A pleasant retreat set amidst the lush forested hills, Mt. Abu is a green oasis in the barren desertscape that's 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. 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.
Shopping is another attraction at Mount Abu. Mount Abu has market having variety of shops with variety of rajasthani and gujrati articles from handicrafts of different categories, textile, Jewellery articles, wooden, marble and metal, Rajasthani paintings, Leather articles and stone crafts etc. Curious in marble, sandalwood and sandstone can be bought from the shops around Nakki Lake. Kota saris, bangles and linen with Sanganeri prints, light weight Jaipury quilt are also available. For Rajasthani Handicrafts there is Rajasthali, Rajasthan Government Handicrafts Emporium and Khadi Bhandar, also there are metal, stone, wooden and clothing handicrafts shops like Fair Price Rajasthan Emporium, Piccadilly Plaza, Chacha Museum, Kashmir Cottage Emporium, M/S Bansilal Bhurmal (famous Jaipuri Quilts -light Weigth ).
Mount Abu has a very comfortable climate throughout the year, and because of this fact, one can visit Mount Abu throughout the year.
FORTS Achalgarh (8kms) - An impressive fort with some beautiful Jain temples enclosed within. Among the noteworthy temples are Achaleswar Mahadev temple (1412 AD) and Kantinath Jain temple (1513 AD). The latter has a gold plated image. The fort was built in the 14th century AD by Rana Kumbha and is approachable by a motorable road.
TEMPLES Adhar Devi Temple (2kms North Of Town) - This ancient temple dedicated to the serpent goddess, Arbuda, is carved out of a huge rock.. Arbuda is the patron of the town, who formed the mountain in order to save the sacred cow, Nandi from drowning in an abyss. The black-painted marble idol, riding a solid gold tiger, is claimed to be about 5,000 years old. Open and free access during daylight hours.
Dilwara Temple , Mount Abu
Ball of Dirt - Mount Abu
OTHERS Trevor's Tank (5km) - Named after the British engineer, who constructed it, Trevor's tank is a delight for birdwatchers with densely wooded hills that are a haven to pigeons, peacocks and partridges.
Mandakini Kund - The watersupply for Achalgarh fort and a sculpture of Parmar Daravarsh are situated close to the Achaleswar Mahadev temple.
Guru Shikhar (15kms) - The highest peak on the Mount Abu (1722 mts above the sea level) allows a bird's eye view of the idyllic surroundings of Mt. Abu. A small shaivite shrine and a temple of Dattatreya standing on the Shikhar are worth a visit.
Attractions and Places to Visit in Mount Abu
Dilwara Temples - This complex consisting of five marble Jain temples is one of the finest in Rajasthan, worth braving the queues and ferocious guards. These beautifully carved temples built between 11th & 13th century AD 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 AD (by Vimal Shah- a merchant and representative of the then Gujarat ruler), it is a superb example of temple architecture.
Gaumukh Temple - Dedicated to Rama, this small temple (the cow's mouth) is centred on a spring gushing from the mouth of a marble cow. In the Hindu creation myth, the world is formed by a cow, licking salt; the source of the Ganges has the same name. This is said to be the site of the ancient 'agnikund' fire rituals. It is 4kms south of Mount Abu. Open, free access, down 700 very steep steps.
Nakki Talav - This holiday centre of Mount Abu, is virtually in the heart of the town. This sparkling blue artificial lake is said to have been gauged from the earth by the gods, using their fingernails ('nakh' means nail). Nearby is the 14th century Raghunath Temple.On the western edge of the town centre, Nakki Lake Road circles the entire lake. Rowing boats are available for hire from the jetty by Gandhi Park.
View Points - Several points around the edge of the plateau offer spectacular views across the plains. The best are Honeymoon Point (Anadra Point) and Sunset Point, where hundred of people gather to watch the sunset every evening in a carnival atmosphere of pony rides and souvenir sellers. Baylay's Walk is a pleasant 5kms route from Nakki Lake to Sunset Point. Honeymoon Point, 2.5kms northwest on Ganesh Road; Sunset Point, 2kms southwest on Sunset Point Road. Open, free access.
How to Reach Mount Abu
Air: The nearest airport to Mount Abu is Maharana Pratap Udaipur Airport, Dabok (Udaipur) 207kms. One can hire a taxi to get to Mount Abu.
Rail: The nearest railway station is Abu Road (29kms) situated on Mumbai-Ahmedabad-Ajmer-Jaipur-Delhi route. From Abu Road one can take a taxi, jeep or bus to Mount Abu.
Road: Ahmedabad is 222kms via Palanpur. Jodhpur is 235kms via Sirohi and Pali. Udaipur is 156kms via Pidwara. (Journey on this route is advisable only during the day). Jaipur is 509kms via Pali-Ajmer. It is connected to all the major towns in northern and western India.