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Morni hills Chandigarh, India

Morni hills Chandigarh, India Morni Hills are an offshoot of Shivalik range, which run in two parallel ranges. The village of Morni (Bhoj Jabial) lies on the mountainside, at 1220 meters or 3600 feet above sea level. Traditions assign the name of Morni to a Queen who is believed to have ruled this area. Situated in the lower reaches of the Shivalik range, Morni is ideal for a holiday with its cool clime, beautiful natural vistas and myriad opportunities for bird watching, trekking, rock-climbing and other adventure sports. The best time for visiting Morni Hills is from September to March.

Just five hours drive away from Delhi and 45 km from Chandigarh, Morni in Panchkula district Haryana, combines the best of an idyllic retreat with action, adventure and fun. The road to Morni has breathtaking scenery as it goes past sleepy hamlets, cultivated terraces and hill forest. For those, who like to travel in mountains, the state of Himachal Pradesh is close by.

Myth, mystery and history also have a place in Morni's attractions. The Mountain Quail tourist complex of Haryana Tourism is built close to the ruins of an old fort. The climate is salubrious and the area is suitable for trekking. The Haryana Government, has developed this hill resort and provides facilities to tourists; a motorable road was constructed to connect the Morni hills with Haryana state highway near Panchkula. A forest tourist hut, Lal Munia and a PWD rest house were also constructed to accommodate tourists and trekkers.

Morni Hills have a fascinating range of flora and fauna. Pines crown the hilltops and trees like Sal, Neem, Mango, Ritha, Pipal, Jamun, Shisham, amaltas and jacaranda cover the slopes. When the flowering trees blossom, the hillsides are awash with color, presenting a delightful sight. Morni is a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts and birdwatchers with its teeming population of birds like Wallcreeper, Bar-tailed Treecreeper, Blue Peafowl, Kalij Pheasant, Red Junglefowl, Black Francolin, Quails, Himalayan Bulbul and Oriental Turtle Dove as well as animals like Jackals, Langur, Hare, hyenas, Neelgai, Sambar, Kakad and even Leopards.

There are two lakes or tals, which seem to be mysteriously interconnected, even though they are separated by a hillock. The water level in both the tals always remains the same, as there is a hidden channel under the hill connecting them. The larger is about 550 meters long and 460 meters broad and the other about 365 meters either way. Locals consider the lake auspicious and gather here on ceremonial occasions. A small temple on the banks contains a Trimurti (the Hindu Trinity), which dates back to the 12th century AD when a Shiva temple was also supposed to have existed at the site.

Morni offers many interesting trekking options. One can trek to the two tals and the fort and for the more adventurous; there are treks to the bank of the river Ghaggar, which flows past Morni. Goat tracks lead out of the tourist complex for those keen on walks. The tourist authorities are examining the viability of hang-gliding in Morni, introducing yet another special attraction.