Mount Abu near Udaipur
Udaipur is also known as the ‘City of Lakes’ and Venice of the East. Yet it is an ideal destination for visiting with ample spots to survey and store in memory. Although there is only one hill station in Rajasthan, it is very close to Udaipur as local transport and private conveyance both are available to reach the spot.
Nestled in the foothills of Aravalli range in Sirohi district of Rajasthan, Mount Abu is a popular hill station spanning across an area of 22 kilometres by 9 kilometres in length and breadth and situated at an altitude of 4003 feet. The flat highland atop Aravalli hills with a synchronized pattern will mesmerize the tourists with an oasis like ambience and origin of several natural waterfalls, streams, rivers and lakes. Surrounded by evergreen forests on all sides, Mount Abu’s highest peak stands at an elevation of 5650 feet and is named Guru Shikhar.
Mount Abu’s history is quite fascinating as legend and mythology proclaims this region as Arbudanya or Arbudanchal derived from the name of the mountain where Lord Vashistha is believed to have performed mediation and also the site where Arbuda a serpent is said to have saved the life of Nandi, Lord Shiva’s bull.
Mount Abu is also believed to have derived its name from the Gurjars who migrated to this region in 6th Century and thereafter it was invaded by rulers of Deora Chauhan dynasty in 1311. Later it was rented by the British from Maharaja of Sirohi to be used as base for rulers of Rajputana.
Since Mount Abu is the only hill station in Rajasthan and the climate varies between moderate to chilly winters, the ideal time for visiting will be both in summer and winter months. However, it is advisable to wear light cotton clothes in summer to brave the heat and jackets and warm woolens in winters as night time temperatures vary between 4 -12 degrees.
Sanctuary at Mount Abu
There are ample tourist spot to visit in Mount Abu with the Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary as an ideal destination to begin with which was set up in 1960s. For spiritual inspiration, tourists can visit Adhaar Devi Temple, also nicknamed as Arbuda Devi Temple created from rock being carved out of the mountains. The famous Dilwara Jain Temples made from white marble stone in 11th and 13th centuries is a paradise with intricate architecture and a sight to behold. Two temples on the same premise is an example of Jain artwork and finery, situated barely 5 kilometres from Mount Abu.
Mount Abu is a hill station filled with temples of the likes, Vimal Vasahi temple in memory of the first Jain Tirthankara, Achaleswar Mahadev temple, Kantinath temple and Shri Raghunathji temple, built on Guru Shikhar peak on the Aravalli range. Durga temple and Ambika Mata temple is very closely located on the fringes of Mount Abu.
Achalgarh Fort established in 14th century by Maharana Kumbha of Mewar and is a popular tourist spot near Mount Abu and it is situated on the banks of Nakki Lake with Toad Rock nearby. Gaumukh temple and sunset points from where the beautiful and captivating scene of the setting sun over the Aravalli can be witnessed is also a famous tourist hub.
Mount Abu can be accessed via road, rail and air. The nearest airport is Dabok in Udaipur city whereas luxury buses and private cars can be booked from Udaipur city. The journey takes 5 hours and it is connected with all major neighboring states. Via Udaipur through a broad gauge line, a tourist can reach Mount Abu by rail as well.
While on a visit to Udaipur, a visit to Mount Abu simply cannot be missed.