Mount Abu, the only hill station of Rajasthan, is also called Dev Bhumi (Land of Gods), due to the presence of hundreds of temples of Hindu Gods. Mount Abu is a beautiful hill station located in the lap of great Aravali mountain range. Mount Abu has special significance for us (Sodha Rajputs), because according the mythology, Parmar Clan of Rajputs originated from Mount Abu in a spiritual Havan performed by the ancient saints on the hills of Abu. That place is known as Gaumukh from where Parmar, Chauhan and 2 other Kshatriya clans came into existence.
Then after centuries we Sodha Rajputs branched out of Parmar Clans. Parmar dynasty has some of the most famous rulers in history like Veer Vikramditya and Raja Bhoj. That’s why in our ancestry chart first name is of Veer Vikramditya King and it is said that in his kingdom sun never used to set. Indian calendar also started after his name i.e “Vikram Samvat”, which is going on till date, and according to Indian calendar this year is Vikram Samvat 2069. So proud to be a descendent of such a great ruler.
Mount Abu is located on the border of Rajasthan and Gujarat, in Sirohi district of Rajasthan. It is just 190 kms from Udaipur by road. Mount Abu being a hill station can be visited at any time but it is advisable to visit Mount Abu after or during monsoon season that is from July to Octomber. During this season one can see the lush green covered Aravalli Mountain Ranges. All over the mountains greenery will be spread like a carpet. Mount Abu can be seen in winter also but the temperature will be very low during winter. It is said that during winter if you wake up early in the morning you can see the freezing drops of dew on the tress and cars.
I visited Mount Abu in July with my cousins James Sodha and Paul Sodha . All the Sodhas with foreign nick names, which we discovered for ourselves and the credit for these English names goes to James Sodha, the eldest among three of us, who started this trend of English names.
Driving through dangerous Ghats, we saw green forest and big mountains on one side of the road, on the other side deep cliffs and valleys. Mount Abu is a perfect place to visit for nature and adventure loving people as well as for spiritual persons. In short, this hill station of desert is a complete package, which every one wants in their holidays. You need to pay some tax before entering the forest area of Mount Abu, at the Tol tax depot of forest department. Tax is nominal and you need to pay it per head. Our first destination was “Adhar Devi Temple”, which is one of the Hindu Goddess among the millions.
Adhar Devi Temple
Adhar Devi temple is situated on the top of a big mountain and we had to climb nearly two hundred stairs in order to reach there. We parked our car in the parking place, than started our climbing competition. While climbing the stairs we had to take rest twice, as it was not easy to climb two hundred stairs in one breath. On the way to temple there are lots of shops; most of them were selling the stuff for Puja.
We reached on top and before entering the temple, guards of the temple took our mobile phones and if you have cameras that also you need to give it to them, because photography is not allowed inside the temple. We had to enter a cave whose mouth is not small but when we compare it to the inside area of cave it is definitely very small. As soon as we entered the cave, we saw a big statue of Adhar Devi in the cave. From outside you can’t imagine that inside area of cave will be this much vast. This temple is called Adhar Devi, because the statue is not on the ground; it’s on the wall of the cave and there are other legends as well, associated with temple,but I don’t know much.
Guru Shikhar – The Highest Peak of Rajasthan
Our next destination was Guru Shikhar, which is the highest peak of Rajasthan. In order to reach to the Guru Shikhar we need to go further up on the mountains. Once we reached the highest peak of Rajasthan, first thing which saw was a big and heavy bell. Ringing such a huge bell was an interesting experience. Like other places of Mount Abu, there are also a couple of temples on the top.
It is said that you can touch the clouds from the Guru Shikhar, but unfortunately there were no clouds to touch that day, inspite of being a cloudy day. We could see all the other temples of Mount Abu from the top of Guru Shikhar which were were looking like small huts.
“Maa Kali Cave” – Cave of Goddess of Death
Maa Kali cave also known as cave of goddess of death was our next destination. This was the best part of Mount Abu visit. Because in order to reach the cave, like most of the places of Mount Abu, we had to climb a number of stairs and after that we had to climb a mountain in order to reach there.
Stair climbing was now not as difficult as it was first time, because we got used to this. On the way to Kali Cave there is also a white marble Jain temple, which we visited while coming down from the cave. After climbing the stairs, mountain climbing was not much difficult and within 5 to 10 minutes we reach the cave of Kali. The cave was deserted. Only we were there. On the way to cave there are big rocks where people had written their names along with their lover’s name. I think these were the lovers who did not get their love or may be not able to express their love, so it was the best place to tell their love that they loved them. But the question is, will their love ever come to this place to see that. Initially I also thought to write GD (GirDhar) loves. But GD loves whom??? Unfortunately at that time I did not have anyone’s name in my mind, because at that time GD loved no one. Hopefully next time I will have someone’s name.
Temple of Maa Kali is not very big but the statue is quite big. Inside the temple there is a cave, a very small, narrow cave and completely dark. At first it was bit scary to go in the cave because there was no light and its entrance was very small. At first look you will think that you will stuck in the cave. Well! You will stick in the cave if you are not as slim as GD. We finally went in the cave by bending down on our knees. We used our mobiles as torch. Once we reached inside, it was very cold in the cave and there was no floor at the bottom of cave, only sand and you could feel the wetness of the sand.
Inside the cave there was a small statue of some god and there was a hole from where a ray of light was coming. It was really nice experience of sitting in a deserted cave, we took some photos inside the cave which we thought will not come clear due to lack of light, but our mobile torch has helped us lot and finally pictures did come out quite good.
It is said that one priest had done meditation for years in the cave. Only god knows how he has spent years in this dark little cave!
Our next destination was place called Honeymoon Point. While going there we had also seen Nakhi Lake, which is one of the major attractions of Mount Abu but at that time some construction work was going in the lake and water level was also very low, so we decided not to go for boating. While going to Honeymoon Point, we passed through a place called sunset point. Once we reached Honeymoon point, we just a few more mountains and it looked alike to Sunset point and nothing else. I don’t know why this place is called Honeymoon point, may be due to the reason that it is located in deserted area and one can see the names written I love so and so. Again I missed the chance of making my love immortal. But this time I left my marks by writing, “Honeymoon point dedicated by GD with love, to all the lovers”
Last place we visited in Mount Abu was Peace Park. As the name itself shows it is park, actually a very beautiful park, where you will get the peace. No! You will not get the peace by the plants of park but the people of the park will try to give you peace by their spiritual speeches and some tricks of meditation. Before entering into the park, it is mandatory to listen to them for 10 minutes and only after that you can go inside the park.
The park is a quiet, beautiful place with variety of flowers, plants and trees. The most attractive part of the park is a big and colorful statue of “Om”.
We missed the most adventurous place of Mount Abu called “Gaumukh”. It is the place from where we Parmar clans originated along with the three other clans of Kshtriyas. This place is full of adventure as you need to get down from the hills in order to reach there. Half way you can cover with vehicle but rest path you need to cover on your legs. As you will be getting down amount of oxygen will be decreasing and you will be bit uncomfortable, especially while coming back. So if you are not physically fir it is not advisable to visit this place. You need lots of water and be ready to face monkeys on the way as it is a forest area.