Located in northwest India, Rajasthan borders Punjab in the north, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh in the northeast, Madhya Pradesh in the east andGujarat in the south. On the western side it shares a long stretch of border with the neighboring country Pakistan. Situated on the Thar Desert, Rajasthan protects the western border of the country standing as the sentinel who never tires. The art of Rajasthan ensures that people visit the desert.
Rajasthan is diagonally divided into the hilly and rugged southeastern region and the barren Thar Desert, which extends across the border into Pakistan. Within these divisions however, it is a storehouse of varied physical feature or topographical diversity. The arid Thar also boasts of Mount Abu the only hill station in the state famous for its flora and fauna. While the Aravali hills provide the much-needed relief to this arid land, the wide spread sand dunes of the desert and arid region make it one of the toughest terrains in the world. Jodhpur (the second biggest city of the state) is the edge of the dry and shifting desert land from where on the not so arid but cultivable land starts. It is a store house of the art of Rajasthan. Moreover, the rocky range of Amber, hilly range of Mewar, river basin of Bharatpur and fertile Aravali range gives the topography of the state a unique look.
Popular Tourist Attractions in Mount Abu
Dilwara Temples : At a very short distance of 5 km lie these wonderfully carved Jain temples dating back to the 11th and 13th centuries A.D. Rated as among the finest of Indian temples, it is recommended that any visitor to Rajasthan include them on his itinerary. The marble architecture here is comparable with the best.
Nakki Lake : In the heart of the town, at one end of the Mall, is the serene Nakki Lake, which has an interesting history. It is believed that the gods formed the lakebed by digging it with their fingernails (nakh); hence the name, Nakki Lake. Picturesquely set, with the hills rising all around it, the lake has several islets to which you can hire boats. An interesting facet of the lake are the many rock formations around it. They have been named Toad Rock, Nun Rock, Nandi Rock and Camel Rock because of their resemblance to these figures. Nun Rock is a large smooth rock as it supposedly looks a woman with a veil. The climb up to these rocks, through the wooded forests is a beautiful one, with each of the rocks on the way making unique formations, fissures and shapes.
Vimala - Vasahi Temple :
This is the oldest temple in the complex, built in 1030 A.D. by Vimala Shah, a minister in the Government of Gujarat, to atone for his earthly sins. He dedicated it to Adinath, the first of the Jain tirthankaras, and the central shrine has an image of Adinath. The massive work involved in the temple took fourteen years to complete. The temple has been designed in an austere fashion on the outside but the ornateness strikes you immediately as you enter through the gateway.
Neminath Temple :
This was built in 1230 A.D. by two brothers, Vastupal and Tejpal, who dedicated it to Neminath, the 22nd tirthankara. It is told that gold and silver, equivalent in weight to that of the marble was given to the workers who worked on or sculpted the temple. Built in the Solanki style of architecture, the temple has a wonderful lotus flower piece hanging from the central dome in the porch. Shaped like a collection of half-open lotuses it is so exquisitely carved it has a translucent quality.
Gaumukh Temple :
Located about 2 Kms from Mount Abu, this is the site of the ancient agnikunda , where legend has it that sage Vashistha performed the great fire sacrifice. The temple contains an image of Vasistha along with images of Lord Rama and Lord Krishna, both of whom are considered to be incarnations of Vishnu, the Preserver of the Hindu trinity. The name Gomukh literally means cow's mouth, referring to a spring here which flows through the mouth of a marble cow. The spring water is believed to have sacred, purifying properties.
Fairs and Festivals in Mount Abu
The nearest airport to Mount Abu is Maharana Pratap Airport, located at a distance of 185 Kms. Ahmedabad provides even better connectivity with frequent flights from all parts of the country and is well placed at a distance of 122 Kms from Mount Abu. On reaching any of these two airports one can hire a taxi to reach the center of Mount Abu.
Mount Abu has its own railway station located at a convenient distance of 28 Kms from the main city. The railway head features well connected rail routes to major cities like Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Mumbai and New Delhi. To reach the railway station one can opt for taxis or State Transport Service.
The NH 14 is the nearest national highway located in Mount Abu and lies just 24 Kms from the main city. This highway connects Mount Abu with all the prime cities of India.
Best Time to Visit Mount Abu
Mount Abu has a soothing climate throughout the year as the rich flora covers the entire hillside, which includes flowering shrubs and coniferous trees. However, the best time to visit this hill station is during monsoon and winter, i.e., from July - February. The beautiful weather and the pleasant temperature makes it excellent for a visit.
Tips For Visiting Rajasthan
For travel to any destination, there are certain precautions that one needs to take before starting the exciting journey. There are certain tips that the travelers should follow while traveling to Rajasthan which include:
Check the itinerary: Every trip has an itinerary which the tourists follow during the travel. By checking the itinerary, you will get an idea about the duration of stay. This will help to pack enough clothes for the stay. Rajasthan is hot during the day and temperatures drop down in the night. So, take the suitable types of clothes.
Weather updates: Before packing for the trip it is better to check the weather forecast for the stipulated time duration. This will help during the travel and for selecting the types of clothes. If the climate is hot during the stay, then visitors should select the light-colored clothes. Also, if the trip is during the winter season carry winter wears.
Make a checklist: Make a list of all the things that you need during the trip. It helps to check it while packing the luggage and this way you do not miss out any of the necessary things. Strike off the item from the list once included in the luggage. Do not forget to pack important documents like identity proof, hotel and travel reservation documents, etc. in the checklist.
Pack only necessary things: It is important to take only the things that are really needed during the trip. Carry an extra set of clothes but avoid overpacking with unnecessary things.
Save some packing space: A trip to Rajasthan is incomplete without shopping. Every person who visits this beautiful land does some shopping. There’s a lot to shop from the Rajasthani markets which include clothes, artifacts or souvenirs. Anything that you purchase will be a part of the luggage. If you are traveling by air route, the luggage limit can be a problem. Hence, it is better to save some space while packing for accommodating the shopping items on the return journey.
Cash: As Rajasthan is a part of the golden triangle, many shops here accept the card for the payment purpose. But it is also necessary to carry some cash during the travel. Some small shops or exhibitions may not have the facility for card payment. At such places, the cash may become useful. Take precaution while handling cash. Do not keep all the money at single place. This will help to ensure that some money is safe even in case of theft or robbery.
Accommodation: Rajasthan is a major tourist center, it has many hotels and lodges to accommodate many crowds. But it will be better to do the prior booking. This will help to select the hotel as well as the type of room as per your needs and wish. The advance booking also helps to get the rooms at an economic rate as the last-minute bookings become more expensive.
Separate packing: Keep the toiletries and makeup material separately. If you are on medication, then pack of medicines and keep them handy so that the medication box is easily accessible in case of emergency. If you are on specific medication, carry those in sufficient amount. Being a tourist place, you will find a chemist shop but not necessarily all the medicines are available. Thus, it is necessary to carry all the important medicines along with the proper prescription.
First-Aid box: The first-aid comes handy if anyone gets hurt during the trip. Due to the change in the climate, you may suffer from cold or dehydration. The box should contain the disinfectant, bandages and common medicines for a cough, cold, etc.
Safety and Precautions: Rajasthan has hot and dry climate and thus, it is necessary that the visitors should carry proper protective gears like a cap, goggles, scarf, jacket, etc. Wear sunscreen lotion to protect them from the scorching heat.