ARBUDA DEVI – ANJANA KULDEVI (FAMILY GODDESS)
According to the ‘Bhat’ and ‘Charan’ history books, the origin of Anjana Chaudhari is interwoven with eight sons of Sahstrajun. When Parsuram went out to destroy kshytrias, he came to Sahstrajun. In this battle, Sahstrajun and his 92 sons were killed. The eight youngest sons came under the shelter of the goddess Arbuda on the Mount Abu. The Goddess Arbuda protected them and Parsuram left them unhurt on the condition that they give up their weapons / Shastra.
Among these eight sons, two of them went to Rajasthan who established their kingdom in Bharatpur and today they are known as Jat Chaudhari. The other six had stayed at Abu. They were recognized as ‘Ajanya’ (Strangers) and this word evolved into present day "Anjana"
Rajasthan is one of the best places to study temple architecture. The Rajputs and the rich merchants were enthusiastic patronizers of temples and monuments. Mount Abu, located in the Aravalli hills, houses some of the most exquisite temples. This temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga who is regarded as the core source of power and energy in Indian religious concept. Tourists flock to the Temples in Mount Abu at all possible times. Moreover, the agreeable climate provides them with a pleasant respite from the sweltering heat of the desert topography.
Adhar Devi Temple also known as the temple of goddess Arbuda has an interesting story behind it. Arbuda is carved out of a huge rock. Arbuda is the patron of the town, who formed the mountain in order to save the sacred bull, Nandi, from drowning in an abyss. The blackpainted marble idol, riding a solid gold tiger, is claimed to be about 5,000 years old.
Supposedly the "adhar" of the goddess fell here and hence it has been named so. Legend has it that the image of the Goddess Durga can be found hanging here in mid air. This temple is a favorite spot of Hindu pilgrims and one can see it swarming with devotees especially during the Navratri period.
Adhar Devi Temple is situated atop a cliff and one has to climb a flight of 365 steep stairs to reach this place. The journey, though strenuous, is rewarding in ways more than one. You get a bird’s eye view of the city from above the temple. It is situated 3 kilometers from the main town of Mount Abu. The inner shrine is reached by crawling in a narrow cave. The whole temple is constructed out of one huge solid piece of rock and is one of the best specimens of rock-cut temples in India. You can see devotees flocking to the temple premises during the aarti.