The 2nd halt in our Uttarakhand road-trip was Abbott Mount, a tiny hill-station about 5800 ft from the sea-level, built during the British rule by Mr. John Harold Abbott. Named after him, Abbott Mount is very close to the popular tourist town of Lohaghat, famous for its many Hindu temples. For us, though, Abbott Mount held the promise of peace and solitude, and we were happy to be away from ‘civilisation’…
Drive from Jeolikote to Abbott Mount
And so, Day 2 of our Uttarakhand road-trip started with the 80 km drive from Jeolikote to Abbot Mount. Don’t think it is only 80 kms away! Jeolikote onwards, the roads of Uttarakhand have twists and turns every 50 meters, making fast driving difficult. The drive took us a little more than 6 hours, and no, we didn’t stop for lunch, as our daughter had developed severe car sickness. And so, despite being a very beautiful drive, we got somewhat stressed to make it to Abbott Mount as soon as we could. Fault was ours. We forgot to give her the tablet for motion sickness, and worse, left Jeolikote immediately after a sumptuous breakfast of Paranthas at the Cottage where we were staying.
Stay at the Abbott Mount Cottage
But one look at the Abbott Mount Cottage where we’d be staying for the night, and all her sickness vanished. Built during the British rule, the Abbott Mount Cottage exudes the charm and cosiness of a cottage in the hills. Flanked by a huge garden and surrounded by flowering trees and shrubs, the Cottage will take away all your exhaustion in a snap. Ours, was long gone though. A day at Jeolikote and now here, we were fast losing our city stress and weariness.
The Abbot Mount Cottage has only four rooms. We were allotted one large room on the 1st floor, overlooking the garden and the hills. There is a big living room, tiny library and a mid-sized dining hall in the ground floor. Pretty basic but clean, the Cottage has an eerie feel to it. I couldn’t help but feel that we had been transported back to the olden days during our stay here. The caretaker, an elderly gentleman, tall and with the seen-in-all aura looked like he must be the guy looking after the place since the beginning of time.
Food was basic, and we had to brief Chachaji, the caretaker, of our preference a day in advance, so that he could ask his assistant to get the provisions from the Lohaghat market 7-10 kms below. And so, breakfast was eggs and bread, while lunch and dinner was rice, roti, veggies and chicken. Extremely simple with no paraphernalia whatsoever.
Despite the English-style dining room, we requested that both lunch and breakfast be served in the garden. Who wants to throw away a bright sunny day in the hills? The garden is where we spent most of the time.Fogged out during the entire time that we were there, the Cottage offers dazzling view of a few Himalayan peaks on clear days.
Things to do/ Places to see in Abbott Mount
Well, Chachaji ensured we go and see the only two things that Abbott Mount has to show – an old Church and an old cricket ground — unarguably the basic things that the British needed when they set foot in this hill to make it a ‘hill-station’. Chachaji’s assistant, a young boy, took us around the hill, showing us the other British bungalows and adding that the Cottage had the best view and garden, the Church which shut down a couple of years back when its Parish passed away, the cemetery where the architect of Abbott Mount, Mr. John Harold Abbott, lies buried, the cricket ground and the site where the current Uttarakhand govt is constructing a line of guest houses to pep up tourism to this sleepy hill. All of this in a little more than a hour’s trek/walk. Told you Abbott Mount is a sleepy hill!
And then we went back to the Cottage’s garden to catch the sun go down the hills in the West. It can get pretty chilly after sun-down, and hardly anything to do until dinner time. We requested for an early dinner and retired early, praying that the morning would give us a glimpse of the Himalayas. No, it didn’t. Nonetheless, we took over the garden once again with the breaking of dawn, and loitered around the flowers, butterflies, trees checking out dew drops and nests of birds…until breakfast was served. And after a hour post breakfast and a motion sickness pill, we bade Abbott Mount goodbye and set out for Jhaltola…
PS: Internet connectivity at the Abbot Mount Cottage is extremely modest. No, they do not have any wifi. My Tata Docomo dongle didn’t work either. Only our Vodafone phones connected. The rooms caught no network whatsoever. The garden allowed whatever little bit we could catch.
Also read: Jhaltola — 3rd halt in Uttarakhand roadtrip
For the complete Uttarakhand itinerary, where to stay, what to see and what to buy, read — An Uttarakhand Roadtrip This Summer