In the Puranas, the region has been referred to as Arbudaranya, ("forest of Arbhu") and 'Abu' is a dimunitive of this ancient name. It is believed that sage Vasishtha retired to the southern spur at Mount Abu following his differences with sage Vishvamitra.
The town of Mount Abu, the only hill station in Rajasthan, is located at an elevation of 1220 meters. It has been a popular retreat from the heat of Rajasthan and neighbouring Gujarat for centuries. The Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1960 and covers 290 km2 of the mountain.Mount Abu is home to a number of Jain temples. The Dilwara Temples are a complex of temples, carved of white marble, that were built between the 11th and 13th centuries AD. The oldest of these is the Vimal Vasahi temple, built in 1031 AD by Vimal Shah and dedicated to the first of the Jain Tirthankaras. The Lun Vasahi Temple were built in 1231 AD by the brothers Vastupal and Tejpal, who belonged to the Porwal Jain community. They were ministers of Raja Vir Dhawal, a local ruler of Gujarat.
The Achalgarh fort, built in the 14th century by Rana Kumbha of Mewar, stands nearby. It encloses several beautiful Jain temples, including the Achaleswar Mahadev Temple (1412) and the Kantinath Temple (1513).
Nakki Lake is another popular visitor attraction of Mount Abu.There is the Toad Rock on a hill near the lake. Raghunath Temple and Maharaja Jaipur Palace are also on hills near Nakki Lake.
The mountain is also home to several Hindu temples, including the Adhar Devi Temple, carved out of solid rock; the Shri Raghunathji Temple; and a shrine and temple to Dattatreya built atop the Guru Shikhar peak. The world headquarters of the Brahma Kumari order of lady renunciates is also located here, as is the World Spiritual University of the same denomination. The Durga temple, Ambika Mata Temple lies in a cleft of rock in Jagat, just outside of Mount Abu.
The nearest railway station is at Abu Road, in the lowlands 27 km southeast of Mount Abu town. The station is on the main Indian Railways line between Delhi, Palanpur and Ahmedabad. It has regular trains for Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Ajmer, Kotha, Indore, Bhopal, Gwalior, Jabalpur, Ujjain, Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Madras, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Pune.