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Mount Abu in the Aravalli ranges is a hill resort and an important centre of pilgrimage. It is located in Sirohi district. The highest peak on the mountain is Guru Shikhar, at 1722 meters 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.
The town of Mount Abu, the only hill station in Rajasthan. The Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1960. Mount Abu is home to a number of Jain temples. ‘Abu’ according to a legend stands for the son of Himalaya , deriving its name from Arbuada, the powerful serpent who rescued Nandi , the sacred bull of Lord Shiva , from a chasm .
Mt. Abu has been a home to many saints and sages . Most famous of them was Sage Vashishtha who is believed have created four agnicula Rajput clans from a fire pit by performing a yagna or fire sacrifice , to protect the earth from demons . The yagna was performed besides a natural spring situated below Abu , emerging from a rock shaped like cow’s head and hence the site was called Gaumukh.
The Achalgarh fort, built in the 14th century by Rana Kumbha of Mewar, stands nearby. Nakki Lake is another popular visitor attraction of Mount Abu. Raghunath Temple and Maharaja Jaipur Palace are also on hills near Nakki Lake. The mountain is also home to several Hindu temples. The Durga temple, Ambika Mata Temple lies in a cleft of rock in Jagat, just outside of Mount Abu.
How to reach
By Air - Udaipur is the nearest airport.
Ry Rail - Abu Road(29 kms) is the nearest Railway station and is connected to Ahmedabad, Delhi, Jaipur and Jodhpur.
By Road - Taxis and buses run from here to Mount Abu. Abu is well connected by road to Udaipur(185 kms), Ahmedabad(221 kms) and Jodhpur(326 kms).
Places to see
Dilwara Jain Temples
These temples date back to the 11th and 13th centuries. Vimal Vasahi is the oldest of these Jain temples and there are 52 small shrines. The Vimal Vasahi temple is the oldest of these dedicated to the first Tirthankara . Built in 1031 A.D (by Vimal Shah – Merchant and representative of then Gujarat Ruler ), it is superb example of temple architecture
The central shrine has an image of Rishabhdev and large courtyard with 52 small shrines , each housing a beautiful statue of tirthankaras with 48 elegantly carved pillars from the entrance to the courtyard.
The Lun Vasahai temple ,dedicated to the 22nd Tirthankara –Neminath was built in 1231 A.D by two brothers – Vastupal and Tejpal ,Ministers of Raja Vir Dhawal , a ruler of Gujarat – belonging to the Porwal Jain community .
Adhar Devi Temple
It is carved out of a huge rock.
The Raghunath temple is next to this lake. This lake is believed to have been dug out by the gods with their nails. The lake is dotted with several islets approachable by a boat . Of particular interest are strange rock formations around the lake . Especially notable is the Toad Rock which looks like a real toad about to jump into the lake . Others are Nun Rock and Nandi Rock etc .
A natural spring flowing through a sculpted cow’s head gives the shrine its name . The famous ‘yagna’ of Sage Vashishtha was performed here. A beautifully sculpted hill temple of Arbuada-the mighty serpent , stands against the beautiful backdrop . Nearby is the magnificent marble image of Nandi the celestial bull rescued by Arbuada.
The thick woods are full of birds like the pheasants, peacocks and partridges.
Sunset Point and Honeymoon Point are ideal places to watch the sunset.
Mt Abu Wildlife Sanctury
The Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary is about 7 kilometres long. wild boar, sambar, chinkara langur et can be seen here. Open - 8 am – 5 pm
Achalagarh fort (8 kms)
Built in 14th century by Rana Kumbha of Mewar. Achaleswar Mahadev temple and Kantinath Jain temple are in the fort.
Guru Shikhar (15 kms climb)
A small temple of Lord Shiva and a temple of Dattatreya, his son are seen here.