I was coming from Jodhpur, and was on my way to Ahmedabad for another excursion on a set date. The distance between those two points was only about 300 miles, or about 6 hours on the road by bus, so it was quite possible to do in one day, but I was slightly ahead of schedule, so I had a few days in between to go exploring.
One of the things I learned about India is that if you are doing your own trip planning, its much better to be very flexible, and avoid a lot of fixed dates if possible, with one exception – trains. In terms of booking hotels, that “just in time” strategy worked just fine, I would book online about three or four days in advance when it appeared to me that rates were dropping in order to fill vacant rooms. I would also favor bookings that had no penalty for cancellations. With trains in India though, and in particular over the winter months of December and January, this is a really bad idea, as the trains are booked up well in advance, and you will have difficulty getting a seat if you are trying to book less than a week ahead. I liked taking local buses for several reasons, one being that I could normally show up at the bus station any time, and within an hour or so, there would be a bus leaving for my destination (assuming it wasn’t a long distance leg).
Mount Abu was about midway on the route, and in fact Mount Abu has been a popular hill station retreat for centuries for those wishing to escape the heat of nearby Rajasthan or Gudjarat. So I decided to visit.
In the town itself, there really isn’t that much interesting to see for a foreign tourist interested in taking photographs, but the lake at the far side of town is quite popular for Indian families who will rent boats to paddle around, and there were some rides and a bit of a carnival atmosphere.
I did get a chuckle out of the following sign though.. a classic Google Translate failure if I ever saw one, as good as the title of the song “Cake by the Ocean” by DNCE, it being a mis-translation of “Sex by the Beach”!
- Pleasure Rotates when you Blend?
Clearly my hedonistic lifestyle has been lacking in some areas, I wonder when my pleasure will rotate as I blend?
More seriously though, the local Tourism Board did have a daily tour offering by bus, for 100 Rupees or thereabout, so it was certainly in-expensive at just a few dollars, but there were quite a lot of stops, the duration of time at each stop was quite limited, the few sights that were of greater interest to me, didn’t allow cameras. This photo is from one Jain temple that looked liked it never got any visitors.
It being overshadowed by the much more famous Dilwara temples, whose spectacular use of marble for the temples and sculpture draws huge crowds, but alas no photos allowed.
Photo courtesy of Malaiya / JAINA Organization
Personally I wouldn’t recommend anyone go out of there way to visit Mount Abu, but if you are passing through there are few things to see.