Mount Abu Travel Information

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Introduction

Isn't it a surprise to see a hill station in the state, which is popularly considered, as the desert region? Situated at an altitude of 1,220 metres above sea level, Mount Abu is the only hill station that you can hope to see in Rajasthan. Mount Abu is located around 264 km away from Jodhpur, the second biggest city of Rajasthan, and 509 km away from Jaipur, the state capital. Mount Abu is one of the most famous pilgrimage sites of the Jains and known for its grand Dilwara Jain Temples. Besides the temples and sites of historical importance, Mount Abu is also rich in natural scenic beauties.

In the medieval times, Mount Abu was a part of the Chauhan kingdom. Later it was later leased to the British by then Maharaja of Sirohi for use as the headquarters of the resident to Rajputana (another name for Rajasthan). Mount Abu was one of the favorite summer destinations of the British who drove to this hilly retreat to escape the dusty, dry heat of the plains.

According to the folklores, Mount Abu was also the home of many saints and sages in ancient times. According to the legends, all the three hundred and thirty million gods and goddesses of the Hindu pantheon used to visit this holy mountain. This place is held in reverence by Jains since Lord Mahavira, the 24th Jain Tirthankara (spiritual leader), visited Mount Abu and blessed the city.

Climate: Situated 1,220 m above sea level, it has a very comfortable climate throughout the year. And because of this fact, Mount Abu can be visited all through the year, though the months from February to June and September to December are the most pleasant here. Light woollens for winters and light cotton for summers are the recommended clothing for Mount Abu.

Location : Mount Abu is located around 190 km away from Udaipur in the Southern Rajasthan. The town is well connected to most of the places in Rajasthan and neighboring Gujarat by roads and trains. Abu Road, the nearest railway station is located at a distance of around 27 km from Mount Abu and connected to cities across India.

Best time to visit: An extensive green cover ensures a pleasant season during spring and early winter. The best season to visit the city though remains between October and March.

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Places of interest

The town of Mount Abu is most famous for the stunning Dilwara Jain temples, built between the 11th and 13th century. These intricately carved marble temples are amazing to behold-not an inch of space has been left uncarved; almost, as if, in a frenzy of inspiration, the artists carved and carved till they could carve no more! Mount Abu also has a pretty lake studded with little islets…

Jain Temple
Of the five temples - Vimal Vasahi, Lun Vasahi, Shri Risha Lhdeo, Shri Parshvanath and Shri Mahavir Swami, the first two are the most famous. One estimate states that a sum of Rs. 1.2 billion was spent on Lun Vasahi itself. Two brothers - Vastupal and Tejpal, ministers in the court of Raja Varadnawarkar, a ruler of Gujarat, built this temple. They belonged to Neminath Bhagwan, the 22nd Tirthankara.

Outside the main doors of this temple, there are two statues called Devrani's and Jethani's goklas respectively, and are backed by stories of competitive jealousy of the two wives of these brothers. Another striking feature of the temple is the marble dome in the porch, which is made up of a cluster of half open lotuses, which appear to be almost transparent.

The Vimal Vasahi temple is older and is also known to be the first Jain temple and is dedicated to the first Jain Tirthankara. Built in 1031, by Bhim Deva, the first Solanki ruler of Gujarat, the temple is constructed in pure marble, with plain exteriors. However, its interiors are richly sculpted and house some fine examples of the accomplishment of artist in those times.

Residents of the area will tell you that a visit to Abu cannot be complete without obtaining the blessings of Arbuda Devi, the goddess after whom Abu is said to have been named. Arbuda Devi is stationed some 200 steps above the road, in a series of caves on top of a mountain. Along with Arbuda Devi are the statues of her three attendants.

Adhar Devi Temple
The Adhar Devi temple is situated at a distance of 3 km to the north of the city. The temple is built on a rock cleave and one has to crouch under the rock to enter the temple. There are 365 steps that take one to the rock on which the temple is built. This temple dedicated to Goddess Durga is regarded as one of the important pilgrimage sites of Mount Abu. This is also a good site to get a panoramic view of the valley.

Gaumukh Temple
Gaumukh Temple is located around 8 km southwest of Mount Abu. It is said that the temple was built on the spot where saint Vashishth performed a yagna to create four major Rajput clans. Next to it is the spring that is said to have emerged from the mouth of a rock shaped like a cow's head. This site now has a marble bull from whose mouth a stream of water flows. Nearby are statues of Nandi, saint Vashishth, Lord Ram, and Lord Krishna.


Festival in Mount Abu

Summer Festival, Mount Abu
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.

The three-day festival is a feast of folk and classical music and a window to the tribal life and culture of Rajasthan The festival begins with the singing of a ballad, which is followed by Gair, Ghoomar and Daph folk dances, which enthrall the spectators.

Sporting events such as the boat race on the Nakki Lake add variety to the festival. The Sham-e-Qawwali is a much-awaited musical extravaganza, as renowned qawwals regale the audience. The grand finale of the festival is a display of dazzling fireworks, which adds to the tourist's delight.

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