Mount Abu is a picturesque hill-station which green oasis in the barren desertscape thats Rajasthan. 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. The road leading to Mount Abu is a curved one characterized by arid region dotted with huge rocks in weird shapes and high velocity winds. This is also the highest point between the Nilgiris in the south and the Himalayan range up north.
The only hill station in Rajasthan, Mount Abu is more than just a summer retreat. Its stunning array of exquisite Dilwara Jain Temples, dating back 11th- 13th centuries, make it a popular pilgrimage centre. ‘Abu’ according to a legend.stands for the son of Himalayan, deriving its name from Arbuada,the powerful serpent who rescued Nandi, the sacred bull of Lord Shiva, from a chasm.
There are various interesting treks and picnic spots close to Mount Abu.
Mount Abu is Rajasthan's only hill station. It is 187 km away from Ahmedabad in Gujarat.
Places to see in Mount Abu
A natural spring flowing through a sculpted cow’s head gives the shrine its name. The famous ‘yagna’ of sage Vashishtha was performed here. A beautifully sculpted hill temple of Arbuada-the mighty serpent stands against the beautiful backdrop. Nearby is the magnificent marble image of Nandi, the celestial bull rescued by Arbuada.
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 Vimal Vasahi temple is the oldest of these dedicated to the first Tirthankara. Built in 1031 A.D. (by Vimal Shah-a merchant and representative of then Gujarat ruler), it is a superb example of temple architecture.The central shrine has an image of Rishabhdev and large courtyard with 52 small shrines,each housing a beautiful statue of thirthankaras with 48 elegantly carved pillars form the entrance to the courtyard.The Lun Vasahi Temple, dedicated to the 22nd Tirthankaras-Neminath, was built in 1231 A.D. by two brothers-Vastupal and Tejpal,Ministers of Raja Vir Dhawal, a ruler of Gujarat-belonging to the Porwal Jain community.With door casings, pillars,architraves,and sculptures on porticos,the temple is a fine specimen of craftsmanship.
Adhar Devi Temple
The temple is chiselled out of a huge rock reached by a flight of 360 stairs. A favourite tourist spot.
Spectacular sight of the setting sun when the hills are covered in the golden glow can be viewed from here.
Also known as Andra Point, it offers an enchanting view of the verdant plains and valleys. The place looks most beautiful during the dusk hours.
Shri Raghunathji Temple
Situated near the ‘Nakki’ lake is the temple dedicated to Shri Raghunathji with a beautiful image of the deity that was placed here in 14th century A.D. by Shri Ramanand the famous Hindu preacher.
Gardens and Parks
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.
Museum and Art Gallery
Located at the Raj Bhawan, it was a collection of archaeological excavations dating back to 8th-12th century A.D. It also has Jain bronze carvings,brassworks etc. for viewing.
Guru Shikhar (Highest peak)
Guru Shikhar, the highest peak of Mount Abu, is also perhaps the most beautiful. There is certain serenity about the temple built atop this peak. The temple might just have stepped out of a fairy tale, with only a small portion in pink jutting out of an otherwise plain white chalk building.
Nakki (The Lake)
In the heart of the town, at one end of the Mall is Nakki Lake, which has an interesting history. It is said that it was drawn by the finger nails (nakk) of a sage, Balam Rasia, in response to the demands of the stepmother of the girl he wished to marry. The girl, a princess, and a daughter of the then King of Abu, was also in love with the sage, but because of the evil stepmother the affair ended in tragedy, and has been immortalized in a temple of the Kunwari Kanya, alongside which stands a statue of her lover.
The lake too, has survived to tell the tale. Picturesquely set, with the hills rising all around it, the lake has several islets to which you can hire boats. An interesting facet is the many rock formations around the lake. They have been named Toad Rock, Nun Rock, Nandi Rock and Camel Rock because of their resemblance to these figures. The road appears to be looking broodingly down towards the lake, as if contemplating jumping in. Nun Rock is a large smooth rock, as it supposedly looks a woman with a veil. The climb up to these rocks, through the wooded forests is a beautiful one, with each of the rocks on the way making unique formations, fissures and shapes.
There are rumors that you might run into a bear on your way up, but the climb is well worth the risk! And one can take courage from the fact that none of the travelers in the last few years have encountered the animal.
Mount Abu - How to Get There
There are direct trains to Abu Road Station (27 km away from Mount Abu) from Delhi, Jodhpur and Agra. A fast train takes four hours between Ahmedabad in Gujarat and Abu Road.
Regular buses connect Abu Road to Mount Abu. The journey takes about an hour. Taxis and jeeps are also available to take you to Mount Abu. Direct buses also connect Mount Abu with Udaipur and Ahmedabad.
Where to stay
A number of options, according to the budget allocation of the tourists, are available in Abu. The accommodation level ranges from a highly luxurious hotel to a dormitory. But rooms should be booked well in advance if willing to visit this exotic hill station during summer.
Where to eat
Number of eateries and restaurant are available serving different delicacies and cuisine.
Tourist office under the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation is available at the city area from where one can easily get the information easily
Population : 18,000
Languages : Rajasthani, Hindi, English
Best Time to Visit : Throughout the year
Std : 02974
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