Ambaji Temple, Gujarat :-
One of the most famous temples of northern India, Ambaji holds the crown of being one of the 51 Shaktipeeths, according to ancient scriptures the heart of the Goddess Ambaji fell on the earth here, It is also beleived that the mundan of Lord Krishna was performed at Ambaji.
The original seat of Ambaji mata is on gabbar hilltop nearby the main temple, millions of devotees visit Ambaji temple every year specially on Purnima days and during nine days of Navaratri.
Ambaji is 45 KM's from Mount Abu and is very well connected to Mount Abu and Palanpur via bus and private taxi services, Being a popular devotional place good Hotels and dharamshalas facilities for all budgest are easily avalible.
Dilwara Jain Temples :-
Located at a distance of just 2.5 kilometers from mount Abu, the Dilwara Jain temples were built between the 11th and the 13th century. The feature that makes it a must visit is the amazing and brilliant use of marble in the architecture. The ornamental carvings and the flawless stone laying technique make it one among the most beautiful pilgrimage spots in the world. The temple complex consists of 5 temples which are unique to the Jain culture in India namely Vimal Vasahi, dedicated to the first Jain Tirthankara, Adinath; Luna Vasahi, dedicated to the 22nd Jain Tirthankara, Neminatha; Pithalhar, dedicated to the first Jain Tirthankar, Rishabha; Parshvanath, dedicated to the 23rd Jain Tirthankara, Parshva and Mahavir Swami, dedicated to the last Jain Tirthankara, Mahavira. The lotus like engravings on the ceilings and the different scenes from the Jain and Hindu mythology represented through carved marble sculptures are sure to leave you awestruck.
Wildlife Sanctuary :-
The Forest located between the Aravalli mountain range was declared as a wildlife sanctuary in 1980 and covers an area of approximately 288 sq kilometers. It is a sub tropical forest which has an abundance of various species of flora and fauna. While there are traces of past dwellings of the lion and the tiger, but as of now the prime feline predator found here is the Leopard. As I’m more of a nature hound and I like to explore the natural beauty of every place that I travel, this was just the kinda place I was looking for in the otherwise desert state of Rajasthan. The rare species found here are sambhar, common langur, wild boar, bear, pangolin, common mongoose, jungle cat, wolf, hyena, jackal, Indian fox, Indian hare, porcupine and hedgehog. These forests are also said to be the home to around 250 species of birds but the most special one is the grey jungle fowl which is unique to this area.
Nakki Lake :-
One of the most popular attractions in mount Abu, Nakki Lake is an ancient and sacred lake. According to Hindu mythology the lake was dug out by the Gods by simply using their nails to gain shelter from the Demon Bashkali, however many such mythological stories exist leading to the creation of this lake. Nevertheless, the place is a great spot for picnic with friends and family alike. The various trek spots near the lake sated my hunger for some adventure and the boating trips were relaxing under the amazing weather I experienced here. The lake is also famous as mahatma Gandhi’s ashes were immersed here leading to the construction of Gandhi Ghat, which is also a popular monument located here. There are plenty of hotels, restaurants and eateries located near the lake which offer some great local food at really cheap prices. The fountains in the lake add to its natural beauty.
Abu Road :-
Although this is a totally different town, situated near the Banas River, Abu road is a must visit. It normally refers to a railway station which is located in a picturesque surrounding. The weather is generally pleasant; however, to enjoy this place to its fullest, one must visit it between November and December. The place is a home to several different temples which are significant in the Hindu mythology and display an amazing work of Indian architecture. The market places are great and being an Indian I felt relieved that it was sans the malls and how they preserved the aesthetics of the Indian bazaars. The Banas River is also a great picnic spot and can be enjoyed during mild rainfall. Many Indian tourists can find this place as dull and boring, with not many things to offer, but for a lone traveler this place can unleash a variety of surprises. Do not forget to taste the amazing and silky ‘Rabri’ which is a famous local sweet dish.
The name refers to a fort and an ancient kingdom, which was originally built by the Paramara Dynasty rulers. The fort was reconstructed in 1452 by Maharana Kumbha the ruler of the Mewar kingdom and was renamed as “Achalgarh’ or the immovable. The fort however stands in ruins to this day, leaving behind many remnants which make this place a tourist attraction. The main entrances are characterized by two towers carved out of grey granite, which still stand as a memorial of this once pompous and majestic fort. The place is located at an amazing location and is famous for its ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva known as the Achaleshwar Mahadeva Temple. The temple is said to have a foot impression of Lord Shiva himself and also has a brass Nandi and 3 sculptures of buffalos near the pond. The fort walls and the amazing location give an amazing panoramic view of the surroundings.
Guru Shikar :-
As mentioned in the prologue, Guru Shikar is the highest point in mount Abu and forms the highest point in the Aravalli mountain range. The place is perfect to get a panoramic view of the whole region and is famous for its temple of Guru Dattatreya an incarnation of the Hindu Deities ‘Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva’ in one. While many wouldn’t find much in this place apart from the various temples and the amazing views, it was quiet natural to me to take out my trusty paperback and get lost in the enticing plot amidst the enchanting surroundings. Do not forget to pack food and beverages but preferably not any alcohol as the place is considered as sacred.
Trevor’s Tank :-
Trevor’s tank or Trevor’s crocodile park is a man made crocodile breeding spot located 5 kilometers away from mount Abu. While it was the last place I visited there, I found it to be the most serene and relaxing. Though I still don’t get the purpose of breeding crocodiles here but the location and the lush green surroundings can almost make you forget the purpose of its creation. The entrance to this place was amazing and gave me a fresh and relaxing feel. Make sure you visit this place during mild winter months of November and December. It is a great picnic spot which will only be enhanced by the good company of your family or friends. The place also house various fauna like the black bear and obviously the various crocodiles resting on the rocky shores. The birdwatchers and the shutterbugs can get plenty of amazing shots. Interestingly, this place is like an Indian-ized version of Rivendell. If there’s one place you must experience in mount Abu, it’s got to be Trevor’s tank.