Jewel in Rajasthan’’s crown

Mount Abu the only hill-station of Rajasthan, becomes the hub of celebrations with the Winter Festival at the year-end. Amidst…

Jewel in Rajasthan’’s crown

Representational image (Photo: Getty Images)

Mount Abu the only hill-station of Rajasthan, becomes the hub of celebrations with the Winter Festival at the year-end. Amidst traditional gaiety, the place provides an occasion to the people of this region along with tourists to explore the beautiful Rajasthans Crown, famed for its serene ambience and rich vegetation. A visit to this place has always been filled with surprises.

We were cautioned by the caretaker of the guesthouse where we had put up, about the presence of sloth bears at night inside the campus when we reached the rather cold destination on New Years eve. Mount Abu with bright sunny days and chilly nights was abuzz with various activities: people were shopping at the Chacha Museum, Picadilly shop or Rajasthan museum, sight-seeing or just hanging around tasting the sweet mangoes or the small red radish, a speciality of the town or celebrations at the polo ground in the form of taking rides in a hot air balloon or enjoying musical evenings. Tourists from diverse places especially Gujarati and Bengali had converged here for a grand send off to 2016 and to welcome the new year.

The special attraction of Mount Abu, the Dilwara Temple whose stone workmanship inside is jaw-dropping in splendour but the management of the temple looked rather sluggish as visitors had to wait in long queues and were not treated properly.


The exquisite beauty of the superbly carved Jain Temple, dating back to the 11th- 13th centuries, makes it a popular pilgrimage centre and a classic example of architecture thats described as a dream in marble.

Though part of the Aravalli range, it is detached completely from it by a narrow valley and the highest point, Guru Shikhar and a defence observatory are situated at its northern end. The presence of migratory birds like northern shoveller, poachards, gray lag goose, Chinese coots was a bonanza for the guests.

Interestingly, this is the highest point between the Nilgiris in the south and the Himalayan range up north. The azure waters of the fabulous Nakki Lake are set ablaze during the festive season and a boat-ride on the placid water studded with little islets was a joy indeed. The sunset at the famous Sunset Point, honey moon point amidst the forests was a delight to watch.

The lake ,market , Plaza , Museum etc were a shoppers paradise. Mr. Gaurav Aggarwal SDM Mt. bu , informed that The interesting contrast of British style kothis, the holiday homes of the nobles along with the presence of the various tribal community dwelling amidst the thick foliage of the forest on the hills surrounding the region have enhanced the entire scenario. The hill station of Abu was once the favorite summer retreat of the English, who came here to escape the dusty, dry heat especially of the plains. The music of te band for the moning and evening drill by CRPF added even a special feeling to the neighbourhood.

The picturesque location with lush green surroundings, the harmonious setting of the temples, hill-tops, religious abodes and the presence of water was indeed rejuvenating experience made us remember Gulzars Jaadon Ki Narm Dhoop Aur Aangan Mein Laet Kar… The little green tracks around to view the exotic morning calm is a visitors delight.

The soft and energizing rays of the sun feel inspiring and uplifting. The visitors had a great time amidst the hills and the zig-zag tracks supplemented with the the presence of wildlife, greenery and picturesque locations. The wildlife sanctuary, Trevors Tank, with its beautiful landscape sheltering a gamut of wildlife species provides an equally important adventure attraction.

Forest official KG Shrivastava informed us, The overgrowth of tourism is a threat for the wildlife habitat including too many loud crackers and fireworks. The leopard and wild cat can be sighted easily here. One can enjoy trekking, horse rides, rock-climbing, apart from finding pleasure from the rich fauna and flora.

The place mostly dominated by the outsiders is a classic example of commercialization where every nook and corner has been captured for wooing business and tourism. Although Mt Abu has the local green stone to its credit, all other exhibits are from other parts of Rajasthan.

The winter offers many options for its visitors: sight-seeing, relishing the kadipakoda, taking walks in the countryside and going for excursions, enjoying local cuisine, boating, are some of the thrilling activities to indulge in here. Most importantly, Mount Abu is a beautiful destination with crystal clear skies which tourists can savour to the maximum.

ACCESS: Mt. Abu is located in the Sirohi distict of Rajasthan. It is connected by a 29 kms motorable road from the Abu Road Railway Station, which is 679 km from Mumbai via Ahmedabad, and750 km from Delhi and 163 kms from Udaipur. Regular bus services are also present. Economy, moderate and luxurious resorts and heritage accommodations are available. Direct trains are also available for Jodhpur, Ajmer etc. The Winter Fest is celebrated on 30 – 31 December every year.