GREEN PARK, TARA HILL, MORNI
Morni is about an hour’s drive from the tri-junction (Morni T-point) on the Panchkula-Ramgarh road. Midway to Morni lies the Mandana valley at an altitude of about 600 metres. The bend before the final descent to the valley has the prominent signboard of the ‘Green Park Restaurant’. The restaurant is located on the ‘Tara Hill’ as per the signboard. A kutcha track leads up from the road by a prominent banyan tree to the restaurant which is little more than a roadside dhaba. The atmosphere inside the ‘restaurant’ is somewhat murky. The garden terrace outside is, however, quite pleasant and the tea is good. The dhaba is frequented by bikers on way to Morni. In the late hours, one can frequently see revelers dancing in the small clearing alongside the signboard to the music of the blaring car stereo.
The level top of the ‘Tara Hill is occupied by a private cottage (an uninspiring two room accomodation). The owner has created a number of beautiful green terraces and has planted a variety of trees – the ornamental Araucarias as well as different types of fruit trees. An artificial water tank provides water to the plants and the plentiful birds in the area.
A walk further up the kutcha track takes one to a flat hill top with a small white temple. A small pit has been dug for rain water harvesting but is generally dry barring the rainy season. The stillness of the air is, however, unnerving and one can easily conjure the picture of a lurking leopard inside the deep, impenetrable scrub that covers the hills. The site has a commanding view of the hills around as well as that of the Mandana valley. The valley looks picturesque in winters under the golden cover of the mustard fields. The entire area is rich in bird life with barbets, tree-pies, shikras, kites and flamebacks being sighted routinely.