Abu, sprawling along a 1200 m high plateau in the
south of the state, close to the Gujarat border. Rajasthan's
only hill station and a major pilgrim centre, Mount
Abu is located in the south-western corner of Rajasthan.
Although a part of the Aravalli range, it is detached
completely from it by a narrow valley and the highest
point, Guru Shikhar, is situated at its northern end.
Interestingly, this is the highest point between the
Nilgiris in the south and the Himalayan range up north.
Mount Abu, owing to its good rainfall, has the richest
vegetation in Rajasthan - a wide variety of trees
and shrubs can be viewed as one drives up to Mount
Abu. More than the weather, vegetation and mythological
importance, it is the Jain temples that draw lakhs
of visitors to Mount Abu. The Dilwara temples are
the best Jain temples in the country. No description
can do justice to their beauty. They are to be seen
to be believed. Gaumukh Temple, Achalgarh Fort, Toad's
Rock, Sunset Point, Trevor's Tank are some of the
interesting areas to be visited. For those who like
Walking, Mount Abu has many delightful walks. Nakki
Lake, said to have been carved out by the gods with
their nails, is a favourite spot for boating. Mount
Abu is best visited during March-June and September-November.
remarkable Jain temples are Mount Abu's main attraction
and among the finest examples includes two temples
in which the art of carving marble reached unsurpassed
heights. The older of the temples is the ' Vimal Vasahi
', built in 1031 and dedicated to the first tirthankar,
Adinath. In the front of the temple stands the 'House
of Elephants', with figures of elephants marching
in procession to the temple entrance. The later 'Tejpal
Temple' is dedicated to Neminath, the 22nd tirthankar,
and was built in 1230 by the brothers Tejpal and Vastupal.
The carving is so fine that, in places, the marble
becomes almost transparent.
Kesar Bhawan Palace
is one of the oldest places in Mount Abu, built in
1868. The Kesar Bhawan was used as a guest house for
visiting dignitaries. For 100 years now several Maharajas
and royal guests from the west have been entertained
in Kesar Bhawan. Built to suit the climatic conditions
of Mount Abu which has an average rainfall of 150
inches annually, the palace has closed corridor running
around the building providing it protection from rain.
Each bedroom has its own private balcony which provide
a panoramic view of the surrounding hills and valleys.
Sunrise Palace: Situated
on one of the highest points in Mount Abu is the summer
palace of the Maharaja of Bharatpur. Now it is called
the Sunrise Palace, provides a breathtaking panoramic
view of lush green Aravallis surrounding it. The 80
years old palace has a fairy tale charm to it and
is build like a typical British-style mansion. It
has large spacious rooms, which have been done tastefully
and provides all possible comforts to the guests.
It is popular with honeymooners as well as those looking
for a peaceful holiday.
Vimala Vashi Temple: It
is the oldest temple, built in 1030 by Vimala Shah,
a minister of Solanki ruler of Gujarat. The temple
is said to have involved a work force of 2700 men,
and taken total fourteen years to complete. Made of
white marble, it is an outstanding example of Jain
Jain Community: The
fine specimen of workmanship , as seen in its carvings
and pillars, this temple is dedicated to Neminath
- the twenty second Jain tirthankara. A lot of inspiration
and encouragement went into the construction of this
temple. Built in the 'Solanki' style of architecture,
this temple has a breathtaking marble pendant hanging
like a chandelier from the central dome of the porch.
Luna Vashi Temple:
Built in 1232 by two wealthy brothers. Its carved
ornamentation is even richer, denser and more delicate.
In some places, the marble carving is so fine. The
doorways of the temples are framed by ornate pediments
and plasters; the columns are magnificently carved.
is virtually in the heart of Mount Abu and is a big
attraction with tourists. The lake takes its name
from the legend that it was scooped out by a god,
using only his nails, or nakh. It's a pleasant stroll
around the lake - look for the strange rock formations.
On the lake there is a dilapidated concrete boat-shaped
Gomukh Temple: Down
on the Abu Road side of Mount Abu, a small stream
flows from the mouth of a marble cow, giving the shrine
its name. There is also a marble figure of Nandi,
Shiva's vehicle. The tank here, 'Agni Kund', is said
to be the site of the sacrificial fire made by the
sage Vasishta, from which four of the great Rajput
clans were born, An image of Vasishta is flanked by
figures of Rama and Krishna.Gomukh Temple contains
images of Lord Rama and Lord Krishna.
in Mount Abu was the official summer residence of
Sir Donald Field, Chief Minister of the Jodhpur and
now it is available to tourists and holiday makers.
Connaught House is in a very good condition. New rooms
have been added to the old cottages. The location
of the cottage gives it a complete privacy and allow
the tourist to enjoy a quiet and peaceful holiday.
The main market place and the famous Nakki Lake are
with walking distance.
was built by the warrior King Rana Kumbha, who conquered
Mount Abu from its Chauhan rulers. It lies 5 miles
from Mount Abu. Nearby there are several ancient temples.
Of these, the most interesting is the 15th century
temple of Lord Shiva.
Guru Shikar: The
peak of Guru Shikhar, the highest point in Rajasthan,
lies about 2 miles beyond Achalgarh. It commands a
bird eye view of Abu and the surrounding areas. Temples
located in this area are the 'Mira temple' and 'Chaumundi
Adhar Devi Temple: Three
kilometres north of town, some 365 steps lead to this
'Durga temple' built in a natural cleft in the rock.
You have to stoop to get through the low entrance
to the temple. There are fine views over Mount Abu
from up here. This temple is one of the favourite
tourist spots of Mount Abu. It is believed that the
image of the goddess was originally hanging in mid-air,
hence the name is 'Adhar Devi'.
Museum and Art Gallery:
Located at the Raj Bhawan, it was a collection of
archaeological excavations dating back to 8th-12th
century A.D. It also has
Jain bronze carvings,brassworks etc. for viewing.
are many deluxe buses operating from Mount Abu to
Jaipur, Ajmer, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Ahmedabad and Surat.
By Train: There
are direct trains run from Mount Abu to Ajmer, Jodhpur,
Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Agra.