Location:Abu (Sirhori district), Rajasthan.
Altitude: 1220 meters above the sea level
Mount Abu, Rajasthan’s only hill station is situated at the southern tip of the Aravalli ranges. The mountain forms a rocky plateau about 9km wide. The highest peak on the mountain is Gurushikhar, which is the highest point between the Nilgiris in the south and the Himalayas in the north.
Mt. Abu is one of the major pilgrimage destinations in India. It is home to several Hindu and Jain temples including the famous Dilwara Jain temple, Gaumukh temple, Sri Raghunathji temple and the Adhar Devi temple.
Legends and Mythology
As per the legends, Mt. Abu came into existence when Nandini, Sage Vashishta’s wish-fulfilling cow, fell into a deep lake. Sage Vashishta appealed to the Gods for help, who sent Arbuda, the celestial cobra. Arbuda, carried a huge rock on his head and dropped it into the lake, displacing the water. Thus, Nandini was rescued. The spot came to be known as ‘Arbudachala’ (Hill of Arbuda) after the mighty serpent.
Mt. Abu sanctuary, situated in these hills has a rich floral biodiversity with xenomorphic subtropical thorn forests at the foothills to subtropical evergreen forests at higher altitudes. It has about 820 species of plants. It is the only place in Rajasthan where one can find a variety of orchids. The sanctuary also provides habitat to a variety of fauna including the endangered sloth bear.