Mount Abu, Rajasthan
Mount Abu is sought of a gift to the people of Rajasthan who witness only heat throughout the areas. This hill station is the only hill station in Rajasthan and is also known as the Shimla of Rajasthan, as a virtue of its esteem beauty. Mount Abu had Arbudaanchal as its ancient name. This mountain also has its mention in the Indian epic of Mahabharat by the name of Arbuda Mountains.
Let’s explore this small heaven of Rajasthan…
Location of Mount Abu-
Mount Abu comes under the Sirohi District of Rajasthan, India and is situated near the Rajasthan-Gujarat Border. It is situated at an estimated height of about 4000 feet. Mount Abu is a part of the Aravalli Mountain ranges, one among the oldest mountain ranges. It is about 180 kilometers from Udaipur, 460 kilometers from the state capital Jaipur and around 210 kilometers from the Gujarat city of Ahmedabad. And from the National capital New Delhi, it is about 715 kilometers away. It is well connected by roads from the other parts of both states. Main Mount Abu town is located at a distance of about 24 kilometers, from Abu Road, spread over the mountains
Places to Visit in and Around Mount Abu-
Guru Shikhar is the highest peak of Rajasthan and is located at a distance of about 18 kilometers from Nakki Lake. It is the must-visit place in Mount Abu. The scene of endless greenery one gets from the top of the peak is mind-blowing and the fresh and cool air at such a high altitude of 1772 meters is much refreshing.
A temple is also present there along with a huge bell at the peak as the main feature. People strike this bell and announce their successful completion of the journey to this peak. One has to climb stairs for about half an hour to reach the top. The place is best for having great pics with friends and family.
Dilwara Temple is a group of five temples dedicated to Jainism and is a popular tourist attraction of Mount Abu. It is a must-visit place for the admirers of architecture and devotees of Jainism. Fine artwork of marble and granite is done do give the temple a next level decoration. The five temples namely Luna Vasahi, Vimal Vasahi, Parshvanath, Mahavir Swami, and Pittalhar are dedicated to different Tirthankars of Jainism, with each temple having a unique identity. Vimal Shah was the person credited for the construction of these temples and the designer was Vastupala.
Mobile phones are not allowed within the temple premises and the entry is free of cost. The timings for Jain Devotees are from 6 AM to 12 noon and for Tourists, 12 noon to 5 PM. The temple is open on all days of a week. Local guides are available to inform people about the history and architecture of each temple within the complex.
It is among the prime attractions of Mount Abu and a place best suitable for having peace along with the joy of water sports and boating. It is at an altitude of about 1150 meters and is a very picturesque location best to be visited in the evenings. Walking by the banks of the lake rejuvenates one from the depth of his soul. Boating timings are from 9:30 am to 6 pm with varying charges of INR 50 and INR 100 for two different types of boats.
Chilling out at the restaurants, gardens, and outlets nearby boost up the mood for further excursions. According to the legends, this lake got its name from ‘Nakh’ word, meaning ‘nails’ and has various beliefs attached to it. A famous spot named Gandhi Ghat is also situated nearby, which was constructed after the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi were immersed here at Nakki Lake.
A distant view of this rock appeals to be a toad. The Toad Rock looks similar to a toad and is one of the majestic tourism attractions of Mount Abu. One can have a scintillating panoramic scene of the Nakki Lake and the areas adjoining it. For reaching on the rock one has to climb about 200 stairs, so people with orthopedic diseases must avoid it. Also, it is not suitable for aged people.
There are no entry charges for the Toad Rock and is open for tourists on all days of a week without any restrictions of time. It is a must-visit creation of nature, an igneous rock that imitates the shape of an animal, a real wonder of nature.
Arbuda Devi Temple-
Arbuda Devi Temple or the Adhar Devi Temple is a holy cave shrine dedicated to Goddess Durga and is located at a distance of about 3 kilometers from the main Mount Abu town. The main temple is accessed by climbing up 365 stairs which is an exhausting task, but the rewards of beautiful sceneries and fresh and cool air are worth it.
The number of visitors increases to a great extent during the nine days Navratri Festival. One should wear comfortable clothes and footwear to climb up the stairs to this popular religious destination of Mount Abu.
Shankar Math is a Hindu pilgrimage spot dedicated to Lord Shiva, or Shankar. This temple houses a huge Shivalinga measuring 9 feet by 6 feet in the main sanctum as a key feature. The Shivalinga is made up of black and grey stones. It is visited by a large number of devotees and is one amongst the key pilgrimage spots of Mount Abu.
Shivling at Shankar Math
The temple was established in the year 1977 by Mahisanand Giri Ji Maharaj. The time taken to visit the math is around 15 to 20 minutes. The parking facility is also available outside the math complex. Also, the temple is covered by lots of greenery of plants and trees, which provides a soothing effect to devotees.
Raghunath Ji Temple-
This temple is dedicated to Lord Raghunathji, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, or the operator of the whole universe. It is located near Nakki Lake and is visited by a huge number of people of spiritual and religious mindset. The temple also has historical importance along with its religious influence.
The construction of the temple was done by Shri Ramanand, a Hindu scholar in the 14th century. People who visit Nakki Lake must have a visit to this temple and offer their prayers.
Trevour’s tank is at a distance of about 4.5 kilometers from Nakki Lake and is a place suitable for people seeking adventurous trekking and beautiful sceneries. It is a tank or sought of a small lake that has fishes and crocodiles in it. Although, crocodiles are very rarely seen it is a place worth visiting once. The scenic pleasure that one gets after hiking to the top is much rejuvenating.
An entry fee of INR 55 is charged per person along with INR 35 for parking of two-wheelers. It is surrounded by forest cover and is little-bit less maintained as compared to the fees charged. It is also a bird-watching area and an ornithologist’s paradise.
Achal Garh Village-
This village is located about 8 kilometers from the main Mount Abu town and has three main attractions there, the Achalgarh fort, Achalgarh Jain Temple and the Achleshwar Mahadev Temple. The fort in the village was constructed by Rana Kumbha. The main attractions here include the ruins of ancient structures and the natural beauty around. Achalgarh Jain temple is located at 5 minutes climb from Achalgarh village.
Achaleshwar Mahadev Temple-
This temple is located en route to Achalgarh fort in the Achalgarh village and is around 9 kilometers from the main town. The main attraction of the temple is a Nandi (Lord Shiva’s vehicle) Statue made up of Panchdhaatu or five metals that weigh about 4 tons. The temple is believed to be made in the 9th century and is a center of Hindu Pilgrimage.
This temple is a major Hindu pilgrimage spot in Mount Abu and is equally historical as it is religious. You have to climb around 700 steps to reach the main temple that has a Gaumukh from which the water stream flows throughout the year. This place should not be visited during the hot summer afternoons and also after the sunset.
Om Shanti Bhawan-
Another center in Mount Abu under the Brahmakumari community, Om Shanti Bhawan or the Universal Peace Hall is a huge hall constructed in white stone that holds important seminars and sessions on topics like Raj Yoga, wheel of life, stress, and meditation at regular intervals. The central hall has a sitting capacity for a huge number of participants.
Universal Peace Hall
A guide takes people in groups to explain the importance of the above-mentioned topics in one’s life. A nice and calm place, worth visiting once, and with no entrance fee.
Brahmakumari’s Peace Park-
It lies on the Guru Shikhar Road, at a distance of about 8 kilometers from Nakki Lake. This park is a very beautiful picnic spot with a variety of plants and flowers all around. It is a refreshing place along with having some fun with kids on rides there. It is dedicated to peace, so no noise is allowed inside the garden. Photography is also prohibited in the garden.
The park is linked to the Brahmakumari’s community, vo various free sessions are addressed to people regarding different phases of life, how to live life, and the art of living. A huge “Aum”, or “ॐ” symbol present there is the main attraction.
Lucky’s Celebrity Wax Museum-
This wax museum is located near the Peace Park on the Guru Shikhar Road and has statues of various celebrities and famous personalities as its main feature. Other interesting things are the 9 D cinema and a scary horror house. Thus, it is a complete package of fun and entertainment for family, friends, and kids.
This point is located near Nakki Lake, at a mere distance of about 850 meters. Tourists visit here to get a majestic view of sunset, when the sun just disappears somewhere in the sky. A very peaceful spot for tourists and gives a perfect ending to the whole day-long excursions.
Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary-
This wildlife sanctuary is not present on the top of the Mount Abu hill, but on a different route from Abu Road. From Abu Road, it is about 22 kilometers away and is a part of Gir Kathiawar Deciduous forests. It was declared as a wildlife sanctuary in the year 1980. Flora of this sanctuary includes about 820 plants and 81 species of trees. While, fauna here includes chinkara, sloth bear, Indian Leopard, and Sambar deer.
How to Reach Mount Abu?
The nearest airport to Mount Abu is the Maharana Pratap Airport of Udaipur, which is about 210 kilometers away and can be reached by taxis or buses from Abu Road, or the base of Mount Abu.
The nearest railway station to Mount Abu is the Abu Road Railway Station, which is about 28 kilometers away and can easily be accessed by taxis or buses.
One can also have direct taxis from the nearby cities like Ahmedabad, Chittorgarh, and Udaipur to Mount Abu.
Hotels in Mount Abu-
A lot of options are available to stay in Mount Abu, ranging from simple guesthouses to luxurious 5-star hotels and resorts. Some of the luxurious hotels to stay in Mount Abu are-Hotel Sheraton Mount Abu, Cama Rajputana Club Resort, Altus Luxury Homestay, and Welcom Heritage Hotels. Hotel Lake View and Hotel Swagat are among the budget hotels that one should try.
Best Time To Visit Mount Abu-
Generally, people from Rajasthan and Gujarat visit this place in the weekends to have an escape from their daily hectic schedules. The best season to visit there can be different based on different opinions. Summers are best to visit to have getaway from the exhausting heat on the plains. While, for people who love winters and cool temperatures, the months of December and January are ideal, as they get snow there.
The place is best suitable to visit with family and friends and spend some quality time with them. Do visit some spots like Guru Shikhar, Nakki Lake, and Dilwara Temples, as they are prime locations of Mount Abu. It takes around 2-3 days for exploring the whole Mount and its tourist attractions. Have cameras, general medicines, first aid, ID Cards, and other necessary items with you along the journey.