(Romancing the Nature)
Mount Abu being the only hill station in otherwise dry state of Rajasthan, is a popular tourist destination who are looking to escape the scorching sun. Wrapped in the Aravali Ranges with abundant flora and fauna, this small city with a population of just 3000 proves to be an ideal romantic escapade; owing to the tranquil ambiance and pristine environs. Be it the picturesque setting, spiritual significance, or the adventurous activities, this small hill station turns out to be the complete holiday package and hence enjoys major footfalls throughout the year.
Mount Abu finds its earliest reference in ‘Purans’, the ancient mythological book of Hindus, as the site where a serpent named “Arbuda” saved the life of Nandi, the bull of ‘lord Shiva’ (Hindu holy trinity); hence derives its name. In modern history, mainly referred as ‘Arbudaanchal’ the area was ruled by Parmar dynasty till 1311 CE before it lost the war against Rao Lumba of Deora-Chauhan dynasty and subsequently lost its major relevance. Centuries later, the East India Company acquired the area on lease which served as Rajputana residence during the British Raj. It was only in 1965, that the government recognized the rich natural diversity of the region and declared it a protected area, thus paving the way for sustained natural environs that still flourishes.
PLACES TO VISIT:
- Nakki Lake – Believed to be formed by gods, this lake sits in the middle of valley with lush green Aravalli all around. The tranquil ambiance along with spiritual aura created by centuries old temples at its edge, makes it an ideal spot to spend one’s evenings. For the more adventurous travelers, the rock formations and serene waters also offer rock climbing and boating at nominal charges.
- Guru Shikhar – The pinnacle of Aravali ranges at 5,650 feet above sea level, it offers a panoramic view of the entire region that is sure to stay with you for a long time. Be it the feeling of solitude on the top or the adventurous trek to reach the point, every second of the effort is paid off.
- Sunset Point – Located near Nakki lake, this is one the most sought after places to catch the stunning vistas of the region. The view at the sunset is specially said to be majestic with multi colored sky, cool breeze, and overwhelming greenery.
- Mount Abu wildlife Sanctuary – Aravali one of the oldest mountain ranges in India is also home to a rich variety of flora and fauna. This sanctuary is no less than a treat for the nature lovers with its rich habitat of wild boar, panthers, foxes, bears, among other fierce animals.
- Achalgarh Fort – This 14th century fort built by the rulers of the land that once served as the primary beacon for the city, now is a prominent tourist spot and a must visit for history buffs. Along with the archaic structure and medieval architecture, what attracts many tourists are the multiple centuries old Hindu and Jain temples that reside inside the fort premises.
- Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University – If you have slightest of interest in Yoga, meditation or the spiritual connections they have, the grant sprawling campus of this society is not to be missed. Pegged as the headquarter of a spiritual society that operates in over 85 countries, it has no affiliation to any religion and remains open to all.
FAIRS & FESTIVALS –
- Summer Festival – This annual 3-day fest organised in the month of may (Budh Purnima) celebrates the warmth and bliss the summer brings with it. Packed with activities like folk performances, Band show, Horse Race, Boat Race, Skater’s show, etc along with overwhelming fireworks creates an electric atmosphere that is a sight to behold.
- Winter Festival – This annual 3-day fest is organised in the last week of December to celebrate the exceptional hospitality of the locals. The competition between locals and tourists in activities like Panihari Matka Race, Tug of War, Skating Race, among others remains the attraction while astonishing fireworks leaves everyone awestruck at the end.
- Trekking – The vast continuous Aravali ranges covered with abundant vegetation make a perfect case for a challenging yet adventurous trekking. Put on your boots and tread along unbeaten path with your loved ones or maybe a guided tour if you prefer.
- Boating – The serene waters of Nakki lake are perfect to indulge in boating. Take a 2 or 4-seater depending upon your need and get in the water for an unhappening evening.
- Rock Climbing – the mountains in the region also have some inviting rock formations which you must if you are or aspire to be a rock climber.
- Spiritual Sessions – The Brahmakumari spiritual university is one of the most prominent spiritual centers in the country, which offers a range of sessions for yoga, meditation, and other spiritual practices for you dig deeper into your soul which is an experience must be absorbed.
BEST TIME TO VISIT:
Being a hill station, the weather in Mount Abu remains cozy throughout the year with the summers (April- June) tipping slightly towards warmer side, with temperate clocking between 18 to 31 degree celsius. The winters on the other hand have exceptionally pleasant weather with the temperature hovering around 4 to 24 degree celsius, perfect for sightseeing during the day and bonfires in night. If you don’t mind getting wet, a visit in during the monsoons (July- August) will be worthwhile with the entire region covered in fresh greenery and a stable temperature between 17-24 degree celsius.
Keep a warm cloth as nights are pleasant. Also, keep your sports shoes for walking and other adventure activities. Have a pair of binoculars if your planning for Mount Abu wildlife Sanctuary.
HOW TO REACH:-
- By Air – Maharana Pratap Airport (Udaipur) is the closest airport at 176 kms with frequent flights on major domestic routes, while Ahmedabad (221 kms) is the nearest option for international travelers.
- By Rail – Abu Road Railway Station has well connectivity to all major cities like Udaipur, Jaipur, Delhi, etc.
- By Road – Mount Abu is located deep in valley between Udaipur and Ahmedabad and hence lacks the finest of road connectivity. Abu Road Bus Stand is the main bus stand having regular buses plying for major cities like Delhi, Jaipur, Udaipur, Ahmedabad, among others.