Beginning at 4am, a short motorcycle ride followed by an hour long taxi to the Kunjapuri Temple (देवालय) on a hilltop overlooking the India/China boarder of the Himalayan mountains. The temple itself was not pretty but had a typical construction-in-progress- this is India- feel to it: a deity whom the stone temple was dedicated enclosed in a cage near the entrance, an emmence tree with red string and garlands tied (symbolic of a prayer of protection), and huge piles of rubble to navigate to find the best view of the wide purple, blue and finally orange skyline. As we waited for the sun to rise, we paid respects to the monk there and with a small offering, he allowed us to go into an inner sanctum where we knelt and received a blessing, a red bindi (paste mixed with rice positioned on the "ajna", the place of concealed wisdom, between the eyes).
Feeling the presence of God, I watched the sun peek over the eastern horizon and burn the haze that once clouded the view. Stunning.
"...God reveals Himself daily to every human being, but we shut our ears to the still small voice." Gandhi
Over the next 3 hours, my companions, John, Peter, the guide and I trekked and talked, making our way down hill. Chai with local farmer's family home, a rest beneath a cool waterfall, and lunch at a lovely children's home, Ramana's Garden in Lakshman Jhula. A enchanting day.