is a popular hill station in the Aravalli Range in Sirohi district of Rajasthan state in western India near the border with Gujarat. The mountain forms a distinct rocky plateau 22 km long by 9 km wide. The highest peak on the mountain is Guru Shikhar at 1,722 m (5,650 ft) above sea level. It is referred to as 'an oasis in the desert' as its heights are home to rivers, lakes, waterfalls and evergreen forests. Nearest Railway station is Abu Road Railway station which is 27 km away. The only hill station in Rajasthan,
on a 1,220-m granite table mountain at the far southwestern end of the Aravalli hills. It is built around a lake and is surrounded by forested hills. According to a legend, the place derives its name from Arbuda, a serpent who descended to the spot to rescue Shiva's bull, Nandi.
History of Mount Abu
The Arbuda Mountains (Abu Parvat ' Mount Abu) region is said to be original abode of the famous Gurjars. The association of the Gurjars with the mountain is noticed in many inscriptions and epigraphs includingTilakamanjari of Dhanpala
. These Gurjars (Gujars or Gujjars) migrated from Arbuda mountain region and as early as sixth century CE, they set up one or more principalities in Rajasthan and Gujarat. Almost all or a larger part of Rajasthan and Gujarat had been known as Gurjaratra
(country ruled or protected by the Gurjars) or Gurjarabhumi
(land of the Gurjars) for centuries prior to Mughal period.
The conquest of Mount Abu in 1311 CE by Rao Lumba of Deora-Chauhan dynasty brought to an end the reign of the Parmars and also marked the decline of Mount Abu. He shifted the capital city to Chandravati in the plains. After the destruction of Chandravati in 1405, Rao Shasmal made Sirohi his headquarters. Later it was leased by the British government from the then Maharaja of Sirohi for use as the headquarters of the resident to Rajputana (another name for Rajasthan).
The Raj period approached it as a relaxation place to rewind along with the royalties and semi royalties. The place sways in an interesting contrast of British style bungalows, the holiday lodges of the royals (Thikhana) along with the presence of the various communities of the tribals located amidst the thick lush of the forest on the hills surrounding the region.
The Achalgarh fort, built in the 14th century by Rana Kumbha of Mewar is nearby and at its center is the popular visitor attraction of the Nakki Lake. There is the Toad Rock on a hill near the lake.
The Durga temple, Ambika Mata Temple lies in a cleft of rock in Jagat, just outside Mount Abu town.
The flora and fauna enjoys the adulation of the tourist to the fullest. Among the flourishing ranges is the highest point of the Aravalli is the 'Gurushikhar' with a vast sanctuary that shelters a number of species like langur, wild boars, Sambar, leopards and many more along with a number of flowering trees thus enhancing the whole scenario. This glorious ambience suited mainly to the likes of sages and tribals and both made a great impact in the history of the region.
Mount Abu is also well known for the famous Dilwara temples and many more archaeological remains. There are interesting treks and picnic spots, romantic royal retreats of the various erstwhile families of bygone Rajputana and some relics of the Raj period. The scenic landscapes include gigantic blocks of rocks in weird shapes, an array of coniferous trees, flowering shrubs, lovely lakes and the cool climate much in contrast to the arid environs of the state.
The Dilwara temple is famous for architectural genius. The intricate carving on the marble stone is simply mesmerizing leaving the senses spell bound with its neat structuring. A cluster of Hindu temples also marks the land with their historical past.
Tourist Attraction in Mount Abu
Mount Abu was an important Vaishnava and Shaivite pilgrim center up to the 11th century. Today, it is recognized the world over for it's magnificent Jain temples. No visit to Abu can be complete without a trip to the famed Dilwara temples. These temples are the greatest draw of Abu, apart from its salubrious clime. Half hidden by mango groves their sober exterior belies the wealth of their interior ornamentation. Wondrously carved in marble, the Dilwara temples enshrine various Jain tirthankaras, saints. Built between the 11th and 13th century, are famous for their superb carvings in marble.
Vimal Vasahi is the oldest temple, was built by Vimal Shah, Minister of Solanki ruler of Gujarat in 1031 A.D. It is dedicated to Adinath, the first of the Jain tirthankaras. Constructed out of white marble from Arasoori Hill, near Ambaji, 23 km from Abu Road, It is an outstanding example of Jain temple architecture.
The central shrine has an image of Rishabhdev and large courtyard with 52 small shrines, each housing a beautiful statue of thirthankaras with 48 elegantly carved pillars from the entrance to the courtyard.
Dedicated to Rama, this small temple (the cow's mouth) is centred on a spring gushing from the mouth of a marble cow. In the Hindu creation myth, the world is formed by a cow, licking salt; the source of the Ganges has the same name. This is said to be the site of the ancient 'agnikund' fire rituals. It is 4 kms south of Mount Abu. Open, free access, down 700 very steep steps.
Govt. Museum - Mount Abu
The museum was set up in 1962 within the premises of Raj Bhawan to preserve the archaeological wealth of the region.
The watersupply for Achalgarh fort and a sculpture of Parmar Daravarsh are situated close to the Achaleswar Mahadev temple.
The Summer Festival is held every year in the month of Aashadh (June). The steep rocks, tranquil lakes, picturesque locations and the pleasant climate of Mount Abu make it an ideal location for the festival.
Several points around the edge of the plateau offer spectacular views across the plains. The best are Honeymoon Point (Anadra Point) and Sunset Point, where hundred of people gather to watch the sunset every evening in a carnival atmosphere of pony rides and souvenir sellers. Baylay´s Walk is a pleasant 5 km route from Nakki Lake to Sunset Point. Honeymoon Point, 2.5 kms northwest on Ganesh Road; Sunset Point, 2 km southwest on Sunset Point Road. Open, free access.