Mount Abu as per example, is a popular tourist hill station on the Aravalli Hill, located in the province of Rajasthan. The highest point of the range called, Guru Shikhar, is here, rising to about 3,500 meters (5,650 feet). The best time to visit Mount Abu is in winter, from November to February, when temperatures range from 12-degree C to 28-degree C.
Furthermore, do we suggest to also visit the other locations during winter, since summer and spring in India can be hot.
Fact File - The Aravalli Hills
Provinces: Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, Delhi
Location: Originates from Palanpur, near Ahmedabad, Gujarat; terminates at The Raisina Hill, Central Delhi
Coordinates: 74°42′30″E / 24°35′33″N
Height: 1,722 meters (5,650 feet)
Prominence: Famous for Mount Abu, a popular hill station, and many old forts.
Plants: Deciduous forests of Khakhara, Khair, Modad, Salai and Timru cover these hills, with important medicinal herbs that can be found in various areas, including Amla, Guggal, Khadaya and Moosli. (Dahiya 2016).
Animals: Animals such as the blue bull, fox, leopard, Indian pangolin, Indian civet, porcupine, sloth bear, star tortoise, striped hyena, and many species of reptiles, both venomous and non-venomous, can be found on these hills.
Birds: Black vultures, white-backed vultures, storks, spoonbills and osprey.
Mountain Name Origin
Upon my travels in India though, I have come to learn that the word, ‘Aravalli,’ is also a feminine, and denotes a girl who is as strong as the hill. However, this name is no longer as popular in the country. (Pitarau 2016)
Geology and Formation
The Aravalli Range thus formed when two smaller tectonic plates were pushed together, forcing it upwards into a series of folds, similar to a rug concertinaing into a series of folds when pushed at one end.
When this was done, the tectonic plates underneath the Earth’s crust ceased their upward thrust, resulting in the mountains not growing any taller. (Which is why they are today known as the Old Fold Mountains.)
After hundreds of millions of years, the Aravalli’s have completely eroded due to the vagaries of weather and the combined action of rivers, rain, ice and wind.
Climbing (or Hiking) the Aravalli Hills
How to Climb / Hike the Aravalli Hills
Trekking: The Aravalli Hills are ideally suited for both trekking and rock climbing. Treks not only provide a unique experience of walking through the dense forests and lush meadows, but also present a spectacular view of the hills and the surrounding areas. Furthermore, trekkers get the opportunity to visit famous temples, such as the Arbuda Devi temple.
Rock Climbing: The Aravalli Hills offer perfect rock climbing sites around Dhauj and Nuh.
Solid granite rocks make these hills ideal for rock climbing, for both novice and expert climbers, with some challenging rock faces.
Attractions, Refuges or Mountain Huts Nearby on the Aravalli Hills
- Chittorgarh Fort
in Mewar, Rajasthan, is situated at a height of 180 meters (590 feet) and is an absolutely beautiful fort complex to visit.
- Amer Fort and Jaigarh Fort lie 11 kilometers (7 miles) from Rajasthan’s capital, Jaipur.
- Mehrangarh Fort is situated at a height of 122 meters (400 feet), and overlooks the city of Jodhpur.
- In Rajasthan, the highest portion of the Aravalli Range becomes a plateau, known locally as ‘Bhorat’, and lies between the forts of Kumbhalgarh and Gogunda at a height of 1,225 meters (4,020 feet).
- Taragarh Fort situated at a height of 873 meters (2,865 feet), overlooks the city of Ajmer, Rajasthan.
- Ranthambore Fort lies 213 meters (700 feet) above the surrounding area.
- Mount Abu, a tourist destination in Rajasthan and closest to Gujarat, is situated at a height of 1,219 meters (4,000 feet).
- There are many other forts, big and small, which dot the Aravalli Hills.
Hiking Trails on The Aravalli Hills
- Trekking in Kumbhalgarh (Rajasthan Province): This is the best place for trekking the Aravalli Hills. The Kumbhalgarh Fort, at a height of 1,100 meters (3,500 feet), is easily accessible from Udaipur, Jodhpur, Ajmer and Pushkar.
Two treks are available:
A one night and two day trek.
And a two night and three day option, which is about 35 kilometers (22 miles) long.
- Trekking in Ranakpur (Rajasthan Province): Surrounded by the unspoiled nature of the Aravalli Range, Ranakpur is a trekkers’ paradise and renowned for it’s world-famous Jain temples.
Two treks are on offered:
One night and two days.
And two nights and three days, involving almost 28 kilometers (17 miles) of trekking.
- Trekking in Ghanerao (Rajasthan Province): Ghanerao is a picturesque town located at the edge of the Aravalli Hills, which offers a host of activities beside trekking, such as horse safaris, jeep safaris and bicycle tours. The two-night and three-day trekking tour involves trekking uphill for 18 kilometers (11 miles) and downhill for the same distance.
- Trekking in Mount Abu: 17 nature trails are available here which are perfect for trekking and other adventure activities. There is much to see on these trekking tours, such as Trevor’s Tank, Salgaon Watch Tower and Cragis Point. The trekking routes range from 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) to 16 kilometers (10 miles).
Climbing or Hiking The Aravalli Hills – Our Top Tips
- In Rajasthan, almost all trekking destinations are well connected by road.
- The use of Official trekking guides is recommended, and English-speaking guides are available.
- The Aravalli Hills are not too strenuous, but require adequate preparation in terms of clothes, shoes, accessories and physical fitness.
- Hygienic eating options are few, so trekkers are advised to carry their own food and water, unless provided by the trekking company.
- Most trekking destinations culminate in forts, so in addition to enjoying the unspoiled beauty of the Aravalli Hills, trekkers get a chance to delve into the historical significance of these forts.
Skiing on The Aravalli Hills
The Top 5 Interesting Legends About The Aravalli Hills
Interesting Fact: The ashes of Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation, were immersed in it.
Visitors to this temple, built in the Guru’s honor, pay their obeisance to this enlightened soul whenever they visit.
The temple is located inside the Achalgarh Fort, and is believed to have been built around the toe impression of Lord Shiva, near the Agni Kund. The temple also houses a 4-tonne statue of Nandi, the bull, made of an alloy of five different metals.
Locals hold the belief that this bull saved this temple against Muslim invaders. A pit within the temple is believed to be the doorway to naraka (hell).
Legend has it that Goddess Kali killed two generals of Shumbha and Nishumba here, named Chanda and Munda, in a famous battle described in Devi Mahatmaya. This slaying led to Goddess Kali being given the name of Chamunda.
Since old forts require restoration work, a restoration organization was given the task to restore it. It is said that before the work could begin, the head of the organization was mysteriously found dead in his house.
Once you have successfully piqued your trekking desires, spend some time in the India on the ground.