Most of the world is quarantined and faces trying times. People are spending time either alone or with their families. Being at home for long periods can make a person’s mind wander. Nostalgia can be a good coping mechanism for a lot of people and often brings cheer in these trying times. To me, memories of an unplanned trip from Mumbai to Mount Abu I took a while back filled me with optimism. While I was at it, I thought I might as well share with you the details of the trip, including the best places to explore, food to eat, and more at Mount Abu, which could help you plan a trip of your own once the world achieves a sense of normalcy again.
Why Mount Abu?
When we think of Rajasthan, we picture golden sand dunes and searing temperatures, but Mount Abu will put that thought to rest! It is the only hill station located in the Sirohi district of Rajasthan, nestled in the Aravalli mountain at an elevation of 1,220 m above sea level amid a 289-km2 wildlife sanctuary. Mount Abu is known for its Hindu and Jain temples, and shrines dating back to 400 to 1,000 years. My family wanted to visit these temples, so we planned a road trip to Mount Abu.
Mount Abu Route:
There is only one route from Mumbai to Mount Abu, and it is filled with exciting pit stops and activities.
Mumbai → Daman → Surat → Vadodara → Ahmedabad → Mount Abu via NH48
Time & Distance of Mount Abu:
The Mumbai to Mount Abu road via NH48 is 759 km long, and the journey will take 13 hours and 35 minutes. We slithered on winding roads across hills and shorelines, which was a beautiful experience.
Pit Stops Along Mumbai To Mount Abu (Via NH48)
The Mumbai to Mount Abu, NH48 highway is filled with beaches, forests, hills and plateaus. From historic places to beaches, there are abundant places to visit on the way to Mount Abu from Mumbai.
Devka Beach: Situated 190 km from Mumbai, Devka beach in Daman is a must-visit. The serene waters and virgin shorelines calm your travel stress and fill your heart. We took a short lunch break at this beach and enjoyed the Portuguese seafood delicacies at a small dhaba by the sea. We collected shells from the sea, drenched our feet in sand and water, and got back to our car to continue our journey.
Mirasol Lake: Along the Devka beach road lies a man-made lake called Mirasol. It is a perfect place to visit if you are travelling with kids. It offers boat and toy-train rides. This man-made wonder is dotted with beautiful fountains, alluring nature, and food stalls serving mouth-watering food delicacies. We spent some time at the Mirasol lake garden. The garden made our travel sickness vanish. You need an entrance ticket to enter the garden.
Dominican Monastery: Once a Catholic Church, the ruins of Dominican Monastery is now a piece of Daman’s history from its heyday.
Dahanu Mahalaxmi Temple: My family has always been fascinated by temples. When we heard there is a Goddess Laxmi temple on the Mumbai to Surat highway, we dropped by and spent 20 minutes to take a tour and offer prayers.
Bharuch: Formerly known as Broach, Bharuch is a city on the banks of river Narmada in Gujarat. The place used to serve as a major trade port for Arabia, Persia and Africa. We stopped to glance at this ancient inhabited city and ate the popular salted peanuts sold by the roadside.
Vadodara: Vadodara is a city of artisans whose work can be relished at the Makarpura palace, Nazarbaug palace, Laxmi Vilas, and Kirti Mandir. If you have time, you must go for some textile and handicraft shopping at the local shops in Vadodara. We didn’t get time to tour this beautiful city, but I highly recommend you to explore this place for its ancient glory.
Places To Eat At On Your Mumbai-Mount Abu Road Trip Via NH48:
Jagjit Veera’s Dhaba in Daman
There are umpteen restaurants and eateries along the Mumbai–Mount-Abu road that serve scrumptious food. You must try Italian and Asian cuisines at the Spice Galleon of the Gold Beach Resort in Daman. Jagjit Veera’s Dhaba in Daman serves mouth-watering Punjabi cuisines. Try dal makhani and kheer at Nirmal Dhaba in Vadodara. There are many other dhabas on the way where you can not only kill your hunger pangs but also satisfy your palate.
We got tired during the journey, so we stayed the night at a relative’s and regained our energies the next morning. There is no dearth of accommodation in Mount Abu; hotels are available throughout the year at affordable rates, safety and ambience.
The Day Begins…
We had a quick breakfast and started our journey to explore the hill station. Summers are the best time to visit this place. If you visit it during the winters, though, you can enjoy the Winter Festival celebration and New Year, which are celebrated grandly at Mount Abu.
Dilwara Jain Temples: These are a complex of Jain temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and carved and built from marbles in the Nagara style of architecture. There are small temples within the complex built by Vastupal Tejpal between the 11th and 13th centuries.
Museum & Art Gallery: Preserving the archaeological artefacts of the region, the Government Museum in Mount Abu is an intriguing place. With its display of cultural activities from the prehistoric era, including paintings, sculptures, unique brass artefacts, Jain bronze carvings and tribal works, the museum attracts people of all age groups. The museum and art gallery is open from 10.00 A.M. to 4.30 P.M everyday and closed on Fridays and public holidays.
Nakki Lake: Surrounded by gardens, mountains, and rock formations, the Nakki Lake lies in between the lush Aravali hills at a height of 1,200 km above sea level. You can sail on this river from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm on all days. The rock formations, Toad Rock, Camel Rock, Nandi Rock and Nun Rock near Nakki Lake make spectacular backdrops for clicking Instagram-worthy images.
Guru Shikhar Peak: Towering at a height of 1,772 m above sea level, this peak offers breathtaking views of the hill station. The peak is adorned with Guru Dattatrey temple, Mira Temple, Chamundi Temple, and Shiva Temple near the peak. Watch the sunset and click amazing pictures, or just stare at the city from this peak.
Parks: Mount Abu is home to beautiful gardens and parks such as Ashok Vatika, Peace Park, Gandhi Park, Municipal Park, Shaitan Singh Park, and Terrace Garden. It also has great nature trails, such as Craig’s Walk, Bailey’s Walk, Tiger Trail, Honeymoon Point, Rishikesh Trail, Bridal Path. If you love animals and are keen to explore the wildlife of Mount Abu, you must visit Trevor’s Tank, a water reservoir cum animal sanctuary. You will spot a lot of crocodiles at the Crocodiles Park.
Adhar Devi Temple: The temple is carved from a rock and features exquisite sculptures and idols. During Navratri, the temple comes alive with the sound of people offering prayers. You can get amazing views of Mount Abu from this temple.
Gaumukh Temple, Rishikesh Temple, Achaleshwar Mahadev and Shri Raghunathji Temple are the other popular temples in Mount Abu.
Tips For A Seamless Mumbai–Mount Abu Road Trip
- The NH48 route from Mumbai to Mount Abu is a ride through hills and shoreline. At some points, the ride becomes too windy. Do not accelerate your vehicle, especially when you enter Mount Abu.
- You can easily follow the route signs on the highway. However, for safety, check the route on your Google maps. If the map confuses you, don’t hesitate to talk to the locals for guidance.
- There are a decent number of petrol bunks and ATMs along the NH48 route. Use them often.
- Carry a stepney, tool kit with a car jack, pliers and wrenches for emergencies.
It takes two days to explore Mount Abu. The local shops will take care of all your needs and more. There are a variety of sightseeing options. But there aren’t many adventure spots. Mount Abu is a place for couples, families and friends who love to experience nature, divinity, and serenity.