HamasuKhan Koi Na Ho Aur Hamazabaan Koi Na Ho
Thus wrote Mirza Ghalib a long time ago. At times you feel like going to a place where you can feel the silence, the buzz of the city, the sound of horns, the screech of tyres is all behind you. Books are your only companion and the mountains your only friend. In search of this place brought me to this amazing place called Abbott Mount.
One may chose to take the following routes:
- Drive to Moradabad-Rampur-Rudrapur-Tanakpur-Loha Ghat-Abbott Mount. This is about 410 kms and would take 7-8 hours depending upon the traffic.
- Drive to Budaun-Bareilli-Pilibhit-Tanakpur-Lohaghat
One may take a train also to Rudrapur and take a cab from there. We chose the second route via Budaun as we had a night stay at Budaun.
From Budaun to Tanakpur the route is what you expect in Uttar Pradesh. Bumpy, single lane and altogether bad. A very strange thing happens near Tanakpur, suddenly the mobile picks signals from Nepal Telecom. The Indian telecom signals being too weak and the place being as close to Nepal as it is.
The road from Tanakpur to Lohaghat is very bad. For a short journey of 88 kms, we took more than 3 hours. Lohagjat to Abbott Mount is 8 kms. All provisions like soda , cigarettes and liquor need to be purchased from Loha Ghat.
Abbott Mount is named after Mr Harold Abbott who bought a bungalow here a century ago. as of now there would be 6-7 bungalows at Abbott Mount one of which belongs to my wife's family and was purchased by her grandfather about 40 years ago. The family has now partnered with M/s Asian Adventures as maintaining the property while living in Delhi is both a costly as well as difficult ask.
My better half had very fond memories of the place as she had spent a lot of her summer vacations with her family here. As for me, my love for mountains and the chance to catch-up with my reading after a financial year end was reason enough to be here.
The good thing is that the cottage, though modified partly to suit visitors, has retained most of its original charm. The staff is extremely friendly, though it may not be correct of me to praise them too much given the obvious bias they had towards us.
One may take quiet long walks here without the chance of getting run down by a bus or by a teenager playing Yo Yo Honey Singh at full volume.
A walk around the entire mount shall not take more than an hour and you shall pass the church built by the Abbott family in 1942 which is now closed. The Abbott Bungalow and a couple of more bungalows.
A small graveyard of the Abbott family is close to the church.
On a clear day one may have a spectacular view of the mountains from the cottage garden. We weren't so lucky as the weather at the time of our visit was partially cloudy.
We stayed here for 4 days in April and it was an amazing stay. The books, the mountains and the quiet do make a lethal combination.
The throne where i read 'The Best of National Interest' by Shekhar Gupta and 'The Siege' by Adrian Levy.