Rajasthan Tour - Rajasthan Tourism - Mount Abu Tour

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Mount Abu Tour (Rajasthan)
(3 Days / 2 Nights)
(Udaipur-Ranakpur-Mount Abu-Udaipur)
(to view the route of this tour on a Map please click here)


Day 1: Udaipur - Ranakpur - Mount Abu (about 225 km)

Today arrival in Udaipur. Upon arrival in Udaipur we drive to Mount Abu via Ranakpur. Visit Ranakpur Jain Temples.  Then we proceed to Mount Abu.
 

Day 2: Mount Abu
S
ightseeing of Mount Abu - Dilwara Jain temples, Nakki Lake and Sunset Point.
 
      Nakki Lake, Mount Abu        Dilwara Jain Temple    Aravalli Range, Mount Abu            Aravali Range

Day 3: Mount Abu - Udaipur (about 185 km)
Today we
drive to Udaipur. Transfer to the airport or railway station for your onwards journey. (End of Tour)
 

To know the cost of above tour please send us an e-mail or fill in the below given Query Form.
 


MOUNT ABU
Mt. Abu, one of the prettiest hill stations in India, is situated on an isolated plateau about 1,219 m. 4,000 ft.) above sea level. The summit of the plateau opens out into a charming valley about 13 km. (8 miles) long and 5 km. (3 miles) wide. The valley is strewn with fantastically shaped granite rocks and is covered with luxuriant vegetation. A place of pilgrimage for the Jains, Mt. Abu is famed for its five Dilwara temples, among the best specimens of carving of medieval India.

The hill resort is approached by a 29-km. (18 mile) motorable road from Abu Road railway station, which is 679 km. (422 miles) from Bombay via Ahmedabad and 750 km. (466 miles) from Delhi.

In Hindu legend, Abu is referred to as the son of the Himalayas. It was known as Mt. Arbuda, after the mighty serpent Arbuda who rescued Nandi, the sacred bull and vehicle of Lord Siva, from a pit into which it had fallen. It was the seat of the ashram of Vashishtha, the great sage of the epic age, from whose sacrificial fire four Rajput clans are said to have originated. From inscriptional evidence, it appears that Mt. Abu was a centre of Saivism prior to the eleventh century when it became the stronghold of Jainism. Chandravati, the capital of the Paramaras in the ninth and tenth centuries, stood near Abu before it was destroyed by the conquering Muslims in the middle of the fourteenth century.


Of the five Dilwara temples at Mt. Abu, only the Vimal Vasahi and the Tejpal are famous. The former was the first Jain temple built in 1031 in the village of Dilwara by Vimal Shah, the minister of Bhim Deva, the first Solanki ruler of Gujarat. It is dedicated to Adinath, the first Jain Tirthankar (pontiff). A man of humble origin, Vimal Shah became the most powerful person in the Chalukyan Empire by dint of his prowess and ability. He undertook the construction of the magnificent shrine at the instance of the learned Jain monk Dharmaghosha Suri.

Constructed entirely of white marble, probably brought from the famous mines of Makrana, the Vimla Vasahi temple is plain from outside, but the interior is extraordinarily rich in ornament and sculpture. A pavilion facing the porch with a domed entrance on the east contains a procession of marble elephants bearing statues of Vimal Shah and his family.


The temple, 30 m. (98 ft.) long and 13 m. (42 ft.) wide, is enclosed in an oblong courtyard. The courtyard is surrounded by a high wall having 52 cells, each one of which enshrines the image of a Tirthankar. These cells are screened by a double arcade of carved pillars. The temple consists of the main shrine with a pyramidal roof, a vestibule and an open portico. A jewel-bedecked, seated figure of Adinath is installed in the shrine. The portico of 48 pillars and the long beams stretching from pillar to pillar are relieved by serpentine struts of white marble. The octagonal dome outside the main shrine, formed by eleven concentric rings and decorated with finely carved human and animal figures and elephant processions, is supported by eight superbly carved columns. The circular rings are supported by sixteen brackets bearing images of Mahavidya Devi or the Goddess of Knowledge.

In front of each cell is a portico with a carved roof. Some of these contain elaborate reliefs illustrating not only Jain legends but also themes from Hindu mythology. Representations from Satrunjaya Mahatmya, a work eulogising the holy Satrunjaya Hill in Saurashtra, and events like Krishna subduing the mighty snake-demon Kaliya, and Vishnu in his manlion incarnation slaying Hiranyakashyapu, are depicted side by side with great elegance and force. The ornamentation, remarkable for exuberance of detail and effective repetition of the same motif, is a brilliant example of tireless inventiveness in the art of plastic decoration.

The other important Jain temple was built 200 years later in 1231 by the two brothers, Vastupal and Tejpal, who belonged to the Porwad Jain Community and were ministres of Raja Viradhavala, a ruler of Gujarat. A contemporary biography, Vastupal Charita, attributes the construction of this fine temple dedicated to Neminath, the twenty-second Jain Tirthankar, to Anupama Devi, wife of Tejpal. Such was her interest in the temple that she ordered the work to be carried out in two shifts and made proper arrangements for the welfare of the labourers, ensuring a proper supply of good food for them. To inspire them in their creative task, Tejpal is said to have offered to the carvers reward in silver equal to the weight of marble filings. This done, he offered gold equal to the weight of the marble which could be filed still further. Whatever the truth behind this story, there is little doubt that a great deal of inspiration, devotion and encouragement was necessary to complete this structure of great technical and artistic refinement.


The Tejpal temple, the last great temple built in the Solanki style, follows the same plan as the Vimal Vasahi temple. Marked by the same profusion of sculpture as the Vimal Vasahi temple, it attains a far greater degree of mechanical perfection. The most striking feature of the Tejpal temple is the marble pendant in the dome of the porch. It drops from the ceiling like a cluster of half-open lotuses whose cups are so finely wrought that they appear to be almost transparent.

A big image of Neminath, with his conch shell symbol carved on the seat, adorns the principal cell. There are in all 39 cells containing one or more images of the presiding deity. The carvings on the porticoes in front of the cells represent various episodes from his life. One of the panels vividly portrays the scene of his conversion. Neminath was betrothed to Rajimati, the daughter of the king of Girnar. When the marriage procession drew near the city, he saw the cattle that were to be slaughtered for the marriage feast and was filled with deep pity. He gave up the idea of marriage and renounced the world. In the Hathikhana (elephant room), enclosed by perforated screens, are marble elephants with delicately carved trappings.

Nakki Lake
Not far from Dilwara is the lovely Nakki lake, an artificial sheet of water, studded with little islets and overhung by the Toad Rock, so named because it looks like a gigantic toad about to spring into the water. According to legend, the lake was created by the gods who dug it with their nails (nakh), hence its name. A number of temples and cave-dwellings of ascetics skirt the lake. Motor launches and boats are available for pleasure cruises on the lake.

Beauty Spots
There are many beauty spots in Mt. Abu. The Sunset Point provides a lovely view of the setting sun. The Crags, another quite spot on a high hill facing the town, is reached by a track passing throught
forests and presents a grand view of the plains 1,219 m. (4, 000 ft.) below. Robert’s Spur, situated on a sheer rock with steep precipices on either side, unfolds a fascinating picture of Nature’s beauty.

Gaumukh, 9 km. (6 miles) from Abu, offers an interesting excursion. It has an ancient temple and a small tank always filled with water flowing through a cow’s mouth (gaumukh) made of stone. According to legend, the four agnikul clans of the Rajputs were created in the Agnikund nearby. At a little distance is the marble image of Nandi, who was rescued by the mighty serpent Arbuda. Carved out of a rock, the hill temple of Arbuda has a very attractive setting.

Achalgarh, famed for its Siva temple, is about 8 km. (5 miles) from Dilwara by a motorable road. On the bank of the Mandakini tank, near the temple, are a few old statues. Some distance beyond Achalgarh is Guru Shikhar 1,720 m. (5,646 ft.), the highest peak in Mt. Abu.
 

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