A day to unwind from the daily chores and mostly, find respite from the scorching heat of Gujarat – Mount Abu to our rescue!! Rajasthan’s only hill station sits in the middle of green forests at the southwestern end of the Aravalli Hills. Mounted on a top, it houses some spectacular locations which offer a bird’s eye view of the entire town. A popular tourist destination among Gujaratis, sometimes for reasons other than weather (it’s not without reason why Gujarat is called a ‘dry’ state) 😀 , Mt. Abu has something to offer for everyone – just get your explorer shoes on!
An approximate 225 km drive from Ahmedabad by road,we reached our accommodation in the evening, after a 5 hour drive. A quick cuppa hot tea and a change of clothes, we were ready to hit the road and explore the getaways in the local market. To our surprise, we found a really hip cafe in the by-lanes of the main market – Cafe Shikibo! Right from the breezy decor to the food,it was a feasty treat. A plate of hot momos down our stomachs, and we were decently stuffed to roam around the marketplace for more.
Little did we know that Cafe Shikibo would become our favorite place for quick bites in days to come.
Strolling by, we acquainted ourselves with the sights, smell, and taste of the touristy hill station. Scrabble by the night, long walks by the day, gazing at the hill tops from Guru Shikhar (the highest point of the Aravalli Range), admiring the architecture of the famous Dilwara Jain temple, driving down and stopping by the Brahma Kumari Peace Park – reflecting and pondering as we did, walking and running our way to the Sunset Point to & fro, gorging on food and a wholesome dinner at the Jaipur House – taking in every bit of the hill station that we could.
The Jaipur House, particularly was a quick fix for our search of a location that offered a combination of good food, drinks, a big lawn and a spectacular view! Nevermind the fact that we spent an afternoon with drinks in the lawn and a view overlooking the Nakki lake, and returned back that night to a breezy evening, and a fullsome dinner, being spectators of a live Rajasthani folk music and dance performance.
The present Maharaja of Jaipur, Brig. Sawai Bhawani Singh and Her Highness Maharani Padmani Devi have converted this palace into a grand heritage hotel. Pictures of them adorn the wall inside the main hall. But my pick would certainly be the experience of sitting in open air with the view of the entire town gleaming in sight.
From the retreat we had planned, to the Retreat we stayed at during the visit, we were more than glad to fall back on this touristy station for a mini vacation.
And hope that you do too!