Name : Guru Shikhar Dattatreya Swami Cave Temple
Gurushikhar holds the honor of being not only the highest peak of Mount Abu but the whole of Aravali mountain range, Situated at a height of 1722 meters from the sea-level, Gurushikar provides a breathtaking panoramic view of Mount Abu town and green aravali range.
You will hardly find a place in Mount Abu which does not have a temple or hermitage nearby. Gurushikhar is no exception.
Before you reach the peak, you will find the temple dedicated to Dattatreya. The literal meaning of the name can be explained thus: Atreya means son of Atri, the sage from Hindu mythology. Datta in Sanskrit means given. Dattatreya, according to Hindu belief is the son given to the sage Atri and his wife Anasuya by the trinity, Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma. The peak is dedicated to Guru Dattatreya and hence the name of the peak, Guru Shikhar.
The temple is believed to house the foot prints of Dattatreya and devotees feel blessed by darshan (sighting) of these footprints.
Within the temple you can also see footprints of Swami Ramnath, the seer who enshrined the statue in the Raghunathji temple in Mount Abu. This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is an important pilgrimage place for the Vaishnavites, that is, devotees of Lord Vishnu.
After reaching the peak, at a little distance to the northwest, you will also find a temple dedicated to Ahilya, who was Dattatreya’s mother.
On the peak, there is a huge bell with inscription 1411 A.D. The original bell has had to be replaced with a new bell in recent times because of disintegration of the old one. The sound of the bell is carried to a long distance and is very captivating.
Historically speaking, King Prithviraj Chowhan 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.
Places Near by :
– Mount Abu observatory is located nearby and can be sighted from the peak of Guru Shikhar. The observatory belongs to the physical research laboratory and houses a 1.2 m infra-red telescope which enables people manning it to keep an eye on the nation’s borders with neighbouring countries. Astronomical research is also carried out in this place.
– Achalgarh fort is about 7 km away.
– Peace park is also about the same distance.
– Delwara jain temple is about 10km from here.
Things to do
– Shop for souvenirs.
– Pilgrimage to Dattatreya temple
– Picnic at the top of the peak
– Capture the beauty of the surroundings in photographs.
Duration : 1 hour for reaching the top and coming back, all vehicles are reachable.
Parking : Plenty of free parking space available.
Location : It is at a distance of about 15 km from the town centre.
How to reach : Rent a taxi or take a two-wheeler and travel along the Delwara-Achalgadh road to reach the base of the mountain. From here, you need to climb about 300 steps to reach the peak.
Good for : The adventurous as well as the spiritually inclined. Although it is a steep climb, the steps are in good condition throughout and can be negotiated with relative ease unless you have a medical condition. The shops alongside, with their display of a variety of wares, help to distract the mind from the tedium
and rigor of climbing the hill.