The only hill station in the deserts of Rajasthan, Mt. Abu is an oasis which has given weary travelers in the Thar Desert refuge for many years. Many even trace the origin of the area back to the times of the Ramayana. Today, this city has spread over 22 kilometers in the Aravalli ranges and has grown to a popular tourist spots, famous not only for its temples and pilgrimage places but also for the vast scenic beauty of the area, comprising of hills, forests, lakes and waterfalls.
Mt. Abu is easily accessible by all means of transportation. The nearest airport is the Dabok Airport in Udaipur, which is 104 kilometers away. The closest railway is 14 kilometers away, in Morthala. Mt. Abu is nest accessed by road, where regular state buses run every day to transport pilgrims and tourists.
The best time to visit Mt. Abu is during the winter months of November to March when the weather is most pleasant, and many holidaymakers and honeymooners can be found here. However, the hill station is a year round destination, which receives moderate heat, monsoons and rainfall.
1. Mt. Abu Wildlife Sanctuary
Located in the outskirts of the main settlement of Mt. Abu, this wildlife sanctuary spreads over 288 square kilometers and supports much exotic flora and fauna. It spreads over various landscapes and thus provides for a wonderful educational as well as aesthetically exhilarating experience. Over 112 plant species make up this area, including 81 species of trees, 89 species of shrubs, 28 species of climbers and 17 species of medicinal herbs. Mt. Abu remains the only place in India that can observe a wide variety of orchids.
Animal species are just as diverse and include many endangered species. The most commonly found animals are the leopard, sambhar, small Indian civet, wolf, jackal, wild boar, bear, pangolin and porcupine.
2. Nakki Lake
Nakki Lake is a lake of beautiful blue waters and surrounded by hills, viewing points, temples, flora and other aspects of intrigue. This lake is deeply significant to Hindus and is said to have been carved out by the nails of the Gods themselves. This lake is also famous for being the site where Mahatma Gandhi’s ashes were immersed in February 1948, at Gandhi Ghat.
3. Dilwara Jain Temples
The Dilwara Temples are a collection of five temples, dedicated to five Tirthankaras of the Jain faith, constructed between the 11th and 13th century. These temples are famous across the nation for their pure aesthetic appeal and architectural brilliance. They are made of white marble and each pillar and walls is decorated with intricately designed depictions of the Jain faith. Despite this, the architecture is such that it gives a vibe of the simple, minimalistic nature of the Jain faith. It is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for Jains.
4. Adhar Devi Temple
A short trek up the hills and away from the main city of Mt. Abu is the Adhar Devi Temple. This temple, dedicated to Goddess Durga, is situated within a cave and can only be accessed by the 365 stairs built into the mountainside. Besides being a popular religious pilgrimage, this place is also renowned for its serenity and natural surroundings.
5. Toad Rock
One of the many ancient igneous rocks that have weathered into interesting shapes over time, and cradled between one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world, the Toad Rock has become a popular picnic spot for various reasons. The trek up to the Rock is an exhilarating climb and also pleasing to the eyes as one catches glimpses of the Lake, the hills etc.
Mt. Abu has been a welcome refuge for travelers since times immemorial. Yet, the hills, trees and water bodies are as welcoming as they were all those years back. Mt. Abu has grown to a tourist city, with all the amenities for tourists and is a place for everybody.