January, 2021July 15, 2022
Hiking to Khudana Hills – A Morning at the top of the Aravalli hills – Offbeat & Outdoor
How many times do you realize that you miss small things in search of bigger ones; small things that account for a lot of happiness? Since my childhood, I am love in with hills and always wanted to go there. I always wanted to hike, camp, and do such activities. So, I went to Himachal Pradesh several times to do all these things. However, my hometown has some hills of the Aravalli Range. Whenever I used to travel towards Charkhi Dadri, I used to see hills near the road. I often wondered and thought to visit them once. But I never got to do that. Though that happened and that was the first offbeat trip of 2021, hiking to Khudana Hills. I hiked, I climbed, and I spent my morning covered in fog at the top of the hills. I was tired, I was exhausted and my legs were full of pain but that didn’t stop me.
Reaching at the top of those hills, I had a sense of accomplishment. The sense that I started my 2021 like this. When I was standing at the top of those hills in Khudana village, all I could see was fog and the visibility was near to zero. And my heart was singing the song ‘Yeh Haseen Vadiyan, Yeh Khula Asman…” The views were thrilling and the ambiance was enchanting. It was cold yet I was sweating due to hiking to the top of the hills and I was having heavy breaths due to steep hiking.
I was missing hills. I was missing the rocky terrain and the cold air. I was missing everything. The last time I was in the hills was in January 2020 when I did a weekend trip to Kotgarh. That was the last time I spent hours in the middle of the hills and valleys. I spent complete one year. Hiking to Khudana Hills made me realize that I need to keep doing this regularly, no major breaks, since I had difficulty hiking and had to stop twice on the way. Though, it was short hike. I was told that there were some 1500 steps to the top. I forgot to turn my GPS navigation on else I would have got exact data. I did a little research on internet and found that someone had mentioned the elevation of the hill was 1564ft but I am not sure about it.
How I planned an unplanned hiking trip to Khudana Hills?
I had a friend, Rajat Tanwar, my name sake. He sent me a photo on 2nd September 2020 which he clicked from the top of the hills and that made me eager to go there. I kept on asking him to take me there but it didn’t work out. He then moved to some other city. But this weekend, he called me and invited me for hiking to the top of the hills in Khudana village. I never knew he was from that village. So he called me on Saturday and we planned for Sunday (10th January 2021). It was my first time to that village. I waited for around 30 minutes at Mahendergarh bus stand and then I got a local bus. When I reached Akoda bus stand, he was already there waiting for me with his cousin. And then we headed to the hills on his bike.
It was a short road trip from Akoda bus stand to Khudana. The village Khudana has the hills in its backdrop and I must say those people are having some amazing views of nature, especially in monsoon when everything turns green. Passing through the streets of the village on the bike, we were getting closer to the hills and my heart was beating faster, for that I hadn’t been to hills in a long time and returned to them after a year. Village and hills, that’s a perfect combination! Since it was cold and foggy, the surroundings were far more mesmerizing. He parked the bike at the entrance. Yes, there’s a properly cemented walkway that leads to a temple, located at the top of the hills.
Hiking to the hills of Khudana Village was like a Mini Vaishno Devi of J&K
Yes, I am not lying. When I was hiking to Khudana village, it almost felt like I was hiking to Vaishno Devi in Jammu & Kashmir. Though I haven’t been there. Once I randomly reached Kalchuk which is near Katra. I was going to Triund and was supposed to get down at Pathankot but I slept and missed it. That’s the consequence of traveling unplanned but I am used to be like this only. That’s the adventure of the trip, after all.
The village people have made a concrete path with handrails that reaches the top of the hills. There is a temple and the village organizes a festival every year. The temple is visible when you start hiking. The hiking gets harder and steeper as you get closer to the top. There is a signboard as well which says that from that point onwards, the hiking will get harder. So, one has to be prepared for that. I was panting badly and so were my friends. Since it was morning and cold, I didn’t feel that much difficulty. Had it been hot summer days, I would have needed a power booster. The weather was smooth for me, so it was a relief.
Read Here – Trekking in Shangarh, Sainj Valley
I explored a vertical cave like structure in the hills
I am no geologist or speleologist so I don’t know if I used the term ‘vertical cave’ correctly or not. But it was something like that. I know what a vertical cave or pit or shaft looks like. We crossed the temple on the top of the hill. We stayed there and moved to another adjacent hill. I was told that there was a cave. It was all rocky path, full of stones and dried thorny trees. The hill had a small temple, a room with a bed, and some other essentials. Looked like someone used to live there. That area was under construction as we could see construction supplies there.
Inside that temple, a few stairs led to the top of the vertical cave. I reached there and found the hill was hollow from inside and full of bats. The marshy smell from the droppings of the bats was unpleasant and their droppings were everywhere so I couldn’t climb after two steps. I had to give up the idea of going up since it was narrow and had bats and their droppings were everywhere.
Read Here – Trekking to Bhagsu Nag from Mcleod Ganj
It was my first time to explore something like this in the hills. So I was all thrilled and amazed at the same time. That all reminded me of those Hollywood movies where a crew goes to the hills for the expedition. All we needed were just equipment which we didn’t have. We picked up sticks. Just in case if we come across any wild animal; you never know what may come. So, you have to be prepared. Also, the sticks help you with hiking. I wanted to camp there like I did camping in Triund though I had no camping gear also it wasn’t a camping site.
Things to remember before hiking to these hills of Aravalli Range
Though the trek isn’t too long but it has elevation which makes it hard to hike. The closer you get, the harder it gets. Also, there is no water available on the way. Either you will get water at the entrance from where you started hiking to Khudana Hills or you will get to the top of the hills. There is nothing on the way. So, you need to have your own water bottle with you. Make sure that you don’t throw any plastic waste on the way.
Here are some tips you need to know before going to hike Khudana Hills.
- The best hours to trek to Khudana Hills are morning hours.
- Carry your own water bottle. The temple at the top has a water tank.
- Carry a first aid kit, pain relief spray, or any ointment. It also works for insect bites.
- Carry food. There is no shop/stall on the way to the top. Ensure that you don’t throw any plastic waste.
- It’s a small village. So follow the customs and don’t do unnecessary activities. Moreover, there is a temple at the top. So keep in mind.
- If you are carrying your own vehicle, the parking space is at the entrance. It’s free.
I am not sure if camping is allowed there or not. I haven’t explored it yet. I didn’t get to speak to the temple people to enquire if one can pitch a tent and camp. I am looking forward to it.
This is an offbeat location near my hometown Mahendergarh. I had been craving to visit hills however; I never realized that there is a lot to do in my home district itself, be it hiking, visiting hills. Couple of years back, I hiked to Dhosi Hills which is an inactive volcano, located in Narnaul, some 30KM away from my hometown. That was the first I realized that there was a lot to explore around while I was roaming away from it.
Madhogarh also has hills and there is a fort at the top known as Madhogarh Fort. There too I went a couple of years ago. So, Khudana Hills was the third village hill which is visited and which left me totally mesmerized.
The misty ambiance, the fog, giant hills made me feel somewhere in Himachal Pradesh yet it was near my hometown only. Standing at the top of the hills and looking around was such an incredible experience. I was totally thrilled to have such a panoramic glimpse of the surrounding. Though initially it was foggy but as the sun made its way out of the fog and clouds and spread its golden rays, it started to get clearer.
That Sunday was spent well. After hiking down from Khudana Hills, Mr. Tanwar invited me to his home for a nice, heavenly meal which made me remind my childhood days when I used to live with my maternal uncle. A bowl full of fresh dahi (curd), farm fresh radish, aaloo paratha with lots and lots of white ghee. Though the hike did exhaust me but I was happy inside to have explored such a wonderful place near my hometown.
I am a food & travel enthusiast, a music aficionado, poet, artist, and someone who loves to explore unexplored/off-beat places. I started this blog to share my food and travel journey.