Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Mount Abu: An oasis in the desert and monkeys, monkeys, monkeys!!

Hello friends,
I just got back from Mount Abu a few days ago.  I have never even heard of it but my travel agent suggested it.  Mount Abu is the highest peak in the Aravali Range of Rajhastan in western India.  It is the only hill station in Rajasthan.  This area is always packed with Indian honeymooners.  This is definitely the honeymoon capital for newlyweds.  Another place where everyone asked me, "Are you here alone???"  I always respond, "Yes, damn it table for one only please."

View at sunset point:


 View from Jaipur Hotel where I had lunch.

 Mustard Seed Field

I would say one of my most memorable experiences was leaving Mount Abu.  My driver told me to close my window.  I said, "Why?"  He said, "You will see."
We then came across a ton of monkeys!!  How cute!!  I started to take pictures, then all of a sudden, they jumped on my car!!  These monkeys were not shy!!!  They were in soooo close.  They were on the hood of the car, on the side view mirror, upside down on the hood, and jumping on the top of the car!  "Jesus!!"  I've never seen anything like it!!  

I was a little scared but happy the windows were up.  I asked the driver if they bite and he said, "Sometimes. :)  LOL"  He said he asked these two australian women that he drove once to raise their windows and they didn't listen.  One of the monkeys jumped in the car and almost bit her!!  
Why don't people just follow directions.  :)

I have been all over India to so many different cities.  Each city is unique in it's own way.

Goa, beach town (It's like the Miami Beach of India.  It's a party town with tons of Russian tourists.  Not many Americans go here at all because they aren't familiar with this place.

Delhi- Capital of India.  You thought New York City was crowded?  Nothing compares to how overly populated, polluted and how crazy the traffic was.  My most memorable experience was visiting the Jama Masjid (the largest mosque in India), the Bahai temple (the lotus temple), and the Rajghat (where Mahatatma Ghandi was cremated).    Being a city person, I still was not prepared for how chaotic and crazily packed the city was but the historical landmarks and mosques and temples, took my breath away.

Jodphur- This city is known for it's amazing textiles, patchwork and hand stitched wall hangings and fabrics.  I had the most amazing time burying myself in these unique textiles, saris and salwars dyed in rich and vibrant colors!  Nowhere in the world can you find fabric and the detailed hand work like this.

Khajuraho-  Home to the most beautiful temples, ornately decorated with the most erotic and detail oriented kamasutra-like sculptures.

Jaisalmer-This place is in the middle of the desert where I visited the Sam Sand Dunes and road my first camel.  I witnessed one of the most amazing sunsets I have ever seen.

Jaipur-  This is the largest city and capital of Rajasthan.  It is also known as the pink city.  It gets its name because the town was ordered to be painted entirely pink in 1853 to welcome the Prince of Wales.

Agra- Home of the Taj Mahal.  Need I say more?

Udaipur- Also called the "Venice of the east" or nicknamed "The Lake Palace.

Home of my dear friend, Anita and her family and it is the capital of Maharashtra (largest metropolitan city of India).
Also known for the home of "Bollywood."
Some interesting facts about Mumbai according to Lonely Planet:
population: 16.4 million (about 29,000 people per square kilometer)
annual income : $48,900 US $1000 or 3x the national average
Number of public toilets for every 1 million people (17)
Number of people in an 1800-person capacity train at rush hour (7000)
number of Bollywood movies made since 1931:  68,500

Taj Mahal Hotel- http://www.tajhotels.com/Palace/The%20Taj%20Mahal%20Palace,MUMBAI/default.htm

About Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces
Established in 1903, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces is one of Asia's largest and finest group of hotels, comprising 114 hotels in 43 locations across India with an additional 15 international hotels in the Maldives, Malaysia, Australia, UK, USA, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Africa and the Middle East. From world-renowned landmarks to modern business hotels, idyllic beach resorts to authentic Grand palaces, each Taj hotel offers an unrivalled fusion of warm Indian hospitality, world-class service and modern luxury. The Taj, a symbol of Indian hospitality, completed the centenary of its landmark hotel, The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai. Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces is part of the Tata Group, India's premier business house.

This hotel has gone under a serious renovation after the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

This is the best and most luxurious hotel in all of Mumbai.  Barack Obama stayed here, at this hotel last month.  http://www.tajhotels.com/Palace/The%20Taj%20Mahal%20Palace,MUMBAI/pdf/President-Obamas-visit-Press-Release.pdf

In a commemorative speech overlooking the Gateway of India from The Taj Mahal Palace terrace, President Obama paid tribute to the city of Mumbai and the Taj. Mr. Obama is spending three valuable days – in India, the longest amount of time he has spent in any foreign country as President
“.....our decision to begin our visit here in this dynamic city, at this historic hotel.... To those who have asked whether this is intended to send a message, my answer is simply, absolutely!...... Mumbai is a symbol of the incredible energy and optimism that defines India in the 21st century......the Taj has been the symbol of the strength and the resilience of the Indian people.”
President Barack Obama

I had to come and see The Taj Mahal Hotel for myself.  With rooms ranging from $350-$6000 a night, my friend Anita and I opted to get coffee and dessert there instead.  :)


  1. Pictures are so beautiful they don't look real...You definitely have to do a book when you return!!

  2. those monkeys are creepy!!!!! lol i can just imagine you surrounded by all those monkeys! i would freak out!Lol