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Mount Abu

Mount Abu, Rajasthan’s only hill station, is set on a rocky outcrop that overlooks the romantic Aravalli mountain range and is surrounded by evergreen forests. Its 1,220m altitude means the town has a cool climate and extended views over the surrounding plateau.

The charming hill town is most famous for its intricately carved marble Jain Dilwara Temples, at the Jain pilgrimage site. These can be found hidden in the shade of the trees north of the town and are considered to be some of the best carvings in the whole of India. Hewn from white marble and built between 11th and 13th century, the Dilwara Temples are made up of five separate temples, each unique in its own way, although a minute attention to detail in its beautiful carvings and doorways unites them all. The Vimal Vasahi temple is particularly awe-inspiring, with intricate rows of elephants carved into corridors and ceilings bursting with lotus flowers and petals.

The town attracts visitors – and wedding parties – for its temperate conditions, and many like to spend time on the picturesque Nakki Lake. By day, tourists can boat around the sacred lake, viewing Toad Rock amongst the green hillocks and come sunset, fountains catch the last rays of light. Wildlife lovers will appreciate the animal sanctuary that lies nearby as well as the varied bird life that can be spotted around. Other activities in the town include shopping at the Khadi bazaar for brightly coloured clothing and hand-loomed items. 

To add to its strengths, Mount Abu is also the site of a sacred Hindu rite, the ‘yagya agnikund’, or fire ritual. Many Rajputs come to visit the Gaumukh fire temple here, which can be found three kilometres to the north, and join pilgrims by climbing 750 steps to reach the temple with its incredible panoramic view over the Aravalli Hills.

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My favourite thing is to go where I've never been.
Diane Arbus

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