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|
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).
In addition to sunset, the langur monkeys were a point of attraction for us!!
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|
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|
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.
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.
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.
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.