MOUNT ABU

MOUNT ABU

Mount Abu  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. The nearest train station is Abu Road railway station: 28 km away.

The ancient name of Mount Abu is Arbudaanchal. In the Puranas, the region has been referred to as Arbudaranya (“forest of Arbhuda”) and ‘Abu’ is a diminutive of this ancient name. It is believed that sage Vashistha retired to the southern spur at Mount Abu following his differences with sage Vishvamitra. There is another mythology according to which a serpent named “Arbuda” saved the life of Nandi (Lord Shiva’s bull). The incident happened on the mountain that is currently known as Mount Abu and so the mountain is named “Arbudaranya” after that incident which gradually became Abu.

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 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.

Mount Abu town, the only hill station in Rajasthan, is at an elevation of 1,220 m (4,003 ft). It has been a popular retreat from the heat of Rajasthan and neighbouring Gujarat for centuries. The Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1960 and covers 290 km² of the mountain.

The mountain is home to several Hindu temples, including the Adhar Devi Temple (also known as Arbuda Devi Temple), carved out of solid rock; the Shri Raghunathji Temple; and a shrine and temple to Dattatreya built atop the Guru Shikhar peak and a number of Jain temples including Dilwara Temples, a complex of temples carved of white marble built between the 11th and 13th centuries CE. The oldest of these is the Vimal Vasahi temple, built in 1021 CE by Vimal Shah and dedicated to the first of the Jain Tirthankaras. They include the Achaleswar Mahadev Temple (1412) and the Kantinath Temple (1513). It is the location of the headquarters of the Brahma Kumaris.

The Achalgarh Fort, built in the 14th century by Kumbha of Mewar, is nearby and at its center is the popular visitor attraction of the Nakki Lake. The Toad Rock is on a hill near the lake. Close to the fort is the Achaleshwar Mahadev Temple, a popular Shiva temple.

The Durga Ambika Mata Temple lies in a cleft of rock in Jagat, just outside Mount Abu town.

In Mount Abu, the faith community of Brahma Kumaris has its spiritual headquarters, which are represented by its own account in 85 countries. Every year about 2.5 million visitors are supposed to visit the sprawling campus of that spiritual movement.

In summer thousands of people come here. To reach Mount Abu, the nearest approach by road is from Abu Road which is 27 kms.

The setting sun scene on Mt Abu is famous among tourist; it was depicted in the movie Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak.

What To See And Do

MOUNT ABU WILDLIFE SANCTUARY:
Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary, located in one of the oldest mountain ranges in India was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1980. It has a very rich flora and fauna. The vegetation starts from sub-tropical thorn forests in the foot hills to sub-tropical evergreen forests along PRIYEN water courses and valleys at higher altitudes. A variety of rare and endangered species of animals are found here. The leopard is the apex predator. Other animals found here include sambhar, jungle cat, small Indian civet, wolf, hyaena, jackal, Indian fox, common langur, wild boar, bear, pangolin, common mongoose, Indian hare, porcupine and hedgehog.

Opening hours of Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary:Closed now
January to December: Open all days 09:00 am to 05:30 pm
Entry fee for Visiting Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary:
Rs 300 per person for Jeep Safari
Approximate visit duration for : Delwara Jain Te1 to 2 hours
Address: Aravali Ranges, Shergaon Path, Mount Abu, Rajasthan, India

DELWARA JAIN TEMPLES:
Famous for: Architecture, History, Photography, Pilgrimage.
Tickets: No entry fee.
Opening Timings: Open all days (12pm – 5pm).
Duration: 1-2 hours.
Located at a distance of just 2.5 kilometers from mount Abu, the Dilwara Jain temples were built between the 11th and the 13th century. The feature that makes it a must visit is the amazing and brilliant use of marble in the architecture. The ornamental carvings and the flawless stone laying technique make it one among the most beautiful pilgrimage spots in the world. The temple complex consists of 5 temples which are unique to the Jain culture in India namely Vimal Vasahi, Luna Vasahi, Pithalhar, Parshvanath and Mahavir Swami. The lotus like engravings on the ceilings and the different scenes from the Jain and Hindu mythology represented through carved marble sculptures are sure to leave you awestruck.

GURU SHIKHAR:
Guru Shikar is the highest point in mount Abu and forms the highest point in the Aravalli mountain range. The place is perfect to get a panoramic view of the whole region and is famous for its temple of Guru Dattatreya an incarnation of the Hindu Deities ‘Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva’ in one. While many wouldn’t find much in this place apart from the various temples and the amazing views, it was quiet natural to me to take out my trusty paperback and get lost in the enticing plot amidst the enchanting surroundings. Do not forget to pack food and beverages but preferably not any alcohol as the place is considered as sacred.
Famous for: Photography, Nature, Viewpoint, Trekking.
Tickets: No entry fee.
Opening Timings: Open all days (8am – 6:30 pm).
Duration: 1-2 hours.

ACHALGARH:
The name refers to a fort and an ancient kingdom, which was originally built by the Paramara Dynasty rulers. The fort was reconstructed in 1452 by Maharana Kumbha the ruler of the Mewar kingdom and was renamed as ‘Achalgarh’ or the immovable. The fort however stands in ruins to this day, leaving behind many remnants which make this place a tourist attraction. The main entrances are characterized by two towers carved out of grey granite, which still stand as a memorial of this once pompous and majestic fort. The fort walls and the amazing location give an amazing panoramic view of the surroundings.
Famous for: History, Viewpoints, Ruins.
Tickets: No entry fee.
Opening Timings: Open all days (5am – 7pm).
Duration: 45 min.

NAKKHI LAKE:
One of the most popular attractions in Mount Abu, Nakki Lake is an ancient and sacred lake. According to Hindu mythology the lake was dug out by the Gods by simply using their nails to gain shelter from the Demon Banshkhali, however many such mythological stories exist leading to the creation of this lake. Nevertheless, the place is a great spot for picnic with friends and family alike. The lake is also famous as Mahatma Gandhi’s ashes were immersed here leading to the construction of Gandhi Ghat, which is also a popular monument located here. There are plenty of hotels, restaurants and eateries located near the lake which offer some great local food at really cheap prices. The fountains in the lake add to its natural beauty.
Famous for: Nature, Photography, Relaxation.
Tickets: No entry fee. Boating charges applicable.
Opening Timings: Open all days with boating timings (09:30 am – 06:00 pm).
Duration: 1-2 hours.

SUNSET POINT:
The sunset view on Aravali Range is best viewed from Sunset Point. This is one of the most visited place for all the tourists coming to Mount Abu. The sunset view here was even featured in the bollywood movie, Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak. The pleasant climate and the relaxing atmosphere around here would woo anyone.
Famous for: Viewpoint, Photography.
Tickets: No entry fee.
Opening Timings: Open all days from sunrise to sunset.
Duration: 45 to 60 mins.

ACHALESHWAR MAHADEV TEMPLE:
Famous for its natural occurring shiva linga, Achaleshwar Mahadev Temple is one of the most oldest temples dedicated to Lord Shiva in Rajasthan. A subject of many legends and tales, this fort is situated near Achal Fort and was built around second century. Recent restoration works have restored this architectural marvel into its former glory. The temple is said to have a foot impression of Lord Shiva himself and also has a brass Nandi and 3 sculptures of buffalos near the pond.
Famous for: Architecture, Pilgrimage.
Tickets: No entry fee.
Opening Timings: Open all days.
Duration: 60 mins.

Trevor’s tank or Trevor’s crocodile park is a man made crocodile breeding spot located 5 kilometers away from mount Abu. The entrance to this place was amazing and gave me a fresh and relaxing feel. Make sure you visit this place during mild winter months of November and December. It is a great picnic spot which will only be enhanced by the good company of your family or friends. The place also house various fauna like the black bear and obviously the various crocodiles resting on the rocky shores. The birdwatchers and the shutterbugs can get plenty of amazing shots. Interestingly, this place is like an Indianized version of Rivendell. If there’s one place you must experience in mount Abu, it’s got to be Trevor’s tank.

PEACE PARK:
A place to experience Peace.

The Brahma Kumaris Peace Park is both lovely and serene; a natural environment where silence and recreation co-exist. The park is nestled between two peaks of the Aravali hills — Guru Shikhar and Achal Garh – that are popular places of pilgrimage.

The park is an oasis of natural beauty about eight kilometres from the Brahma Kumaris headquarters in Mount Abu. Part of the charm of the place is that it is lovingly cared for by dedicated Brahma Kumars and Kumaris who delight in welcoming thousands of tourists every day.

On entering the park grounds, visitors are greeted by a rock garden that hosts a wide variety of succulents. The landscaping accommodates an orchard and a citrus corner as well as floral displays that include ornamental shrubs, coleus, geraniums, hibiscus, climbers and creepers and an exquisite rose garden.

In addition to taking a guided tour around the park, visitors can watch a short video film that highlights the innate beauty of the human soul and interesting concepts related to Rajyoga meditation. If anyone wants to get an experience of meditation, there is a choice of suitable places to do so: a grass hut, a stone cave, a bamboo meditation hut and several quiet spots in the peaceful environs of the park.

Playgrounds, picnic areas, swings and walking trails offer ample spaces for recreation, too..

Where To Stay

Many hotels and Resorts are available in Mount Abu.

How To Get Around

Mount Abu is a well known hill-station in Rajasthan state of western India, located in Sirohi district, The mountain forms a distinct rocky plateau 22 km long by 9 km wide. Being a popular holiday destination the place is well connected to rest of the country.

To reach Mount Abu by Rail: Abu Road is the nearest railway station just 28 KM from the main city, Which is very well connected by rail routes to New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, and Mumbai. From Abu Road you can opt for state transport service (usually every hour) or Taxis on both sharing and private basis. To book car/taxi in advance visit here.

To reach Mount Abu by Air: The nearest airport is Udaipur at a distance of 185 km, But Ahmedabad is having better connectivity and daily flights with other parts of the country and is just 221 KM from Mount Abu, from Ahmedabad or Udaipur you can book Taxi in advance.

To reach Mount Abu by Road: Mount Abu is well connected by road with major cities of the country, nearest national highway no. 14 is just 24 KM’s.

2018-05-02T11:12:44+00:00