Thursday, December 30, 2010
Mount Abu: The highest peak in the Aravalli Range of Rajasthan & The world headquarters of the Brahma Kumari's the World Spiritual University
Mount Abu is the highest peak in the Aravalli Range of Rajasthan state in western India. It is located in Sirohi district. Mount Abu is 58 km from Palanpur (Gujarat). The mountain forms a distinct rocky plateau 22 km long by 9 km wide. The highest peak on the mountain is Guru Shikhar, at 1722 meters 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 ancient name of Mount Abu is "Arbudaanchal"
The Gurjars and Arbuda Mountain
The Arbuda Mountains (Mount Abu) region is said to be original abode of the famous Gurjaras.The association of the Gurjars with the mountain is noticed in many inscriptions and epigraphs including Tilakamanjari of Dhanpala. These Gurjars (Gujars or Gujjars) migrated from Arbuda mountain region and as early as sixth century A.D, they set up one or more principalities in Rajasthan and Gujarat. Almost all or a larger part of Rajasthan and Gujarat had been known as Gurjaratra (country ruled or protected by the Gurjars) or Gurjarabhumi (land of the Gurjars) for centuries prior to Mughal period.
The town of Mount Abu, the only hill station in Rajasthan, is located at an elevation of 1220 meters. 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 km² of the mountain.
Mount Abu is home to a number of Jain temples. The Dilwara Temples are a complex of temples, carved of white marble, that were built between the 11th and 13th centuries AD. The oldest of these is the Vimal Vasahi temple, built in 1031 AD by Vimal Shah and dedicated to the first of the Jain Tirthankaras. The Lun Vasahi Temple were built in 1231 AD by the brothers Vastupal and Tejpal, who belonged to the Porwal Jain community. They were ministers of Raja Vir Dhawal, a local ruler of Gujarat.
The Achalgarh fort, built in the 14th century by Rana Kumbha of Mewar, stands nearby. It encloses several beautiful Jain temples, including the Achaleswar Mahadev Temple (1412) and the Kantinath Temple.
Nakki Lake is another popular visitor attraction of Mount Abu. There is the Toad Rock on a hill near the lake. Raghunath Temple and Maharaja Jaipur Palace are also on hills near Nakki Lake.
The mountain is also home to several Hindu temples, including the Adhar Devi Temple, carved out of solid rock; the Shri Raghunathji Temple; and a shrine and temple to Dattatreya built atop the Guru Shikhar peak. The world headquarters of the Brahma Kumari order of lady renunciates is also located here, as is the World Spiritual University of the same denomination. The Durga temple, Ambika Mata Temple lies in a cleft of rock in Jagat, just outside of Mount Abu.
The nearest railway station is at Abu Road, in the lowlands 27 km southeast of Mount Abu town. The station is on the main Indian Railways line between Delhi,Palanpur and Ahmedabad. It has regular trains for Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Ajmer, Indore, Bhopal, Gwalior, Jabalpur, Ujjain, Delhi, Mumbai, Channai,Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Pune and weekly trains from Trivandrum(kochu veli) There are many hotels and guest houses which ranges for all budgets.