BEST PLACES IN MOUNT ABU FOR A WEEKEND GETAWAY
The best places in Mount Abu can be covered in around 2 to 3 days or that’s what I thought. The idea of travelling to the lone hill station in the desert and sand dunes state of India Rajasthan never caught my fancy.
I have been to some of the most stunning hills stations in the country but never considered Mount Abu in my radar. But to my surprise, the phenomenal landscape and the mellifluous vibe left me intoxicated.
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One minute, I was on the flat lands of Rajasthan fuming with the summer heat, where sun mercilessly dispatched all its heat. Another minute, I was on the serpentine Abu Road, enjoying the road trip to the gorgeous hill station. My friend Sunny who was behind the wheels could not keep his eyes off the boulders and his desire to climb them. I glanced at the boulders and felt the same. In between admiring the boulders and talking about how amazing it would be to climb them, the date trees appear lined on both sides of the road. “Aqueous Transmission” from Incubus played in the background making the moment perfect.
Mount Abu and its magnificence
Mount Abu is the perfect escape to beat the scorching summer heat and a hill station perched on the Aravalli Range. It is located in Sirohi district of Rajasthan. With reflection of impressive culture and history, it is a magnificent oasis in the desert state. Be it the glimpses of royalty breathing now as ruins or the beautiful rock formations or highly ornate Jain temples carved on Marbles, a road trip to Mount Abu is definitely worth it.
Weekend Rush at Mount Abu
Mount Abu is the only hill station in Rajasthan and is in very close proximity to Gujarat. This makes it a very obvious case of massive tourism from neighboring cities and states. Weekends are driven by mad rush mostly from Gujarati tourists, touted most as family destination. However, look beyond the touristy circuit, to enjoy the soul of the hill station. With rocks and boulders marking the territory, find your spot and feel the breeze whisper through your ears. The best places in Mount Abu are mostly offbeat and hidden.
Best Places in Mount Abu – Explore unique
There are a lot of things to do and places to visit in Mount Abu. However, with limited time, we could only zero down on places that had both of our interest. With all the rocks, hills, arid patches of land and date trees, we found places that brought us profound joy.
Time Travel Catching the Ruins of Achalgarh Fort
The medieval monument now rests in its ruins but that does not diminish the glimpses of its galore and glory back in time. The citadel was originally built by Paramara Dynasty and later renovated by Maharana Kumbha in the 14th century. It is in dilapidated condition but still has a lot to offer. The ruins on one side overlook the massive hills and arid land dotted by date trees. The euphonious vibe transported me to a beach for a moment with wind tickling through my senses. It felt like being close to ocean roaring with wind upon closing my eyes only to return to reality with date trees and the hills in view. This fort is definitely one of the best places in Mount Abu to explore.
There are a lot of things to explore amidst the ruins of the ruins of Achalgarh fort. The Jain temple is an example of intricate and exquisite craftsmanship by marvelous hands. Take your own sweet time to know and explore the area. The beautiful rocks are perfect to climb, find your spot and feel the vibe. The ruins are spread on both sides of the road, so make sure to venture into both.
Catch the Sunset and Panoramic View from Toad Rock
This is not the actual hush rush sunset point in Mount Abu but nothing less spectacular. Toad Rock is an easy and no so tiring hike that can be accessed from around the Nakki Lake route. Did I not tell you about the insane rock formations of Abu? Now, this piece of nature resembles a toad overlooking the Nakki Lake, Aravalli range and the vivid homes. As the dusk creeps in, the sky is a dramatic situation splashing colors that are changing at neutron rates. It is phenomenal to catch the natural sky while the lights from the faraway homes begin to twinkle welcoming the night.
Seek Blessings at Guru Shikhar
The best time to visit Guru Shikhar is early morning to catch the first glimpses of sun rays as it makes way for the day. But, we being lazy and sleepy, decided to walk up to the temple during early afternoon. It was hard to comprehend for a minute that I was in Rajasthan with the fog, mist and wind playing along. It is the highest peak in the Aravalli Range. The temple is dedicated to Dattatreya, considered to be a reincarnation of Lord Vishnu. The panoramic view from the temple with the picturesque landscape and the Mount Abu Observatory Centre in view makes it better.
Admire the carvings at Dilwara Temple
Unfortunately photography is not allowed inside the temples and it is sort of justified. The carving on the marbles is so intricate and exquisite that there is a chance that it might just get difficult with all the photographs spammed online. Dilwara Jain Temple is cluster of 5 temples that was built between the 11th and 13th century and known for its detailed marble carvings. Honestly, with such ornate décor and carvings, I could spend hours and hours adoring them.
Walk around Nakki Lake or take a boat ride
Nakki Lake is the most touristic circuit of Mount Abu roaring with traffic, incandescent lights from vehicles, hustle created by people and indefinite cafes around it. There is also an old school charm about exploring the touristy areas and walking away to find a spot of solitude. It marks the center of the hill station and considered to be ancient sacred lake. The route circumventing the lakes leads you to Toad rock and sunset point after a short hike. Boating on the lake is a popular activity enjoyed by hundreds of tourists. As the sunsets and lights start to twinkle, the lake looks charming than ever.
Accommodation in Mount Abu
Mount Abu is a popular tourist destination and the only hill station between the states of Rajasthan and Gujarat. The splurge in the tourism has led to availability of accommodations across the hill station for every budget. I stayed at Colonial Manek Manor that is designed in colonial style and set on a hill overlooking the gorgeous mountains. The boutique hotel is located away from the cacophony of the streets and inspired by the concept of heritage. It is a perfect hotel to enjoy a breakfast with view, stare at the twinkling lights on the hills and enjoy the peaceful rendezvous.
Conveyance to Explore Mount Abu
The best way to explore Mount Abu is obviously by a self driven vehicle. I went on a road trip and it was pretty much convenient to explore whatever we want. However, it is not only the option. You can also opt to hire bikes for the day at Rs 800 to 1000. If you are intending to take public transport, the options are slim. If you don’t know to ride a bike, hire a cab for the day to visit all the places of attractions.
Must Do Things in Mount Abu
- Hike, hike, hike and more hikes – Mount Abu is one of the best places to hike different trails, climb the rocks and find that serene place to soak in the vibe. Make sure you carry comfortable clothing and shoes to climb like a boss.
- Satisfy your sweet tooth with Rabri. Mount Abu is famous for the milk cream sweet served in small Earthern Pots. Make sure to get a taste of it because I am a strong connoisseur of it.
- We all have eaten the normal mangoes but a lot of local people sell small, freshly picked mangoes in the streets. They are not that sweet and small in size.
- We could not manage time for Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary but it is definitely a good place to spot some animals in their natural habitat.
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