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Mount Abu

Perched at an altitude of 1,220 metres above sea level, Mt. Abu is Rajasthan’s only hill station. It is around 180 km away from Jodhpur, the second biggest city of Rajasthan, and 509 km away from Jaipur, the state capital. It is also one of the major pilgrimage sites of India for both Hindu as well as Jain religions. Besides the temples and sites of historical importance, Mt. Abu is also rich in natural scenic beauties.

Mt. Abu was once a part of the Chauhan kingdom. It was later leased to the British by the then Maharaja of Sirohi for use as the headquarters of the resident to Rajputana (another name for Rajasthan). During the British rule in India, it was the favourite summer destination of the British who came here to escape the dusty, dry heat of the plains.

Mt. Abu was also the home of many saints and sages in ancient times. Legend has it that all the three hundred and thirty million gods and goddesses of the Hindu pantheon used to visit this holy mountain. This place is held in reverence by Jains since Lord Mahavira, the 24th Jain Tirthankara (spiritual leader), visited Mt. Abu and blessed the city.

Sightseeing:

Dilwara Jain Temples:

Dilwara is a historical pageant of many years and many stones, much sweat and much love, a legend in marble. A sacred pilgrimage of the Jains, the five legendary marble temples of Dilwara are an overwhelming blend of simple beauty and exquisite elegance—no other temple in Rajasthan can come close to these in terms of architectural perfection. It would be very difficult to exaggerate the beauty of these temples. When travellers in the past recorded their impressions of these temples it was with a sense of awe. The amount of ornamental detail spread over these structures in the minutely carved decoration of ceilings, doorways, pillars, panels and niches is simply marvellous, while the crisp translucent shell-like treatment of the marble surpasses anything seen elsewhere, and some of the designs are just dreams of beauty. Dilwara is a historical pageant of many years and many stones, much sweat and much love, a legend in marble. A sacred pilgrimage of the Jains, the five legendary marble temples of Dilwara are an overwhelming blend of simple beauty and exquisite elegance—no other temple in Rajasthan can come close to these in terms of architectural perfection. It would be very difficult to exaggerate the beauty of these temples. When travellers in the past recorded their impressions of these temples it was with a sense of awe. The amount of ornamental detail spread over these structures in the minutely carved decoration of ceilings, doorways, pillars, panels and niches is simply marvellous, while the crisp translucent shell-like treatment of the marble surpasses anything seen elsewhere, and some of the designs are just dreams of beauty.

Nakki Lake:

In the heart of the town, at one end of the Mall, is the serene Nakki Lake which has an interesting history. It is believed that the gods formed the lakebed by digging it with their fingernails (nakh); hence the name, Nakki Lake. Picturesquely set, with the hills rising all around it, the lake has several islets to which you can hire boats. An interesting facet of the lake are the many rock formations around it. They have been named Toad Rock, Nun Rock, Nandi Rock and Camel Rock because of their resemblance to these figures. Nun Rock is a large smooth rock as it supposedly looks a woman with a veil. The climb up to these rocks, through the wooded forests is a beautiful one, with each of the rocks on the way making unique formations, fissures and shapes.

Viewpoints:

Like all other hill stations, Mt. Abu too has its horse rides, honeymoon and sunset points. The Sunset Point here is definitely worth a visit. An entire hill has been carved into several layers, top to bottom, and as the sun begins to lower itself in the sky, the hill is crowded with people covered in the golden glow of the setting sun. There’s also a Honeymoon Point that gives a good glimpse of the sunset and the plains as well. A few kilometres from the lake and on the western side of the Adhar Devi temple, there lies the Shanti Shikhar (the peak of peace), which offers a panoramic view of the valley.

Jahaz Mahal:

One of the most popular monuments in Mandu, this ship-like structure was constructed by Ghiyas-ud-din, son of Mohammed Shah, for his harem. According to the legends, this harem was home to 15,000 maidens. There are two lakes on the east and west side of the palace that create a perfect illusion of a ship with its rectangular shape.

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