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Morni is a village and tourist attraction in the Morni Hills at the height of 1,267 metres (4,157 ft) in the Panchkula district of the Indian state of Haryana. It is located around 45 kilometres (28 mi) from Chandigarh, 35 kilometres (22 mi) from Panchkula city and is known for its Himalayan views, flora, and lakes.[1] The name of Morni is believed to derive from a queen who once ruled the area two thousand years back. She was a just and noble ruler of her Queendom.

Morni Hills
Morni Hills is located in Haryana
Morni Hills
Morni Hills
Location of in Haryana
Morni Hills is located in India
Morni Hills
Morni Hills
Morni Hills (India)
Highest point
Elevation1,220 m (4,000 ft)
ListingList of Indian states and territories by highest point
Coordinates30°42′N 77°05′E / 30.700°N 77.083°E / 30.700; 77.083Coordinates: 30°42′N 77°05′E / 30.700°N 77.083°E / 30.700; 77.083
Geography
LocationPanchkula district, Haryana
Parent rangeShivalik Hills of Himalayas
Climbing
Easiest routeHike / scramble

GeographyEdit

 
Sign board showing the altitude of Morni Hills

The Morni Hills are offshoots of the Shivalik range of the Himalayas, which run in two parallel ranges. The village of Morni lies on the mountainside, at 1,220 metres (4,000 ft) above mean sea level. Among the spurs of the hills lie two lakes, the larger of these being about 550 metres (1,800 ft) long and 460 metres (1,510 ft) broad, and the smaller around 365 metres (1,198 ft) either way.

TourismEdit

 
Haryana Tourism's Hotel Mountain Quail

The Haryana Government has constructed the Mountain Quail Resort for tourists,[1] along with a motorable road to connect the Morni Hills with the Haryana State Highway near Panchkula. Three further roads connect Morni to Chandigarh and other nearby towns.

AccommodationEdit

Haryana Tourism runs the Mountain Quail tourist resort at Tikkar Taal, grounds of which also have dormitory style camping accommodation for campers.[1] Indian Forest Department rest house named Lal Munia and a PWD rest house have also been constructed to accommodate tourists and trekkers. The resort includes playgrounds for children, along with a roller skating rink and a swimming pool.[1] Tikker taal itself has large camping and picnic ground with outdoor seats, cobbled paths, a very high fountain, picnic facilities, boating, paragliding, cafe, adventure park for kids built in 2013.

FortsEdit

Morni Fort MuseumEdit

There is an old fort in the Morni area, which is now in ruins. The hills are covered by pine trees, and are popular trekking locations.[1] The fort also has a museum built in fy 2017-18.[2]

Forests Department of Haryana has converted the fort into a museum and nature study centre which houses old photographs of the fort, endangered birds and animals, awareness of dangers of plastic, etc.[3]

Garhi Kotaha FortEdit

Garhi Kotaha is a fort on NH1 which lies 27 km south of the Morni Fort and 3 km east of Raipur Rani tehsil headquarter. It now lie in ruins since it was partially demolished by the British Raj after the Indian Rebellion of 1857.[4] Mir muslims of Kotaha ruled from Garhi Kotaha Fort with smaller forts at Morni and Massompur.[4]

Masoompur FortEdit

Masoompur Fort is a smaller outpost fort with thick stone-brick masonry walls on a mud hillock. It is northeast of Massompur village which is 5km from the main Garhi Kotaha Fort via road passing through Rehana village. It was built to control the access route to Samlotha temple, which lies northeast of the fort, to collect the hefty jizya (religious ransom tax)from the Hindus pilgrimage.[4]

Twin lakes of Tikkar Taal: Bhim Taal and Draupdi TaalEdit

A hill divides the two lakes, the larger one is called Bhim Taal or just Tikkar Taal which is 550 meter wide and 460 meter long[5][6] and the smaller one is called Draupdi Taal or Chota Tikkar Taal (meaning the little tikkar lake) is 365 meter wide and long,[6][5] as the legend goes there is a hidden channel linking them, as the water level of two lakes remains roughly the same. Morni locals look upon the lakes as sacred.[7]

Morni Hill WaterfallEdit

Waterfall, access via a track in the forest, is active in the rainy season.[5][7]

Morni Pheasant Breeding CenterEdit

Morni Pheasant Breeding Center focuses on the breeding of red junglefowls and kalij pheasants, and regularly releases birds raised in captivity into the wild every year. Red junglefowl had become extinct from most of its range and there are concerns of loss of its genetic purity due to breeding with other related species of fowls. Consequently, in 1991-92 a pheasant breeding center at Morni Hills was established with 6 aviaries and a walk-in a aviary to preserve the wild breed.[8]

Morni Hill Archaeological Temple SiteEdit

Thakur Dwar temple, dedicated to lord Krishna,[9] at the banks of Tikkar Taal is built on the site of 10th Century temple. Excavations in 1970 found Hindu sculptures dating back to Pratihara era (7th to 11th century CE), some of which are housed at Government Museum and Art Gallery, Chandigarh and some remain in-situ at the Thakur Dwara temple at Morni Hills.[10][7]

Bhuri Singh Deota temple, dedicated to the folk deity Buri Singh, is the cliff-temple at Pejarli village at a height of 1870 metres with unbroken scenic view of Ghaggar river (Sarasvati).[11][12]

Herbal forestEdit

In 2018, Haryana government starting establishing a 50,000 hectare herbal forest with the help of community self-help groups and with the assistance of Baba Ramdev's Patanjali Yogpeeth.[3]

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit