Celebrate India – Winter Festival with Yatra.comThe term ‘one of a kind’ is thrown around quite often these days for things that donot actually deserve that kind of a distinction. However, an oasis in the middle of adesert and too one as large and green as Mt. Abu in Rajasthan is unquestionablyone of a kind. Filled with lush green forests, waterfalls and a huge lake in the center,Mt. Abu is remarkably unique. Even with an annual tourist footfall of over 3 million, itremains a quaint little town. However, it comes alive during the 3 day Annual WinterFestival held in December. And, like I have said before, there is no better time tovisit a new destination than during one of their local festivals.The showcase of Rajasthan’s cultural heritage is at its peak during this festival. Ipersonally enjoy these kinds of festivals because they offer a lot under the sameumbrella. It felt like I saw the whole of Rajasthan within just 3 days. With all thecultural dance & music performances by the local troupes of various neighboringstates too, I felt the traditional vibe take over me during the festival. In additionto that, the local art & craft mixed with the sightseeing tours offered an excellentblend. I am personally a little biased towards this festival because I met a lot ofinteresting fellow travellers from around the world during my visit, curious & lonetravellers like me!I was alone with only 3 days and so much to do so I hired a bike (Rs. 500/- Max.daily rental). I am of the opinion that a bike really compliments one’s sense offreedom. I sure as hell put the bike to damn good use. I GOT LOST……. ONPURPOSE…….. FOR IT’S THE BEST WAY TO TRAVEL. I observed the local wayof life; ate at cheap Dhabas, talked to complete strangers (especially the ones with abackpack larger than mine), bought useless souvenirs. Well, that’s just the way I go.Since this is not everyone’s’ piece of cake, I’ll make some suggestions about stuffyou can do and places you can see. I started with the cultural procession that marksthe beginning of the festival (it starts from Shikhar Hotel) and ends at the Nakki LakeChowk. That is where I witnessed the troupe performances and rowing competitionsin the nearby lake. I am sure boating was also available for tourists.The next day I visited a few nearby places of interest like the 11th century DilwaraTemple famous for its white marble carving. I personally enjoyed the scenic beautyof Guru Shikhar (the highest peak of Aravali mountain range). If you haven’t seen afort it’s like you haven’t seen Rajasthan at all. So, I headed next to the 14th centuryAchalgarh Fort. Last but not the least was The Brahma Kumari’s Universal PeaceHall and University. It is a spectacular campus spread over an extremely large areaand offers the perfect kind of space and ambience that one requires for somespiritual healing and quiet introspection. There are a lot of other tourist spots to bevisited but I guess these will more than suffice for your first visit.
The closing of the festival is marked by a spectacular fireworks show on the eveningof the third day which is a definite do-not-miss. Since there are not manyopportunities to shop around, you are likely to end up doing more or less the stuff Ijust mentioned above. But I am sure your adventure appetite will be more than filledat the end of this wonderful cultural extravaganza.This is Joy signing off until next timeWishing you a happy and safe travelling experienceCiao