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The Only Hill Station in Rajasthan
Most of us view Rajasthan as a state full of sand, deserts and a hot climate, but very few know that Rajasthan also has a hill station of its own. Even I hadn’t believed this until I saw it with my own eyes. Mount Abu - Rajasthan’s very own hill station. Perched on top of the Arbuda Mountains of Aravalli Range, Mount Abu is a cosy little town with picturesque beauty.
I had decided to visit here in the month of December as I wasn’t sure of the summers. The climate was chilling cold, which was a refreshing welcome from the usual hot weather that we normally expect in Rajasthan. My trip started in the sweetest way possible.
From my previous trips to Rajasthan I knew that Abu Road was famous for its ‘rabdi’ and that’s how I decided will be the start of my trip. The creamy thick ‘malai’ of the rabdi, loaded with dryfruits tasted delicious and for people with low appetite, this is like a meal in itself. From here I drove to Mount Abu - the only hill station of the state of Rajasthan. Who knew a place known for its deserts also has such a gem hidden on its peaks?
Located in the centre of the hill station, Nakki Lake or Nakki Jheel is the most popular among tourists. Nakki Jheel is a paradise for nature lovers like me. Surrounded by the greenery of plants and trees, high mountains and weirdly shaped rocks Nakki Jheel seemed like a perfect stop for a picnic. There were families around me enjoying their vacations, couples on their honeymoon, some friends groups as well as solo travellers like me. Nakki Jheel had attracted all of us alike.
I decided to take a boat ride in the calm serene waters. It was a peddling boat, and as I reached around the middle of the lake, the beauty of this lake and its surroundings hit me different as I saw the town coming to life with tourists and locals. One of the guides also told me that this is where Gandhiji’s ashes were immersed in this very lake on 12th February 1948. And hence, Gandhighat was constructed nearby.
Town of Temples
I visited a few temples myself in this small hill station, but the town definitely has more temples. The first temple I visited was the Guru Shikhar temple that is at a higher peak of Mount Arbuda and one has to climb up to 350 stairs to get there. Guru Shikhar is not just a temple but it also offers a spectacular panoramic view of Mount Abu and everything far and beyond this place. The view will definitely have you in a trance. And as for the temple; Guru Shikhar is a temple of Lord Dattatreya who is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva.
The next temple on my list was Dilwara Temples, a famous and one of the most beautiful pilgrimage sites of Jains. This austere looking temple was built between the 11th and 13th century and possess very deep and intricate carvings on marble throughout this huge temple.
I visited 2 Shiva temples here, Achaleshwar temple and Shankar Math, both equally different and equally unique from each other. Achaleshwar temple is a Shiva temple on the premises of the Achalgarh Fort. The unique factor of this temple is that it is built around the toe print of Lord Shiva which is worshipped here in the form of linga. It also has a distinctive Nandi Statue; the ‘vahana’ of Lord Shiva, made out of 5 different metals. The premises of this temple also has a pit or rather a ‘kund’ that is believed to be the doorway to ‘Naraka’ or ‘hell’. On the other hand, Shankar Math is known for its 9ft tall Shiva Linga made out of Black Stone that gives it the impression of Shiva’s dreadlocks. Rumour has it that the third eye of Shiva self-manifested on this Shiva Linga making it one of the most revered temples among devotees.
Mount Abu has many other temples like the Raghunathji Temple, Arbuda Devi Temple, Lal Mandir, etc. Someone like me, I usually visit temples for architecture but there is no denying that some of these temples also had an aura of spiritual peace and that is one of the reasons why Mount Abu continues to attract me and I visited this place many times after that.
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