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Mount Abu

MOUNT ABU : A unique destination for Adventure and eco tourism

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 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.

The tribes still conducting there authentic life  styles in the wake of 21 st century is rather interesting and so is the collection of various monuments of different religious sects like the famous shrines of Jainism.

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.

The Brahmkumari Ashram is another world famous religious community center.

 
Air   :  The nearest airport is Udaipur. 

Train   : Mount Abu is located on the broad gauge line between Delhi and Mumbai via Ahmedabad. Direct trains run to various destinations including Ajmer, Jodhpur, Jaipur and Ahmedabad. 

Road : Some buses go all the way to Mount Abu while others terminate at Abu road. Convenient bus services are from Ahmedabad, Ajmer, Baroda, Jaipur,Jodhpur, Mumbai, Udaipur. 
Forts & Monuments

Dilwara Temples [3 krns]
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.

The Vasahi Temple, dedicated to me 22nd tirthankara. - Neminath was built in 1231 A .D by two brothers - Vastupal and Tejpal, Minister of Raja Virdhavala, a ruler of Gujrat belonging to the Porwal Jain community.
The door casings, friezes, architraves, pillars, the sculptures of porticos, are astonishing in their workmanship.
Rewards in the from of silver and gold equivalent to the weight of marble covered, were offered to the laborer. A great deal of inspiration, devotion, love and encouragement was involved in the construction of this temple.
The most striking feature of this Jain temple built in the Solanki style of architecture is the marble pendant in the dome of the porch. It drops from the ceiling like an enchanting cluster of half-open lotuses with cups so finely carved that they appear to be transparent.

Timing : 1200 to 1500 hrs for Tourists entry  free. Photography not allowed.

Gurushikhar(15 km) The highest peak on the mount (1722 mts above the sea level) allows a bird eye view of the sylvan surroundings of Mount Abu.

A small shrine and a temple of Dattatreya standing on the shikhar are worth a visit.

Toad Rock
Overhanging the Nakki Lake, so called because of its likeness to gigantic toad about to leap into the water

Sunset Point: It provides a lovely view of the setting sun, South-West of Nakki lake, where the sun gradually drowns itself in the azure sky between two mountain peaks, steps lead up to high terrace which offers an awe inspiring view of the setting sun.

Lakes

Nakki Lake [1 km] - The lake is picturesquely set amidst hills and is believed to have been carved out by the Gods with their nails. It is popular spot for boating and the only artificial lake in India that is 1200 mts. above sea level. The surrounding hills have several area of interest.

Temple

Dilwara Temples [3 krns]
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.

Gaumukh Temple (Vashistha Ashram) My sages and sheers had their retreats on Mt. Abu, the most famous being sage Vashistha. To regenerate the human race, he performed a yagya or magic fire from which were born the agnikula clans of Chauhan, Solankis, Pannars and Pratihars. A natural spring that flows that through a sculpted cow's head, gives the shrine its name. Nearby is the marble image of Nandi who was rescued by the mighty serpent 'Arbuda'. Carved out of a rock, the hill temple of Arbuda lies against a picturesque back drop. It is accessible by car or jeep up to 3 km, from where a descent of 750 steps has to be covered on foot.

Around Mount Abu

Achalgarh (8km)
Medieval monument of Mt Abu, is the Achalgadh fort commissioned by Rana Kumbha, who was responsible for dozens of gigantic fortresses in southern Rajasthan, with massive battlemented walls and a situation on a mountain peak offering great views. A steeply winding path leads up to the 15th century fortress and the temples within the fortified walls, great for a view of the countryside.

The carved Jain temples are a 10 minute climb, worthwhile for the view and the sculpture. Below the path is the Achleshwar temple, with a Nandi said to be made of the five metals-gold, silver, copper, brass and zinc, called Panchadattu, and weigh more than 4 tons. The temple is believed to have been built in the 9th century around a toe print of lord Shiva, with a hole claimed to reach the netherworld, a natural Shivalinga and idols of a crystal like stone, which looks opaque, but when a candle is placed behind it sparkles like crystal. Nearby is the pleasant looking Mandakini lake, enclosed by rocky hills, with images of a Rajput king and buffaloes. According to legend, the tank was filled with ghee and the watering hole of demons disguised as buffaloes until they were shot by Raja Adi Pal.

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