Sunrise over Shatrunjay
Rising 2000 feet above the arid plains of Gujarat, the hill of Shatrunjay is one of Jainism’s most sacred sites. Its summit is believed to have been visited by all but one of the faith’s 24 Tirthankaras, and is today dotted with some 900 shrines and temples, the oldest of which date to the 11th century. The entire hill is viewed as an abode for the divine, and overnight stays, solid food, footwear, money, animal products, and many other worldly items are strictly banned. The faithful make their way to the top via a 2 kilometre long stairway with 3750 steps, often starting off in the cool of the early morning, making it to the top just in time for sunrise. The place is an authentic pilgrimage, largely unknown to even domestic travellers. The few who do make their way here often rank this as one of the country’s most rewarding and underrated hikes.