Achalgarh Fort - The Medieval Fort of Mount Abu.
A Glimpse Into The Past
AchalGarh, sometimes spelt Achalgadh, is one of the many beautiful medieval monuments that can be found in the picturesque Mount Abu, located in the desert in the state of Rajasthan, India. It was commissioned by Rana Kumbha, the esteemed designer who was responsible for many huge fortresses in Southern Rajasthan. Achalgarh is just 8 Kilometers from the main Mount Abu town and is well connected by road.
The fortress AchalGarh is surrounded by massive battlement
walls. It is situated at the top of a mountain peak and offers picturesque
views all year round. AchalGarh is found at the top of a steep winding path,
whereby the 15th century fortresses and the temples are enclosed within the
fortified walls. These fortified walls provide scenic lookouts onto the countryside.
A 10 minute climb from AchalGarh brings you to the beautiful and historic Jain Temples. These temples are a must visit for more great views and the beautiful sculpture.
Another must visit temple can be found below the path. The Achleshwar temple is famous for containing a Nandi which is said to be made of 5 metals, fold, silver, copper, brass and zinc. The Nandi is made up of Panchadhattu and weighs more than 4 tonnes.
It is believed that the Achleshwar temple was built in the 9th century and legend has it that it was built around a toe print of Lord Shiva. There is also a pit that is said to reach to the netherworld. Achleshwar also contains a natural Shivalinga. (A Shivalinga is phallus-shaped and fixed on a base, which is shaped like a yoni. The structure symbolises the supreme creative energy. It is usually made of stone but can also be of wood, metal, crystal, and soapstone.) There are also many other sculpted idols which are made of a crystal like stone. In natural light, this stone looks opaque, but if you place a candle behind the idols they take on a beautiful crystal-like sparkle, the stone is called the crystal stone or sfatik in hindi. nearby the temple, we find the scenic looking Mandakini Lake. This lake is surrounded by rocky hills, and rock walls covered with images of a Rajput king and buffaloes. These pictures are said to represent the legend that says the lake was filled with ghee and the watering hole of demons disguised as buffaloes. This was until they were shot by Raja Adi Pal.