June 2008
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Mt. Abu, the cool place in hot Rajasthan

Height: 1,219 meters above sea level
Temperature in Summer: 33.8 C (Max) – 23.3 C (Min)
Temperature in winter: 20.3 C (Max) – 0 C (Min)
Highest place: Guru Shikhar, 1722 meters above sea level
Rainy Season : from July to Mid Sept, and very humid (Upton 90%)
Good time to visit: From the autumn months to the end of winter. Mt Abu can be very hot in summers.
Languages: Rajasthani, Hindi, English

Mount Abu is the highest peak in the Aravalli Range of Rajasthan state in western India and is located in Sirohi district. Mount Abu is known for its precipitous rocks, serene lakes, picturesque locations and lovely climate. As per mythological reference, in the Puranas, the region has been referred to as Arbudaranya, (“forest of Arbhu”) and ‘Abu’ is a dimunitive of this ancient name. It is believed that sage Vasishtha retired to the southern spur at Mount Abu following his differences with sage Vishvamitra. Mount Abu has been home to many sages and saints. Most famous of them was Sage Vashishtha (just mentioned in the previous paragraph) who is believed to have created four Agnikula Rajput clans from a fire-pit by performing a ‘yagna’ or fire sacrifice, to protect the earth from the demons.
Because it is a mountain peak, and much cooler than the scorching desert in most of Rajasthan, Mt. Abu has been a popular retreat from the heat of Rajasthan and neighbouring Gujarat for centuries. Situated at the southern tip of the Aravali range, the hill retreat owes its cool climate to its rich flora covering the entire hillside that includes coniferous trees and flowering shrubs. The road leading to Mount Abu is a curved one characterized by arid region dotted with huge rocks in weird shapes and high velocity winds.
During the British rule in India, it was regarded as the favorite leisure destination of the British, who came here to escape the dusty, dry heat of the desert.

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Dilwara Temples: This holiest shrine of Jainism is amongst the finest illustration of Jain architecture in India. It is a cluster of temple, with two main shrines, superbly curved in white Marble, and were built around 11th to 13th century A.D. The oldest of these is the Vimal Vasahi temple, built in 1031 AD by Vimal Shah and dedicated to the first of the Jain Tirthankaras.
Adhar Devi Temple : The temple is chiseled out of a huge rock reached by a flight of 360 stairs. A favourite tourist spot. Located 3 km from the north of town.
Nakki Lake: A tiny lake, picturesquely set amid hills. Set in the heart of the town, the lake gets its name from the legend that it was scooped out by the gods with their finger nails or ‘Nakh’.
Guru Shikhar (15 km): The highest peak on the mount and allows a bird’s eye view of the surroundings of Mt. Abu.
Gaumukh Temple: A natural spring flowing through a sculpted cow’s head gives the shrine its name. The famous ‘yagna’ of sage Vashishtha was performed here.
Sunset Point: Spectacular sight of the setting sun when the hills are covered in the golden glow can be viewed from here.
Shri Raghunathji Temple: Situated near the ‘Nakki lake’ is the temple dedicated to Shri Raghunathji with a beautiful image of the deity that was placed here in 14th century A.D. by Sri Ramanand – the famous Hindu Preacher.
Museum and Art Gallery: Located at the Raj Bhawan, it has a collection of archaeological excavations dating back to 8th -12th century A.D.
Trevor’s Tank(some distance – 5 km away): Named after the British engineer who constructed it, Trevor’s Tank is a delight for birdwatchers with densely wooded hills that are a haven to pigeons, peacocks, and partridges.
Achalgarh(8 km away) : An impressive fort with some beautiful Jain temples enclosed within. Among the noteworthy temples are Achaleswar Mahadev Temple (1412 A.D) and Kantinath Jain Temple (1513 A.D).
The world headquarters of the Brahma Kumari order of lady renunciates is also located here, as is the World Spiritual University of the same denomination.

Train: The nearest railway station is at Abu Road, in the lowlands 27 km southeast of Mount Abu town. The station is on the main Indian Railways line between Delhi and Ahmedabad.
Airport: Nearest airport is at Udaipur. A number of domestic and international airlines connect Udaipur with Indian major cities.
Road: Mount Abu is well connected by roads and is slightly close to 2 National Highways – No 8 and 14, which connect Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaipur, and Delhi. Some of the city distances Mount Abu are Udaipur is 185 km, Ahemadabad is 214 km, Agra is 737 km and Delhi is 768 km.

Places to stay (a sample set):
Connaught House Mount Abu: Railway station – 15 km, Bus Stand – 2 km
Carma Rajputana Club Mount Abu: Located near Nakki Lake, with fabulous sightseeing and lake cruise.
Hillock Hotel Mount Abu
Hotel Sunrise Palace, at Bharatpur Khoti road
Bikaner House: was the summer residence of the royal family of Bikaner. A heritage hotel.
Kesar Bhawan Palace: the Oldest Palace in Mount Abu. A heritage hotel.
Jaipur House: used to be the summer retreat of the Royal family of Jaipur. It was built with Rajput Architecture overlooking the famous Nakki Lake. A heritage hotel.
Palanpur Palace: Palanpur Palace was constructed more than a century ago by Nawab Sher Mohammed Khan of Palanpur. A heritage hotel.
Silver Oak: A resort

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