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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Abbott Mount : The Clouds Beneath Your Feet - 1

Abbott Mount belongs to the State Uttaranchal and location at Atop a hill in the Kali Kumaon region of eastern Uttaranchal, in Champawat District, 9 km from Lohaghat, 36 km from Nepal and 437 km NE of Delhi Route NH24 to Rampur via Moradabad; NH87 to Ranibagh via Kathgodam; state highway to Lohaghat via Bhimtal, Khutani Bend, Chanfi, Padampuri, Dhanachuli Bend, Seharphatak and Devidhura; state road to Abbott Mount via Marorakhan.

Not even the breathtaking vistas of the forested drive over the Dhanachuli Bend into hampawat District can prepare you for the beauty that greets you in Abbott Mount. It takes a lot of wayfaring to reach this unspoiled corner of Uttaranchal known as Kali Kumaon - the realm of the Kali River - near the Nepal border.

After never-ending stretches of mosscovered deodar forests, you finally reach Lohaghat on the banks of the l.ohawati River. Leave Lohaghat's crowded bazaar behind and, 6 km ahead at Marorakhan, a road climbs dramatically up through the clouds over 3 km. This is Abbott Mount.

Pull into the driveway of Snow View Cottage, unchanged since the time one Abbott first built it. Deodars, pear trees and a solitary walnut tree grace the grounds. Step out of your car and there they are - a chain of peaks in pure-white coats that are the highest mountains on Earth - the Himalaya stretched across the horizon. It was for this special view that Abbott chose this particular mount that towers above the neighbouring hills. Fear not for your sanity if you need to pinch yourself to check whether you are dreaming. After all, how often do you sit in a garden and watch clouds float by - below your feet?

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