Articles

Town & Places - Abbottabad

 

 He founded a new town - picturesquely situated between 4,000ft and 5,000ft above sea-level - and with typical Imperial panache, named it after himself: Abbottabad. He administered It for several years as the first Deputy Commissioner (1847-1853) and composed lovingly, if not very competently, on it:

I remember the day when I first came here
And smelt the sweet Abbottabad air
The trees and the ground covered with snow
Gave us indeed a brilliant show
To me the place seemed like a dream
And far ran a lonesome stream
The wind hissed as if welcoming us
The pines swayed creating a lot of fuss
And the tiny Cuckoo sang it away
A song very melodious and gay
I adored the place from the first sight
And was happy that my coming here was right
And eight good years here passed very soon
And we leave you perhaps on a sunny noon
Oh! Abbottabad we are leaving you now
To your natural beauty do I bow
Perhaps your winds will never reach my ears
My gift for you is sad tears
I bid you farewell with a heavy heart
Never from my mind will your memories thwart.


The Abbottabad municipality was created in 1967 to look after the needs of the divisional headquarters and expanding town. Today a city, it still evokes the colonial air with British style bungalows, church, club and cemetery.

Abbott not only founded this town but "discovered" the Murree and Galis and more particularly the twin summits of Miranjani (9,747ft) and Mokhspuri (2,800mj9,452ft). Located in the east of the district are the Margalla Hills in which the stations of Nathia Gali (2,501m), Dunga Gali (2,800m), Changla Gali and Thandiani are situated. Thandiani or "Cold" in the local dialect, is a village perched high (2,700m) on a narrow plateau surrounded by thick forests. These hill-villages were developed by the British into summer resorts, and for stationing British mountain batteries, infantry attachments, various schools of musketry and other military establishments during the summer months. Some of the densest forests of the Province, and indeed in the country, are in the Hazara tract.

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