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 mountain forms a distinct 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 as ‘an oasis in the desert’ as its heights are home to rivers, lakes, waterfalls and evergreen forests. Nearest Railway station is Abu Road Railway station which is 27 km away.

 

History

 

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 Arbuda mountain region and 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 prior to Mughal period.

 

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 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).

 

Mythology

 

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 which is currently known as Mount Abu and so the mountain is named “Arbudaranya” after that incident which gradually became Abu.

 

Tourism

 

Sunset at Mount Abu.Nakki Lake with the Maharaja Jaipur Palace and Toad Rock. Mount Abu town, the only hill station in Rajasthan, is located at an elevation of 1,220 m (4,003 ft). 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.