Places to Visit :
(1) Nakki Lake – Innumerable attributes are crowned on the head of this intriguing lake – Nakki Lake. For die hard Abu phils it founts from the centre of the earth! On one hand of it is the largest man made lake at the height of 1,100 meters in India then on the other hand it is romantically called the love lake of Mount Abu; at the same time it is the sacred lake of the proud Garacia tribe. The latecomers on to the lake on their festival in Shukla Paksha in April to worship and remember their ancestors, and concentrate their nails,(hence one more resion for the name Nakki-Nakkhi-meaning Nail). The name Nakki is also derived from the romantic story of the aged sage Rasia BalamÂ and the nubile teenager Kuwarni Â Kanya. The two lovelorn souls were prevented from tying their love in a nuptial knote, by the scheming parents and their conniving gods. They had demanded that the sage could marry the teenager if he could dig up a lake for her with his nails overnight. The sage was just about to accomplish the impossible feat when he was betrayed by all. It is said that the sage was incarnation of Lord Shiva and the teenager was embodiment of Maa Parwati. It is predicted that they would return again and then there would be upheaval in the universe.
The poem lost love depicts the pathos of the two!
(2) Sunset Point – South West of the Nakki Lake steps lead up high terrace which offers an amazing view of the Sun gradually drowning itself between two mountain peaks. The view of the lush plains is breathtaking. Visit to Mount Abu would be a memorable one when you would sit in the Lap of Nature on top of the mountain experiencing an evening full of magic with the natural beauty sunset. The sun dipping in the valley but before it disappears it fascinates one with its immense colors, being too far yet it appears very close creating a perfect scenario which doesn’t allows to blink eyes, with the land and the sky clubs to draw a perfect horizon. Sun the Universal Source of energy every evening acts like a school boy who is full of life, energy after the school gets over. The sun after spreading light for the whole day, in the evening seems dancing and spreading colors like a Childs mood that is full of joy. Sunset experience in Mount Abu would give you immense pleasure and satisfaction to the never ending thoughts of mankind.
(3) Delwara jain Temple – Delwara Temples ‘the group of temples’ is renowned temples which are the greatest draw at Mount Abu. The temples’ sober exterior belies the wealth of the inner ornamentation. Built between the 11th and 13th centuries these temples are a marvel in white marble. One can’t resist without being stunned after watching the super fine filigree work. More of it, if you give a thought, how did human made it possible to carry such huge boulders of marble at this height from sea level even there were no means of transport and roads. You will simply left with an answer, its magic or god himself might have come to build this super fine structure. Not less than a wonder there are five main temples in the main group.
(1) The temple of Vimal Sah popularly known as Vimal Vasashi was dedicated to Adinath or Rishabdeo constructed out of white marble from Arasoori Hill, it is an outstanding example of jain temple architecture. It satnds within a quadrangular court and houses a shrine with a large bronze image of Adinath, Preceded by mandapa(portico) supported by 48 pillars. The eight central pillars form an octagon holding up a dome with its circular rims and richly carved roof.
(2) The Luna Vashi Temple is situated a little above the Vimal Shah Temple. Two brothers, Tejpal and Vastupal, who have gone down in Indian architectural history as greatest builders of all times, constructed this temple. They were the ministers of King Viradhaval. They constructed many more temples of which only the Neminath Temple of Girnar still remains. The Solankis constructed the Luna Vashi Temple in 1231 A.D., the brothers were closely involved in this project. Stylically, however, the Luna temple is similar to the Vimal Shah Temple.
(3) The Ranga – Mandapa – The Dance pavilion was constructed between 1147 – 1149 A.D. and is the most exquisite structure in the temple complex. Since the interior had to be free of supporting pillars, it could be surmounted with a shikhara tower, instead a white vaulted dome was used. This is a largest extent example of the style of a construction during the Solanki period.
(4) The Sanctum – The tourist cannot proceed beyond this point. However, from here threw the Gudha Mandapa, the sanctum sanctorum and the bright statue of first Tirthankara is visible. The entrance of the cella is flanked by two standing Parsva Rishabnath is deliberately need to appear impersonal and not human.
(5) The Ambulatory – 52 deva kulikas i.e. subsidiary shrines have been arranged on elevated platforms around the central edifice, each with the statue of a Tirthankara; this date backs to different periods, some much later the others. The holy figures of 52 symbolized for the Jains the four internal Tirthankaras and in addition to them, 24 belonging to the past and present eons. Beside these, some larger cells have been added to south – west.
Hasti Shala – Elephants were used to carry marbles from Ambaji to Mount Abu for the construction of the temples. To commemorate their contribution, Hast Shala ( The Elephant Courtyard ) was constructed.
Delwara Jain Temples are open for the tourist from 1200 hrs. to 1700 hrs. for free and no
photography is allowed inside the temple complex.
(3) Honey Moon Point – Honey Moon Point of Mount Abu is popular among young couples. It also offers as a vibrant sunset point in Mount Abu. View Images and Read Complete details on Honey Moon Point, Mount Abu
(4) Toad Rock – A rock carved by nature, over hangs the placid Nakki Lake and appears to be in the shape of the toad, ready to dive into the lake. It not only filially keeps eye on the love lake Nakki, but majestically surveys the whole town too.
It is an excellent example of igneous rock with breath taking shapes in the cradle of the oldest mountain ranges in the world. Together with this wondrous sculpture, chiseled by the three great sculptures, The Sun, The Rain and The Wind, there are many more masterpieces in Mount Abu. Here one can satisfy his visual and spiritual senses by watching and feeling the energy of all the five elements of life in harmony with each other. The Land, Water, Air, Fire (Sun) and Sky
(5) Trevors Tank – Trevors Tank has been named after a British engineer ‘TREVOR’ and is situated amidst the densely wooded hills of the Aravali ranges. A rich variety of birds like the pigeons, peacocks, and the partridges, kingfishers, robin, grey jungle fowl and red spur fowl are found abundantly in this area. There is a small cool placid lake which is the main attraction that houses number of aquatic species and huge lizards like grate crocks. All in all it makes a favorite haunt for wild life lovers.
(6) Gaumukh – Gaumukh is situated at a distance of about six kilometers from the Bus stand at Mount Abu.Sage Vashishtha lived here with his wife and a wish fulfilling cow, gifted him by the Devas, after they obtained it from the churning of the ocean, with eight other jewels! The holy river Sarswati Ganga has been flowing here since the ancient days of Viswamitra and Vashistha, two great Rishis of India.
As legend has it, once, when two sages were engaged in a metaphysical debate, the holy Sarswati chose to support Vashistha. This enraged Vishwamitra who cursed the river by saying "your flow shall always be bloody and unholy.
And so it happened. The dejected Saraswati went to all gods and goddesses but no one would help her. Finally she approached Vashistha and prayed,O Rishi ! I have attained this state, because I had sided you. So please help me and restore my purity.
"Whereupon Vashistha replied, O Goddess! Touch my feet and flow near my ashram and you shall be purified." From that time, the river Saraswati has been flowing endlessly at this Ashram. A faithful king installed the 'Gau Mukh' near this flow and built a small pool. One who bathes here and performs the Gaudan Pooja invokes the blessing of gaulok.
Sage Vashishta is credited to brought Nandi Vardhan Mountain, the youngest son of Himalayas,to Mount Abu. The incredible flying snake, Arbud Naag, who brought the gargantuan mountain from the south on its back demanded the mountain to be named after him as “Arbudanchal” for recogination of his services in bringing the mountain from the south to its present address. As usual the British could not pronounce the tongue twister hence tarnished the glorious name to be Abu. Wonder of wonder is that in this ranges the Pine of Tundra and the Date Palm of desert amicably grows side by side.
(7) Achalgarh – Achalgarh is situated about 11 kms from Mount Abu on the most miraculous hilly range. It has several important Hindu temples, Jain temples and places of natural beauty. Here also stands the famous and majestic fort , built in the 14th century of Rana Kumbha of Mewar. Achalgarh house many magnificent sites to visit some of them are:
Achaleshwar Mahadev : It is said to be the oldest temple in Mount Abu and built in 813 AD. The shrine of Achelashwar is the tutelary divinity of Abu. Unlike other Shiva temples there is no image or phallus of Shiva, here but instead a cavity of hole. No one is allowed to put his hand in the ground is there belived to be the mark of toe of Lord Shiva hence it’s also called the, “Temple of Toe”. Lord Shiva is believed to have thrust the toe here to make the unclamp Abu stable. It is said that this pit [toe] is deep enough till “Patal”. The impious dhara varsha doubted the truth of the legend and to test whether the hole reached Patal he poured water down the hole for six months but invain. The gods curse fell on him and he was the last ruling prince of the imperial Parmaras. The hole is hence also
called “Bharma Khadda”. In front of the main temple there are statues of Godess Parvati consort of Lord Shiva and the large brass idol of Nandi. There are marks of weapons on the back of Nandi shows shows the signs of molestation attempted by Mohommed Begda of Ahmedabad. In search of treasures here are many small shrines with statues of various Gods and Goddess or Shivalinga outside the main temple within the compound of it.
Mandakani Kund – Quite close to Achleshwar Mahadev, there is a big tank (kind), which is 900 ft. long and 240 ft. broad. It is called Mandakani Kund. Its water is supposed to be as purifying as to be as Ganga. According to legend in olden days it was full of ghee in Yagyas performed by sages. Three demons in the form of buffalo stole away Ghee from the tank in night time. At the request of the sages, brave Parmar King Adipal killed all three demons by one single arrow. The sage established a statue of three buffalo’s and King Adipal as a warning signal for other demons not to attempt such other disturbance. Col. Toad was highly impressed by this three statues, which are now seen of stones & dead on the northern aspects of this kund and is called Teen Pade.
Bhrugu Ashram – Nearly 1 km away from Mandakani Kund, there is an Ashram called Bhrugu Ashram. It has a shirine of Lord Mahadev, a kund with cows mouth, the statue of Bhramaji and a math were saints and sages live.
Samadhi of Mansingh – The maharaja of Sirohi was murdered here by some Rajput and his Samadhi in “cenotaph” is situated near the Mandakani Kund quite near Achelashwar Mahadev. It was built in 1638. In his separation his 5 queens also sacrificed them slaves by way of being sati. In the Sarneshwar Shiva Temple, the statue of queens and the king praying the lord Shiva are shown.
Bharat Hari Cave – This cave is little away from the Mandakani Kund upon hillside. It is like a masonry building and is fairly good. Sages and saints stay here. This place is enough pleasant and suitable.
Ravti Kund – It is named after Ravti a star and situated near Mandakani Kund. It is full of water round the year and a perennial source of water.
Achalgarh Fort – from Achelashwar Temple a passage in the south leads to the impressive and ancient Achalgarh Fort, at the height of 400 ft. above sea level. This deserted and ruined fort is an ancient treasure and now has been taking new form. This fort was built by the Parmar ruler in 900 AD.it is said to have been renovated in 1452 AD by Maharana Kumbha of Mewar. The fort have four entrance gates – Ganesh Pole, Hanuman Pole, Champa Pole, Bhairav Pole respectively. There are Kapoor Sagar and Lakshmi Narayan temple after crossing Hanuman Pole. Here steps are steep to climb, after climbing the steps one can reach in the main fort. Here a passage goes to famous and
worth seeing Jain temples of Achalgarh and other to the original old portions of the fort. The main aspects of the fort to seen are greeneries, Sawan – Badehon tank and Okha Palace named after the queen of Okha of Maharana Kumbha.
Chaumukhaji Temple – It is a two storied temple and dedicated to the first Jain Tirthankar Lord Adinathji. In both temples on the main entrance there are statues of Chaumukhji (four faced) in the main mandap of this temple there are carvings and inscriptions of characteristics of Jain Tirthankars and of Chief Jain pilgrimages in very artistic way. In these temples the huge statues of jain Tirthankars are 14 in all and built of ashta dhatu ( 8 metals) alloy are massive said to wait of some 1444 maunds in all four statues in each storey are arranged to give iso – images seen from anywhere. They are said to have been built by Kumbha Ranas widow and bear dates V.E 1518, 1529 1nd 1566. Being on a high hill very beautiful natural sights are seen from here. The terrace on the upper story of the temple has a commanding view of guru Shikhar, the highest peak and the plains beneath. The railway line running Ajmer – Aburoad and highway road from Aburoad to the hill are clearly visible from here.
Adishwar Temple– dedicated to Lord Adinathji this temple has a huge statue of tirthankar Adishwar on which there is an inscription of the year 1721 from which it is made known that Shri Shati Das Doshi of Ahmedabad had got this temple built. A Saraswati Statue and some other jain Statues are also there in.
Kunthnath Temple – Themain scantum in enshrined with an alloy statue of Lord Kunthnathji which is made of metal besides 174 other statues are also there, enshrined at various occasions from time to time. It is said that the temple was built in vikram year 1572. Brass statues of their armoured knights rod on horses are worth seeing.
Shanti Nath Temple – This temple is situated on a mount at the bottom, little away from Achalgarh.
It was built in 1245 AD. By Solanki King Kumar pal hence it is also called Kumar Pal Temple. It is very ancient temple and enshrined with the 16th Jain Tirthankar Lord Shanti Nathji.
Rana Kumbha of Mewar built this majestic fort in the 14th century. It houses some amazing temples like the temple of Achaleshwar Mahadev(1412 A.D.) and Kantinath Jain Temple(1513 A.D.)Having gold plated image. The Mandakani Kund near the Achaleshwar Temple and sculpture of Parmar Dharavarsh are of special interest.
(8) Ragunath Temple – Their are many temples in Mount Abu. Among all – The Temple of Shri Raghunathji situated on the South-West corner of Nakki Lake near is One of its kind in country. Shri Ramanand the famous Hindu preacher Placed here a beautiful statue of the deity Shri Raghunathji in 14th century A.D. At the backside of Temple there is a Ashram and few caves. Swami Dayanand Saraswati meditated in One of them during is visit to Mount Abu in 1852 – 54. Swami Vivekanand also stayed in this cave in 1981.
(9) Guru Shikhar – Rising up to 1772 mtrs. Above sea level it is the highest peak of the Aravalies. It has a small Shaivite shrine and a temple of Dattatreya and offers a panoramic view of the adjoining areas. A little distance down below a great bell is suspended which has a Gujrati Inscription dating back to 1411 A.D
(10) Om Shanti Bhawan – Om Shanti Bhawan is one of the major and important establiushment of World Renowned Spiritual University of Brahama Kumari Also known as Universal Peace Hall. Located near to seanic Nakki Lake it was built during 1983 with a huge sitting capacity of 3 thousand people at a time. Every year during the month of Feburary a meeting is organanised Brahama Kumari in which People from all around the world participate. Raj yoga can be exercised here.
(11) Adhar Devi – Adhar Devi is considered as the main Goddess of Mount Abu. Located 2 Kms away from the population in North of Mount Abu, This magnificent temple is chiseled out of a huge rock and can be approached through a climb of 385 steps. It is also known as Arbuda Devi Temple. It is said that the image of Goddess Durga is originally hanging in mid of air, hence the name Adhar Devi. It is defined my Vyas Muni in the Skand Purana. A visit to Adhar Devi and few minutes in the pious cave can rejuvinate the mind and soul.
Wild Life Sanctuary – Mount Abu Wildlife sanctuary is located in one of the oldest mountain ranges of India, The Aravalli range. It was declared wildlife sanctuary in 1980. It spreads out in a plateau which is about 19 km in length and 6 km in width. In altitude it varies 300 m at the foot to 1722 m at Guru Shikhar, the highest peak in Rajasthan and Aravalli Mountain Range. The rocks are igneous and due to weathering effect of wind and water, large cavities are common in them. It is very rich in floral bio-diversity starting from xenomorphic sub –tropical thorn forests in the foot hills to sub-tropical evergreen forests along the water courses and valleys at higher altitudes. There
are about 112 plants families with 449 genera and 820 species. Of these, 663 species are dicots while 157 species are monocots. About 81 species of trees, 89 species of shrubs, 28 species of climbers and 17 species of tuberous plants of medicinal importance have been identified in this sanctuary.
Mount Abu is the only place in Rajasthan where one can observe a variety of orchids. The place is also rich in bryophytes and algae. Three species of wild roses and 16 species of feras some of which are quite rare have been reported from here. The south -west part of sanctuary is rich in bamboo forest.
A variety of fauna, including highly rare, threatened and endangered species are found in this sanctuary. The history of Mount Abu indicates the presence of lion (last recorded in 1872) and tiger (last reported in 1970). Presently the leopard is the apex predator. Other animals found here are sambhar, jungle cat, small Indian civet, wolf, hyena, jackal, Indian fox, common langur, wild boar, bear, pangolin, common mongoose, Indian hare, porcupine and hedgehog. The sanctuary provides an ideal habitat for the sloth bear too. It’s unique in the sense that more than 250 species of birds are found here, but speciality of the Abu sanctuary is the grey jungle fowl.