To see the Taka mountains in Kassala

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Having spent my childhood in a hill station, I have always had an affinity for the mountains. The picture of the hills in the Sudanese ‘tenner’ drew me towards it this time during Eid holidays. The famous Taka Mountain is located in Kassala in eastern part of Sudan near the Eritrean border. Interestingly during World War II, Italy had briefly occupied Kassala. British Indian troops fought alongside Sudanese in Eritrea in 1941 winning the decisive battle of Keren (earning the Bengal Sappers a Victoria Cross for mine clearance in Metemma, now on the Sudan-Ethiopia border). The Sudan Block of India’s National Defence Academy was partly funded with a gift of one hundred thousand pounds from the Sudanese Government in recognition of the sacrifices of Indian troops in the liberation of Sudan in the North African Campaign during World War II. Taka comprises of cone like peaks (some refer to them as sugarloaf mountains) named Mukram, Taka, Toteil and Aweitila. On the way to Kassala the green and fertile lands of Gadarif can be seen which grows sesame, sorghum, sunflower and other agricultural products. Kassala is famous for its fruits especially the Grape fruit. Kassala is in the border of Eritrea and the seasonal rivulet Al Gash flows from Eritrea to Kassala. The people in Kassala are different from the Sudanese we see in Khartoum. They have maintained their ethnicity in terms of attire and culture. There is a small trading Indian community of around 125 people. They were busy in their shops in the Indian Souq till wee hours of day of Eid. Travelling outside Sudan to its provinces during Eid is not a good idea because the shops and services come to a standstill.

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