Sunday 18 March 2012

Morni Hills & Morni Fort

Beginning of March this year I went to the only hill station of Haryana - Morni Hills. It is about 50 kns from Chandigarh bordering the state of Himachal Pradesh. The place has its own charm. Very few tourists venture towards it as everyone somehow wants to head towards the queen of the hills Shimla. Only people from Chandigarh and near by areas come this side and that also mainly as a day trip.

Sunset at Morni Hills

I experienced beautiful sunsets at both Morni and Tikkar Taal (see my earlier post of Tikkar Taal).  The sun at Morni sets high up in the sky itself. You think it would go down the horizon but it vanishes high in the sky itself.

Morni or Mir Jafar Ali Fort

Besides the serene atmosphere Morni also has the Morni Fort (or the Mir Jafar Ali Fort). The Governor General of India by a 'Sanad' had bestowed the ownership of the Morni Hills and the fort to Mir Jafar Ali on 26 October 1816 in consideration of his old rights and the assistance rendered to the British troops during Gorkha campaign. The forest department acquired it in 1977 from the descendants of Mir Jafar Ali.

Morni Fort from a distance

Normally the fort is not visible from the road and only when one approaches closer is it visible. To get a better perspective I climbed a nearby hill. The view in the picture above has been taken from another hill. 

Inside view of the Morni Fort

The fort has very few visitors so one can spend quiet moments exploring the fort. How come this beautiful old structure is barely known in the tourist circuit? I feel it is not well advertised by any of the Haryana government departments.

Morni Fort

Some restoration work of the fort has been undertaken but they have been able to merge the old and the new well.

Pine Forest at Morni

The Morni hills have good weather from October to March. Some parts are well forested though in other areas agriculture is taking over the forest land. If one is seeking adventure then there are plenty of trekking options available. I for one choose my own routes at random.

A small pond with reflection of trees at Morni

I stayed at the Mountain Quail Hotel run by the Haryana Tourism. It has 16 rooms with room rates of Rs 1200, 1600 and 2000. Though the Haryana Tourism has a website to do online booking but it does not work all the time. At least I was unable to book a room online.

Hotel Mountain Quail, Morni Hills

If the Haryana Tourism wants to attract more tourists, it needs to maintain its website in a better way. Most of the time rooms are available (first couple of days only my room was occupied!). It is only on weekends and holidays that there is some rush.


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