Mount Abu

 About Mount Abu
Its commonly name as “A Honeymooner’s Paradise “. To begin with, it takes something special to be a lush hill station In a desert state. There are the more recent layers of Rajputana palatial and British colonial architecture through which one can amble one’s time away. Further there are dense forests and trekking trails vanishing into them, not at some unapproachable distance but right in the heart of things. And most of all, there are world-renowed jain temples of delwara, where marble become rain, dew, fire, silk and leaving all but the tourist guides speechless.

Mount Abu is a hill station, the settlements in which are interspersed with forests, lakes and rocky terrain. All roads lead to NIKKI LALE, the town centre, around which lies a market. The bus stand and tourist reception centre are among the first few landmarks as the town and the market begin.

Situated on a plateau near the Gujrati border, Mount Abu is unique among Rajasthan’s tourist destinations. Besides being Rajasthan’s only hill station, it’s far more popular with Indian tourists than with foreigners. Some come to worship at the breathtaking Dilwara temples, to take a dip in the holy waters of Nakki Lake, or to honor Vashishta, the sage who gave rise to the five Rajput clans. Families come here to seek refuge from the heat at lower altitudes, and honeymooners come to frolic among the ice-cream shops and endless parade of pony rides. With so many worldly delights, the few foreign visitors to the city are unlikely to leave disappointed – the Dilwara temples are nothing less than spectacular, there are virtually no touts or high- pressure sales tactics, and the cool temperatures and abundant greenery make the town a fantastic place to relax for a few days before heading back into the thick of things.

Rajasthan’s only hill station spreads out along a 1200 metre high plateau in the south of the state. It’s a pleasant hot season retreat from the plains but you won’t find many western travelers here visitors are predominantly Indians, including many honeymooners. Mt abu is a popular hill station for Gujurat as well as Rajasthan. There is more than simply lower temperatures to attract visitors up here Mt Abu has a number of important temples, particularly the superb Dilwara group of Jain Temples.

 Information & Orientation:
Mt Abu stretches along a plateau about 22 km long by six km wide. It is 27 km from Abu Road, the railway station for Mt Abu. The main part of the town extends along the road in from Abu Road, down to the Nakki Lake. Coming in by bus you pass first the Tourist Bungalow, up a hill to your right, then a string of hotels before you arrive at the bus stands, opposite which is the Tourist office. Continuing from here you pass more hotels and restaurants, the small market to your right. The GPO is Raj Bhavan Rd, opposite the Art Gallery and Museum.

 View Points:
There are various viewpoints around the town, best known of which is sunset point. Hordes stroll out here every evening to catch the setting sun and there are food stalls and all the usual entertainments. Other popular points include Honeymoon Point, which also offers a view of the sunset, the Crages and Robert’s Spur.

 Museum & Art Gallery:
The small museum is on Raj Bhavan Rd and is open from 10 am to 5 pm daily, except Fridays. Admission is free. There is also a Rajasthan Emporium further back towards the market.

 Getting There:
Abu Road, the railhead for Mt Abu, is a small place with the bus station right by the railway station. There are regular buses marking the 27 km climb up to Mt Abu. It takes about an hour and coasts Rs 3 or Rs 3.50 by ‘express’ bus. A taxi will cost Rs. 50. There’s a toll gate as you enter Mt Abu where bus passengers by taxi or other forms of transport are charged Rs 2.50.

There’s an extensive bus schedule from Mt Abu and to many destinations you will find it faster and more convenient to go straight there by bus rather than going down to Abu Road and waiting for trains. For example there are four buses daily to Ahmedabad, the trip takes about seven hours and costs Rs 18. To Udaipur on the route taken, and costs Rs. 18 to 28.

 Getting Around
There are buses from the bus stand to the various sites in Mt Abu but it takes a little planning to get out and back without too much hanging around. Some buses go just to Dilwara other out to Achalgarh so it’s a matter of deciding which to go to first depending on the schedule. There are also plenty of taxis with posted fares to anywhere you care to mention. Mt Abu’s unique from of transport is large ‘baby prams’ in which you sit and be wheeled around! They’re all seemingly operated by ‘Abu Enterprises’ but are mainly used by parents who dump their children in them.

 Things to Buy:
The Rajasthan Emporium is on Raj Bhavan Rd but there are also quite a few shops on the road down to the lake front. Jewellery shops have a good selection of Rajasthani jewwllery is usually sold by weight.