Rangilo Rajasthan – Part 5 – Sunset near Nakki lake and trekking in the hills of Mount Abu

After seeing the mind-blowing architecture of Dilwara
temples, I returned to the city center of Mount Abu. It was around 5-30 PM and
it was the best time to visit Nakki lake. This small lake is a popular tourist
attraction in Mount Abu. The lake was just a routine tourist spot full of
people. Being a crowd hater, I simply walked in the opposite direction to avoid
the crowd and chaos. I sat on a bench on the other side of the lake and started
browsing through the pictures on my camera. Overall, the lake did not appeal
much to me. I googled for some other spots nearby and found that the sunset
spot to was at a 5-min riding distance.

Nakki lake
This spot was a bit inside the forest and one had to walk
around half a kilometer to reach there. Only fifteen minutes were left for the
sun to go down the horizon. I rushed to the spot. It was a small hillock on
which stepped galleries were built. All galleries were full of people! I felt
like being on a railway station in Mumbai. There was a group of college
students playing Antakshari. I felt disappointed and annoyed at the same time.
I somehow managed to walk past the crowd and find a rock where there were not
many people. The sun looked dark orange. The horizon was hazy. The layer of
haze gulped down the sun literally in a few minutes and the so-called sunset
was over in a jiffy! I could hardly click a few photos. The crowd was still
busy clicking pictures of the mediocre valley. I quickly got up and started
walking down to the parking place to avoid the returning crowd. After visiting
the picturesque Gurushikhar and magnificent Dilwara temples, the Nakki lake and
Sunset point turned out to be quite mundane. Traveling throws myriad of
experiences at you. They are sometimes beautiful and sometimes ugly.

The setting sun seen through the thorny forest

The dense haze swallowed the sun much before  its setting time

For the next day, I had decided to trek around the hills of
Mount Abu. I had already called up a local trekking company and booked a guided
trek. Generally, these guided treks are conducted for a group of 10-15 people.
However, for this day, I was the only person who had made the reservation. As
decided, I met my guide Jay Singh at the designated place. We started walking
into the wilderness. The weather was perfect for a short hike in the hills. Jay
was narrating his past encounters with wildlife in the region. Listening to
him, I was getting more excited about spotting some animals. Soon we reached
our first rest stop. This was a beautiful spot overlooking the valley. The
breeze was pleasant and the chirping of birds was soothing. We sat there and
clicked some pictures. From here, the trail suddenly became steep and went deep
inside the forest. 

Crawling out of the bear’s den
After climbing for around half an hour we reached a cave. It
looked like a bear
s den. Jay started narrating
how he had encountered a bear in this area a month ago. What if there was one
even today? I felt my heartbeats rising. Jay finished his story and started
walking inside the cave. What?! Yes, that
s how
the trail was. I was a bit apprehensive of stepping inside. But Jay assured me
that the cave is completely safe and reiterated that he walks this trail almost
every day. Hesitantly, I walked
behind him. With
some acrobatic movements, I managed to come outside from the other side. What a
thrilling experience it was!

The first spot overlooking the valley

The trail going uphill through a dense forest

Crawling  through the bear’s den

Now we had reached a small plateau. From here, the city
looked gorgeous. The Nakki lake, which appeared to be quite mundane from its
shore, looked surprisingly adorable from this distance. We sat there for a
while, munched on some snacks, and moved on. Now the trail became steep again
and started going up a small rocky hillock. I climbed up catching my breath and
was awestruck with the view it offered. This was the highest spot on this
trail. One could see the plains of Gujarat from here. We sat on the cliff
enjoying the view. While conversing with Jay, I learnt that these hills have a
lot of unexplored trails offering beautiful scenery. I almost decided to
explore these trails on my next visit to Mount Abu. From here, the trail went
down the hill. We crawled through a couple of more caves and reached the spot
from where we had started. It was a wonderful hike. Jay asked me if I was
interested in visiting their campsite. They had some adventure activities like
rock climbing and rapelling and served traditional local lunch. Although I had
very little time in hand, I agreed to go with him to have lunch. The campsite
was at a quite place behind the Dilwara village. Surrounded by fields and
forests, I almost fell in love with the place. The food was delicious as
expected. I thanked Jay for his company and the delicious food and came back to
the home stay.

Nakki lake as seen from the plataeu

Walking over a plateau

The adorable view of the city from surrounding hills

It was time to say goodbye to Mount Abu. I was a bit
disappointed with the popular tourist spots of the city; however, today
s hike had shown me the beautiful
wilderness around the city. I was happy with myself that I decided to go for this
hike. I checked out of the homestay and started my journey to the next
Jawai Bandh.

The lunch place at Jay’s campsite

To be continued…

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