Mount Abu (Rajasthan)
According to legend, once sage Vashishtha's cow Nandini was trapped in a deep gorge and could not free herself. The sage appealed to Lord Shiva for assistance. The Lord sent Saraswati, the divine stream, to help flood the gorge so that the cow could float up. Vashishtha then decided to ensure that such mishaps did not occur in future. He asked the youngest son of Himalaya, the king of mountains to fill the chasm permanently. This he did with the assistance of Arbud, the mighty snake. This spot came to be known as Mount Arbud and was later changed to its present form - Mount Abu.
City description : Mount Abu is the highest peak in the Aravalli Range of Rajasthan state in western India. It is located in Sirohi district. Rajasthan's only hill station, Mount Abu has one of India's most spectacular sights - the Dilwara Jain Temples. This group of five marble temples is situated on a hill 3 km (2 miles) northeast of the town. The two most outstanding are the Vimala Vasahi Temple and the Luna Vasahi Temple which have incredibly intricate and delicate carvings. Mount Abu is a popular place for honeymooners, with spots like the sunset and honey moon point which offer spectacular views of the valley. Mount Abu has more then 17 Nature Trails and pathways suitable for adventurous activities approved by the department of forest passing through the jungle. Some trails can also be used for horse safari if you prefer not to trek on foot.
Mount Abu Quick facts
Geography : Mount Abu is located in the southwestern Rajasthan, close to the borders of Gujarat. Mount Abu is the only hill station in the desert state of Rajasthan. It is located at a distance of about 185 km from Udaipur, 221 km from Ahmedabad, 264 km from Jodhpur, 500 km from Jaipur and 765 km from Delhi. Climate: It enjoys a cool and pleasant climate all round the year with temperatures hovering between 21°-33° C during summer and between 11°-28° C during winter, offering much-needed relief from the heat and dust of Rajasthan.
This place can be visited especially during summer months as it gives a relief from the hot and dusty regions of Rajasthan. It rains fairly heavily in the monsoon (65-177cm) so the very best times to visit are between February and June or any time after the rains between September and December.
Mount Abu is the highest peak in the Aravalli Range of Rajasthan state in western India. It is located in Sirohi district. Situated at the southern tip of the Aravali range ,the hill retreat owes its cool climate to its rich flora covering the entire hillside that includes coniferous trees and flowering shrubs. It is referred to as 'an oasis in the desert', as its heights are home to rivers, lakes, waterfalls and evergreen forests. Mount Abu is popular spot for newlyweds and nature lovers. One can feel the air packed atmosphere on its streets and the famous places of attractions.
ANADARA POINT, HONEY MOON POINT : On the north-west of the Nakki Lake, near by the old gateway to Abu is Anadara point named after the village Anadara. This place is at the height of 4,000 feet. Near it, is a Lovers - Rock also popularly known as Honey Moon Point, is an attractive point for the visitors ,for it being the natural creation in the shape of a man and a woman. For the newely - married couples, this is really a place full of charm. That's why many visitors do come just to celebrate 'Honey Moon' at Mount Abu.
Situated in Southwest end of Rajasthan,the mountain forms a distinct rocky plateau 22km long by 9 km wide. The highest peak on the mountain is Guru Shikhar, at 1722 meters above sea level. The nearest city to Mount Abu is Udaipur, which is lying 185 km far.
Easiest access to Mount Abu is by road from any city in Rajasthan or Ahmedabad in Gujarat via Udaipur.
Abu road is the nearest railway station and is about 22 kms from Mount Abu. Abu and is connected to Delhi and Ahmedabad by good superfast and express trains.
The closest airport is at Udaipur (185km) or Ahmedabad about 250km from Mount Abu. Udaipur is the nearest airport. Daily flight form Delhi, Mumbai and Jaipur are available to Udaipur.
Mount Abu Festivals and culture
The major festivals celebrated in the city of Mount Abu are the Summer Festival in June, Gangaur in March- April and Patotasav in March.
Summer Festival : The Summer Festival is a major attraction of the town. The days are spent in enthralling folk art performances such as Ghoomar, Gair, Dhap etc. In the evenings excellent Quawali performances are organized. Boat races and roller skating competitions are also held. A brilliant firework display concludes this enrapturing festive event.
Gangaur Festival - (March - April) A festival for young maids and married, dedicated to Gauri, the incarnation of Goddess Parvati. Women pray for prosperity and long life of their husbands, while girls seek good husbands from the goddess. A colourful procession is taken out with pomp and gaiety.
Culture of Rajasthan prevails in this place as well. People here speak Gujarati, Hindi and English .
A visit to the Archaeological Museum clearly shows the rich culture and tradition which prevailed in this region.
Gaumukh Temple: Down on the Abu Road side of Mount Abu, a small stream flows from the mouth of a marble cow, giving the shrine its name. There is also a marble figure of the bull Nandi, Shiva's vehicle. An image of Vashishtha is flanked by the figures of Rama and Krishna. It is said that the temple was built on the spot where saint Vashishth performed a yagna to create four major Rajput clans. Delwara Jain Temple : These beautifully carved temples built between 11th and 13th century A.D. are sheer elegance in marble, dedicated to the Jain Tirthankaras. The Vimala Vasahi temple is the oldest of these dedicated to the first Tirthankara.
Vimala Vasahi Temple : The Vimala Vasahi Temple, dedicated to the first Jain tirthankara, Adinath, was built in 1031 by Vimala Shah, a wealthy prime minister of the Solanki kings of Gujarat. A statue of him seated on an elephant is in a pavilion to the right of the entrance. Inside, graceful nymphs and musicians, spirited horses and elephants adorn the arches and pillars, and the superb 11 tiered ,domed ceiling in the main hall. The inner sanctum has a statue of Adinath in tranquil meditation, while 52 carved niches contain images of the other tirthankaras.
Luna Vasahi Temple: This temple dedicated to Neminath, the 22nd Jain tirthankara, dates to 1231 and is even more ornately carved. Its most glorious feature, the main hall, has a magnificent lotus-shaped, tiered pendant carved from a single block of marble, descending from its domed ceiling. Behind the main shrine is the fascinating Hall of Donors, with a series of figures mounted on elephants, some in black marble. There are also life-size statues of the donors and their wives, with every detail of their dress and jewellery exquisitely and painstakingly carved.
Om Shanti Bhawan: Also known as the Universal Peace Hall, it is the Brahma Kumari's World Spirituality University. It has a big hall without any pillars and can accommodate up to 3500 people.
Achalgarh; (15th century fort, statue of Nandi) : 8km (5 miles) beyond Dilwara, has the ruins of a 15th century fort, and a Shiva temple. The latter has a statue of Nandi made with over 4,000 kg (8,819 lbs) of gold, silver, brass and copper. A five-minute walk from the temple is Guru Shikhar, Rajasthan's highest point at 1,721m (5,646ft). It is marked by a small Vishnu temple.
Mount Abu Entertainment and Night Life
Nakki lake -- (Rocks around the lake) Interesting facets of the Nakki lake are the many rock formations around it. They have been named Toad Rock, Nun Rock, Nandi Rock and Camel Rock because of their resemblance to these figures. Nun Rock is a large smooth rock as it supposedly looks like a woman with a veil. The climb up to these rocks is really thrilling and adventurous.
Sunset Point, 1.5 km from the tourist office of Mount Abu, is the most popular point. Tourists come to this point every evening to catch the setting sun. It is a one kilometer walk from the road to the viewpoint or you can hire a horse.
The city doesn't have pubs or discos, but it has a very limited number of lounge bars, and some restaurant bars. Alcoholic beverages is served at nominal rates here.
Mount Abu has the highest artificial lake in India, the picturesque Nakki Lake. The beautiful hills surrounding it make it a popular picnic spot offering boating and rock climbing facilities.
Curious in marble, sandalwood and sandstone can be bought from the shops around Nakki Lake. Jewellery, Wood Carvings, Metal and Marble Artifacts can also be shopped from shops lined along the beautiful Nakki Lake. There is the Rajasthan Emporium on the Raj Bhawan Road that is renowned for the several jewellry shops it has. They make excellent options for gift items and souvenirs. For Rajasthani handicrafts there is Rajasthali, Rajasthan Government Handicrafts Emporium.
Mount Abu, being a major tourist destination, has lots of restaurants serving national and international cuisines. You can get all specialties of Rajasthan food in the city. Do not forget to try the combination of dal, bati and churma. Famous places to eat : Jaipur House Restaurant - Non-Vegetarian Dishes, Kanak Dining Hall - Gujarati Thali, Hanky Fanky for Fast Food.
The museums in Mount Abu are an integral part of Indian culture. Some of the important Museums in Mount Abu are, Archaeological Museum, Mount Abu and Brahma Kumaris Spiritual University and Museum, Mount Abu.
Archaeological Museum : As this museum is divided into two sections, make sure to visit both the sections or else you would miss out on several interesting things. Counted amongst the foremost Museums in Mount Abu, this place plays host to many arts and artifacts. You will also find some historic objects at this museum that are related to this region and showcase its rich culture and tradition. Hill Staion :
Mount Abu - Hill Station has certain beautiful points such as Sunset point, Honeymoon point and Shanti Shikar(the peak of peace). Like all other hill stations, Mount Abu too has its horse rides, honeymoon and sunset points.
The Sunset Point here is definitely worth a visit. An entire hill has been carved into several layers, top to bottom, and as the sun begins to lower itself in the sky, the hill is crowded with people covered in the golden glow of the setting sun.
There's also a Honeymoon Point that gives a good glimpse of the sunset and the plains as well. A few kilometres from the lake and on the western side of the Adhar Devi temple, there lies the Shanti Shikhar (the peak of peace), which offers a panoramic view of the valley.
Beautifully laid parks and gardens are interspersed throughout the hilly paradise. Ashok Vatika, Gandhi park, Municipal Park, Shaitan Singh Park and Terrace Garden are some of the noteworthy gardens.
Ranthambore National Park : This park is located in the foothills of Aravali Ranges near the small town of Sawai-Madhopur. Extended over an area of more then 392 sq. km the Ranthambhore Wildlife National Park is one of the India's foremost illustrations of Project Tiger. Indian government has taken all necessary efforts to conserve and regenerate the shrinking number of tigers in India. A fine example of Project Tiger, Ranthambore was declared a National Park in 1980. The Wildlife Park enjoys the typical dry deciduous type of dense forests dotted with Pine trees, Banyan and Dhok trees as the main vegetation for animals.
Nakki Lake : Legend says tha,this small lake, was scooped out by god using only his nails(or nakh). The lake is surrounded by hills, parks and strange rock formations. The 14th Century Raghunaht temple stands beside the lake. Several Maharajas built lavish summer houses around the Nakki lake, and the maharaja of Jaipur's former summer palace is perched on a hill onlooking the water.
MOUNT ABU – MONSOON
This is the time when Mount Abu's Scenic beauty and over all environment is at its best. Monsoon season makes this destination unforgettable experience. The Monsoon season hits Mount Abu in the mid of June with heavy rains and thick clouds cover all over. The monsoon period in Mount Abu also makes the temperature very low and the visibility is sometimes very poor due to thick fog. The average rainfall is around 177 cms.
MOUNT ABU – WINTER
Mount Abu is located in the south-western corner of Rajasthan. Mount Abu is the only hill station of Rajasthan. The winter season falls in Mount Abu from October to March Months. The minimum temperature is 0 Degree C or even less may be experienced in the Months of December to February. The winter season always adds a charm to this hill station as most of the valleys, peaks create with lush green surroundings. This is the ideal time for tourist to visit Mount Abu. All the water reservoirs and Nakki Lake are full to their capacity and offer perfect ambience for boat side in the lake. The Environment is clean and pure with the scenic beauty all around to attract numerous tourists. Vegetation is in a healthy shape and is blooming with flowers.
MOUNT ABU – SUMMER
The summer season starts mainly from April to the Mid June. During this time as most of the other major tourist destinations of Rajasthan reach the very hot temperature around 40 degree C or more at Mount Abu the temperature does not exceed 35 degree C. Summer Season in Mount Abu attracts thousands of tourists to the town, as most of the schools are closed for vacations and it is the only ideal destination in Rajasthan during this period. May and June make the major tourist seasons when the tourists come from all parts of western and Northern India.
Mount Abu Tips
A summer visit requires careful planning, and rooms should be booked at least two months in advance. Lightweight clothes will do very well for the summer months in Mount Abu but winters (November-January) will require a warm jacket or sweater. You should plan for a full day trip to 'Gaumukh Temple' if you want to enjoy the beauty and nature of this place. The white marble Dilwara Temples are not to be missed along with the boating and picnics along Nakki Lake.
Tourist Reception Center, Opposite Bus stand, Tel No. 02974-243151
State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur
HOTEL MAHARAJA INTERNATIONAL MOUNT ABU,
MOUNT ABU, RAJASTHAN - 307501
The Sunset Point in Mount Abu is definitely worth a visit. 'Guru Shikar' is the highest peak of the Aravalli range, located at about 15 km northeast of Mount Abu. It's an important Hindu pilgrimage site, worth visiting on your Mount Abu Tour.
The Gaumukh Temple area is covered with very thick forest cover and visiting the place after dark & rainy season is not recommended without proper information and local guidance.