World > India > Hill Stations > Mount Abu
Mount Abu, RAJASTHAN
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 Mt. Abu is a curved one that is characrerised by arid region dotted with huge rocks in weird shapes and high velocity winds.
'Abu' according to a legend, stands for the son of Himalaya, deriving its name from Arbuada, the powerful serpent who rescued Nandi, the sacred bull of Lord Shiva, from a chasm. Mount Abu has been home to many sages and saints. Most famous of them was Sage Vashishtha who is believed to have created four agni kula Rajput clans from a fire-pit by performing a Lagna' orfire sacrifice, to protect the earthfrom the demons.
The Yagna was performed besides a natural spring situated below Abu, emerging from a rock shaped like a cow's head and hence the site was called Gaumukh.
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 to the 11th-13th centuries, make it a popular pilgrimage centre.
Gaumukh Temple : 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.
Nakki Lake : A tiny lake, picturesquely set amid hills. The lake is dotted with several islets approachable by a boat. Of particular interest are strange rock formations around the lake. Especially notable is the Toad Rock which looks like a real toad about to jump into the lake. Others are Nun Rock and Nandi Rock etc. Set in the heart of the town, the lake gets its name from the legend that it was scooped out by the gods with their fingernails or 'Nakh'. It is the only artificial lake in India that is 1200 mts. above sea level.
Dilwara Jain Temples : 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 the 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 Tirthankara- 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 night of 360 stairs. A favorite tourist spot.
Sunset Point : Spectacular sight of the setting sun when the hills are covered in a golden glow can be viewed from here.
Honeymoon Point : Also known as Anadra Point, it offers an enchanting view of the verdant plains and valleys. The place looks most beautiful during dusk.
Shri Raghunathji Temple : Situated near the 'Nakki lake', this temple is dedicated to Shri Raghunathji with a beautiful imageof the deity that was placed here in 14th century A.D. by Sri 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 atthe Raj Bhawan, it has a collection of archaeological excavations dating back to 8th-12th century A.D. It also has Jain bronze carvings, brassworks etc.,for viewing.
Trevor’s Tank (5 km) : Named after the British engineer who constructed it, Trevor's Tank is a delight for bird watchers with densely wooded hills that are a haven to pigeons, peacocks and partridges.
Achalgarh (8 km) : An impressive fort with some beautiful Jain temples enclosed within. Among the noteworthy temples are Achaleswar Mahadev Temple (1412 A.D.) and Kantinath Jain Temple (1513 A.D.). The latter has a gold plated image. Mandakini Kund and a sculpture of Parmar Dharavarsh are situated close to the Achaleswar Mahadev Temple. The Fort was built in the 14th century A.D. by Rana Kumbha and is approachable by a motorable road.
Guru Shlkhar (15 km) :The highest peak on the mount (1722 mts above the sea level) allows a bird's eye view of the sylvan surroundings of Mt. Abu. A small Shaivite shrine and a temple of Dattatreya standing on the shikhar are worth a visit.
Getting There :
Air : Udaipur 185 km is nearest airport. Taxi and buses available to reach Mount Abu.
Rail : Abu road 29 km is the closes trail head. Taxis, Jeeps and buses can be hired for onward journey to Mount Abu. Some important train connections are :Gujarat Mail (Mumbai-Abu Road-Delhi Sarai Rohilla); Aravali Express (Ahmedabad-Abu Road-Marwar); Ahmedabad Mail (Delhi Sarai Rohilla-Abu Road); Surya Nagri Express (Jodhpur- Abu Road- Ahmedabad) ;Ranakpur Express (Ahmedabad- Abu Road- Jodhpur)
Road : Good network of bus services, Key connections are :Ahmedabad 221 km, Jodhpur 264 km via Sirohi Sanderao.
Local Transport : Un-metered taxis, and jeeps.
Deluxe Hotels : Hotel Hillock, Tel. : 3277; Hotel Hilton, Tel.: 38391; Palace Hotel (Heritage), Tel.: 3121,38673; Connaught House (Heritage), Tel.: 3360, 3439; Lake House (Heritage), Chancha Inn, Tel. : 3374, 3624; Cama Rajputana Club Resort, Tel. : 38205.
Standard Hotels : Hotel Sunset, Tel.: 3194, 3515; Suruchi Hill Resort, Tel. : 3577; Hotel Marudhao Tel. : 38621,38620; Hotel Sheratone, Tel. : 3544; Hotel Madhuban, Tel. : 38822; HotelSavera Palace, Tel.: 3354; Hotel Samrat,Tel.: 3173, 3153; Hotel Lake Palace,Tel. : 3254; Hotel Aravali, Tel. : 3316;Hotel Maharani, Tel. : 3510; HotelAakashdeep, Tel.: 38670; RTDC HotelShikhao Tel. : 3129; Hotel Maharaja International, Tel. :31161.
Budget Hotels : Hotel Saraswati,Tel. : 3237, 3507; Hotel Chanakya,Tel. : 3438; Hotel Aravali, Tel. : 3316;Hotel Sunset Inn, Tel. : 3194.
Economy Hotels : Hotel Lake View,Tel.: 38659; Hotel Polo View, Tel.: 3487;Hotel Navjeevan, Tel. : 3153; HotelPanghat, Tel. : 3386.
Supplementary accommodation : Gujarat Bhawan, Tel.: 3282; CircuitHouse, Tel. : 3464.
Paying Guest Accommodation available,contact Rajasthan Tourist Office onTel.:3151
Dining: Handi Restaurant (HotelHilltone), Tel. 38391; Mayur (HotelHillock), Tel.: 3277; RTDC Restaurant (Hotel Shikhar), Tel. : 3129: DawatRestaurant, Tel.: 3374; Kanak DiningHall, Tel.:38305; Madras Cafe. Nakki Lake Sarovar Tekshila; Hotel Samrat.
Other Useful Information
Banks-Money Changers: State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur. Tel. : 3224; State Bank of Indict, Tel.: 136; Bank of Baroda. Tel.: 166; Union Bank, Tel.:3258: Gramin Bank (Achalgarh).
Post and Telegraph Office : Post Office.Raj Bhawan Road, Ttl.: 3l70; Telecorn Centre, TeI. : 3107.
Tourist Information Centre : Tourist Information Bureau, Opp. Bus Stand, Guide Services: Guides may be hired through the Assistant Director Tourist Information Bureau, Opp. Bus Stand, Tel. :3151.
Travel Agents : Sobha Travels, Tel. : 3302; Gujarat Travels, Tel. : 3564; Natraj Travels, TeI.. 335; Baba Travels, Tel.:3300.
Conducted Tours : The following sightseeing tours art: conducted by Rajasthan Tourist Development Corporation and Rajasthan State Roadways Transport Corporation (Tel.: 3151, 3129 and 3434).
Dilwara Temples, Achalgarh, Guru Shikhao Nakki Lake, Toad Rock, Adhar Devi and Om Shanti Bhawan (Morning: 0830 hrs to 1330 hrs., Evening : 1330 hrs to 1900 hrs.)
Ambaji (50 km) : Darshan Timings : 7.00 a.m. to 10.30 a.m., 1.00 p.m. to 2.00 p.m., 4.00 p.m. to 4.30 p.m., 7.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m.
Entertainment : Boating Facilities at Nakki Lake 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Club : Rotary Club, Tel.: 3294
Yoga Centre : Om Shanti Bhawan, Near Nakki Lake. Tel.: 3352.
Important Telephone Numbers : Tourist Information Bureau, Tel.: 3151; Post Office, Raj Bhawan Road,3170 : Public Call Office, Tel.: 3107 (S.T.D.. Telex. Telegram Facilities available); Police Station, Ttl.: 3333: Service Station & Garage. Tel. : 3445: General Hospital, Tel. : 535; Chelnist Shop. Tel.: 3187: Petrol Pump & Railway enquiry, Tel.: 38083; Railway Station (Abu Road), Tel.: 22222: Roadways,Tel. : 3434: Airport (Udaipur). Tel. : 28222.