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Friday, January 06, 2017

Places to visit in Mount Abu

Mount Abu is the only hill station in Rajasthan. Situated on the plateau of Aravali hills, it has all the “pre requisites” of a hill station in terms of tourist places. Based on my experience during the recent trip to Rajasthan, here are some places recommended for visit. Note that like most of our hill stations, Mount Abu is also heavily commercialised.

Nakki lake seen from Toad rock
Nakki lake
It is hard to imagine a hill station without a lake. Nakki lake at the centre of the town is a good place to spend some time. The best way to enjoy the lake is to go on the paddle boat that is available for 30 minutes. Zorbing can be a fun activity for kids. Though there is a small park next to the lake, it is not maintained well. The area around the lake is filled with shopping places and eateries. A good time to visit this lake is in the evening.

Boating at Nakki lake
Suicide, Honeymoon and Sunset points
These are the various points for watching sunset. There is no need to visit all of them as they provide similar views. In our case, we visited suicide and honeymoon point (they are next to each other). 

After Sunset!!
In addition to sunset, the langur monkeys were a point of attraction for us!!



Guru Shikara
At 5,650 feet, this is the highest point in Mount Abu and also in Rajasthan!! A temple dedicated to Dattatreya is in the cave at the summit. It requires a small climb from parking lot to reach the summit. There is also an Air Force station and Physical Research Laboratory that conducts astronomy experiments. Unfortunately, entry is not permitted to that facility.

Physical research laboratory at Guru Shikara
Go to Guru Shikara for beautiful views. It is about 18 km from Mount Abu through winding roads.

Morning at Guru Shikara
Achalgad fort
A short detour from Mount Abu to Guru Shikara leads to the fort. The fort is in dilapidated condition and apart from the gate, everything else is in ruins. There are some nice Jain Temples inside. The views from the top is good. It is quite an hike from the parking lot to the top (20 to 30 minutes) but the scenery on the top is nice. A short detour on the way also leads to a sunrise point!! Unlike other places in Mount Abu, this does not attract lot of tourists due to the walk required.

At Achalgad fort
Dilwara temples
From outside, the temple complex consisting of five Jain temples look very ordinary and simple. But once you enter inside, the grandeur of these marble temples would definitely stun you. The carvings on the ceilings, pillar and doorways is so intricate that it represents the epitome of stone art. Some experts also consider it to be architecturally superior than Taj Mahal. Built inside the forest to ward off the invaders, it has withstood the attack from the plunderers who roamed in North India during those days. 

Entry to non Jains is from 12 PM to 5PM. Photography is not permitted inside temple. Any form of electronic and leather items need to be deposited before entering the temple. 

Toad rock
This is a protruding rock on a hill next to Nakki lake. You need to climb up the hill for about 10-15 minutes to reach this place. Plan to visit this place in late afternoon to get good view of the lake.

Toad Rock
Other places
Due to lack of interest, we dropped Trevors park (which hosts crocodiles), Peace garden from Bhrahmakumaris, Brahmakumari Ashram and Amusement park near the lake. Also, Santosh, an avid birder, mentioned that Mount Abu is home to Green Munia, which is classified as vulnerable. Since I was accompanied with family, I could not spend time on birding. There are also some trekking opportunities that could be tried.

Trivial

Mount Abu is about 160km from Udaipur and 220 km from Ahmedabad. The ghat road is only for last 22km. Nearest railway station is Abu road at 30 km. Monsoon and winter seems to be a good time to visit. Summer may not be ideal due to its relatively “low altitude” and hot weather conditions that prevail in most of North and Western India.

7 comments:

krishna said...

beautiful pictures.. but really wanted see inside the jain temple..

Amit Misra said...

I had several opportunities to visit these places while working at the Physical Research Laboratory. We have scientific observatory (astronomy, astrophysics and atmospheric science) at Gurushikhar.

Aravind GJ said...

krishna,
Thanks for your comments. The carvings inside the temple is exquisite but photography is not allowed. So, not photos of the temple in the post!!

Amit,

Thanks for your comment on my post. Nice to hear that you worked in Physical Research Laboratory.

Vineeta Yashswi said...

Beautiful pictures...

Deepesh Agarwal said...

Nice clicks, shared - https://twitter.com/MountAbu/status/818401184004407297

AJEYA RAO said...

I love that picture of the langur waiting for sunset. :-)

Aravind GJ said...

Vineeta,
Thanks.

Deepesh,
Thanks for sharing.

Ajeya,
Yes. The langur gave us a lot of entertainment!!