It is said that Mount Abu used to be the home of Vasistha Muni, Lord Rama’s guru. This place was called Nandivardhan after Nandini, the wish-fulfilling cow who lived with Vasistha. One time, while Nandini was grazing by the lake here, she fell in.
Vasistha then flew to the Himalayas to ask the gods to save her. They sent Arbuda, the celestial cobra, who brought a huge rock on his hood. Arbuda dropped the rock into the lake and it became the present Mount Abu. The water from the lake was displaced and Nandini saved. The spot is now known as Arbudachala, the hill of Arbuda.
Parasuram, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, killed twenty-one generations of ksatriyas (warriors) to avenge the death of his father, who was murdered by ksatriyas. It is said that the gods came to Mount Abu to ask Vasistha to restore the situation caused by the lack of ksatriyas on earth. Vasistha performed a fire sacrifice, and out of the flames came the four “fire-born” Rajput clans.
The Gaumukh Temple (1337) at this place is said to mark the spot where Vasistha’s ashram was located. Inside the temple are deities of Lord Rama, Laksman, Vasistha and his wife, Arundhati.
At this place water flows out from a marble cow, giving the temple its name. Gau means “cow” and mukh means “face.” In front of the main shrine is the sacrificial fire-pit from which the Rajput clan is said to have come.
There is a tank here called Agni Kund, said to have been created by Vasistha Muni. This place is located on the road to Abu Rd, 8 km southeast of Mount Abu.