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The Treasured Destination of Rajasthan - Mount Abu

You always treasure what is important and limited and Mount Abu is dear in more ways than one. It is only hill station of Rajasthan, a land that is more commonly known for barren deserts and heat. However, Mount Abu is a welcome change from that profile and hence a very treasured tourist destination. It has enjoyed the status of being second capital of Rajasthan as, since the time of Rajput kings, it has either been a summer capital or resort in some form or the other. During British rule, it was home for a resident to Rajasthan. Today, Mount Abu is summer base for the Governor of Rajasthan whose entire office shifts to here. Situated at an average height of 1219 meters above sea level, it is the highest peak in the Aravali Ranges of Rajasthan and forms a plateau-like structure. Being close to Gujarat, the hill station attracts Gujarati tourists in large numbers. 

I am not sure of how many times I have been to this hill-town but still marvel at the beauty and pleasure which it offers. This hill station has a special place in my heart and I always look forward to visiting it. Having lived in Abu Road for three years during some of the best years of life, this was almost our monthly trip destination and hence had become our second home. It is this fact that as soon as I hear the name of Mount Abu, a cloud of nostalgia engulfs my mind and heart. I am reminded of those playful funs we had here during the childhood and realization that there are very few moments that may be as special as the ones we spent here. Having said all the above, I am sure you realize the level of excitement when we finally made our program to go back to the romance of this hill station – wife accompanying me this time was an added charm.

As planned we reached Abu Road at about 6 in the morning by Rajdhani Express. Abu Road is kind of a base station and last railway head for Mount Abu. It is the point from where the slopes of Aravalis start and ascend has to be overcome by road. We had hired a cab for two days to accompany us throughout the visit as we wanted this trip to be completely relaxed and well set up. Mount Abu is about 27 kilometers from Abu Road and it took us about half an hour to reach our rest house which in itself is no less of a tourist destination. It is an artfully developed set of cottages built on one of the high points of this peak and hence provides a scenic view of the slopes. The gardens have been carefully maintained to add to the beauty of the entire complex. The long flight of stairs that took us to our cottage seemed to be the path to utopia from where one would never wish to climb down. We spent some time absorbing the beauty of our temporary abode over tea and breakfast. We realized that we had to leave this place to begin our excursion but decided that we would spend good time next morning enjoying every bit of that wonderful complex. And then we left to begin our tour of the town.

Delwara Temples – our first stop of the trip and a great way to kick-start the tour on a spiritual note. There are Jain temples carved in marble and showcase ultimate art in curvatures and engravings. The entire complex comprises of 5 different temples devoted to various Jain Tirthankaras(saints). These temples were built between the 11th and 13th century from huge marble blocks carried on elephant backs. The way these temples are decoratively beautiful from inside yet look like a ruin from outside. This was done intentionally to keep these out of eyes of aggressors who would like to destroy such creations.

Guru Shikhar – the highest point of Rajasthan situated over 1722 meters above sea level is something that no itinerary of the city should miss. It takes about 150 steps uphill to reach Guru Shikhar, at top of which there is a caved temple of Dattatreya, an incarnation of Vishnu. There also is huge bell suspended by a wooden frame and carrying ancient Gujarati inscriptions. However, none of this is what would attract a tourist like me when compared to the scenic panoramic view of the entire valley that the terrace on this peak offers. One cannot help marvel at nature’s beauty when you look at lush green hill slopes while a cool breeze rushes through your face. We had hired a chirpy guy as a guide from the base for about 200 bucks. He accompanied us to the top, told stories, history and significance of the location and other details about the hill-town as a whole.

Peace Park – The lush green gardens developed by the Brahmakumari Spiritual Sect is a perfect place for short breaks and relaxation. Carefully manicured lawns, flowers of all colors, and the peace of environment do tempt one to spend some leisure moments here. Though one may be attracted to the scent of flowers, before they allow you to take a tour of the gardens, they urge you to attend a short lecture on the perspective of life from the sect’s viewpoint. Post this point, we took a good lunch and proceeded to rest house for a quick break. 

Sun Set Point – presents an awesome view of the sun going down behind the Aravalis. We left the rest house at about 4 as there is a good hike until the viewpoint which offers the best glimpse of the sunset. We armed ourselves with a splash and began the hike when we were tempted to try the small Lorries being used to ferry people. Though we could only manage to be in them for a few feet, we realized the fun that children get into those “vehicles”. The viewpoint presents a capturing scene of the mountain ranges and the valley with the River Banas passing through it. Amidst popcorn, chai, and nuts, it was a great way to absorb the beauty of sun diminishing behind the hills. 

Nakki Lake and Toad Rock – After the sunset, we returned to the central area and headed to one of the best places to spend an evening - the Nakki Lake. It is the only artificial lake in India built at 1200 meters above sea level. Famed to be dug using nails, it provides a location to spend quality leisure time on the sides over local snacks and drinks. We also took a boat ride around the village and enjoyed straddling amidst water under the moonlight. The romance one witnesses is inherent in the adage which says that the lake was dug by a sage as a condition for marriage to his love. True or not, one definitely cannot deny the absolutely romantic location that the lake is and is therefore aptly called love-lake of Mount Abu. From the lazy boating experience through the lake, one can see the rock structure on the adjoining peaks which resemble that of a toad and has come to be known as Toad Rock. One could even say that this rock has become a mascot of the hill station enjoying the same status that Golden Gate Bridge enjoys in San Francisco.

The road leading to the lake is also the shopping arcade for tourists with all local, as they call it, souvenirs on sale. Though there may not be anything which isn’t available at your place, one is still tempted to pick some memories for folks back home. The road also is flushed with eateries of all kinds – fast food, ice-creams, diners, and dhabas. Pick your choice and do not leave until your heart and stomach both shout content. We had our dinner at one of the restaurants around the corner, which needed about half an hour wait, and the proceeded towards our rest house. Next morning had an early yet relaxed start. We were up by 7 and set our chairs in the lawns relishing the beauty of morning scenery and freshness of cool breeze over tea. Strolling through the well-cultivated flower gallery and maintained garden was amazing. 

Saint Lawrence Church – We continued our stroll to the outside of the rest-house premises and explored the areas surrounding our abode nestled in nature. It was then that we found ourselves attracted towards soft music emanating from somewhere close by and toed towards it. We passed through the gates of the building and found a beautiful church inside. After spending some time in the quite of the church bowed before the Almighty, we returned back.

Those couple of hours we spent their relaxing in midst of nature were one of the high points of the visit. After a breakfast of aloo-parathas (stuff bread) made by the caretaker-cum-cook, we continued on our excursion.

Adhar Devi Temple – This was our first destination of the day as we wanted to wrap up the treacherous hike uphill across over 340 steps in the coolness of morning breeze. The temple situated at the top of the hill is cleaved within a natural cave and is accessible through a low roofed path within the cave. The temple, also called Arbuda Devi Temple, is devoted to Goddess Durga and gets its name from the adage that says the picture of the Goddess was found hanging in the air without any support. Along with religious significance, the views that the top provides is an incentive in itself to climb up the stairs.

Achal Garh – Short for Achaleshwar Mahadev Temple, this is over 2500 old temple with peculiarity, in fact, that is the only temple where foot-thumb of Lord Shiva is worshipped. There is a huge pond nearby which is believed to be filled with ghee during ancient times. There are numerous adages attached with this location and local guides (usually small children) recite these stories with their own flavor of poems and embellishments.

Pandav Bhavan – This was our next stop where we were exposed to doses of philosophy and truth of life. This is the local headquarters for the spiritual sect called BrahmaKumaris. The building houses numerous meditation rooms and conference rooms where lectures are imparted. Honey Moon Point – This was the last point we covered while returning back to our rest-house. This is another viewpoint which provides great views across the valley. Post this, we took a relaxed lunch and returned to pack our bags for the return journey. 

We rested for some while and then with seemingly heavy heart bid goodbye to this beautiful hill station. Both of us shared a common thought that if we had time, even a week here would not be enough to satiate our hearts. The visit definitely was nothing less than bliss and we are sure to treasure each moment we spent there for long. On our return journey, we stopped at the BhramaKumari Center in Abu Road which itself is almost a mini city, self-reliant for most daily needs. It was interesting to see how highly educated people would shun their families to devote their life to this sect. The person showing us around was an ex-DSP with Karnataka Police. This was the final wrap up and we reached the railway station in time to catch Ashram Express back home.

PS: I had documented my experiences of a visit to Mount Abu at - In the lap of Aravallis - Mount Abu - when I visited the hill station during childhood. Please do visit the page if you would like to look at how I have changed as a blogger and traveler over the years.


  1. Thank you for the descriptive blog on the trip with illustrative pictures. Mount Abu is a hill station in western India’s Rajasthan state, near the Gujarat border. Set on a high rocky plateau in the Aravalli Range there exists many places to visit in Mount Abu. Being a hill station it's a popular retreat from the heat of Rajasthan.

    1. Thanks for taking out time to read about the blog and sharing your views. Definitely a perfect hill resort for a desert land :)


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