Tourist Places of Gujarat,India
|• Mount Abu|
|City : Ahmedabad|
Mount Abu is one of the popular jain pilgrimage sites. The road to paradise has never been easy and this one is no exception. Bumping along an uneven road, hitting your head against the smooth roof of a deluxe bus you need to close your eyes and revive the temptations of your destination. Conjure up the lushness of Mount Abu, which all tourist guides announce is 'the paradise of Rajasthan'. The little pamphlet gushes that Mount Abu, the only hill station in Rajasthan, offers you the best of all possible worlds, with more scenic beauty, more architecture and archaeology in the form of the famous Dilwara caves, the chief center for the Brahmakumaris and a generous peppering of temples which shows that the place is exceptionally favored by the gods. Abu has been an important place of penance for the sages.
Delwara beautiful temples was built between 11th and 13th century A.D. These are carved in marble and are dedicated to the jain Tirthankaras. The Vimal Vasahi temple is the oldest of these dedicated to the first Tirthankara. Built in 1031 AD (by Vimal Shah-a merchant and representative of then Gujarat ruler), it is a superb example of temple architecture. The central shrine has an image of Rishabhdev and large courtyard with 52 small shrines,each housing a beautiful statue of Thirthankaras with 48 elegantly carved pillars form the entrance to the courtyard. The Lun Vasahi Temple, dedicated to the 22nd Tirthankaras-Neminath, was built in 1231 AD by two brothers-Vastupal and Tejpal,Ministers of Raja Vir Dhawal, a ruler of Gujarat-belonging to the Porwal Jain community. With door casings, pillars, architrave and sculptures on porticos, the temple is a fine specimen of craftsmanship.
In the heart of the town, at one end of the Mall is Nakki Lake, which has an interesting history. It is said that it was drawn by the finger nails (nakk) of a sage, Balam Rasia, in response to the demands of the stepmother of the girl he wished to marry. The girl, a princess, and a daughter of the then King of Abu, was also in love with the sage, but because of the evil stepmother the affair ended in tragedy, and has been immortalized in a temple of the Kunwari Kanya, alongside which stands a statue of her lover. The lake too, has survived to tell the tale. Picturesquely set, with the hills rising all around it, the lake has several islets to which you can hire boats. An interesting facet is the many rock formations around the lake. They have been named Toad Rock, Nun Rock, Nandi Rock and Camel Rock because of their resemblance to these figures. The road appears to be looking broodingly down towards the lake, as if contemplating jumping in. Nun Rock is a large smooth rock, as it supposedly looks a woman with a veil. The climb up to these rocks, through the wooded forests is a beautiful one, with each of the rocks on the way making unique formations, fissures and shapes. There are rumors that you might run into a bear on your way up, but the climb is well worth the risk! And one can take courage from the fact that none of the travelers in the last few years have encountered the animal.