If you stay near or around Chandigarh, and have an urge to get a break from the monotony of city life, just raise your gaze, cause there is an incredibly quiet place just up the hills. I am talking about the ‘Morni Hills’.
First thing that comes to mind while thinking about this place is that it might have Pea-pheasants in plenty, and who knows; the region is so blessed with diverse flora; I am sure there’s a hidden faunal treasure too, glimpses of which you get en-route.
The ride uphill was a gradual one. First we moved along the almost dry Ghaghar river beds witnessing the curvaceous carvings on the soft land that makes turn heads once or twice. For a moment, I felt like, it’s a different world altogether. The road is such a relief; you never realise that you are heading the countryside. The vista on the sides of roads is eye-catching. The rifts and valleys try their best to give some awe moments. The slope takes you to the lush green pine covered hillside; the needles swaying with a typical sound in the hilly breeze. We saw many unseen birds and heard many sweet songs of the vivid birds. Its spring season, everything is emerging slowly from the winter sleep.
Morni hills is famous for its two lakes separated by a hillock. Though I was expecting more, what I got was not that bad. The water was little muddy but nothing compared to beauty of nature combined with some human innovation. The Lakes offer scenic view and a place for the love-birds to have some quiet moments. Haryana tourism offers very delicious, hygienic and cheap food choices. According to me, it’s a good option for weekend camping. And if you desire, you can paddle into the lake water at your ease.
The lakeside also has an adventure park however sadly it is not being maintained. But we had great time with a naughty kid along and clicked some memories too.
There’s also a fort at the hilltop which was closed for renovation purpose.
The forest seemed calling us in, to savor its real beauty but due to lack of time and no paraphernalia, we the wanderers headed back home with a promise to come back in the monsoons when I am sure the beauty will be in multiples.
The sparkling lake was happy to have us, I guess. 🙂
Sometimes people tell things, you have no idea of! And then suddenly information start coming from every possible source as if some supernatural power wants you to know all about it or may be I am just imagining it! 😉
Once I was in a conversation with a colleague…about the life of hill people which obviously for them seems ‘impossibly hard’. I am done explaining to people that it’s actually the opposite provided you are making good money, there’s no better place to live than hills! (By hills, I don’t mean hills, they do have houses 😉 )
It no more surprises me when they ask silly questions like, “How do they even live there? How is it possible to make a house on a mountain? Don’t people fall down from their balconies when it’s dark…?”
I don’t know why but most of contemporaries from the plains not only think but firmly believe that it’s just impossible to live there. They further add, “Do they get vegetables and fruits to eat there?”
I can’t believe. They live in mountains not on some hanging pole! And as far as I remember, the hills have many fruits which are not even seen in plains! If given choice, I would love to spend my whole life there but…
Forget it…that’s not my point. What I am saying is, one day one of my colleagues said, “We have heard there’s a village in Himachal where the Aryans have still managed to maintain the purity of their race. They are tall, fair and blue eyed people. They marry amongst themselves, and speak a very different language!”
This wasn’t totally something new. Most of the people there are fair, many well heighted, and very few also have blue eyes. I never heard about these ‘pure lines’ ever, but knowing the fact that I am just a human, and there’s limit to my knowledge, I just responded with a ‘may be’ at that moment.
But the curious history-loving brain kept bothering me, “Is it true? Who knows! When News Channels can show the way to Heaven (with steps) right through Himalayas, how did they miss it, or was it me who was deaf and blind!”
Slowly I got busy with other stuff of life, only to hear a similar thing about the height, beauty, and the exclusiveness of a human race in the interiors of ‘my state’ from a visitor. He was talking about Kasol. I thought …hmmm, interesting!
And the very next day an article came in the news paper… “The Residents Of Malana Claims Themselves To Be The Descendants Of Alexander The Great.”
Okay… that’s the thing. The Jumble got solved. So this is Malana people who were being talked about above. Well, I have never been there, so I am yet to see the ‘exclusiveness’ but Malana has surely once again succeeded in making it to the headlines :).
(For those who don’t know…Malana is a remote village in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh. Supposedly, the oldest democracy in world. They have a peculiar judicial system; the word of their village deity is final and no one dares to go against it. No one! If you want to know more…Go Google it. And remember I am not exaggerating; it’s a major hit among foreigners travelling north ;))
People say ‘Rajpoots’ have their roots in Rajasthan, Being one, I always had an intense desire to touch the land of our ancestors and taste the royalty of bygone eras. I managed to steal a few days and chose ‘Jodhpur’ and ‘Jaipur’ for a trip.
Over to Blue city ‘Jodhpur’:
‘Jodhpur’ is a Beautiful city in the western ‘Rajasthan’.
Founded in 1459 by Rao Jodha, a Rajpoot chief of Rathore Clan.
Also known as Sun City, Jodhpur experiences bright and sunny weather throughout year. So the best time to travel this city is between October and March.
Before this visit, I knew Jodhpur for two reasons- for the shooting of ‘Hum Saath Saath Hain’ and the very infamous ‘black buck shooting’ by the film stars. But after putting my first step out of the Railway station as I raised my gaze to look around, I knew it for sure that it is going to be a visit worth.
We took an ‘Auto-Riksha’ and moved through multifaceted street reticulum to Hotel Haveli. As the name suggests, it is no short of a Haveli with many tiny hidden rooms decorated appropriately with carved doors. There’s a staired well in-front and its terrace offers an enchanting view of the city and distinct monuments.
The Hotel has a semi personal restaurant in every balcony; they call it ‘Jharokha Restaurant’. Food here is delicious and affordable. And best part is that many significant points of attraction are at walking distance from here.
The main Attractions of the City are:
Umaid Bhawan Palace
Clock Tower and Sardar Market
I will be talking about them separately in my upcoming posts. 🙂