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Mount Abu-Kumbalgarh
The Spectral Entrada
"Rajasthan exhibits the sole example in the history of mankind of a people withstanding every outrage barbarity can inflict or human nature sustain, and bent to the earth, yet rising buoyant from the pressure and making calamity a whetstone to courage". Rajasthan's panoramic outlook is simply mesmerizing, with the lofty Aravali hills - one of the oldest mountain ranges of the world and the golden sand dunes of the Great Indian Desert - the only desert in the sub continent.
Climatically, Rajasthan is the driest part of India. Population densities are higher in the eastern part of the State and nineteen of the thirtyone districts of the State fall in the non-desert area to the east of the Aravallis.
Mount Abu
Mount Abu is a beautiful hill-station which is actually a plateau lying at an altitude of 1200 meters and is rich in vegetation. This is also the highest point between the Nilgiris in the south and the Himalayan range up north. While driving uphill to Mount Abu, there is a range of huge smooth rocks with weird shapes, a result of erosion by high velocity winds. In the medieval times, Mt. Abu was a part of the Chauhan kingdom. Later it was later leased to the British by then Maharaja of Sirohi for use as the headquarters of the resident to Rajputana (another name for Rajasthan). Mount Abu was one of the favorite summer destinations of the British who drove to this hilly retreat to escape the dusty, dry heat of the plains.
According to the folklores, Mt. Abu was also the home of many saints and sages in ancient times. According to the legends, all the three hundred and thirty million gods and goddesses of the Hindu pantheon used to visit this holy mountain. This place is held in reverence by Jains since Lord Mahavira, the 24th Jain Tirthankara (spiritual leader), visited Mt. Abu and blessed the city.
Travel to the west of chittaurgarh to reach the second most important bastion of Mewar- Kumbhalgarh. Covering an area of 12 sq. Km this formidable fort fell only once to the army of Akbar and that too becasue the water supply was contaminated by the enemy forces. Even today, it is one of the most inaccessible forts of Rajasthan and reached with great difficulty. It served as a refuge to the rulers of Mewar in times of strife and contained within its ramparts alomst an entire township .
The massive hilltop fort of Chittorgarh is one of the most historically significant in Rajasthan and epitomises the whole romantic, doomed ideal of Rajput chivalry. Three times in its long history, Chittor was sacked by a stronger enemy and, on each occasion, the end came in textbook Rajput fashion: Jauhar was declared in the face of impossible odds. The men donned the saffron robes of martyrdom and rode out from the fort to certain death, while the women immolated themselves on a huge funeral pyre. Honour was always more important than death and Chittor still holds a special place in the hearts of many Rajputs.The only real reason to come to Chittor is to see the fort.