Thursday, February 29, 2024

Tourism      Hill Stations      Rajasthan     Sirohi    

Mount Abu

Place : Sirohi District, Rajasthan
Altitude : 6511 feet above sea level.
Temperature : Max Temperature in Summer: 32°C ; Min Temperature: 27°C
Max Temperature in Winter : 21°C ; Min Temperature: 10°C
Significance : The hill station houses the famous Dilwara Temples
Best Season : In Winter and January to March.
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Mount Abu is Rajasthan's only hill station sprawling along a 4000ft high plateau in the south of the state, close to the Gujarat border. Known for its exquisite Dilwara Jain temples, this pretty hill station stands atop the Aravalli ranges. Mount Abu receives around 15 lakh tourists every year.  It is situated in Sirohi district, 29 km away from Abu Road Railway Station and 220 km from Jodhpur.

Myth, History, and culture have been closely connected with this hill station. 'Abu' literally means the 'son of the Himalayas'. The legend behind this hill station is that a huge yagna (sacrificial invocations) was conducted by Sage Vashishta, who created four Agnikuls Rajput clans (Chauhans, Parmars, Pratihars and Solankis) out of the sacred flames to protect the earth from demons. Mount Abu has an extensive history. Earlier, it was ruled by Chauhan Dynasty. Thereafter, it was leased by the British Government from the Maharaja of Sirohi and used as the Summer Retreat of the agent to the Governor General of Rajputana. 

Besides a tourist place, Mount Abu is famous as a pilgrim centre especially for Jains and a place for adventure sports. The hill station has a wide  variety of flora and fauna also. 

Among the exotic flora found in Mount Abu are herbal medicines, flowering trees, Orchids, species of wild roses, Ferns, Climbers, Shrubs, etc. Sloth bear, Panther, Sambhar, Jungle cat, Wolf, Hyena, Wild boar, Grey jungle fowl, Porcupine and Myriad birds (150 species) etc are some fauna founds in Mount Abu. 

It is also famous for Lothian Golf Club, one of the oldest golf clubs in the world. 

Mount Abu is an excellent trekking base. Adventure and eco tourism is best known here with multiple treks, nature camps, rock climbing and nature trails. One can explore the Tiger Path, Craig’s Path, Sunset Point, Arna-Chhipaberi, Gaumukh-Bagheri, etc.

Tourist Attraction in Mount Abu

Nakki Lake
It is the major tourist attraction in Mount Abu, situated on the way to the market from the sunset point and at the center of town. It is sacred to Hindus because, there is a legend behind this lake, that the gods scraped from the ground with just their fingernails (nakki) to escape the wrath of a demon.

The place is an excellent place for photography. One can see old heritage bungalows, mountains, gardens, various types of vegetations and flowers, small temples etc. For many visitors, a pleasant walk around on the walkways surrounding Nakki Lake is mind-blowing. Boating in Nakki Lake is one of the major attractions here. While exploring the lake on paddle boats, one can admire the beauty of the picturesque surrounding. One can hire boats from the jetty by Gandhi Park. There are rowboats, motor boats and some swan shaped boats for delightful joyrides. Boating usually starts at 9 am goes till late evening. Another attraction in this lake is a Jet fountain, situated in the center of the Lake and coloured water gushes out from it. There are rock formations around the lake, which is an attraction for rock climbing. Toad Rocks (as it looks like a toad), Camel rocks, Nandi rocks are famous among them. There is a big Bharat Mata temple at the edge of this lake installed under covered canopy with four roaring lions in front and a colored fountain. This statue can be visible from every point and corner of Lake. 

At this lake, the mortal remains of Mahatma Gandhi were immersed and since then the adjoining garden is called as Gandhi Vatika. It is a small garden with beautiful lawns, flower beds and fountains. The 14th century Raghunathji Temple founded by Guru Ramanada is in this garden. Here one can see his foot prints. By the side of the lake there is a path leading to Sunset Point.

Dilwara Jain Temples
Located in beautiful surroundings of mango trees and wooded hills, it is 5 km from town. Famous for its extraordinary architecture and marvelous stone carvings, these temples are considered as the finest Jain temples in India. These marble temples dates back to 11th and 13th centuries, are dedicated to the Jain Tirthankaras. The Dilwara Jain Temples are open from 12 pm. to 3 pm. Entry is free. No photography is allowed inside the temple complex. The complex houses five temples - Vimal Vasahi, Luna Vasahi, Pithalhar, Khartar Vasahi and Mahaveer Swami temple. 

Vimal Vasahi Temple
Built in 11 century, it is dedicated to the first Tirthankar of Jains, Sri Adi Nath. Built by Vimal Shah, a minister of Raja Bhimdeo, the temple has richly carved pillars, corridors, arches, porticoes. The special feature of this temple is it's ceiling which features engraved designs of lotus-buds, petals, flowers and scenes from Jain and Hindu mythology.