Shimla of Rajasthan
|Elevation||1,220 m (4,000 ft)|
|• Density||50/km2 (100/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+5:30 (IST)|
|ISO 3166 code||RJ-IN|
|Vehicle registration||RJ 38|
|Nearest city||Sirohi, Abu Road, Pindwara, Ahmedabad|
Mount Abu (pronunciation (help·info)) is a hill station in the Aravalli Range in Pindwara - Abu Assembly Constituency Of Sirohi district of Rajasthan state in western India, near the border with Gujarat. The mountain forms a rocky plateau 22 km long by 9 km wide. The highest peak on the mountain is Guru Shikhar at 1,722 m (5,650 ft) above sea level. It is referred to[by whom?] as 'an oasis in the desert' as its heights are home to rivers, lakes, waterfalls and evergreen forests. The nearest train station is Abu Road railway station: 28 km away.
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 Vishvamitra. There is another mythology according to which a serpent named "Arbuda" saved the life of Nandi (Lord Shiva's bull). The incident happened on the mountain that is currently known as Mount Abu and so the mountain is named "Arbudaranya" after that incident which gradually became Abu.
The conquest of Mount Abu in 1311 CE by Rao Lumba of Deora-Chauhan dynasty brought to an end the reign of the Parmars and 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.
Mount Abu and Gurjars
The Arbuda Mountains (Abu Parvat ' Mount Abu) region is said to be original abode of the famous Gurjars. 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 the Arbuda mountain region. As early as sixth century CE, 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 before the Mughal period.
Mount Abu and Rajputs
According to a legend, sage Vashistha performed a great yajna at the peak of Mount Abu, to seek from the gods a provision for the defense of righteousness on earth. In answer to his prayer, a youth arose from the Agnikunda (fire-altar) — the first Agnivansha Rajput. Achalgarh Fort is one of more attracting place which was built by Parmar Rajput kings. Dilwara temple built by mahipala Soalanki (Chalukyu).
The mountain is 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 the Achaleshwar Mahadev Temple (1412).
The Achalgarh Fort, built in the 14th century by Kumbha of Mewar, is nearby and at its center is the popular visitor attraction of the Nakki Lake. The Toad Rock is on a hill near the lake. Close to the fort is the Achaleshwar Mahadev Temple, a popular Shiva temple. Also, Achal Fort Jain Temple, Kantinath Jain Temple (1513) is equally famous.
The Durga Ambika Mata Temple lies in a cleft of rock in Jagat, just outside Mount Abu town.
The mountain is also the home to a number of Jain temples including Dilwara Temples, a complex of temples carved of white marble built between the 11th and 13th centuries CE. The Dilwara Temples or Delvada Temples are located about 2½ kilometres from the Mount Abu settlement, Rajasthan's only hill station. These Jain temples were built by Vimal Shah and designed by Vastupala, Jain ministers of Dholka, between the 11th and 16th centuries and are famous for their use of white marble and intricate marble carvings. They are a pilgrimage place of the Jains, and a popular general tourist attraction. Although Jains built many beautiful temples at other places in Rajasthan, the Dilwara temples are believed to be the most beautiful example of architectural perfection.. The temples have an opulent entranceway, the simplicity in architecture reflecting Jain values like honesty and frugality. The ornamental detail spreading over the minutely carved ceilings, doorways, pillars, and panels is simply marvellous. The temple complex is in the midst of a range of forested hills. There are five temples in all, each with its own unique identity. All the five temples are enclosed within a single high walled compound. The group is named after the small village of Dilwara or Delvara in which they are located. The five temples are:
- Vimal Vasahi, dedicated to the first Jain Tirthankara, Shri Rishabhadev.
- Luna Vasahi, dedicated to the 22nd Jain Tirthankara, Shri Neminatha.
- Pittalhar, dedicated to the first Jain Tirthankar, Shri Rishabhadev.
- Parshvanath, dedicated to the 23rd Jain Tirthankara, Shri Parshvanatha.
- Mahavir Swami, dedicated to the last Jain Tirthankara, Shri Mahaviraswami.
In Mount Abu, the faith community of Brahma Kumaris has its spiritual headquarters, which are represented by its own account in 110 countries. Every year about 2.5 million visitors are supposed to visit the sprawling campus of that spiritual movement.
The Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1960 and covers 290 km² of the mountain.
While there are hundreds of hotels for tourists, some Dharamshalas can be found for as low as Rs.700 per night.
In summer thousands of people come here. To reach Mount Abu, the nearest approach by road is from Abu Road which is 27 km.
Letitia Elizabeth Landon's poem Hindoo Temples on the Mountain-Lake of Aboo, published in Fisher's Drawing Room Scrap Book, 1839, is a reflection on this mountain fastness.
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Summer prevails from mid-April to mid-June, when the average maximum temperature remains around 36 °C. It is suited for light cotton clothes.
Due to its relief and geographical conditions, it rains in Mount Abu during the monsoons. During the rainy season, the temperature falls. Normal summer clothing works. It is wise to carry an umbrella to avoid being caught in the rain.
Winters are cool in Mount Abu, with mercury hovering around 16 °C to 22 °C. Nights are chilly, and the average night temperature is around 4 to 12 °C. The temperature has dipped to as low as −2 to −3 °C. Heavy winter clothing is preferable. In the daytime, light pullovers are sufficient.
|Climate data for Mount Abu|
|Average high °C (°F)||17.3
|Average low °C (°F)||4.5
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||5.3
According to the 2011 Census of India, Mount Abu has a population of 22,943. out of which 54.7% are males and 45.3% are females. It has an average literacy rate of 81.15%, higher than the national average of 74.04%: male literacy is 90.12%, and female literacy is 70.23%. In Mount Abu, 12.34% of the population is under 6 years of age.
89.31% of people are Hindus, 7.69% are Muslims while 1.45% are Christians.
Marble sculpture of Dilwara Temples
Kalpavriksha or Kalpavruksha page in Dilwada Jain Temple
Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary covers 290 km² of mountains, forests and lake.
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- Arbuda Mountains
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|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Abu.|