Gopichand ki Gufa in Achalgarh

250 steps to reach Shri Adeshwar Jain temple and 100 more steps for Gopichand ki Gufa.

Bhabhoot Singh – The guide. He is from Beda gaon, Bali, Pali, Rajasthan, approx. 100 km from Mount Abu. Seventy plus the age but the enthuse exist to show devotees Gopichand ki Gufa. I started following him. The path is old surrounded by dilapidated fort walls. To reach a cave is a little brave act because one can watch thousands of feet below the car parking area straight from the stairs. No railing around the stairs. Be cautious. We continue walking and with a few steps, we reach Mahakali temple and the cave.

During Tretayug Gopichand – The King meditated inside the cave. It is also said Pandav brothers visited this cave and meditated. There is a small closed passage inside the cave that reaches Jawai Bandh. Though it is closed now but it is said Pandav brothers reached Jawai Band via this passage.

Little flow of water via cave walls as we enter the cave while bending our back. The atmosphere is dark, peaceful, and cool. Mahakali Temple is in front and the cave behind.

In earlier times Mount Abu was the location for meditation. During that time Rakshashas try their best to disrupt sages. Sage Vasistha (Guru of Sage Vishwamitra) performed Yagya (holy fire) and four youths arose from the flames – Chauhan, Parmar, Solanki, Parihar. They killed Rakshashas. Peace restored.

Mount Abu was the capital of Parmars dynasty. Currently Raghuveer ji is the King. Paschimi (west) Banas river was shown by the guide flowing, and he said – Purvi (east) Banas river that falls into Chambal river is flowing on the other side of the mountains.

It was a useful knowledgeable tour. And then Bhabhoot Singh showed Ram naam (name) written by him in a copy. Currently, he has written 32 lacs Ram naam. His target is to write 84 lacs. Each day he writes approx. 6,000-7,000 Ram naam and few times 13,000.

I question him why he is writing?

He said – It is better to remember God by writing instead of playing cards and doing useless talks.

I offer donation. He guided to donate it to another person. I ask – Who is he?

He said – This person cure people from evil spirits. He lives here only.

Few rupees donated. Thank you said I.

Achaleshwar Mahadev Temple – The Great Toe of Lord Mahadev

We have to stop at a tax barrier just a few km before Achalgarh. Rs. 3 per passenger is charged as Passenger Tax. After crossing the barrier if you turn left you will reach Peace Park, Guru Shikhar and if you drive straight you will reach Achalgarh. We paid six rupees and a few km straight drives to reach the very first temple on the left-hand side – Achaleshwar Mahadev temple.

The priest showed us the great toe of Lord Mahadev inside a pit. Amazing. Prayers with folded hands. A candle was placed by the priest behind a few idols, and they started glowing. Amazing again. He said – Maharana Kumbha donated Ganesh Ji, and Chamunda Mata idols years ago. Skanda Puran Arbudaachal i.e., Mount Abu is mentioned. Achaleshwar Mahadev is the family deity of Parmar rulers. In earlier times it was the center for metal idols. Once the entire hilly area was shaken with tremors. Sage Vashishta worships Lord Mahadev to save. Lord Mahadev pressed his Great Toe to fix tremors since then there is an impression of the Great Toe and is worshipped.

Thank you said I.

If you are touring Mount Abu, you should visit Achaleshwar Mahadev . 11 km approx. is Achalgarh from Mount Abu.

Dattatreya Temple – The Sixth Incarnation of Lord Vishnu

Mount Abu tour I along with my mother visited Guru Shikhar (Aravalli range) – the height of 5,653 feet approx. from sea-level 15 km from Mount Abu. Sixty plus steps we reached Dattatreya temple inside a natural cave and had talks with Suraj Prakash Giri ji. Upon the request he narrated The History of Dattatreya Temple as follows:

A natural cave where Dattatreya Bhagwan meditated and obtained the seat of Guru during Satya Yuga. Since then it is said guru-shishya (Guru and disciple) tradition started and thus the reason this mountain is known as Guru Shikhar. Dattatreya bhagwan is the first Guru of Sages and Devta.

Inside the natural cave is Akhand Dhuni (eternal holy flame) performed by Dattatreya himself and is burning for 24 hours. Dattatreya Bhagwan took bhasma (sacred ash) from this very eternal flame and Bhashmeshwar Mahadev was installed. Daily early morning hours at 4 am havan (matchstick is never used) is organized to offer 108 ahuti (offerings).

If you climb more steps approx. 165 you will reach another temple to have a glimpse of Dattatreya Bhagwan’s feet. Dattatreya Bhagwan was the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu and son of Sage Atri and Ansuya mata.

For your information: Aravalli is the youngest son of Himalaya. It is said Aravalli arrived with Arbudanath – a snake that is why Aravalli is also known as Arbuda parvat.

Dattatreya Jayanti each year in the month of November

There are three buses from Mount Abu Bus Depot reaching Guru Shikhar at 3, 4:30, and 5 pm

Fifty minutes approx. was our journey time as we reached Guru Shikhar via hired two-wheeler.

Shri Adeshwar Jain Temple – 550 Years Old Temple

I was talking about Achalgarh. Knowledge was enhanced by a makeshift stall owner nearby Shri Achaleshwar Mahadev temple. Shri Adeshwar Jain temple and Gopichand ki Gufa (cave) on top of the mountain a must-visit places. Thank you said I and on the way towards Jain temple as well as Cave.

Here I would like to guide you the way to the Jain temple as well as the cave is next to Achaleshwar Mahadev temple. If you are having a two-wheeler, you can drive up to the Jain temple especially if you are with older people. A steep slope may be tiring to walk for a few. Once the slope is finished 250 steps to reach the temple.

Shoes were removed hands were washed as we enter the temple area. Temple-Office is at the entrance gate if you want to visit. After climbing a few steps, we meet Bhola Ram, Mohanlal, and Moti Singh Ji. Upon query, they in short narrated The History and Festival at Shri Adeshwar Jain temple.

550 years old temple built by Dhanasa Seth mahamantri of Maharana Kumbha. He also built the temple of Ranakpur. In total there are fourteen idols weighing 1444 man (40kg = 1 man) made with Gold and Panch Dhatu. Nine idols on one floor and four idols on another floor. Shri Adeshwar Bhagwan, Shri Shantinath Bhagwan, Shri Parasnath Bhagwan few names of bhagwan.

Fagan (fagun) Sud Dasam 5 days before Holi Festival.

Yes, there is Dharamshala for devotees to stay. Rs. 200 per night the charge – I was told by the office.

As I was hungry, I question whether food is available or not. Yes was the reply. Rs. 35 per thali. Two thali, please. And we walk towards bhojanshala and it is important to mention Food was excellent and if you are visiting Mount Abu if possible visit Achalgarh to visit Shri Adeshwar Jain temple. Thank you. The journey continues…

History of Lake and Temples in Mount Abu

During the tour of Mount Abu near by each tourist location, I read display boards narrating history of various temples and lakes. Thanks to Rajasthan Tourism. Though it was written in Hindi I am trying best to translate in English as summary:

  • Nakki Lake

It is believed this lake is dug by God with nails thus the reason it is named as Nakki Lake. Besides Himalayas it is the only natural lake situated at the height of 1200 meters above sea level in India. Each year Vaisakh Purnima (Buddha Purnima) nearby Tribesman visit Nakki Lake for the holy bath. Near by is Raghunath ji temple.

  • Gaumukh Vashistha-Ashram

As per scriptures it is known Lord Shree Ram and brothers had Yog education at this Ashram of Arbudaanchal by Guru Vashistha. At Vashishtha ashram Saraswati river is flowing via Gaumukh.

  • Arbuda Devi (Adhar Devi) Temple

Arbuda Devi temple is mentioned within Skanda Mahapurana written by Ved Vyaas. Goddess Arbuda is here as Kathyayini sixth form of Navadurga. The temple is approx. 5,500 years old. The temple is one of the Shakti Peeth out of 52. Arbuda Devi is also known as Adhar Devi.

  • Achalgarh

Achalaleshwar Mahadev temple, Jain temple, Gopichand ki Gufa (cave) one should visit at Achalgarh. Achalaleshwar Mahadev temple is one of the oldest temples of Mount Abu. Lord Shiva great toe is worshiped at this temple.