Rajasthan’s Only Hill Station – The Indian Panorama
Surrounded by verdant forests and perched at an altitude of 4,000 feet, Rajasthan’s only hill station is an oasis of respite from the scorching heat. The charming hill town is an eclectic mix of experiences you wouldn’t expect in a state that’s best known for its arid desert landscapes. Watered by peaceful Lake Nakki and close to the famous Dilwara temples and age-old forts, the hill station has enough to keep visitors busy for two to three days. Mount Abu’s beautiful landscape, quaint historic hotels, bustling street markets, restaurants and cafes make it one of the most popular getaways in western India.
One of Mount Abu’s most well-known spots, Sunset Point is located southwest of Lake Nakki. Best visited at dusk, this scenic point offers magnificent views of the Aravali Ranges. Crowded with travelers throughout the year, it is surrounded by many food stalls and souvenir shops. To get to Sunset Point, grab your camera and head up the paved trails along Lake Nakki for about a mile. Those who do not wish to walk can also opt for pony rides.
The five marble temples of Dilwara are a sacred place of pilgrimage for the Jain community and rank among the finest temple architecture in India. Located in the northern part of the hill station, these Jain temples are about two and a half kilometers from the bustling town of Mount Abu. They include five temples – Vimal Vasahi, Luna Vasahi, Pithalhar, Parshvanath, Mahavir Swami – each dedicated to a revered Jain guru. Built in the 11th and 13th centuries, the temples boast opulent entrances, intricately carved ceilings, gates, pillars and intricately designed panels and domes. Mahavir Jayanti, the most important festival of Jains, is celebrated with full vigor here and many Jain pilgrims visit the temples during the festival every year.
Believed to have been carved out by a god using his fingernails, the sacred Nakki Lake is one of the landmarks of the mountain town of Mount Abu. About half a mile long, the lake is deeper towards the dam to the west. Pack your picnic basket, a book and a camera and spend a peaceful afternoon by the lake. Boat riding is another activity that interests visitors here. A pleasant walk around the lake will take you to Toad Rock, a rock that looks like a toad about to jump into the lake. The 14th century Raghunath Temple stands near the southern shore of the lake.
Lined with massive walls that enclose some beautiful temples within, Achalgarh Fort offers some interesting glimpses of Mewar architecture. Built in 1452 by the famous Rajput ruler of Mewar, Rana Kumbha, the fort is located 11 km north of Mount Abu. Various vantage points from the fort offer panoramic views of the hill town, the Aravali Ranges, and picturesque sunsets.
ADHAR DEVI TEMPLE
Located on top of a cliff in a cave, a visit to Adhar Devi Temple, also known as Arbuda Devi Temple, requires you to climb 365 steep steps, but the arduous journey is well worth it. Offering a bird’s eye view of the hill station from the top, the temple is built from a large rock, and visitors must stoop and crawl to enter the inner sanctum. Located 3 km from Mount Abu, the temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga and is considered one of the most important religious sites in the hill city. The temple is visited by hordes of Hindu pilgrims during Navratri, an enthusiastically celebrated nine-day Hindu festival.
Adhar Devi Temple is quite old and legend has it that Goddess “Adhar” fell here. It is also believed that the image of the goddess hangs in the air. Also, the temple has a number of magnificent statues that you can admire and looking at these arts will make you praise the artists of the bygone era. And the view of the mountains and forests that you will have after climbing these hundreds of stairs will make you forget all the fatigue and fatigue. It is recommended to wear suitable and comfortable clothes and shoes because the climb is really tiring.