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 Temple
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.
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.
Nakki Lake Mount Abu
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.
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.