The Aravallis never before seemed so calling. The spiraling roads to Mount Abu Hill Station, the only hill station of Rajasthan, catch the fantasy every time a visit is made. And no beginning is better than the hot cities getting smaller as being left behind for the cool tingles of a much sought after hill town. What sunrise could be like and how sunset can leave mere humans unnerved is understood in its full impact only in a place like this and more in Mount Abu. All these imagery and more takes shape of reality with decision to tour.
Aravalli Hills, where Mount Abu is situated, are of peculiar beauty that is difficult to understand if one has seen only the sand dunes of Jaisalmer in Rajasthan. Considered as the 'oasis of the desert' for being home to some rivers, lakes, waterfalls, etc, this hill destination is respite from the scalding heat of Rajasthan which is around 66% desert. Mount Abu travel thus presents a stark contrast to the other parts of the state associated with Rajput warriors.
In ancient scriptures the place is noted as 'Arbuda Mountains', which was associated with Gurjar who used to live here but later moved to other places of both Rajasthan and Gujarat. The history and prominence of this place became less significant with the change of ruling power and later dominance of Mughals and British Raj. However, now the place is very much sought after for the Natural beauty with which it grips its domestic visitors and the spiritual charm for what it is popular among foreigners. These two are important characteristics of Mount Abu tourism.
Whether it is an escape from rut /climate in demand or making best use of time, sightseeing here introduces tourists and vacationers to the aristocratic architectural grandeur of temples and Nature at its 'calm' best. Relieving agony of life and placing it in the feet of divine amidst tender embrace of Nature, sound of bells and crowd of devotees takes no effort. Feel it in-
Dilwara Jain Temples - The temple complex houses many temples dedicated to Lord Shiva with intricate stone detailing. Shri Mahaveer Swami Temple, Parshavnath Ji Temple, Vimal Vasahi Temple, Rishabhdeo Ji Temple and Shri Nemi Nath Ji Temple are the five temples in the complex dedicated to five tirthankars of Jain region.
Adhar Devi Temple- When 'Adhar' (meaning lips) of Goddess Durga fell on a place in these hills, it made it sacred. This mythological event is thus the base of faith for which tourists cross the hurdle of 365 stairs and are rewarded with great views of the places and divine.
Shri Raghunathji Temple- Representing Mewar culture, the temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is located near to Nakki Lake.
Gaumukh Temple- A popular destination of pilgrimage as well as meditation, the temple is dedicated to Sage Vasisht who according to legends is said to have created four Rajput clans out of a Yajna (Sacrificial Fire) performed in Agni Kund. Various statues of Hindu significance are present here.
Rishikesh Temple- The temple is believed to be 7000 years old, built by King Amrish who established Amravati civilization.
Achaleshwar Mahadev - With idols of Lord Shiva, Nandi-the bull and stone buffalos, the complex is typical Jain architecture built in 15th century. The temple is a part of Achalgarh Fort.
Sant Sarovar, Sankar Math, Dattatrey Temple, Vashishta Ashram are some other temples in Mount Abu and nearby.
Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary- The place to be in absolute wilderness is only this with all the plants, animals and birds. Declared a sanctuary in 1960, the place is a must-experience part of Mount Abu tour.
Nakki Lake - One of the most popular tourist destinations in Mt Abu, the lake is largest man-made water reservoir at an altitude of more than 1100 m in India. The romantic story of being dug only by nails to fulfill a promise also works as enchantment to the visitors. The couple was of a sage much older than his beloved Kunvari Kanya.
Rocks near Nakki - Toad Rock, Nandi Rock, Camel Rock and Nun Rock are some rock formations near Nakki Lake that are focus of clicks because of unusual shape they have formed into, especially the Toad Rock.
Guru Shikhar Peak - The highest point of Rajasthan, this could be reached by covering a distance of 15 Km, providing a great view of the city. Temple of Dattatrey and his mother are located here only, which is why the peak is named thus, after Guru Dattatrey- the incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
Honeymoon Point - A place for acting insane as a couple with nature for a while!
Sunrise and Sunset Point - By the beginning and end of the day, these are the best spots to be in. The orange hue is spread across the clear sky as sun slowly rises and gradually dips in the vessel of Valley, as per the hour of the day.
Trevor's Tank- Built by King of Sirohi- Maharao Kesari Singhji Bahadur for his friend Col G H Trevor in 1897, the place houses some of the members of wildlife by a water reservoir; an excellent escape to Nature, especially Crocodiles due to which it is also known as Crocodiles Park.
Nature Trails - Bailey's Walk, Craig's Walk, Tiger Trail, Rishikesh Trail, Honeymoon Point, Bridal Path, are some of the ways tourists can take to enjoy the scenic views Mount Abu has to give.
Ecotourism Sites - Arna Village, The Mogli Land, etc. are some other places that could be enjoyed with family and friends doing good to Nature.
Museum and Art Gallery - Located in Raj Bhawan Complex, these exhibit the art, craft, artifacts and sculptures dating back to 8th to 12th century.
Gardens and Parks Peace Park (in Brahm Kumari Campus), Ashok Vatika, Gandhi Park, Municipal Park, Shaitan Singh Park and Terrace Garden are among popular parks in Mount Abu.
Brahma Kumaris Spiritual University - A different way of living life in spiritual peace and universal love is preached in all the centers of Brahma Kumari. The mode of this becomes yoga, meditation and attitude-development classes. The headquarters of this organization is in Mount Abu. A slice of calm mind is surely available.
Boodh Baori - The well which is located nearby Adar Devi Temple has water which appears white and believed to be divine.
Mount Abu Observatory, Salgaon Tower and many more places can be maker of a memorable time in Mount Abu.
Places around Mount Abu
Nearby places to the hill station could be merged in customized Mount Abu packages. Some of such places include -
Achal Garh - A small village, nestled in the hills near Rajmachi is visited for an old fort built by Rana Kumbha. Meant to keep an eye on the safety and security of the place, the fort also houses Achaleshwar Mahadev Temple.
Udaipur - The city of lake is around 180 Km away from the hill station.
Things to do
Coming here and hiring a vibrantly colored red, yellow, blue or green boat for some time on the Nakki is no-brainer but an expectation. With hours fading into another part of day, Nature walk while enjoying some eco tourism is an option that comes with both concern as well as joy. Hire pony for riding in cool breeze without fearing docile animals till their reins belong to the caretaker.
For fans of roller-skating, Mount Abu is a great place to enjoy. For some sweat and breathtaking glimpses of flora and fauna of Aravalis, trekking to the summit of Shanti Shikhar and some other smaller trails are just what one may want on a Mount Abu trip. Some more regular activities like rappelling, rock climbing, wildlife viewing, are typical ways in Mount Abu to make the holidays of tourists a great time to share with friends and relatives back home.
As Mount Abu has a reputation of being a welcome change in the life of those who take its tour, there is no dearth of suitable accommodations. Availability could be found throughout the year with seemingly unchanging lodging charges because of the pleasurable climate kept maintained by Mother Nature like forever.
Some of the Mount Abu hotels that could be trusted with the belongings as well as expectations are Hilltone, Hillock, Aranya Resort, Banjara, Aradhana, Ratan Villas, Mount Regency, Vinayak, Maganjis, Palace Hotel Bikaner House, Saraswati, Welcome Heritage Connaught House, Idana House, Chanakya, Hill N You, and the list goes on.
A combination of budget, deluxe and premium hotels are available out of which the tourists can make bookings in the one that matches their budget and requirement of a stay place.
Like all the hill stations, Mount Abu has summers not as chilly as winters, but both the seasons have their importance and show for which people swarm in here. Summers are considered from April to June, where as winters are considered from November to February. Rainfall is recorded generally in the months of August and September.
Best time to visit
Summers are said to be the most enjoyable time for holidays in Mount Abu but winters have many colors on exhibition in the form of New Year and Winter Festival celebration.
How to reach there
Air - Nearest Airport is Udaipur but flight connectivity to Ahmadabad is better. From here, taxi to Mount Abu could be hired easily.
Rail - Abu road is the nearest railway station, which is connected with all the major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmadabad and Jaipur.
Roads - From National Highway 14, tourists on road can reach to Mount Abu.
Time to explore this avenue of Rajasthan!!