Saturday 10 March 2012

Tikkar Taal Lake

I am normally interested in going to smaller and off the usual tourist destinations. Therefore, this time I decided to visit the Morni Hills and its adjoining areas. Morni Hills is the only hill station of Haryana and is located in Panchkula district. Morni Hills is also the Tehsil headquarters. Tikkar Taal (Taal means lake) is about 45 kms from Panchkula and about 300 kms from Delhi and can be reached in five hours from Delhi.The road condition from Panchkula to Tikkar Taal is good.

Sunset at Tikkar Taal

In fact at Tikkar Taal there are two lakes - the bigger is known as Tikkar Taal and the smaller is called Chota Tikkar or the Sherla Taal.

The Twin Lakes: Bada Tikkar and Chota Tikkar

The water of the smaller lake is muddy. Both the lakes are surrounded by hills on all sides and therefore have a good natural catchment area for the collection of rain water.

Chota Tikkar

Closer to the smaller lake is located the Adventure Park maintained and run by the Haryana Tourism. It has taken the concept from outside but is not of the same standard. e.g. the Tree House is build on an artificial tree. But the only good thing it that the Tree House gave me a vantage position to see the smaller lake from above.

Tree House

One can visit the Adventure Park (entry ticket is Rs 50 per person) though I was not at all impressed by the same. It has ghost house, monkey maze, tree houses, swinging bridge (seems it is broken for quite some time with no one bothering to repair it). The Adventure Park that I visited in British Columbia, Canada for example was far more advanced and interesting.

Entrance to the Adventure Park

I was also able to see some water birds for the first time which I have not seen before.

Chota Tikkar from the tree house

The bigger lake has very clear water and it is mainly on this lake that boating, camping and other adventure activities are carried out. One can take a paddle boat for two persons for Rs 100 for 15 minutes.

Tikkar Taal

The Tikkar Taal is about 550 meters by 460 meters whereas the smaller one is about 365 meters (both ways). There is also a theory that both the lakes are interconnected by an underwater channel but I have my doubts on this theory as water of Tikkar Taal is clear whereas the water of Chota Tikkar is muddy.

Tikkar Taal from another angle

Haryana Tourism maintains a hotel at Tikkar Taal which has four AC rooms (Rs 1500) and two 16 bedded dormitories (Rs 200). The location could not be better as it is right on the lakeside.

Accommodation of Haryana Tourism

The place has limited eating options - either the Haryana Tourism maintained restaurant or the Happy Restaurant (closer to the Chota Tikkar)

On week days there are few persons who visit the place so one can have the place to oneself but I believe weekends could sometimes become maddening specifically if it is some holiday like Holi. Hordes of people, mainly the young crowd, come to the place from Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali. Mostly they stay there for less than an hour. More than the lake, it is probably the drive to it that they enjoy.

Best time to visit the Tikkar Taal area is October to March as the weather is pleasant. One can stay either the Haryana Tourism hotel or the smaller hotels. Smaller hotels do not have a online  booking system. Of course I was not able to book a room online even on the Haryana Tourism website. They seriously need to upgrade their website and match the ones maintained for example by the Himachal Tourism.