Mount Abu: The Oasis in the Desert
Altitude: 1219 ft
Temperature: Summer: Max. 33.8°C, Min. 23.3°C Winter : Max 20.3, Min. 0°C
Best Season to Visit: February to June and September to December
Eateries: Shinkknows, Kurinji, West Coast Bakery
After miles of sand expanse, Mount Abu comes as sigh of relief in Rajasthan! Mount Abu`s repute of being a honeymooner`s cocoon is experiencing a change from just a lovely hill scape to a special lush region in Rajasthan. There are many more important factors that goes into making Mount Abu an important place. There is the long history of Hindu myths that is attached to the lakes, caves, temples and ashrams tucked away in these rocky hills. Added to this, there are the more recent layers of Rajputana palatial and British colonial architecture through which one can amble one’s time away. nd most of all, there are the Jain temples of Delwara, where marble becomes rain, dew, fire, silk... leaving all but the tourist guides speechless. For years the summer palaces, temples, water bodies and relentless attraction of setting sun have played host to a large number of tourist of the city. No wonder that the hill station welcome you with historic galore, dry deciduous lined winding pathways and much more ...
>> Nakki Lake
Boating in Nakki Lake is a must do proposition in Mt. Abu. A clean lake that appears to be extension of some ocean, Nakki Lake maintains it pristineness even till date. Best option to go for boating is during the wee hours of morning and sunset in the evening. A wide range of boats in all shades and colours, harboured along the lake, lets you choose your pick from unusual and usual row boats. The views of the lake on boat are great for a photo opportunity, but you’re better off with a good paddle boat and a sound oarsman who, after the mandatory rounds and view of Toad’s Rock, can point out to you different birds by the shoreline (carry binoculars!) close to the forested ridges of the lake.
Panoramic views await the tourists at the Toad Rock or Sunset Point; the latter also has Children`s Park. At Guru Shikhar, the highest peak (5,650 ft) of the Aravallis, located 15 km out of town, one may combine views of the range with a visit to a temple to Dattatreya (Shiva).
>>Walking in the Wild
Mount Abu has a wildlife sanctuary that sprawls over 288 sq km with species of the champa, jasmine, mango and khajur trees which embellish the park and provides shade and relief to the animals. A drawing card in the months of summer, the sanctuary is a bird watcher`s paradise with more than 250 species of birds. In a recent natural research, the government has reportedly recorded seventeen such hikes in the wild zone of Mount Abu.
Location: 8 km north of town Entry fee Indians Rs 10, foreigners Rs 80 Jeep/ car fee Rs 65 Timings Sunrise to sunset
>> Dilwara Jain Temples
The white marble carved temples of Mount Abu have wooed many with its intricacies and marvelous sculpture. Originally called as Devalwar ( the home of gods), which was rechristened to Dilwara Temple is a complex of five Jain Temples. The exactly date-able monuments in Mount Abu are the Delwara Temples, among which the two oldest were built in 1031 and 1230. The Achalgarh Fortress that looms over the landscape was built in the 15th century.
These marble temples completed between the 11th and 13th centuries and dedicated to Jain Tirthankaras, have the most ostentatious carvings you will find in the religious center with exceptions from Ranakpur. And, yet, they are not without a chaste harmony. The complex is open from sunrise to sunset, and closed only during the afternoon. The ancient Adhar Devi Temple, dedicate to the serpent goddess Arbuada, is a whopping 360 stairs. Near by a natural spring rushes through a sculpted cow`s head at Gaumukh, marking the spots where Sage Vashistha is said to have performed in the aagnikul yagna.
>> Welnock Downs
The most popular picnic spot, is a vast expanse of undulating landscape which once used to be the ground for Ooty hunt. It is now a grassy knoll a developed for great walks. Other picnic spots include Ninth Mile and Sandy Nallah.
The unusual Rajasthani handicrafts are ubiquitous in the shops that fringe Nakki Lake, In particular, look out for marble statuary and Kota sarees. The shops also have tribal jewelery from the region. You can also pay a visit to Rajasthan- the Rajasthan government`s handicraft emporium.