Mount Abu, the only hill station in Rajasthan, it is more than just a summer retreat. Its stunning array of exquisite Dilwara Jain Temples, dating back 11th- 13th centuries, make it a popular pilgrimage centre. Folk dances and a general atmosphere of gaiety prevail in this tiny hill resort making it a place where one can completely relax.
History of Mount Abu
The history of Mount Abu is wrapped up in legends. According to one, Mount Abu derives its name from Mount Arbud when the youngest son of Himalaya, along with the assistance of a snake called Arbud flooded the gorge in the area with water to save Shiva's revered bull.
On a more contemporary note, the history of Mount Abu indicates that it was once under the rule of the Chauhan dynasty and later served as summer retreat for the royalty. The British too favored this region and made it their impromptu getaway from the heat and dust of Rajasthan.
In the Puranas the region has been referred to as Arbudaranya, ("forest of Arbhu") and 'Abu' is a diminutive of this ancient name. It is believed that sage Vasistha retired to the southern spur at Mount Abu after following his differences with sage Vishvamitra.
Geography of Mount Abu
Mount Abu is the highest peak in the Aravalli Range of Rajasthan state in western India. It is located in Sirohi district. The mountain forms a distinct rocky plateau 22km long by 9 km wide. The highest peak on the mountain is Guru Shikhar, at 1722.
Mount Abu is located in the southwestern Rajasthan, close to the borders of Gujarat. It is located at a distance of about 185 km from Udaipur, 221 km from Ahmedabad, 264 km from Jodhpur, 500 km from Jaipur and 765 km from Delhi.
The city experiences a pleasant climate throughout the year. Their summer temperature varies between 23 and 34 degrees C and in winters it is between 11 and 28 degree C. Warm clothes are required in winters (November-January). The hill station receives an average annual rainfall of 65-177 cms.
Tourist attractions of Mount Abu
Set amidst lush surroundings of Aravalli hills at an altitude of 1,220 m above the sea level, Mount Abu is the only hill station in the desert state of Rajasthan. It enjoys a cool and pleasant climate all round the year with temperatures hovering between 21°-33° C during summer and between 11°-28° C during winter, offering much-needed relief from the heat and dust of Rajasthan. Besides its exceptional scenic beauty, Mount Abu is also famous for its 11-13th century Hindu and Jain temples.
Dilwara Jain Temples
The most famous tourist attraction in Mount Abu, the Dilwara temples was constructed between 11th and 13th centuries AD. Sacred to Jains, they are considered masterpieces of temple architecture. The Vimal Vasahi temple in the complex is worth mentioning as the temple took about 14 years to complete and is dedicated to Adinath, the first Jain tirthankaras. These beautifully carved temples in white marbles are dedicated to different tirthankaras. One can also see intricately carved images of female figures in dancing poses on some of the 48 pillars.
Nakki Lake is a beautiful picnic spot in Mount Abu. According to the legend, the lake was created by a Hindu God using his nails, and so derives its name Nakki (nail) Lake. The lake offers breathtaking view of surrounding hills and offers ideal spot for boating.
Guru Shikar is the highest peak of the Aravalli range, located at about15 km northeast of Mount Abu. It's an important Hindu pilgrimage site, worth visiting on your Mount Abu Tour.
Other famous attractions in Mount Abu include the Gaumukh Temple, which derives its name from a sculpted cow situated in the temple compound, Adhar Devi Temple and Shri Raghunathji Temple.
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