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Hill Station - Mt. Abu, India - Hotels, Popular Attractions & Wildlife
 
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Mount Abu - High Times - Travel with Content Writer

Contributing Traveller: Daniel Rayner,
 

Mount Abu was an impromptu plan so we left without a reserved ticket from Bandra Terminus. Like they say, the best plans are the ones that work out but not always how they ought to, this holiday was sure one of them.

Even if you were to land up at the station without a ticket, a light conversation with the TTE will leave your wallet lighter and the paper stub you need to start your voyage. Seating in the sleeper compartment and if your personal skills are up to mark, people will surely 'adjustí for you. Its 12 hours so be prepared.

Once you reach Abu Road, your tryst with Abu begins. Youíre accosted by various agents and donít settle for a dime over 300 for the trip to Abu for a single vehicle. 250 and you can pat your back. The road going to Mount Abu is worthy of an amusement park ride with its twists and turns and can make even the hardened travellerís tummy wriggle. Personally, a lozenge in the mouth conquers this adventure.

You may chance upon a rabbit or bear on the road if your lucky, a baboonís red posterior if not. Keep an eye out for the giant reflective mirrors once you cross the check naka, their space age look gives you this surreal Need for Speed feeling.

Hotels In Mount Abu

Hotels are dime a dozen and you canít walk ten feet with out observing one. For those looking for an economical trip, guest houses are a plenty. We stayed at Hotel Aravali and paid 400 a day which was decent. Their manicured lawn and bridge over a troubled pond of lotus leaves makes a nice view in the morning while the wooden swings reek of tranquillity. If you donít mind shelling out a lilí more the Ajanta and Ellora rooms at Hotel Hiltone are worth every dime. The unmistakable texture of natural rock greets your eye as soon as you turn the key. Both these rooms have rock faces behind the beds and lo behold..a waterfall, perfect to greet that hangover in the morning.

Popular Attractions of Mt. Abu

   

In due course, you encounter the standard attractions of Abu like Nakki Lake and Dilawara Temple. Both are worth a look...but the real fun lies in your possible interaction with nature.

Head to St. Maryís school if you can and see if you can join them on their regular walk to Plummi and maybe even Saajan Plummi (hills) and other points.

 Both these treks are worth the view and the vast expanse of hills and valley interjected by lowlands will make you reminisce of Braveheart and the Scottish highlands, truly a sight to remember. The walk can be dangerous because of animals and if youíre unfamiliar with the path up. However, an early morning hike in the company of the kids is tonic indeed.

Even if the lactic acid filled thighs and bulging pot belly slows you down the view from halfway up Plummi could lay claim to the origin of the phrase ía picture is worth a thousand wordsí.

Wildlife In Mt. Abu

Wildlife has been spotted frequently so save all bravado for your neighbourhood bhajjiwala. Avoid after dark hikes and run uphill if a bears chases you, consider yourself lucky if you escape or even see one. Although many animals are protected, rabbits run amok and make delicious meat.

Recipe: A car for a journey to Gurushikar (will come to it later), high beam headlights to stun rabbits, low beam NOT to annoy other drivers and the ability to knock them over and cook raw meat properly. Donít engage in the above if you lack the last ingredient...

The ride to Guru Shikar is around 22 kms
but is a gorgeous one...a strong beer and a passenger seat is the perfect high, please refrain from drunk driving though. A police office station near the top by the name of Sharmaji will rile you with a sermon if he sees your poison but nothing a few Gandhis canít handle. You can see Kargil and into Pakistan from the summit. Although most hills are safe, do not get out of your vehicle if you see an unmanned roadblock as some hills are notorious for tribal dacoits who jump you once you vacate your car. Turn back immediately if you chance on one. They are often said to be the Botas but locals claim they are tribals from the plains.

Pigeon Hunting was a favourite
and again local favour is a must. In the rarity you know someone, ask their house help if they are accustomed to the past time. Good luck though. The food in Abu is decent and if your stuck at 12 with a hungry belly head to the market and look for the and a guy. His masala half fry is heaven on earth and I pray he sets up shop in Bombay...stay away from Uncle Samís pizzas. Sample the local cuisine and seek some Rajasthani non veg preparation from a local / authentic restaurant. Its spicy and just what the doctor ordered.

A word of advice -
donít visit on weekends as the crowds can cramp you and the traffic jams will remind you of Mahim causeway. The monsoons make the place come alive but its still green in summer. Abu can be a crazy trip if you manage to combine the offbeat with the de rigueur so donít be shy, its time to embrace the wild

Contributing Traveller: Daniel Rayner, a free soul with the winds of travel ruffling his hair and a shadow at his feet. A communication graduate with a passion to pen. dan_dez13@yahoo.co.in

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