After an embarrassingly long hiatus (I have a feeling I’ve used that word a bit too often in recent times) induced by a sudden bout of illness, today I’ve finally gotten down to bringing the rest of our spell-binding Harihareshwar experience to you.
After spending a serene afternoon on the South beach of Harihareshwar on the first day, we planned to watch the sunrise from the North beach the next.
Well, we couldn’t see it because of a cloudy sky, but found enough reasons not to regret it.
The early hour Harihareshwar
I woke at 4:30 am. (Just to give you an idea of the frenzy around the idea.)
The original Harihareshwar temple, said to have been founded in the 16th century, was built on top of a hill and had a stone staircase starting down its steps leading all the way down to the sea (more about that later). The modern one is situated on the beach at the foothills, with a similar staircase (yes, originally build all those years ago) leading up into the hills from the temple backyard.
Without thinking much, I scampered across the temple grounds, and started up the stairs (Poor Shubho had no choice but to follow, of course), till I found myself on this deserted leafy trail, leading somewhere.
Sea view from the top of Harihareshwar hills…
But more was waiting for me even before I found out where.
Layers after layers of lush white waves – pure and profound – lapped the North beach sands down below. I wouldn’t have believed such natural beauty exists outside calendars, if I hadn’t seen it here.
Talk about wayside scenery.
But then I didn’t know what awaited me at the end of my hillside escapade.
The rocky North Shore of Harihareshwar
That moment when you stop in your tracks with your mouth open as a slice of the infinite ocean reveals itself at the bottom of this historical staircase – exactly as you’ve seen in the Maharashtra Tourism promotional materials. The first thing I felt as I stood there was … Freedom. A tiny window cut through the rocks into the blue expanses – as if a window of freedom opening up the cold hard insides of the ancient Sahyadris to the chirpy waves of life.
And then it kinda went to my head.
You see the little black dot over there – trying to blend into the ocean and the sky and the sun and the rocks? That’s me.
Well it was not just my head but also my feet which were craving freedom. Apparently.
I don’t blame them for wanting to soak up all the early morning silky coolness of the white waters.
No. I didn’t believe it either.
The fact that he could capture all that dance of life, that is.
Life on North Beach
Dawn broke. The curious seaside ecology started awakening from its slumber.
Even the sea itself – as it turned from grey-blue to golden blue.
Beauty on the rocks…
We spent the rest of the day wandering around the rocky shores of the ocean and listening to the unique booming sound of the waves as they hit the undersides of the rocky ledges protruding into the waters. Like this one.
The rock formations around the creeks and the bays were astonishing.
We soaked it all up, lazing aimlessly on the rocks throughout the afternoon.
With our hearts full of priceless memories and our legs full of bruises, we were homeward bound by 3 pm.
The last bit…
Did I mention that the last day of the trip happened to be my Brithday, of which the trip was a celebration? :)
Unduly belated apologies to all those who called me on that day but couldn’t reach due to the absence of network in the truly wild, truly pristine unforgettable Harihareshwar.