Guru Shikhar is the highest peak of one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world, the Aravalli mountains. Mount Abu has the distinction of having this peak within its precincts.
Standing at a height of 1722 meters (5676 feet), Guru Shikhar towers majestically over all the surrounding areas.
It is a must see tourist spot of Mount Abu, as much for its scenic beauty as its spiritual significance.
History and mythology
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.