Mount Abu – Keeping cool in Rajasthan (Part 2)

This is a two part series on Mount Abu. This post includes some more sight-seeing places at Mount Abu and tips for travelers. See my earlier post on Mount Abu here.

We continued with our leisurely excursions of Mount Abu on Day three.

Like every hill station in India, there were ‘points’ that offered panoramic views. These included the ubiquitous ‘Sunset point’, the ‘honeymoon point’, and Guru Shikhar. I must warn you that though the Sunset point though offered lovely views, was extremely crowded and dirty with people eating and dumping their garbage right where they stood.

Views from the Honeymoon point

Views from the Honeymoon point

Other points of interest include the Mount Abu wildlife sanctuary, a fort ‘Achalgarh’, and the ‘Achleshwar temple’. The Achleshwar Shiva temple built in the 9th century has an idol of the Nandi that is made of five metals and weighs 4 tons. Near the temple is a lake which has the idols of 3 buffaloes which were supposed to be demons in disguise. Legend goes that the lake was once filled with ghee <although I have no clue how that is possible!>

The Buffalo trio near the Achaleshwar temple

The Buffalo trio near the Achaleshwar temple

The Four Ton Nandi at the Achaleshwar Temple

The Four Ton Nandi at the Achaleshwar Temple

Mount Abu is also the headquarters of the Brahmakumaris spiritual university, an organization that teaches spirituality and meditation. The Brahmakumaris have several centers at Mount Abu that host visitors from all over the world in their residential programs. They also have a fabulous garden with an exquisite display of roses and other flora.

A Brahmakumaris center

A Brahmakumaris center

Mount Abu also has a little known museum with several artifacts and sculptures in it not far from the Nakki Lake. However the condition of this museum was not very good. Most of the artifacts were carelessly kept without proper labeling or descriptions. We were the only ones in the museum for quite a while and the caretaker had to literally switch on the lights when we reached there. Inner rooms of the museum (that were open) revealed what must have been ancient artifacts dumped and dust laden.  The sheer callousness was apparent in the whole upkeep of the museum and it was quite sad.

Artifacts at the Mount Abu museum

Dumped artifacts at Mount Abu museum

Dumped artifacts at Mount Abu museum

Other information

Mount Abu certainly makes for a weekend or an extended weekend excursion. With convenient modes of transport cheaply available to Mount Abu and for local transportation, and hotels to suit all pockets, Mount Abu can certainly be included in a budget travel destination list.

Accommodation – Most resorts and hotels are around the Nakki Lake. For those looking out for boating activities or prefer to be near the market, restaurants etc., there are a large number of hotel options around the lake that would suit all pockets right from Rs 1000 a night to Rs 10,000 a night.  We stayed at Hotel Hilltone, which was an excellent resort with good facilities of a garden, game room, swimming pool, and good restaurants. Rooms in several formats were available and the service was quite good. I would highly recommend this resort to families.

Food – Being a tourist destination, most eateries offer a pan India cuisine from South Indian to Punjabi and even Indochinese. However, it was nicer to eat some of the traditional Rajasthani fare of Dal Baati and Churma which was much less unhealthy than the rest. ‘Baatis’ are baked/roasted tandoor balls of wheat flour dough that are broken up to eat and dipped in warm ghee (clarified butter) with the spicy dal or lentil soup. Churma comprises of broken baatis mixed with ghee and jaggery to make for a simple but delicious dessert. It was funny that the eatery owners on the way called out to us to grace their restaurants exactly when we were out to have our dinner and ceased to call us when we had finished! Another couple of things Mount Abu claimed were famous there was the ‘Rabdi’ (thickened flavored milk) and the Softy ice-cream. The Softy ice-cream easily available in the market at Mount Abu came in all flavors and toppings and was quite a delight!

Traditional Gujarathi meal

Traditional Gujarathi meal

Getting around – Tourist taxis are available for about Rs 1,000-1,500 to be rented for a day and they typically show you everything that is to be seen. These taxis can also be shared.  There are options of bus tours and jeeps that are quite easy on the pocket too. Bikes can be rented for about Rs 100-500 depending on how much time you want them and the make of the bike. Getting to Abu road station from the top can set you back by Rs 500 in a private taxi or one can opt for the much cheaper shared jeeps that stuff them with passengers for a much smaller amount.

Tourist Information – A Rajasthan tourist information office is situated next to the hotel Hilltone and the police station. One can get information on what to do at Mount Abu, get maps and other information.

Reservations -A train reservation office is also present in the same building as the tourist information office. We booked our return tickets in a Tatkal booking so this office was God-sent to us with the train booking IRCTC site always super slow or down! There are also several tourist offices near the market that can make reservations and transport arrangements for all modes of transport.

To read my first post on the primary two attractions of Mount Abu -click here.

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Categories: India, Rajasthan | Tags: , , | 23 Comments

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23 thoughts on “Mount Abu – Keeping cool in Rajasthan (Part 2)

  1. Pingback: Mount Abu – Keeping cool in Rajasthan | The Roaming Diaries

  2. I hope you had the malai rabadi at Abu Rd Station. It is quite awesome (or so my parents tell me…. i was too wee to remember 😛 )

    • I had malai rabadi at Mount Abu, though not at the station. It was great, but I liked the softy better 🙂

  3. Nice post 🙂
    Dilwara temples – I just can’t forget that beauty. There are also several trek routes there.

    • Yes. The Dilwara temples were unforgettable! One just needs a good map to go check out the scenic trek routes.

  4. aamjunta

    Honeymoon point and the Nandi… both are class apart. Malai rabdi ka jawab hi nahini 🙂 Good article.

  5. Amruta

    Thx for all the travel tips and insights keep writing

  6. Time to delve deeper under the skin of Mount Abu! History, archaeology and mythology with the usual lot that falls a tourist -sullied promontories, interesting local food and commute. You have the destination aptly covered.

    ps: Couldn’t figure out the mystery of the ‘dumped artifacts’.

    • Thanks. It is a worthwhile destination to visit with your family if you do get tired of the Mumbai heat! The dumped artifacts replete with Gods and Goddesses were languishing in a couple of undusted rooms at the back of the museum. I almost wanted to take one for a keepsake considering they were just lying there! Maybe you should do one of your mystery stories on them!

  7. I belong to Mount abu:) My parents are still there:)

  8. Got the authentic atmosphere through the blog

  9. Got the authentic atmosphere pat, through the pictures and the description

  10. Kusum

    hi thr, very nice blog and pics. Me and my hubbie are planning to visit Abu and hire a scooter thr, which I would also love to ride in parts. Was wondering if the roads were safe to ride to gurushikhar?
    Did you guys switch off the engine downhill? Need some tips, Kusum

  11. Hey , you reminded me of 1991 .. long long time back .. me and my cousin drove from chandigarh to Ahmedabad on our bike .. and we were to go to mount abu .. but sadly that did not happen as we met with an accident and the plan got shattered ..

    but someday sometime for sure I will visit

    Bikram

    • I am sure there have been several changes in 20 years! I hope you get a chance to visit again.

  12. Thanks for great share……..

  13. Debosmita

    Thank you for the blog on Mount Abu. It is a hill station in western India’s Rajasthan state, near the Gujarat border. Set on a high rocky plateau in the Aravalli Range there exists many places to visit in Mount Abu. Being a hill station it’s a popular retreat from the heat of Rajasthan.

  14. This blog is really interesting to read, Mount Abu is one of the finest hill station of India. The nakki lake is center of focus alongwith the Dilwawara temples. There’s a bird sanctuary where alongwith birds you can see crocodiles in the small lake at the heart of sanctuary. Food is really awesome served outside, most eateries offer a pan India cuisine from South Indian to Punjabi and even Indochinese. Do not forget to visit nearby cities also – the best nearby city is Udaipur.

  15. Hotel Aradhana Mount Abu offers budget accommodation and is preferred by visitors in the city. Located in one of the most fascinating Location, the hotel is ideal for all kind of vacationers. Front desk is placed in the premise to assist guests at all hours. A well trained staff is there for guests.

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