A drive to Morni Hills
Vacations aren’t always about going out on long holidays. Sometimes, short and sweet weekend trips, that too road trips, are all that are needed to refresh mind, body and soul.
I love road trips as they give me a chance to allow the breeze to run through my hair; and give a chance to halt and have a cup of strong ginger tea from a dhaba on the way – something that I absolutely love doing.
Recently when my hubby couldn’t manage a week-long break, as planned, we were just left with a weekend option to some nearby destination for our mini vacation. Though there are plenty of options near Delhi for a weekend getaway, but either they are crowded during this time of the year or we had already been to that place. We got on to our net hunting and came across Morni Hills. Situated about 277 kms from Delhi, it is about 5-6 hours journey by road. A not so commercial destination on the foot hills of Shivalik ranges, Morni Hills appeared to be a great option and we all immediately hopped on to the idea. We quickly booked ourselves a resort at Tikkartaal in Morni Hills and started packing for the coming weekend.
Come Friday morning and we headed on our road trip to Morni Hills. An early morning ride helped us zip past Delhi and reach the highway easily. Thanks to the newly constructed flyovers, it is easier and faster to cross Panipat and Karnal. Being vacation time, you can spot a flurry of cars zooming past headed to popular destinations en route. There are many popular ‘dhabas’ and restaurants on the highway. We decided to take a break at Karnal for breakfast. On this route one finds the mouth-watering stuffed ‘paranthas’ along with white butter. One can choose to have lassi or chai (tea) as drinks with them. We ordered for a mix of aaloo and paneer ‘paranthas’ with lassi for the kids and tea for us. While the order was on its way, the kids enjoyed on the swings and ran around in the mini park in the restaurant. After having a yummy breakfast, we started our journey again. After Kurukshetra, we took a turn from Shahbaad Markanda and headed towards Raipur Rani. The last one-hour drive from Raipur Rani to Tikkartaal at Morni Hills was memorable as we drove amidst the lush green fields on both sides of the road. A perfect countryside setting straight out of a Bollywood movie welcomed us. The last half an hour drive was around the hills as the destination is on the foothills of the Shivalik ranges.
We reached our resort and were welcomed by a soothing welcome drink. The resort situated on the outskirts of Chota Taal offered a picturesque view. We rested for a while and had our lunch. Post lunch kept us occupied in the indoor games available at the resort. The atmosphere was extremely pleasant and views around simply took our breath away.
Next morning, we went to visit the popular Sikh Gurudwara Nada Sahib, as suggested by the resort staff. The gurudwara is a popular pilgrim spot of the Sikhs with a host of pilgrims visiting it every year. The environment was absolutely serene with Shivalik ranges on one side and Ghaggar – Hakra river flowing on the other. we sat by the river side for some time to soak in the music created by the splashing sound out of the river hitting the rocks. Purely a divine experience. We came back around lunch time and took some rest. In the evening we went to the nearby Adventure Park, created by the Government of Haryana. It has adventure rope course and couple of swings for kids to enjoy. There is also a Bhoot Bangla where kids and adults can have some fun together. The kids had a great time and we also relived our childhood with them playing various games.
Next morning, we went for boating in the nearby lake after a heavy breakfast. Post lunch it was time to head back to base. We couldn’t make to Morni Fort and Thakurdwara temple this time around, which are the other attractions at this mini hill retreat. But we surely had a relaxing weekend that we had desired. It is a great spot for a quick getaway for people in Delhi and Punjab owing to its proximity. If you are looking at a non-commercial escape coupled with activities for kids then Morni Hills can surely be a good bet.