Planning a holiday to Rajasthan? If so, you'll be keen to hear all about the best spots to visit, and among the top places to include on your itinerary has to be Mount Abu. You'll find it in the far south of the state, complete with attractions historical and scenic alike.
In fact, one of the best things about coming here is that there's a great variety of things to see - plus, it provides a real contrast to Rajasthan's desert plains. But just what are the best things to see and do while you're here?
In Mount Abu, most of the activity centres round Nakki Lake. While for the most part you'll see it full of people having fun on pedalos, some Hindus believe it to be a sacred place. This is primarily because it's named after a fascinating legend that claims a god used his nails (or nakh) to dig out the lake. In any case, it's a must-visit if you're in the area, and it's a great spot for a walk - particularly since it's surrounded by parks and hills.
The Dilwara Temples
One of the things Mount Abu's most famous for is its Jain temples (it's a popular pilgrimage destination too), so you can't pass up the chance to see these during your travels. Among the most exciting - despite their relatively modest outward appearance - are the Dilwara Temples.
These are said to rival any Jain architecture in the country, so expect to be blown away by what you see. The really impressive sights can be found inside, where you'll be faced with all kinds of carvings in marble and images of Jain saints - or tirthankaras, as they're known locally.
The oldest of the Dilwara Temples - which date back to between the 11th and 13th centuries - is Vimal Vasahi. As well as visiting its central shine, make sure you take a walk around the courtyard. This houses 52 smaller shrines, and in each of these you can see a statue of a tirthankara.
Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary
Home to some amazing wildlife, India's a great place to spot exotic animals and unusual plants. While you're here, pay a visit to Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary, which was created back in the 1960s. It's a fantastic area for seeing all kinds of weird and wonderful plants and animals, including jungle cat, sloth bears and mongoose. Plus, you're able to see loads of different varieties of orchids here - the only place in Rajasthan, in fact, where you can do so - alongside pretty wild roses.
If you're keen on seeing some great scenery, it's pretty likely you'll also be interested in catching a decent sunset. In Mount Abu, the aptly named Sunset Point is the ultimate place to do so - and it really is bound to impress. Coming here, you can watch the sun sink between two mountains in the distance. That said, while this is indeed beautiful, it's worth bearing in mind that it's not exactly a secret location, so you're very likely to be sharing this lovely moment with lots of other people. It's still well worth a look, though!
There's plenty else you can in Mount Abu, such as going on organised hikes. This is a particularly good option if you'd like to see a little more of the area (or if you're a keen hiker, of course!). There are various routes to follow, including ones that venture into the wildlife sanctuary and others that take you into little villages.