India is, by and large, a chaotic nation that seems to overwhelm the senses from every angle. With over 1.3 billion people it’s easy to understand how noise and congestion dominates every city. Car horns are permanently honking, touts forever pushing their wares, cows perpetually wander the clogged city streets, food forever simmering in the pots of street vendors and rainbow of colorfully clad people always breezing by. At some point you just need a break. I found my reprieve in the temple strewn town of Pushkar.
My group had arrived in the little desert town of Pushkar the day before, marking our half way point in a 3 week journey across the country. Last night we had decided to do the long hike up to Savitri Mata Temple at the top of a near by hill (big hill!) to watch the sunrise. Not being much of a morning person, I knew the hike would be worth it.
Waking at 4 am, way before dawn, we found our way through the town that was surprising already awake. Locals were making their way to near by temples for morning prayers and the wandering cows had already begun to forage through the trash for some breakfast.
Once we got to the outskirts of town, we found a very rough and long trail leading up, up and up into the darkness. It took us over an hour to make it to the top and we arrived just as the sky was starting to lighten up.
Taking our seats, we sat in silence and watched as the sun made its grand entrance. Everything and everyone was quiet and still. We didn’t talk much but just sat still with our thoughts at the top of this mountain looking out into the valley.
Once the sun had risen, providing enough light for us to get our first look at the temple. As we admired its colorful facade, a monk came to open the temple and invited us in.
Wandering through this little temple didn’t take long but it made our trek up the hill feel all the more worth it. After we explored temple we sat and looked out over the country side, just taking in the moment before being the long trek down.
Although it was an early morning with a hard trek, this quiet hill top temple gave me the much needed break from India’s overwhelming personality. After hiking back down we had a nice relaxing day in the small town of Pushkar. The next day I left for the metropolis of Jaipur feeling refreshed and ready to take on whatever India had in store.