Mount Abu: A Far Cry from The Rest Of Rajasthan
Rajasthan has long been a hub for travellers from all parts of the globe. The mighty Thar Desert provides a magnificent backdrop to a culture that dates back centuries. Whether it’s the capital Jaipur, or the other iconic cities of Ajmer, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Pushkar, and Udaipur, Rajasthan is a treat for tourists, from top to toe!
But one Rajasthani destination that often remains unmentioned is the hill-station of Mount Abu. The majority of the desert dominated state boasts of a climate that can be quite harsh, especially in the summer months. If you are not a fan of scorching heat and crowded cities, an Udaipur Mount Abu tour would be perfect for you. Discover a completely different side to Rajasthan, and let the state’s only hill station treat you to a memorable experience!
Care for a relaxing stroll? Head to the Nakki Lake, and as you blend in with the environment, feel all your worries slip away. There are many myths associated to the creation of this artificial lake. The most popular one states that the Gods themselves dug out the lake with nothing but their nails! No matter which myth suits your fancy, Nakki Lake would astonish you with its abundant natural beauty. The lake has emerged as one of the hill-stations foremost picnic spots, and attracts a fair amount of trekkers and backpackers too, thanks to some popular nearby hiking trails. For the best Nakki Lake experience, hire a boat, sit back, and relax! Check out the nearby eateries for some cheap but delicious food; you would not be disappointed!
Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary
The hill-station is a huge hit with wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers, thanks mainly to the Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary. Nestled in the Aravalli mountain range, the 290 sq. km. sanctuary dates back to 1980 and boasts of an astounding array of both flora and fauna. Approximately 112 plant families can be found here, of which many belong to the category of medicinal plants. Animals like bear, boar, hyena, Indian fox, mongoose and monkeys can be sighted in abundance, while the leopard is the most prominent predator here. Bird-watchers too flock to the sanctuary to observe the 200-plus bird species, which includes the unique grey jungle fowl.
Mount Abu is a significant religious destination for followers of the Jain faith, mainly due to the presence of the Dilwara Jain temples. The temple complex boasts of remarkable architecture, and is not too far from the wildlife sanctuary. In total, there are five temples, with each being dedicated to a particular Jain tirthankara (teaching God). Let’s take a closer look at each of them!
- Vimal Vasahi: This temple is dedicated to Adinath, the first tirthankara.
- Luna Vasahi:This is dedicated to Neminatha, the 22ndtirthankara.
- Pithalhar:Dedicated to Rishabha (an alternate name for Adinath, the first tirthankara).
- Parshvanath:This is dedicated to Parshva, the 23rdtirthankara.
- Mahavir Swami:This is dedicated to Mahavira, the last tirthankara.
All the temples feature brilliant marble architecture, and are noted for their perfect stone work and exquisite carvings. Be prepared to part with possessions such as cameras, leather items and phones during entrance. Jain beliefs also prohibit menstruating women from entering the temple.
Situated at a height of 1,722 m., Guru Shikhar happens to be the highest point in not just Mount Abu, but the entire Aravalli mountain range. To get the most scenic views of Mount Abu and the surrounding regions, you simply have to make Guru Shikhar one of your must-visit destinations on your Udaipur Mount Abu tour. A temple dedicated to Guru Dattatreya is also an important landmark here. If you plan to stay for some time at Guru Shikhar, it is recommended to carry beverages and food. Avoid carrying alcohol, as the point is considered sacred and might rub locals the wrong way.
The town of Abu Road is located approximately 30 km. from Mount Abu, and is incredibly popular with solo travellers. The Banas River acts as a beautiful backdrop to the town, and groups often turn to the river for organizing picnics. There are many significant Hindu temples here as well, which are bound to amaze and impress, thanks to their displays of fine Indian architecture. You would also find a lot of conventional Indian bazaars here, so get ready to treat the shopaholic in you! The town is also famous for the ‘Rabri’, a sweet dish. Although weather conditions in Abu Road are fine throughout the year, it’s best to visit the town in the winter months for the most memorable experience.
If you still have some time on your hands after you have visited the aforementioned destinations, make it a point to visit the following places too:
- Sunset Point
- Trevor’s Tank
So, what are you waiting for? Head to the hill-station of Mount Abu, and let it mesmerize you!