TOURISM AND LEISURE
They say a journey is a series of breaks and experiences. Making journey more interesting than the destination is the philosophy behind the carefully cultivated Highway Tourism in Haryana. Highways, from time-immemorial have been the lifeline of our country.
The seventh pillar edict of King Ashoka engraved on the Delhi-Topra pillars, presently standing in the Kotla Firoz Shah, reads : "On the road I have had banyan trees planted, which will give shade to beasts and men. I have had mango-groves planted and I have had wells dug and rest-houses built at every eight Kos. And I have had many watering places made everywhere for the use of beasts and men".
Haryana Tourism, a pioneer in Highway Tourism could be credited for the continuation and extension of this age-old tradition in modern times. More often than not, the bounty of fun is as packed on the trail as in the target destination. Some of the landmark highway stopovers like Kingfisher, Oasis complex, Yadavindra Gardens among the many other attractive highway destinations offering compact hutments, motels with piped-in channel music, air-conditioned and well-furnished rooms, banquets for marriages, gift shops, conference rooms and fast food counters. Travellers in no hurry to rush ahead, can spend good two to three days and unwind on these highway spots.
The spiritual air of the land of divinity called Haryana beckons the devotees to its centre of religious and spiritual experience. Haryana is the most coveted religious place from Vedic times and has been the torch bearer for Pilgrim Tourism. With a battery of temples and pilgrim centres concentrated in the 48-'kosas' (92 miles) of land of legendary Mahabharata; devotion, legend and mythology loom large over Kurukshetra, the space where celestial song 'Bhagwad Gita' is believed to have been delivered by Lord Krishna to Arjuna.
Other major pilgrimage destination is the Gurudwara nada Sahib, in district panchkula. Guru Gobind Singh - the the tenth guru halted here while travelling from Paonta Sahib to Anandpur Sahib after the Battle of Bhangani in 1688.
When you want to unwind and look for a break away from the Humdrum of life- farm tourism is the answer. Experience the real connect with the rural life be one with nature and relish the simple life. From riding the bumpy roads on a bullock cart, milking goats and cows, soaking in the local traditions to listening the enchanting tales of the bygone era.
It gives you the chance to relax and revitalize in the in the pure natural environment, surrounded by magnificent setting. It give you an opportunity to roam in the sun kissed fields ,watch nature by the rivulets and jump into gurgling waters.
Come back to nature and experience the unforgettable whiff of the countryside, listen to the musical sounds of nature, fill your lungs with pure air, plant baby seeds, Enjoy delights of organic food, discover cultural heritage, delve into folk traditions, watch starlit night skies and experience many spontaneous joys of nature that you may have never known before ! Haryana Tourism also takes this opportunity to invite the Non-Resident Indians to bring their children back to their roots, through the fascinating concept of Farm Holidays....
Haryana bears the footprints of kings and warriors, saint and sages, sufis and savants. The continuity of its rich past has been unbroken through ages, with legends of the epic heroes and places of pilgrimage like temples, sarovars and dargahs. The resilience of the spirit of its people finds resurgence against a continuous back-drop of invasions and battles – triumphs and conquests!
Being the gateway of North India, Haryana has witnessed many ancient to modern wars ranging from Shuks and Huns to Akbar and Humayun and Babar's at Panipat to the decline of Mogul empire leading to British rule.
Excavations of various archaeological sites like Nauragabad, Mittathal, Rakhi Garhi and several others bear out evidence of pre-Harrappan and Harrappan culture. Findings of pottery, sculpture and jewellery at Pehowa, Kurukshetra and Panipat sites match with Prithudaka (Pehowa), Tilpat (Panipat) and Sonprastha (Sonipat), establish the to occurence of Mahabharata war.
Haryana Tourism has developed several heritage sites with ethnic grandeur and has created excellent tourist facilities at these historical places in and around Panchkula and Palwal.
Among these Raja Nahar Singh Palace and Yadavindra Gardens are worth visiting and staying over to enjoy royal times like a king. Get pampered the royal and bask in the luxury of bygone era and bask in beauty of lush green environs.
'Dharmo Rakhasti Rakshita' - Dharma protects who protects Dharma. This axiom applies to the Mother Nature as well. Where would humans unwind if the nature winds up its vistas! This innate concern of the Haryana Government for the nature and environment gave birth to the concept of eco-Tourism in Haryana.
Haryana means 'The Abode of God'. This was the place where the first hymns of the Aryans were sung and the most ancient manuscripts were written. The state is studded with century old monuments, temples, gardens, fairs and other attractions viz. adventure tourism.
Haryana state is endowed with a rich and varied bio-diversity distributed over a mosaic of different habitats spreadover the Shivalik Hills of the northeast to the Aravalli Range in the south and Yamuna-Ghaggar plain to semi-desert sandy plain in the southwest.
These varied habitats have been supporting a variety of animal and plant species ranging from thorny deciduous forest to pine trees. The species of fauna in the state include black buck [panther, nilgai, fox, jackal, deer, wild dog, parrots, peacock, pheasants, etc. More than 300 species of birds are found here.
Several tourist destinations like Thapli, Morni Hills, Kalesar, Adibadri, Chuharpur Herbal Park, BanSantor etc have abundant flora and fauna. Varied topography and forests enhance the treasured wealth of the Mother Nature in the state. The Haryana Forest department has created the eco-tourism spots in the state. The efforts made by the department have brought tremendous increase in tourist flow in the last few months.
Eco-lodges, jungle resorts with Swiss cottage (tents), watch towers, nature walks, herbal parks, outdoor camps and many more activities are being introduced into the tourism industry by way of eco-tourism. The department has created these magnificent destinations where tourist can learn new ways to live on the planet.The eco-tourism programmes are minimising the negative aspects of conventional tourism on the environment and enhance the cultural integrity of local people.
The department has adopted an entirely new approach in tourism. The programmes aim at preserving natural areas to appreciate the cultural and natural history of environment, taking care not to disturb the integrity of ecosystem, while creating economic opportunities that make conservation and protection of natural resources advantageous to the local people.
The Forest Department, Haryana, is taking steps to encourage eco-tourism and save the environment by building log huts, eco-lodges and jungle resorts for the nature lovers to stay. These eco-lodges have been equipped with eco-friendly furniture, roof hangings crafted from bamboo and natural flora, which take you further close to local systems and traditions.
The tents and tree houses at Thapli, Morni and Chuharpur are well-equipped with modern day amenities. These accommodations are surrounded by useful herbs/herbal gardens, water spots and also have workshop and seminar holding facilities.
The nature camps at Morni and Tikkar Tal enable you to have a wholesome adventure amidst a healthy pollution-free natural environment.Unlike the milieu you get at a luxury hotel, eco-lodges, tents and tree huts let you dwell in a typical jungle ambience and give a feel of being in the lap of nature.These eco-huts and tented lodges give you an exotic and natural view of several flora and fauna while you realise a unique and long-lasting sweet experience.The scenic beauty of Morni Hills is unmatched. Exploring this tiny hill station and its natural surroundings is worth making one's eco-vacation extremely enjoyable.
Kalesar is spread over 60 acres of lush green hillside along the virgin bank of Yamuna river. A visit to Kalesar National Park gives a complete feel of being one with nature.
One of the most famous nature camp in north India, known for its medicinal plant base is Herbal Park, Chuharpur (Yamunanagar), it lets visitors indulge in many ecological and recreational activities, like nature walk, boating and yoga in natural surroundings.Serene and dense forests of Ban Santor offer amazing wildlife view are some of the embedded geographical features of Ban Santor.
For those looking to get away from the mundane and seeking adrenaline rush or simply looking for serene surroundings to rejuvenate body and soul, Morni Hills is the right destination.
Just 45 kms. from Chandigarh, an off-shoot of the Shivaliks running in two parallel ranges through which river Ghaggar makes its way. Among the hill slopes lie two titanic lakes divided by a small hillock with some hidden connection between the two, as the water level of the two lakes remains the same!
Haryana Tourism runs Mountain Quail Tourist Complex at Morni that has air-conditioned rooms. The facilities available also include a bar, a restaurant, and cottages for the guests. A comfortable motel is situated ideally on the hill top overlooking a beautiful green valley.
Opportunities for trekkers and explorers
As Morni hills are relatively unexplored, they offer a rich opportunity for adventure seekers and explorers. Trek to the lakes named Tikkar Tal, are sure to be a source of pleasure. Trek to Ghaggar offers another chance to explore the unknown. The river Ghaggar cuts a deep valley within these hills as it flows down the mountains. A number of small villages lie here. Morni hills must have been a centre of historic interest for ruins of an old fort lie in the hills. This fort is believed to have been built by the Queen of Morni Hills. Narrow paths lead to these centres of attention. The locals follow agriculture as a main profession.
Flora and Fauna
The Morni hills abound with fascinating specimens of greens. The low hill tracts of Morni are filled with trees likeneem, pepal, jamun, dhak, amaltas, jacaranda and yes, the delightful pine. The trees were introduced in the hills as an experimental venture, even though the climate was not really cold enough for the tree to flourish.
Camping at lakeside
Lakes of Morni afford an opportunity for wonderful camping and relaxing. The flora and fauna lend serenity to the lake. Recognising the potential of the area and the possibility of adventure sport, Haryana Tourism has drawn up delightful tour packages.
Globalization and liberalization of economy has brought into its wake the MICE (Meeting, Incentives,Conferencing, and Exhibitions) which is at present supplementing the contribution of conventional tourism. MICE is a powerful tool to be used for taking employees out of the everyday office work and doing something creative and motivating them to do well in their future tasks. It also allows corporations to mix business with pleasure making work look more fun and inspirational.
Recognising this need of mixing fun with the work, Haryana Tourism has come up with a solution of MICE Tourism; MICE - Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions at fantastic locations!
Rajhans, Red Bishop and Tilyar and Parakeet Convention Centres are the finest MICE destinations in Haryana equipped with the state-of-the-art conference and meeting rooms, banquet halls, changing rooms, wi-fi enabled communication facilities, spacious lobbies, landscaped green lawns and massive car parkings, efficient kitchens and party terrace space with grand ambience.