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Best spots to see 2018’s first sunrise in India

Blessed are those who see the rising sun.
Image courtesy: ©Suman Chattopadhyay/Lonely Planet

It is often said that how you spend the first day of the new year influences the rest of the 364 days. Of resolutions and reflections, of plans and promises, the new year brings hope of new beginnings. Nothing symbolizes this newness better than the positivity and the orange hues of a gorgeous sunrise. Hello 2018, here comes the sun!

Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu (6.33 AM)

“At sunrise, every soul is born again.” -Muhammad Ali

Standing on the rocky shore of the country’s southern-most tip is thrilling enough. Add to that the confluence of three mighty entities, sand with different color tones, the wind blowing through your hair and an unforgettable sunrise. The Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea become one body at the Kanyakumari coastline. When dawn breaks upon these blue waters, it is mystical. This everyday phenomenon is nothing short of a breathtaking moment where one feels the extraordinary forces of nature themselves are roaring and welcoming you into the new year.

Read More: Top 10 places to spend New Year’s Eve in India

Read More: New Year escapes from New Delhi


Morning sun rays falling at Taj Mahal
Morning sun rays falling at Taj Mahal
Image courtesy: ©vancouvergirl/Budget Travel

Taj Mahal, Agra (7.08 AM)

“The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep.” – Rumi

From the southern tip of the country, our sun chasing takes us upward north. This one is for the romantics and the believers. At day break, the warm rays in the cold air hit the glistening white marble adding more beauty and magic to this milestone of love. The viewing of the iconic Taj Mahal from the Mehtab Bagh on the left bank of the Yamuna river at sunrise has a sense of serenity and instills faith in the feeling of love adding that spring in your step for the new year.

Anywhere in Kerala (6.42 AM)

“The grand show is eternal
It is always sunrise somewhere” – John Muir

God’s own country is truly paradise where the tints in the morning sky range from blue to purple to pink to orange seamlessly. After a night of festivities at the Cochin Carnival at Fort Kochi, or an evening of beach bumming in Varkala, or a relaxed new year’s eve in the backwaters of Kollam; pause to celebrate the splendid sunrise. The skies here play the perfect canvas for the dramatic spectacle of the imposing sun.

Coonoor, Tamil Nadu (6.42 AM)

“There was never a night or a problem that could defeat sunrise or hope.” – Bernard Williams

Can you imagine waking up in the middle of lush green estates surrounded by the sweet scent of fresh tea leaves? Coonoor is, that dream, come true. Situated in the Nilgiri hills, the skies in this district have magic tricks up their sleeves. At dayspring the sun rises to shed light upon the verdant stretch amidst cotton candy clouds making fascinating patterns in the sky. It’s a new sunrise every day and the best way to experience it is with a hot cup of the local brew at Lamb’s Rock or Dolphin’s Nose, vantage points offering panoramic views of the wondrous sunrise from behind the Nilgiri range. The warmth from the tea and sunshine are sure to leave you exhilarated and ready for the new year.

Neil Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands (5.38 AM)

“Read a nice poem or watch the sunrise, both are the same thing!” – Mehmet Murat ildan

Somewhere in the middle of Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea, India experiences its first sunrise at 5.30am. In the archipelago of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, the breaking dawn is life changing and is sure to leave anybody awestruck. The sky burns as the sun rises slowly wanting to burst from the cover of clouds. The almost apocalyptic imagery slowly calms as the sun finds its way up in the sky and its fiery warmth envelopes the earth. This natural occurrence is best encountered on the pristine beaches of Neil Island with your feet comfortably numb in the cool sand.

Sunrise at the Ganges in Varanasi
Sunrise at the Ganges in Varanasi
Image courtesy: ©rageorge/Budget Travel

Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh (6.44 AM)

“Ô, Sunlight! The most precious gold to be found on Earth.” – Roman Payne

In the old, holy city of Varanasi the sun rises above the sacred Ganga engulfing the entire pilgrimage town in its golden light adding to the spiritual richness of the place. It is where the famous Kashi ghats get their natural hue and character from. People come here to attain salvation and peace. Wake up to the gorgeous sunrise, take a dip in the cold river and turn the page to a new chapter of your life in the new year. The sunrise boat rides on the Assi ghat are very popular although touristy, but to be able to find that moment of solitude in the colorful chaos of this divine center makes it completely worthwhile.

Mussoorie, Uttarakhand (7.15 AM)

“Each sunrise brings a new day with new hopes for a new beginning.” – Debasish Mridha

Of churches and campuses, of horseback riding and hikes, the fairytale town of the north is a time capsule. The old world charm is felt in the street names, its architecture, and every corner of this quaint hill station. Walk or ride to its highest point, Lal Tibba, offering majestic views of the striking Himalayas. The sun plays hide and seek with the mountains before rising to its full glory. You can hear your own breath here making it an ideal viewpoint to indulge in retrospection.

AUTHOR'S BIO: When she's not working behind-the-scenes on Bollywood films, Writer/Assistant Director Bharati Kandhari is indulging in her unhealthy obsessions of New York, coffee and banana pancakes. Mentally playing her life as a musical montage, she is on a constant lookout to satiate her wanderlust and find her La La Land.