Mount Abu is one of the most enthralling cities in Rajasthan that offers you adventure and relaxation at the same time. Surrounded by surreal hills and an abundance of natural beauty, this quiet little hill station is a favorite spot for honeymoon couples, spiritual travelers, and adventure seekers. So here is a list of things to do in Mount Abu and places to visit in the city:
Don’t miss the sunrise
Mount Abu is known for its spectacular sunrise. Usually, it’s the other way round that people like sunsets. But here for us, the experience was different.
Our hotel Udaigarh Heritage Retreat, located on an elevated road, gave us a nice vantage point. The rocky hill right outside the balcony where we stood, was a perfect location to watch the sunrise. Oh boy! We were speechless. The chill in the air caresses you gently as you watch the sunrise from behind the mountains and paint the sky in golden hues.
Rent a bike
The best mode of transport in Mount Abu is renting a vehicle. Bikes are rented at Rs 300 and cars for Rs 500-1000 per day. From authorized agents to pan shops, almost all shop keepers rent two-wheelers. They keep your driving license as a security while you enjoy the day out on a scooter. In case your vehicle breaks down or troubles you, the shopkeeper would be just a call away. The authorized agents might just refuse to rent bikes in the middle of the day saying that bikes should be booked at 8 am only. However, walk a little further and every shopkeeper will ask if you need a bike. Make sure you fill the tank with petrol. (Of course you pay for it). We highly recommend sightseeing Mount Abu on a two-wheeler.
Do visit Dilwara Jain Temples
The 1000-year-old temple can put the Taj Mahal to shame! Every nook and corner boasts of architectural prodigies. Built on pure white marbles, the temple is dedicated to Jain Gods and spiritual leaders. The whole premises houses a cluster of temples built in different eras. The main complex has a temple with sculptors of Jain Gods in a row. Few enclosures have preserved aesthetics from ancient times after excavation. Cameras and mobile phones are not allowed inside. Perhaps that’s the only turn-off where you wish for a camera! The priests would tour you through the temples narrating the history and facts of the temple.
The temple is run by the local governing bodies with the Jain clan, and not under ASI, hence has minimum commercialization. Run solely on charity, the priests would ask for a voluntary donation for the maintenance of the temple. Guests do not mind shelling out some money for the noble place. Infact Dilwara Jain Temple is a close competitor of Ranakpur Jain Temple, built with equal exquisiteness and marvel.
Entry fee- None. Cameras or mobile phones are banned. Strict dress code policy observed.
Timing– 12 noon to 5 pm
The lake draws a huge crowd since this is the only lake in Mount Abu. Also, it is highly commercialized. From eateries and magic shows to toys and fish food, you will find everything at the lake premise.
Boating cost- Rs 50 per person for pedalo, Rs 100 for Shikara ride (30 minutes each).
Entry fee- None
Timing– 11:45 am to 11 pm
This evening’s hotspot is close to Nakki Lake. As the name suggests, this place is to view the setting sun. Ride upto the parking spot beyond which vehicles are not allowed. You either walk, get a horse ride or hop onto a manual cart which they call a helicopter. The five hundred meters long road is steep and tests your endurance. Once you reach the spot, take a flight of stairs to a hilly area. That is the Sunset point where Sun seems to be close, and you soak in its warmth. Mind you, the place would be very warm during summers.
Don’t expect a peaceful ambiance in this overcrowded place. The serenity is only in the sky when the Sun changes its position.
Entry fee– None
Timing– Open morning to evening. Evening is the best time to visit.
This place is for adventure lovers and wildlife junkies. Trevor’s Tank is a breeding lake for crocodiles in the middle of a forest. Spooky enough?
The bumpy, broken road running through the forest is a little more than a kilometer. You got to be careful while driving on this road! Don’t be surprised to encounter wild animals on this route. The silence of the forest is deadly.
After the ride in the wilderness, park your scooter at the lake entrance. The caretaker of the area revealed there are five crocs in the lake, and they are visible during morning feeding time. So the place turned noisy with people coming in and the chances of spotting crocs turned bleak. Only a single croc was visible at a distance basking in the Sun. Meanwhile, as we consoled ourselves watching beautiful fish and the cool forest breeze, a large croc suddenly appeared in the water. However, it seemed he hated the paparazzi and quickly disappeared underwater.
The viewpoint at Trevor’s Tank
An isolated staircase leads to a terrace viewpoint frequented by langurs. Usually, they don’t harm you, but you can never rely on wild animals’ instincts. While my husband went to the edge of the vantage point to take pictures, I stood far behind him on a raised platform taking panoramic shots. My heart skipped a beat when I turned around and saw two mongooses like creatures on the stairs. Thankfully they crept away before I could react. But what if it was a big cat? I urged him to leave the place after the goosebumps moments.
Entry fee- Rs 30 per person
Parking fee- Rs 30
Timing– 9 am to 5 pm. It is best to visit before 4 pm.
Guru Shikhar Observatory
This is a peak in the Arbuda Mountains and the highest point of the Aravalli range. A road leading to the mountain takes you to the top of the mountain with a small cave temple dedicated to Dattatreya, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Right next to the temple lies Mount Abu observatory
Where– Guru Shikhar is 18 km away from Mount Abu.
Entry fee- None
Timing– 8 am to 6:30 pm
Essential tips for Mount Abu
-Mount Abu has a mixed cultural influence of Rajasthan and Gujarat. Hence don’t miss the super delicious daal baati churma and bajre ki moti roti. In the market, gorge on warm Kesar milk. It has less sweet content and a great aroma.
-Always carry warm clothes. Don’t forget, this is a hill station and it gets chilly in the evening.
-Mount Abu is a plastic-free area. Respect the sanctity of the place for God’s sake.
How to reach Mount Abu
Mount Abu lies close to Gujarat and is well connected to all major cities of Rajasthan. If you are in Ranakpur, Kumbalgarh, or Udaipur, you can club Mount Abu in your itinerary. Ranakpur is merely 161 km away while Kumbalgarh is 171 km away. Similarly, the road distance from Udaipur to Mount Abu is 163 km which takes around 3 hours. Private taxis and buses also operate from Udaipur which are more feasible and comfortable.
The nearest airport to Mount Abu is Udaipur Dabok Airport 210 km away. The nearest railhead is Abu Road Station which is 30 km away. You can hire a taxi or shared auto or board a local bus from Abu Road railway station to reach Mount Abu city.
Best time to visit Mount Abu
October to March when the weather is pleasant.