About the Temple
Achaleshwar Mahadev temple is located next to the Achalgarh Fort in the Achalgarh village which is 11km away from Abu road, a hill station in Sirohi district of Rajasthan. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This is the only temple where Lord Shiva’s Toe is worshiped instead of the Shiv lingam. A huge pancha-dhatu sculpture of divine Nandi along with two large Buffaloes, made of large stone are installed in front of the temple. The alloy used in pancha-dhatu includes five metals namely gold, silver, copper, brass and zinc.
Close to the temple, there is a beautiful Mandakini lake which is surrounded by hills on which statues of King Raja Adi Pal and large stone buffaloes are carved. These buffaloes are believed to be representative of demons who flocked to the watering hole, which was filled with ghee until they were shot dead by the king, Raja Adi Pal.
Achaleshwar Mahadev temple, as well as the fort, was constructed during the 9th century AD by the Paramara dynasty. The temple was later reconstructed and renovated by Maharana Kumbha in 1452 CE. The Sanctum has a semi-circular pit in which the image of Right Toe of Lord Shiva can be seen. The water offered by devotees on Shiva lingam disappears gradually, which is still a mystery, In the temple premises, a big and ancient tree of Champa flower can be seen. The temple complex also houses the shrines of deities such as Varah Narsingham, Vaman Bhagwan, Kachhap, Matsya, Ram, Krishna, Buddha, Kalangi Avatar.
According to a local legend, the temple is constructed around the toe prints of Lord Shiva. The Shiva lingam at this temple is a self-manifested stone structure.
According to another popular local legend, the statue of Nandi was credited to protect the temple from an attack of Muslim invaders. When invaders attacked temple the Nandi would protect the temple by releasing innumerable bumble bees towards the attackers thereby saving the temple from destruction. The temple also has several other idols which are sculpted from Sphatik, a quartz stone, which appears opaque in natural light but becomes crystal-like translucent when a light is held against it.
The sanctum of the temple has a pit. Devotees believed that it is a doorway to Naraka or the netherworld.
Festivals, Puja, and Celebrations
The festivals of Maha Shivratri, Navratri and Deepavali are celebrated joyously in this temple.
How to Reach
By Road: Mount Abu is well connected by road to all the major cities of Rajasthan.
By Train: Abu Road is the nearest Railway Station.
By Air: Maharana Pratap airport in Udaipur is the nearest Airport, which is 207 km away.