Monday, August 16, 2010

Rajasthan by road - day 7, Jodhpur to Mount Abu

On day #7, we left for Mount Abu, the only hill stations in Rajasthan.  A small idyllic town, it was known as Arbudaanchal in the ancient days.  It is home to Dilwara Temple, a beautiful temple complex consisting of five Jain temples the first of which was built by Vimal Shah in 1031 AD and dedicated to the first of the Jain Thirthankaras.  The first four temples have beautiful marble carvings in the shape of elephants, lotus buds, petals, flowers, and depictions of Jain mythology. The fifth temple was built by the labourers who worked on the first four temples. The fifth temple is a token of their love and built from the left-over marble pieces and building material.  The term "Dilwara" comes from this token of love. For more information regarding Dilwara temples, refer to Wikipedia.

Mount Abu is also famous for the Nakki Lake which according to legend is said to have been dug out by the Gods using their fingernails and hence the name Nakki.  One can also go for boating in this picturesque lake.

Mount Abu is filled with tiny restaurants catering to tourists from all over the world.  Our recommendation is 'Hollywood Bollywood' which is a pure veg restaurant offering good food and clean surroundings. Do not forget to check out the lac bangles and earrings with enameled Meenakari work which Rajasthan is famous for.  Also do not forget to bargain. Mount Abu and Jodhpur are the best places to shop in because the goods are reasonably priced.

Mount Abu is also home to the world headquarters of Brahma Kumaris, known as Madhuban or Pandav Bhavan.  The main hall of the complex is called Om Shanthi Bhavan.

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