The Haryana Forest Department has created an impressive ‘Nature Camp’ on a hill side at Thapli. The camp overlooks the floodplains of Ghaggar River and the forested Pinjor dun and Himachal hills to the north. To reach the camp one must turn right at the T-intersection on the Shimla highway just beyond the Toll Plaza. One then takes the road to Burj, Ambawallah, Jallah and Thapli, a distance of about 10 KM. The road is excellent till Jallah and narrows down thereafter.
The camp has a nursery of the Haryana Forest Department. There are numerous eco-huts, French/Swiss-style tents erected on elevated platforms with a small-covered sitting area to the front. Each hut is tucked away behind a patch of greenery for privacy. The common dining area is an impressive wooden-structure with a thatched roof.A freshly constructed reception building has been added to the camp. The camp is enclosed within a fairly high wire-mesh fence. The camp was built at an initial cost of Rs. 2.2 Crores but could not be inaugurated due to some issues with eco-clearances. The ‘Eco-Tourism Society of Haryana’ under the Haryana Forest Department has recently invited bids for operations, maintenance and catering at the camp site. The society plans to utilize the camp for educating visitors on environmental issues by engaging them with nature walks and treks, interactions with local communities and adventure sports.
The scenic setting of the Nature Camp can be best made out from the view-point high up on the other side of Ghaggar River.
While the Eco-Society is making modest beginnings by organizing field trips of schoolchildren yet they need to join hands with an established player like INME to best utilize the fantastic infrastructure created by the Government.