“Sometimes the best trips are unplanned”. Mount Abu journey belongs to the same category.. Trips to the Northern part of India are always specials. The more you explore yourself, more you can learn new things. And you can act accordingly.
This was my first trip to the state of Rajasthan. The idea of this trip rooted all of a sudden in my mind when i realized i had four days continuous leave due to Holi and Easter.
As usual, i started looking for good places nearby Mumbai. One of my college told me about Mount Abu. And it’s only 700 kilometer far from Mumbai and could be covered easily in four days.
Mount Abu is a popular hill station in the Aravalli Range in Sirohi District of Rajasthan state in western India near the border with Gujarat. The mountain forms a distinct rocky plateau 22 km long by 9 km wide. The highest peak on the mountain is Guru Shikhar at 1,722 m (5,650 ft) above sea level. It is referred to as ‘an oasis in the desert‘ as its heights are home to rivers, lakes, waterfalls and evergreen forests. [Source: Wikipedia]
What attracted me to Mount Abu was the view of NAKKI lake and some hiking and trekking spots. I was planning to go alone. But one day before the trip, my friend Kurian Joseph, also planned to join me at Mount Abu. He had to travel from Delhi. The Abu road station was approximately mid way between Delhi and Mumbai. It was almost 700 kilometers away from both the places. It will also serve as a reunion for us after a long time.
Around 1900 hrs I started from home to Bandra railway station. As it was Holi, major traffic jam was there till the station. I reached the station around 2000 hrs. Jaipur-Bandra express, the train which I was supposed to travel, was already there at the terminus. Unsurprisingly, all the General compartments were already crowded. I got inside one of the bogies somehow.
2100 hrs: The journey started. Myself was thinking about an extreme case where I had to stand inside the compartment for 14 hrs till the train reach Abu road. The fact that I was already tired after a hectic office day. It was highly unfortunate that i didn’t get a seat till Abu road! Anyway, it doesn’t even matter. I plugged in my headphones for the entire travel.
The train reached Abu road station at 10 in the morning. I had to wait for another two hours for Kurian. I took some rest till his train arrived. Mount Abu was 28 kilometers away from Abu road station. We found one good hotel for lunch at Abu road. Holi celebrations were going on.
We got into Rajasthan state transport bus to Mount Abu. The travelling time was around 1 hour. While travelling we could see the Aravali mountain range at both sides.
We reached mount Abu. Room rates were going haywire as it was holiday season. After searching for a long time we found one Gurudwara. It was owned by Jain’s. We got a hall to stay for a cheap rate. As both of us were not tired, we made some plan to go for a trek. There was one “hiking and trekking group” , owned by a guy named Andy. I called up this guy and fortunately there was one batch starting at 1700 hrs, to the famous Eagles point.
Eagles point was a place famous for sunset and sight seeing. Also we could experience caving and some easy rock climbing. We waited eagerly at one coffee shop for Mr. Andy to join us.
At 1700 hrs Andy came with other two members for this trek. Those two were from Vietnam and Seychelles. It was nice to meet foreigners on a trek. It took 3 hours to complete the hiking. Most interesting part of this short trek was the caving, where we had to pass through narrow caves. Our guide, Andy, further explained regarding the history of Mount Abu. The view of NAKKI lake from the top was amazing.
1830 hrs: At the top; Eagles point
Andy showed his photography skills by clicking some memorable photos.
At around 2030 hrs, we reached down. It was a great start for the Mount Abu trip. We had to thank Andy for his efforts in making the trek memorable. Light were fading before we reached down. The night view of Mount Abu was such an unforgettable experience.
2200 hrs: After we had our dinner, we returned back to Gurudwara. We planned for next day schedule during night stay. It was finally agreed to finish all the spots on 25th and return back to Mumbai and Delhi on the same night.
1000 hrs: As planned last night, we rented one scooter for the entire day. While going through the map of Mount Abu, it was interesting to note that all the places were in the same route.
1100 hrs: Visit to Dilwara Jain Temple
This is the most famous place in Mount Abu. No visit to Mount Abu can be complete without a trip to this temple. Well, sadly photography was banned inside the temple.These temples are the greatest draw of Abu. These delicately carved exquisite temples in marble are very old of 11th and 12th centuries and have rightly been called a dream in marble on account of their unbelievably unbelievable perfection of architect and fine designs. These temples are built of pure white marbles.
Dilwara temples are a composite cluster of 5 temples, 1. Vimal Vaseeh, 2. Loon Vaseeh, 3. Shri Rishab Deoji, 4. Shri Parshwanaathji, 5. Shri Mahavir Swamiji
1230 hrs: We also made a visit to Brahmakumaris meditation centre, which was in the same route. These were set up for spiritual education, and they have centres operating world-wide.
0130 hrs: Arbuda Devi temple.
A beautiful temple chiseled out of a rock, formed by a natural cleft. It’s situated on a 4268 feet and is dedicated to Abu’s goddess Arbuda Devi.
0215 hrs: Trevors tank
This scenic tank was built by Maharaja of Sindh in the year of 1894-95 in the memory of Governor Col. Trevor hence it’s called Trevor Tank.
1500 hrs: Lunch.
The trip was almost complete. The only place remaining was Guru Shikhar, the highest point of Mount Abu. So we took some rest and had a delicious lunch at a shady place near to Guru Shikhar.
1730 hrs: Guru Shikhar point
It’s the highest point of the Aravalli range. Situated at an altitude of 5,676 feet (1722 meters), it contains a temple of Dattatreya, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
Well, this was the last point as per our previous day plan. We both returned to Mumbai and Delhi on the same day. This trip will be remembered forever and hope there will be more to come.