25 November 2009

Nothing to do in Mount Abu!

It's taken us two days of train travel, with a brief overnight stop back in Jodhpur, to get from our last destination Jaisalmer to Mount Abu.

Mount Abu is a Hill station on the southern edge of Rajasthan and is a popular holiday destination for people from the neighboring state of Gujarat. It's not a single mountain but a hilly plateau that rises 1.2km above the plains below. The town is centered on Nakki Lake where, if you're swept up in the romantic mood of the place, you can take a pedalo out onto the dirty water.

The town is a strange place and has the feel of a dilapidated seaside town, even down to the penny arcades and greasy spoon cafes! Although there must be hundreds of hotels here there isn't actually much to see and do.

We weren't expecting much from the town of Mount Abu, but you know you're in trouble when your guide book tells you that the highlight of town is Toad Rock, unsurprisingly a lump of rock that is shaped like a toad! If you ask me they only got the name half right, not very much like a toad but 100% rock.

Maybe we weren't standing quite in the right place or squinting hard enough.

Although there's not much to do in town they do have 8% larger which we found highly entertaining when we had a sun downer overlooking the town at Jaipur House Hotel.

The reason why we've come to Mount Abu is to visit the Jain Dilwara Temples which are located a few miles from town. The temples, the oldest of which dates from 1031, are famous for their stunning use of detailed marble carvings. Unfortunately we weren't allowed to take any pictures but there are a few on line here.

The carvings in the temple are so detailed as, according to legend, the sculptors were paid by the amount of dust they produced encouraging more intricate carving. On that theory I should be a millionaire with the amount of dust the last lot of tenants have just left in my old house.

Jainism is one of the oldest religions in India and was thought to be developed some time around the 9th century BC. One of the central principles of Jainism is ahimsa, nonviolence in thought and deed towards any living thing. The more devout sweep the floor before their feet with a brush as they walk to avoid stepping on an creatures and have a piece of cloth tied over the nose and mouth to prevent accidentally inhaling any insects.

1 comment:

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