A few days back I was looking down the Places page of ghumakkar.com to read about different tourist places of India and I found that there were only three posts for state Haryana and all related to holy and historical place Kurukshetra. As I belong to Haryana, I can proudly say that along with historical places and shrines, Haryana has much more to serve in tourism sector. Do you know that the state also has a hill station? Yes, it is Morni Hills. Let me take you all to a virtual trip to this beautiful, peaceful and the only hill station of Haryana, Morni Hills.
About Morni Hills (Courtsey: Wikipedia)
Morni is a village and tourist attraction in the Morni Hills in the Panchkula district of Haryana. It is located around 45 kilometres (28 mi) from Chandigarh,35 km from panchkula as its district and is known for its Himalayan views, flora, and lakes. The name of Morni is believed to derive from a queen who once ruled the area.
It was the November of 2013 and day next to Diwali we decided to visit Morni Hills. Initially we were skeptical about how the place would be, will there be too much to visit, where to stay etc. etc. But all our confusions flew off once we were there.
We started our journey from Chandigarh after breakfast. Took the road to Morni via Panchkula, after about half an hour we were driving through hilly area. It was month of November, so atmosphere was filled with a cool breeze. Since Morni is less frequented, so you will find only one or two cars and few local collegiate and lovebirds on bikes. We reached Morni by around afternoon and headed towards Adventure Park. You park your cars and walk through the entrance and get tickets. There are some adventure activities to do here like rope climbing, bridge crossing, bhul bhulaiya(labyrinth), scary room(which wasn’t scary though), tree house etc. It is a great picnic spot for families. As we saw many families enjoying their home cooked food in big casseroles, the mice in our tummies started running here and there and we looked around for lunch but the place had nothing much to offer than Maggie. Ah! We wished we had carried hot Rajma Chawal or Parathas with Pickle. Good tip for next time visit. After spending some time there, we then proceeded to Tikkar Taal.
Tikkar Taal is a man made lake divided into three parts: Tikkar Taal, Bada Tikkar and Chhota Tikkar. Where Bada tikkar and Chhota Tikkar are small in size, Tikkar Taal is a very large and beautiful lake lying in the lap of Shivalik hills. I had seen a lake with a hilly background for the first time in my life. There is wooden walkway above the lake with a hall at end where you can stand to admire the lake beneath.You can also just walk lazily on the grassy ground alongside the lake or can try your strength on the tyre climbing wall. Boating facility is also available here but we decided to skip it as was getting late and cold. It was the time for sun to prepare for returning back to its home and its orangy reflection was enhancing the beauty of the lake.
Situated along the lake there is a resort run by Haryana Govt. and you can have snacks or food at their restaurant. A bit slow service but do try their Chinese, its yummy.
On our way to Tikkar Taal we had got our rooms booked at Haryan Tourism’s Resort Mountain Quail. Actually there are two main resorts in Morni hills run by Haryana State Tourism, one is Mountain Quail, situated at Morni village and other one is located along Tikkar Taal. While going to Tikkar Taal, you cross by Mountain Quail and you have to come back from Tikkar Taal to stay here for night. It is also advised to avoid driving once it gets dark as there is lack of proper light arrangement on roads around Morni.
For Image source – go here
Well, after satisfying our eyes with the sight of the lake, we decided to return back to stay at Mountain Quail Resort, for the night. On the way from Tikkar Taal to Morni, there was a sign board of Fort Morni indicating towards a road on the right side heading upwards on the hill. Since the fort was located near the resort, so without any second thought we turned the car towards the Fort. The Fort was almost going to be closed for tourists, by the time we reached there. On request, they allowed us to visit it quickly. The Fort was built in the 17th Century on the top of Morni hill at a height of about 1200 metres and it has been preserved very well. It stands with all pride overlooking the Morni village and telling the story behind its existence. There were holes in the Fort walls which were used for attacking enemies through guns. The interesting thing about holes is that you can peep outside through holes while standing inside the Fort, but you can not look inside from same holes while standing outside the Fort. A strategic way to avoid enemy attacks.
For image source and to know more about the history of the fort go here
By this time we came out of the fort, the weather had became very cold and we put on our sweaters and came back to the resort. We realized that there was only one more family staying there. The reason being that most of the visitors come from Chandigarh and nearby places during early morning and return back in the evening. The resort is a very nice place to stay. If you are good at bargaining you can get rooms at affordable price. Rooms were clean and tidy. The resort provides room service also but we decided to have dinner at their restaurant. Food was delicious. Both veg and non-veg are available. We spent sometime sitting in the lawn and then went to sleep to start our journey back home next morning. There were no mall roads, no souvenir shops, no markets to buy anything home but only lovely and precious memories of Morni Hills that we stored in our hearts.
Sometimes not so popular tourist destinations provide us that happiness and quality family time, what crowded and overly hyped destinations can not. Morni, despite of being a quite small hill station, provides you every opportunity to spend enough time with your family and friends in the lap of mother nature. There would be no overstatement if I say Morni Hills is a perfect destination for those looking for fresh air, green surroundings, chirping of birds, escape from noise of vehicles and metro city life. I hope you agree with me…
Distance From Delhi – 264 kms
Distance From Chandigarh(Zirakpur) – 24kms
Connectivity: By Road
Route Map – Take NH3 Zirakpur -Kalka-Shimla Highway – After around 3 kms Turn Right Towards Nadha Sahib Gurudwara – Pass By Gurudwara – Turn Left after Jai Gugga Jahar Veer Jee – Pass by Holy Child School – Morni Hills