Some 3,200 steps have to be scaled to reach the top of Shatunjaya Hill, the holiest pilgrimage site in India for members of the Svetambara sect of Jains. Extravagantly carved towers rise in tiers from the sacred ridgetop complex near the town of Palitana, where around one-thousand walled shrines seem to float in the heavens above the Gulf of Cambay. At least one visit here is deemed essential by Jains in order for the soul to be fit for Nirvana.

For nonbelievers, the sublime view is incentive enough to make the climb, which takes around one-and-a-half hours.


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