An Oasis in the Desert: Mount Abu

By Tansuhree Vyas

Good, old days are back. Yes! Time to chill out for the much awaited summer vacations have arrived.

And I am pretty sure you all would have made elaborate plans about how you’ll be spending your vacation. But in case, holidaying is what you have thought of, then I think you would like to consider my words.

Every other family has on its list, names of a select few places/hill stations to head to for their vacation. Examples include Gulmarg, Manali, Darejeeling, Mussoorie to name a few. But its time for some change this summer.

Well, the place which I am hinting at is Mount Abu. Doesn’t it sound interesting? Sure, it does. A popular hill station in the Aravalli Range, Mount Abu lies in Sirohi district of Rajasthan bordering with Gujarat. Often referred to as ‘an oasis in the desert’, its heights are home to rivers, lakes, waterfalls and evergreen forests. The nearest railway station is Abu Road, situated at a distance of 27 km.

Interestingly, there is a unique story behind the name Mount Abu. The ancient name of Mount Abu is Arbudaanchal. Though history has lot to tell us about the story behind Mount Abu, let me mention briefly the crust of the entire thing. It so goes, that in the Puranas, the region has been referred to Arbudaranya (forest of Arbuda) and ‘Abu’ is a diminutive of this ancient name. It is believed that sage Vashishtha had retired to the southern spur at Mount Abu following his differences with sage Vishwamitra. Another piece of mythology suggests that a serpent named “Arbuda” had saved the life of Nandi-Lord Shiva’s bull. The incident happened on the mountain which is now known as Mount Abu.

Having briefed you about the history, lets come to the more interesting part. Here is a list of places that are must visits-

  1. Nakki Lake: With a maximum depth of 80 feet, it is a very ancient sacred lake. It is believed that the lake was dug out from the nails (nakh) of gods; hence the name Nakki Lake. An important tourist attraction of Mount Abu, boating facilities and horse rides around the lake make it all the more entertaining and attractive to people.site05
  2. Dilwara Temples: Located about 2.5 kilometres from Mount Abu, the Jain Dilwara temples are world famous for their stunning use of marble There are 5 legendary marble temples of Dilwara and are a sacred pilgrimage place for Jains. With an opulent entranceway, the simplicity in architecture reflects Jain values like honesty and frugality.270px-Delwada
  3. Guru Shikhar: As the name suggests, Guru Shikhar is the highest point of the Aravalli Rnge. It rises to an altitude of about 5676 feet. A cave at the summit contains a temple of Lord Dattatreya, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.guru_shikhar_mt_abu_1
  4. Sunset point: After a long, exhausting day, sunset point is perhaps the best place to be. Located in the south west of Nakki Lake, sunset point provides with a scenic view of the setting sun. The scenic hills, tranquil surroundings and a pleasant climate makes it a favourite spot among the tourists.

So people, this summer vacation, Mount Abu is the place to be! ;)

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