Guru Shikhar is a remarkable tourist attraction in Mount Abu. It holds the honour of being the highest peak of the Aravalli Range which is the oldest mountain range in the world. Guru Shikhar lies about 15km from Mount Abu. The height of the peak is 1722 meter from sea level thereby promising a breath-taking view of the Aravalli range and the hill station of Mount Abu.
Guru Shikhar translates to ‘the peak of the guru’ and was named after Guru Dattatreya. The temple of Dattatreya is one of the main attractions at Guru Shikhar peak other than scenic views. Lord Dattatreya is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu who had taken birth to the sage couple Atri and Ansuya. The word ‘Datta’ means ‘given’ and since he was the son of Atri hence named ‘Atreya’. Thus, the boy got his named ‘Dattatreya’ and is believed to be born with divine power. It is believed that the lord actually put his foot on this peak sanctifying the place. While visiting, one can see the footprint marks of the lord in the rocky caves. Thousands of pilgrims visit this place every year. The cave atop the peak has been converted to a temple in his remembrance. Raghunath Temple is also worth seeing over this place. In this temple, one can find the footprints of Swami Ramanath, who was a famous sage of his time. The nearby temple of Mata Anasuya, mother of lord Dattatreya, is also a major attraction for devotees.
Guru Shikhar is also home to the Mount Abu Observatory, which is under the management of the Physical Research Laboratory and is famous for conducting research and experiments regarding astronomical findings. It houses a 1.2m infra-red telescope which enables people manning it to keep an eye on the nation’s border with neighbouring countries.
After a 15km drive, you would need to climb a few steps to reach the top of the Guru Shikhar peak. When visited during October and November, the weather gets cloudier and mistier. At the top of Guru Shikhar is an age-old bell with the words ‘1411 AD’ inscribed on it. Ringing that bell after hiking all the way to the peak is like announcing your achievement to the valley of Mount Abu. The sound of the bell chimes long and far. Wear your best pair of trekking shoes as the cliff quite climbs, but definitely worth it. Adventure seekers and nature lovers are surely in for a wonderful treat.
Adventurous tourists can trek from the base, to reach the topmost point. This Slightly tiring activity will pay off when you see the mesmerizing view from the top. The serene and windy view atmosphere is all you need to rejuvenate after a tiring time. This peak is seen as the best place for enjoying the venture of trekking. Not only trekking, but people can also spend a night under the cerulean sky by camping at the base camp. It has approx. 300 stairs to climb.
Having the entire city spread out below your feet makes you feel like you are on top of the world. The lush greenery all around will make you fall even deeper in love with the city.
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MYTHOLOGICAL HISTORY OF GURU SHIKHAR
According to local legend, goddess Ansuya was strictly determined to have a son like Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh which led to tension among Sarasvati, Lakshmi and Parvati- the wives of three Gods and they told their husbands to go to the people and take Ansuya’s examination. The people of the earth then took a test of Ansuya after which she obtained the infant form of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh and took them back home to his husband Atri, who had already envisioned the same.
While Atri embraced the three children, their power converted the three into one child with three hands and six heads. Sarasvati, Lakshmi and Parvati worried about their husbands’ return visited Ansuya and urged the couple to return them their husbands after which Tridev came to their real form. Impressed by Ansuya and Atri’s kind nature, Tridev blessed them with a son, named Dattatreya, an embodiment of the three Gods. The child has one body but three heads and six arms. Dattatreya is considered to be an incarnation of the Trinity-Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva.
On the day Dattatreya was born, people of the Hindu religion celebrate that day as Dattatreya Jayanti. Historically speaking, King Prithvi Raj Chauhan is believed to have travelled along this peak to meet his bride and consummate his marriage with her. The bride was the princess of Prahladanpur, now known as Palanpur.
The former name of Mount Abu is Arbudanchal.
THINGS TO DO AT GURU SHIKHAR
The morning draw hikers for two reasons, the breath-taking sunrise and the breakfast served by the shops. The shops along the route of the hike sell absolutely delicious breakfast and are well known for their tea too. You can get good food at any time of the day and binge on your regular packaged chips and chocolates if you are craving them. There are shops also that sell beautiful souvenirs. If you are going with your family, you can plan for a picnic at the peak. The view gives plenty of photograph opportunities for everyone. This can be clubbed with a visit to the temple of Dattatreya which will add a pious touch to the whole experience.
HERE ARE FEW WELL KNOWN ADVENTUROUS ACTIVITIES ORGANISERS
Rajasthan adventure and Nature academy
Mr. Bharat- 9799780703
Mr. Manish- 9414201763
TIPS FOR TRAVELLERS
1. Guru Shikhar is an enchanting place that never fails to attract visitors. Tourists, devotees and trekkers visit this place extensively throughout the year. However, excluding monsoons is recommend in order to avoid mishaps. A heavy downpour often leads to sudden accidents, so avoid a monsoon season visit.
2. Wear comfortable shoes, since the highest peak and the temple require a little bit of trek.
3. You don’t have to carry food and water with you if you don’t want, since there are several shops and stalls here that sell the basic necessities.
4. There might be guides offering you their services, but in all honesty, there is no need to hire a guide if you already know the story of the temple.
5. There is no entry fee to visit Guru Shikhar.
6. Take care of children and while exploring, the rocky slops of the hill are dangerous.
7. Carry a shawl or jacket, if you are prone to cold air.
HOW TO REACH
A private vehicle, a taxi, an auto or a public bus will take you to the start of the mountain, travel along the Dilwara-Achalgarh road.
BEST TIME TO VISIT GURU SHIKHAR
The best time to visit Guru Shikhar is during the months of October to march. It opens all days of the week from 8:00 AM to 6:30 PM. Visit during early morning or late afternoon, for a more refreshing experience.
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NEARBY PLACES TO VISIT
PEACE PARK – Timing – (10AM – 6PM) , Location
ACHALGARH FORT – Timing – (5AM – 7PM) , Location
TREVOR’S TANK AND CROCODILE PARK – Location
ADHAR DEVI TEMPLE – Timing – (9 AM – 6 PM), Location
GAUMUKH – Location
Wild Lake Restaurant
Connect – 07412024058, 09649996982
Address – Guru Shikhar Road Jawai Lake, Mount Abu, District- Sirohi
Apollo Restaurant & Cafeteria
Connect – 02974-245001
Address – Guru Shikhar, Mount Abu (307501), District – Sirohi
Connect – 9414449794
Address – Near Polo Ground, Mount Abu (307501), District – Sirohi
Connect – 9782727251
Address – Near Nakki Lake , Mount Abu (307501), District – Sirohi
La Vista Restaurant Hariyali, The Garden Restaurant
Connect – 02974-235374
Address – Cama Rajputana Club Resort, Adhar Devi Road, Mount Abu (307501), District – Sirohi