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 mountains form a “distinct rocky plateau”, that is 22km long and 9km wide.  The highest peak of the mountain is GURU SHIKHAR at 1,722m 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 railway station is Abu Road Railway Station which is 27km away.

Mount Abu

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 Visvamitra.  There is another mythology, according to which a serpent named ARBUDA save the life of Nandi —– Lord Shiva’s bull.  The incident happened on the mountain which is currently known as Mount Abu, and so the mountain is named ARBUDARANYA after that incident, which gradually became Abu.

Mount Abu wildlife sanctuary

The Arbuda Mountain (Abu Parvat) region is said to be the original abode of the famous Gurjars.  The association of the Gurjars with the mountain is noticed in many “inscriptions” & “epigraphs”, including TILAKAMANJARI of DHANPALA.  These Gurjars migrated from the Arbuda Mountain region and, as early as 6th century CE, they set up one or more principalities in Rajasthan and Gujarat.  Almost all or a larger part of Rajasthan & Gujarat had been known as GURJARATRA (country ruled or protected by the Gurjars) or GURJARABHUMI (land of the Gurjars) for centuries prior to the Mughal Period.

Mount Abu wildlife

The conquest of Mount Abu in 1331 CE by Rao Lumba of Deora-Chauhan Dynasty brought to an en the reign of the PARMARS and also 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 of the resident to Rajputana (another name for Rajasthan).
According to legend, Sage Vashistha performed a great “yajna” at the peak of Mount Abu, to seek from the Gods a provision for the defence of righteousness on earth.  In answer to his prayer, a youth arose from the AGNIKUNDA (fire-altar)—- the 1st AGNIVANSHA RAJPUT.
Mount Abu town, the only hill station in Rajasthan, is located at an elevation of 1,220m.  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 sq.kms of the mountain.


The mountain is also 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”) that was built  between the 11th and 13th centuries AD.

Shri raghunathji temple Mount Abu

The oldest of these is the VIMAL VASAHI Temple, built in 10222221 AD by Vimal Shah and dedicated to the 1st of the Jain TIRTHANKARAS and they include the  ACHALESWAR MAHADEV TEMPLE (1412) and the KANTINATH TEMPLE (1513).  it is also the location of the headquarters of the BRAHMA KUMARIS.


The ACHALGARH FORT, built in the 14th century by Rana Kumbha of Mewar is nearby and at its centre is the popular tourist attraction —— NAKKI LAKE .  There is a “turtle-shaped” rock near the Nakki Lake.  Then, there is the TOAD ROCK  on a hill near the lake.  The DURGA TEMPLE, AMBIKA MATA TEMPLE lies in a “cleft of rock” in Jagat, just outside Mount Abu town.


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

Bharma Kumaris Mount Abu

The summer season prevails from mid-April to mid-June.  Due to relief and geographical conditions, it rains well in Mount Abu and even the temperature falls down.  Winters are cool, with mercury hovering around 16 degrees C to 22 degrees C.  Nights are really chilly and average night temperature is around 4 — 12 degrees C.  Nevertheless, there are instances when the temperature has dipped as low as -2 to -3 degrees C.

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