Rajasthan: Places to Explore

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Mount Abu

High in the Aravali Hills, Mount Abu is Rajasthan's only hill station, and it attracts hordes of tourists from the neighboring state of Gujarat, who come to enjoy the town's cool climate and pretty lakes. As a result, you'll find a large number of restaurants here serving the famously sweet Gujarati thalis. It's also a great place to stop if you like taking long walks or are simply looking to escape the heat during the unforgiving pre-monsoon months (April and May), although you may want to give it a miss if you're short on time.

Mount Abu is a major pilgrimage center for Jains, who come here for the famous Dilwara Temples, a group of five awe-inspiring carved temples that were built of marble between the 11th and 13th centuries. Each is dedicated to a different Thirthankar (enlightened ascetic). The 13th-century Luna Vasahi and the 11th-century Vimal Vasahi temples are of special note. The highlight of the Luna Vasahi is its ceilings, covered with interconnected marble carvings; the Vinak Vasahi, with its intricately carved white-marble columns and dome, is equally splendid.

Nakki Lake, resting between green hills, is believed to have been carved out by the gods' fingernails.

At Sunset Point you can take in a romantic Mount Abu sunset, but don't expect peace and quiet—this is the major sunset spot in town, and you'll likely be joined by plenty of other tourists, especially on weekends and Indian holidays.

Mount Abu's ashram-cult hotspot, Brahma Kumaris Spiritual University, attracts thousands of followers from all over the world—members of the sect don white robes or saris and study spiritual knowledge or Raja yoga meditation—you'll undoubtedly see them around town.

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