So, visiting this place and staying there won't be an issue.
Nandi hills is situated in the state of Karnataka and is actually a bit higher than the surrounding area. Do you know what that means? You get to see the sunrise unobstructed by anything. You can visit Nandi hills almost any time of the year and still be able to see the awesome sunrise and sunset. The best part is that it is within a 30-45 minutes distance from Bangalore and is actually very near to the Bangalore International Airport.
I really didn't know of Rohtang Pass for being a sunrise spot until I saw a video of the location in the Soul Trails by Ronnie and Barty. It is one of the high-altitude passes in Himachal Pradesh and is situated just 50 km north of Manali. The best time to visit will be from June to early July. This is because prior to May, the pass is closed due to snow and in May, the roads are being opened and may lead to congestion and moreover the roads will be covered in slush as the snow starts melting. At the end of June to August, the monsoon sets in and is prone to landslides and large water crossings. After that, in September, it'll snow and it is driveable, but only go there in September if you are an experienced driver or hire one.
Do you remember the post about Landour - the small quiet town just 9 km away from Mussorie? No..? It's okay, you can read it here... So, there is a cafe in Landour by the name Lal Tibba Binoculour cafe and is actually the highest point near Mussorie. Being the highest point, it is a good place to watch the sunrise here in Mussorie. And how about having masala tea with bun-omelet while watching the sunrise?
Tips to remember when visiting any place to watch the sunrise.
You need to reach there well before the sun even rises. This is because, before the sun rises, the diffused rays of the sun create a glow in the sky that is never to be missed. Take a note of the time the sun will rise and arrive there about 20-30 minutes early.
If possible, scout the location in the daytime to ensure that it is safe and to remember anything that might be dangerous. This applies anytime you are visiting a hilly area.
If it is in a place away from the place you are staying, make sure you are aware of the local wildlife and of course the weather. Always make sure you are safe. The sunrise is not worth a view from the stomach of a wild animal.
It sounds silly, but remember to look at the east.
You'll be reaching the place in darkness, carry a good quality torch/flashlight.