Venus and Orion shine bright above Jwala Devi Mandir in Mussoorie.
Though I have managed to brave out two nights here, and do look forward to more in the future, this place is certainly one of the spookier locations I have been to in the night because there is literally nothing but forest surrounding you. Darkness and the whistling of the wind, along with the knowledge that there are plenty of leopards in and around Mussoorie can make for quite an unnerving combination! Definitely a good idea to have a companion here 😋 I first came across this temple by chance in 2015, while seeking out new locations to shoot. On my way here for the first time, I actually thought I was heading to a different, more popular temple called Bhadraj. I obviously didn't take the right path up but the path I did take was a restricted road that was blocked by a barrier. One could however, with a little effort, bypass the barrier with a motorbike and so we did. When returning the next morning, I crossed and paused next to this barrier and waited for my partner to catch up. It must've been about 6am. As I was waiting, a man (walking towards me) appeared and he approached me. He was curious to know what my business was on (what seemed to be his) private property. I'm thinking to myself, 'this is some seriously bad timing, what are the odds of him meeting me here!'. After a bit of explaining on my part, he seemed to believe my story (which wasn't untrue, of course!) and told me that he was actually worried about Poachers. Poachers, he said, quite often frequent the area and he had observed our bike lights going through the area the previous evening. I suppose it still does make for a more plausible explanation that it would be poachers and not somebody going to photograph the area at night. A lot of people in general (in India) probably aren't even aware that this is now a possibility. Finally, to further prove I was who I said I was, I quite happily showed him some of my pictures and introduced the man to my work after which he happily let us on our way! 😅😃