About Mt Abu
Mount Abu is the only hill station in the deserts of Rajasthan. Among forts and palaces, this quiet hill station is quite popular with local tourists as well as visitors from across the country. A place of great religious reverence to the Jain community, the Dilwara Jain Temple is a set of five temples, all belonging to a different century. The temples are carved out of white marble and depict scenes of Gods and Goddesses and are a must visit for their architectural brilliance. You can also spend a day at Nakki Lake. Lying in the hills, this lovely lake offers boating opportunities to visitors. The Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary is another wonderful way to spend your time on this hill station and can take up your entire day, so do keep yourself free. For trekkers and adventure enthusiasts, the Guru Shikhar is the highest peak in the region and trekking here is a memorable and adventurous experience, though if you aren't an experienced trekker, you may need a little help! There are numerous hotels and guesthouses here, though depending on the type of traveller you are, it might be a good idea to do a little bit of research before settling on a place to stay.
Best Time To Visit
Best time to visit Mt Abu is from October to March
How To Reach
Book a Package Tour
It is both, the myth that surround the Nakki Lake and its natural beauty, that make it a great sightseeing and tourist hub in Mount Abu. The name of the lake Nakki comes from the Hindi word nakh which when translated into English means nails. The myth goes that the Gods had dug the earth using their nails and a stream of water burst forth here. Nakki Lake is surrounded by hills on all sides and attracts those who wish to be enveloped in natures lap. The atmosphere here is like that of a carnival with a number of stalls selling balloons, ice cream, juices and souvenirs around the lake. As a matter of fact, this place is great for a day out with the family.
The Dilwara Jain Temples are famous in the world for their gorgeous use of marble. Built between the 11th and 13th century, these five temples are located two-and-a-half kilometres away from Mount Abu. Many believe that no other architectural marvel matches these temples in terms of their intricate carvings and engraved ceilings and doorways. Remember to click mental pictures, because photography is not allowed inside. The Dilwara temples are open everyday from 12 to 5pm.Have you been to Rajasthan yet? If yes, then share your experience with me in the comments section below, or write your own travelogue to share with the world. And if you haven't travelled to this multi-hued state yet, then I'd suggest you stop waiting. Because as they say, ‘Jaane kya dikh jaye’.
Sunset Point Mount Abu
The last stop of the day had to incorporate the infamous Sunset point of Mount Abu. Sunset is one of the most beautiful phenomena of the world, and when you get to see it at the place where it sets in the west for the nation, it adds more charm to it. The exact time to see the sun dip into the clouds for the day is around 5 pm in the evening. Satisfyingly the hotel Sunset Inn is situated at a distance f 1.5 kms from the point. You'll end your day with the drop of the sun.
The hill station has to its highlights the Nakki Lake and its picturesque views. With a toad rock placed at a height to give an appearance of a Dinosaur’s head. Nearly a flight of over 12oo steps up, the highest point of Mount Abu, Toad Rock and its view. Magnificent is the word.
Dilwara Jain Temple
Dilwara temples are the most revered ancient temples of Jains. Although the Jains built some beautiful temples at other places of India, including Rajasthan, it is believed that none come close to these in terms of architectural perfection and style. The ornamental detail spreading over the minutely carved ceilings, doorways, pillars and panels is simply amazing.
It was the predawn of a chilly winter morning, and our first stop of the trip – Abu Road was reached. It was as early as 4 o’clock in the morning when the train was deboarded and a public transport was hired to drive up the hill to Hotel Sunset Inn, Mount Abu. The morning at Mount Abu was celestial. With a blanket of stars surmounting us, we walked down from the bus to our hotel wrapped in blankets and mittens.
Rabbit farm Angoora Cooperative
Between Achaleshwar and Mount Abu we noticed a rabbit farm. This cooperative society bred Angoora rabbits for their fur. They seared the fur and wove scarves, shawls etc. We saw the farm and the array of handloom where workers were weaving subtle patterns using the super soft angoora wool. Tip: You can pick up their wonderful products and they give you discounts too.
Hindu Temples at Mount Abu
Mount Abu is home to several beautiful temples, including the Achaleswar Mahadev Temple (1412) and the Kantinath Temple (1513). The Adhar Devi Temple, carved out of solid rock; the Shri Raghunathji Temple; and a shrine and temple to Dattatreya built atop the Guru Shikhar peak are the most revered place here.The Durga temple, Ambika Mata Temple lies in a cleft of rock in Jagat, just outside of Mount Abu.
Achaleshwar Mahadev Temple Mount Abu
As soon as we parked our bike in the designated parking, we saw three life size statues of buffaloes on the bank of what appeared to be the remains of a huge pond. There is some mythological tale associated with these buffaloes guarding the nector in the pond. However we were mesmerized by their sheer artistry. They could be the pride of place in any modern art gallery of the world. We next moved to the temple. This was the same Dilwara style architecture albeit smaller. The main shrine had a beautifully carved dome. The sanctum sanctorum, instead of a Shiv murti (statue) or linga (phallus) had a small stone toe of the God. Outside were a huge Nandi and a smaller male statue, both of brightly polished brass. These statues were very enchanting and gleamed like gold in the sun. Tip: This is the only place in Mount Abu where parking charges apply. Further, they charge Rs. 10 for clicking the brass Nandi which is totally worth it.
Mulberry Tree Restaurant
We had spotted this restaurant in top ranked eateries of Mount Abu. We went there for a late Sunday breakfast. We had omelettes, tea and chicken sandwiches. The chicken sandwiches were fried in butter making them hard to consume. The remaining items were good. Tip: The place is overpriced and overrated
Gyan Sarovar Pond
Gyan Sarovar:Gyan Sarovar is a 25 acre campus of Brahma Kumaris, situated at Mount Abu. It is officially known as academy of the better world. Gyan Sarovar is an environment which enables individuals to dip into the ‘Lake of Knowledge’ and emerge highly transformed.Founded by the Brahma Kumaris in 1996, the Gyan Sarovar Academy for a Better World was inaugurated as part of the celebration of the University’s 60th anniversary. The Academy is an international campus – a place where men, women and children can reach their unique human potential and cultivate the values of our common humanity.
Madhuban:Madhuban is a place where thousands of devotees from nearly 100 countries gather to deepen their meditation practice. Madhuban’s atmosphere of spirituality inspires profound experiences.Within no time, the Madhuban campus has evolved into an homely, complex of dormitories, residential units, meditation venues and buildings that house dining facilities, administrative offices, a literature shop, a telephone exchange and a dispensary. The Universal Peace Hall, a 3,000 seat auditorium, has regularly hosted international conferences since 1983. Dining facilities can cater meals for up to 4,000.Just as the cool heights of Mt. Abu beckoned the Rajasthani kings to retreat from their daily routine; professionals from all corners of the world are attracted to the spiritual power of ’Madhuban‘. Above and beyond the hustle and bustle, the wondrous beauty of ‘Madhuban’ spirits them away to another world.Global Hospital:Western Rajasthan is one of the least privileged areas of India. Much of it is desert, water is in short supply and the illiteracy is rampant. The majority of the population has long been deprived of basic health measures. This situation began to change in 1990 with the establishment of the J. Watumull Memorial Global Hospital and Research Centre, a Brahma Kumaris initiative. Designed to provide high quality, modern, holistic healthcare services in a tranquil, rural environment, the hospital offers free or subsidised treatment and medicine to 100,000 people, of whom 54,000 are tribal residents inhabiting 855 primitive villages. The hospital is managed and run by a charitable trust established and supported by members of the Brahma Kumaris.
Arbuda Devi Temple
One will find the Adhar Devi Temple to the North of Mount Abu and it is dedicated to the worship of the Goddess Durga. In order to reach this place, one has to climb a flight of 365 steep steps. The place is a pilgrimage site and the reason why it is named so is because the adhar of the Goddess Durga that fell here and was found to be hanging mid-air. The temple offers one lockers and storage facilities as well as washrooms for ladies and gents. One is allowed to carry their cameras to capture pictures and videos. The temple is beautiful and offers one a great view of the surroundings. One ill feel a sense of peace and calm overwhelm you when one visits this temple.
Palace Hotel Bikaner House
It was the Council of Regency that saw the construction of this hotel in the year 1893. The Palace Hotel was designed by Sir Swinton Jacob who happened to be an eminent architect at that point in time when the British ruled India. It was later in 1962 that Maharaja Karni Singhji decided to turn this residence into a fine hotel. The hotel now has 33 rooms, each one different from the other. The place has two tennis courts, a billiards room and allows one to play indoor games like table tennis, chess, etc. One can also make use of the 150 seater conference room for meetings or gatherings. Some of the facilities provided include a private lake that can be used by the guests who stay at the hotel, a doctor on call, a front desk that provided information a and help round the clock and a restaurant that serves delectable dishes.
Rajasthani block prints, renowned for its small decorative and delicate floral patterns, are printed on cotton and silk. Odhna is a store that carries such printed items – sarees, scarves clothes, yardage and linen. You could pick up table cloths / bed sheets from this store and amaze at how your home transforms!
Hotel Udai Garh
Good 1. Location – it is perched on a hill. 2. Nice lawn outside with chairs. 3.Awesome view 4.Spacious rooms and clean toilets Bad – 1.Uncooperative staff. 2. Owner has a bad temper and is neither polite nor co-operative. 3.Food is below average. We doubt whether they have a cook or is it the room service guys who double up in the kitchen. 4.Room service is extremely slow – for morning tea we had to wait more than an hour.
If the prospect of trekking excites you then you must try Baileys Walk when you visit Mount Abu. The long trail begins at the Nakki Lake and one is directed forward by means of sign boards. The first task of the trek involves climbing some mountains and then a flight of 54 steps which lead to the temple of the Goddess Aghai. From there one has to carry on to a place called Kanerkund where the water is believed to remain clean round the year. It is with this thought in mind that many people come visiting the place. Some drink the water while others take it some home to cook with. The sunset here is beautiful and amidst the many rocks that one gets to see, Toad Rock is the most beautiful.
For a taste of all things European, Café Shikibo in Mount Abu is the place to be at. The café is considered to be the haunt and is visited by many locals and tourists too. The ambiance of the place is cozy and one will see quite a few people engrossed in a conversation here while sipping on cups of coffee and gorging on some lip-smacking delights. Some of the crowd favorites include their cappuccino, iced mocha coffee and a range of iced drinks. When it comes to snacks, their hash browns, grilled burgers, muffins, onion rings, and waffles are simply to die for.
Museum and Art Gallery
The museum was set up in the year 1962 and is a place of cultural activity in Mount Abu the only hill station in Western and Central India. The place is divided into two section where the first one houses exhibits of tribal huts and the lifestyle that these people lead. It showcases their musical instruments, pottery, cooking ware, weapons, ornaments worn by the women of these tribes like damani, guthma toda, kanski berla, barly, and gaga wala thoomar. It also displays the clothing worn by these tribes. The second section displays paintings that have been inspired by the lain images of Sirohi, the raga-raginins, shields and also has a small canon called Topdi.
Dilwara Jain Temples
One of the architectural wonders of the world, the Dilwara Jain Temples is sometimes considered architecturally superior than the Taj Mahal also. These temples are surrounded by lush green hills and look like nothing extra ordinary from the outside. As you enter the temples, you find human skills displayed at its best. The temples were built during the 11th to 13th century during which time there was no road transport to transport the marble blocks till this height. It is known that the task was done by elephants. The ornamental carvings in the walls, ceilings and pillars of the temple are marvelous. The creativity of artisans even so long ago can leave any one in awe. There are 5 main temples inside that are dedicated to a tirthankara each. These are the Sri Mahavir Swami Temple. Sri Adinath or Vimal Vashi Temple, Shri Parshvanath Temple, Shri Rishabhdaoji or Peethalhar Temple, Shri neminath Ji or Lunaashahi Temple.
Rajasthali Mount Abu
The government crafts store is a huge disappointment. The store was full of machine made stuff and pedestrian ware at bloated prices. The products did not carry Rajasthali labels. Further, given the richness of Rajasthali stores in Jaipur / Delhi / other states, we suspect that most of the goods here are spurious.