Mount Abu: Riding to Rajasthan’s sole hill station
When someone pronounce the name Rajasthan, the first thought that flows into my mind is: “The land of royal Rajputanas”, “The land of magnificent forts and gardens” and “The land which is India’s most ancient civilization i.e. Indus Valley Civilization”. In the same way, when people say Rajasthan, what comes first in your mind? Let me guess…
It may the King (maharaja) with long-weird mustache, or it may be the royal colorful Rajasthani turban which is 9-10 meter long. Another thing which actually conjures up, is the image of white and golden-sand desert (Thar desert). Thar desert whose 70% part lies in Rajasthan (seriously really hot) and rest in Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana and Pakistan. That’s the reason why people are reluctant to visit Rajasthan in summer.
Despite of all these, there is something more in Rajasthan that welcomes you even in summer; and it is the Mount Abu – the only hill station in Rajasthan. It is also consider to be the perfect getaway for all the Rajasthani people and probably for Gujarati people too. But first of all, allow me to give you the insight of this mesmerizing hill station and what makes it so different…
Buzz about Mount Abu
Mount Abu is located in the midst of Southwestern end of Aravalli mountain range (Sirohi district) at about 1200m above sea level. Also, it lies on the border of Rajasthan and Gujarat. Probably, due to this reason, you’ll find it jam packed (with the great blend of Gujarati and Rajasthani culture) even in summer. Moreover, Mount Abu is a fascinating destination which provides some of the most picturesque scenery of Aravalli hills such as famous Dilwara Jain Temple, Nakki Lake, Guru Shikar, and many more. The temperature of Mount Abu remains nearly 20-30 degree Celsius which is much lower than rest of Rajasthan (40-50 degree Celsius). Hence, in early days, Mount Abu was consiedered to the favorite summer destination for Britishers. In-fact, many of the saints in ancient time had lived here and worshiped here.
Continuing with roadaviator interest in riding on Mount Abu roads, here is why I had to plan a short trip to Mount Abu:
I was off there just for a day…
I was in Jaipur, my college semester examination was near and the sweltering heat was also on its hike. Probably, that’s why I was feeling even more sever heat…. I just needed a break to refresh my mind. As a result, in a quick session I backpacked myself and went for a short trip.
Moreover, my uncle cum travel companion was also feeling very similar to me; escaping the dusty and dry heat of summer. Fortunately, he called me at the right time as I was about to fetch bus tickets. Therefore, finally both of us had decided to trip Mount.
The only thing that I was missing was my camera Nikon D3300 Digital SLR It was totally discharged (I even forgot to take it) and my Blackberry was on 50% battery. I was keeping my fingers crossed; everything will be fine.
Without any further ado, let me show you some of these places that I’ve visited….
Believe me or not, but this Lake is the most wonderful and photographic spot of Mount Abu. It is perfectly nestled in the midst of green landscape and man-made wonders. I would consider it to the top honeymoon destination of Rajasthan. Nakki Lake is very well maintained, you can do boating and relax by the side of river and taste some of the street food (time-pass food items) or even you can relax in well developed café. Also there are many trekking spot near the Lake. I wish sooner or later I’ll trek them too.
Instead of the same feeling, I had encountered bad weather which in the whole trip had tried to spoil my adventures. But one thing had thrilled me is, the fact that Mahatma Gandhi’s ashes were immersed in it. Other than that, timings to visit it is 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM and entry fees is Rs. 100/-
It is situated in the South west of Nakki lake. Many tourists and travelers who have visited it had reviewed it as a perfect destination to sit and enjoy the serenity of jamboree climate and watch the sunset. But, my experience was quite different as sky was full of grey clouds and it was about to rain, so I couldn’t see it. My bad luck… Still, the surrounding and the drive way had shown me the best of it.
Dilwara Jain Temple:
Dilwara Jain Temple is known for it’s phenomenal work on marble stone. The delicate carving on marble is worth-watching. These temples were built between 11th and 13th century; showcasing the finest art work by the humans. I really appreciate such grandeur and hard-work; even when there are very limited resources present at that time. But unfortunately, the camera is not allowed inside the temple.
Timings are: 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Guru Shikhar is located in the middle of wildlife sanctuary (15km up to Mount Abu) and it is also the highest point in the entire Mount Abu. The highest point of Guru Shikhar is present at an altitude of 5,676 ft due to which it offers some of the most breath-taking views of the Sanctuary and surrounding. In addition to that, this place has became even more magnificient, since the Dattatreya (Lord Vishnu incarnation) temple is made. There is a cave at the highest point of the peak where footprints of Dattatreya are saved.
All of the above, Guru Shikhar gives a panoramic view of “telescope” placed near to it. But what makes the telescope more presentable is the accumulation of clouds near to it.. As you can see in the photograph.
Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary
It is the habitat for Leopards, Deer, Samba, Pangolin, Hyena and many more. The forest is so long stretched between the mountains that one can see it from the top of various view points. If you are a bird watcher, then it can be a great paradise for you guys as well. You’ll find many exotic birds there.
This wildlife sanctuary requires jungle safari, jungle trekking and wildlife photography. It will include whole of your day, that’s why I’ve skipped the safari part, as I was in Mount Abu for a day only.
The presence of such a mystic wildlife, stretched along the Aravalli Hills had surprised me.
As I had just a day to roam around Mount Abu, I missed certain more view points and treks. These are:
- Trevor’s crocodile park: Famous spot for crocodile breeding and serves best in winter as you can spot lots of animals and exotic birds near to it.
- Brahmakumari Peace Park: It’s calm environment will make you to surrender yourself in the natural beauty and meditate.
- Achal Garh Fort: It was built by the Paramara Dynasty and then it was renovated by Mewar kingdom. The presence of Lord Shiva temple make this place more magnificent.
- Adhar Devi temple: Just take 365 stairs steps (looks like an year) to reach at the top of the cave dedicated to Goddess Durga.
- Trek Oriya village near Mount Abu and camp at Bhrigu Ashram and Salgaon are some other activites that makes Mount Abu the best hill station of Rajasthan.
- Full day trekking points are also there which will embark you and your family/freinds to spend time together.
Some Facts about Mount Abu
- Hire a bike and roam around Mount Abu at minimal cost i.e. Rs. 300/- for a day. I with my travel companion had done the same thing. This idea serves Bachelors and couples the best.
- One more thing I’ve noticed: Since Gujarat is a dry state (Alcohol free), so Mount Abu becomes a necessity place to hike and drink beer/whiskey.
- Being a tourist destination, Mount Abu offers almost every variety of delicious cuisines from across India. But the most likable dish is Daal-Baati-Churma which is off-course Rajasthan’s specialty.
- Even shopping is more prominent here as one can find lots of glittering shops selling handicrafts, gem stones and other items of Rajasthan.
The presence of such a hill station in Rajasthan which is more-of a hot, dusty and dry state (presence of desert) makes Rajasthan more likable and lovable even in summer. But the only thing that had tried to spoil my trip was weather condition.
All the photographs were clicked by my BlackBerry Z3 mobile phone.
I wish I’d be visiting all of the above mentions place that I haven’t visited, sooner or later… Till then..