The Raj period approached it as a relaxation place to rewind along with the royalties and semi royalties.
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The place sways in an interesting contrast of British style
bungalows, the holiday lodges of the royals (Thikhana) along with the presence
of the various communities of the tribals located amidst the thick lush of the
forest on the hills surrounding the region.
The flora and fauna enjoys the adulation of the tourist to the fullest.
Among the flourishing ranges is the highest point of the Aravalli is the 'Gurushikhar' with a vast sanctuary that shelters a number of species like langur, wild boars, Sambar, leopards and many more along with a number of flowering trees thus enhancing the whole scenario.
This glorious ambience suited mainly to the likes of sages and tribals and both made a great impact in the history of the region.
The tribes still conducting there authentic life styles in the wake of 21st century is rather interesting and so is the collection of various monuments of different religious sects like the famous shrines of Jainism.
Mount Abu, the only hill resort of Rajasthan, situated at the highest peak of the Aravali at an altitude of 1220 meters. This "Hill of Wisdom" and a true " Olympus of Rajasthan" stands on an independent hillock, which is separated from the main Aravali ranges by a deep gorge.
When ascending the mountain, one can hardly fail to be impressed with the grandeur and the scenic beauty, the gigantic blocks of rocks, towering along the crest of the hill, are especially striking, in some cases so weather- worn, that they present most fanciful and weird shapes, while in others appear so slightly balanced as to be in danger of rolling down.
It is not only one of the prettiest hill stations in the country, but a major Rajput and Jain pilgrimage center. The legend goes that a 'yagna' was performed here and four Agnikula or fireborn Rajput clans the Chauhans, Parmaras, Pratiharas and Solankis were created out of fire.
Till 11th century, Mount Abu was an important
Vaishnav and Shiva pilgrimage center, but now it has gained importance as a
Jain pilgrim center.
The hill boasts of rich vegetation and thick forest, it stands out as an oasis in the arid environs, it is pleasant climate picturesque setting invite thousands of tourists for pleasure trips and relaxation.
Places to See in Mount Abu
» Nakki Lake
The lake is picturesquely set amidst hills and is believed to have been carved out by the Gods with their nails. It is popular spot for boating and the only artificial lake in India that is 1200 mts. above sea level. The surrounding hills have several area of interest.
» Dilwara Temples
Mount Abu was an important Vaishnava and Shaivite pilgrim center up to the 11th century. Today, it is recognized the world over for it's magnificent Jain temples. No visit to Abu can be complete without a trip to the famed Dilwara temples. These temples are the greatest draw of Abu, apart from its salubrious clime. Half hidden by mango groves their sober exterior belies the wealth of their interior ornamentation. Wondrously carved in marble, the Dilwara temples enshrine various Jain tirthankaras, saints. Built between the 11th and 13th century, are famous for their superb carvings in marble.
» Gaumukh Temple (Vashistha Ashram)
My sages and sheers had their retreats on Mt. Abu, the most famous being sage Vashistha. To regenerate the human race, he performed a yagya or magic fire from which were born the agnikula clans of Chauhan, Solankis, Pannars and Pratihars. A natural spring that flows that through a sculpted cow's head, gives the shrine its name. Nearby is the marble image of Nandi who was rescued by the mighty serpent 'Arbuda'. Carved out of a rock, the hill temple of Arbuda lies against a picturesque back drop. It is accessible by car or jeep up to 3 km, from where a descent of 750 steps has to be covered on foot.
» Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary
The sanctuary comprises the oldest mountain ranges - The Aravali. It was declared as a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1960. Apart from having several sightseeing places this sanctuary is a draw for nature lovers as it has great potential for Eco-tourism, In shape this sanctuary is long and narrow but the top spreads out into a picturesque plateau which is about 19 km. is length and 5-8 km. in breadth. Attitudinally it varies from 300m. at the foot Mil to 1722 m. at Gurushikhar, the highest peak of the Aravali Ranges. The rocks are igneous and due the weathering effect of wind and water, large cavities are common the rocks. This feature is typical of Aravali and particularly of Mt, Abu. Toad Rock in Mount Abu is one such example.
Mount Abu has a very rich floral biodiversity starting with xenomorphic subtropical thorn forest at the foot hills to subtropical evergreen forest along water courses and valleys at higher altitudes. These forests consist of 112 plant families with 449 genera and 820 species. Of these, 663 species are dicots while157 species are monocots. Mount Abu is the only place in Rajasthan where one can observe a variety of orchids. The place is also rich in bryophytes and algae. Three species of wild roses and 16 species of feras some of which are quite rare have also been reported from here. The South-West part of the Sanctuary is rich in bamboo forests.
Fairs & Festivals in Mount Abu
» Summer Festival (June)
Hill Station of the Rajasthan in a festive mood with the Summer Festival, held every year in the month of June. The steep rocks, tranquil lakes, picturesque locations and the pleasant climate of Mount Abu make it an ideal location for the festival. The three-day festival is a feast of folk and classical music and a window to the tribal life and culture of Rajasthan. The festival begins with the singing of a ballad which is followed by folk dances which enthral the spectators. Sporting events such as the boat race on the Nakki lake add variety to the festival.
The Sham-e-Qawwali is a much-awaited musical extravaganza, as renowned qawwals from all over the country can be heard regaling the audience. The grand finale of the festival is a display of dazzling fireworks which adds to the tourist's delight. Udaipur (185 kms.) is the nearest airport. Abu Road (29 kms.) is the nearest railway station. Taxis and buses are available from both the airport and the railway station. There is also a good network of bus services connecting Mount Abu to important places like Ahmedabad, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaipur etc.
» Gangaur Festival (March- April)
A festival for young maids and married women, dedicated to Gauri, the incarnation of Goddess Parvati. Women pray for the prosperity and long live of their husbands, while girls seek good husbands from the goddess. A colorful procession are taken out with pomp and gaiety. Gangaur hold a special place for the Garasia tribal, inhabitants of the Sirohi- Mt. Abu region. They celebrate this festival over one month. The unusual and interesting feature of their celebration is the procession of the Gangaur image from village to village. The tribal youth get an opportunity to meet and mingle freely, select a life partner of their choice and marry by eloping. A romantic but strange custom, sanctioned by the society.