Chail Travel Guide
The former ’summer capital’ of Patiala, Chail is 43-km from Shimla and dwelling in the midst of a lush green setting. At 2,250m, it has the world’s highest cricket pitch and a polo ground, the old palace, now a hotel and the possibility of some angling are added attractions.
Chail doesn’t have a mall, but just a few shops. Its best offers are leisurely walks in summer and autumn and fun in the ponder snow in winters. Spread over three hills Pandhawa, Rajgarh and Siddh Tibba chail is also ideal for picnics and hikes.
Chail is hiker’s paradise. The area is very peaceful away from the hustle and bustle of Shimla. 3 kms from the city centre is the worlds highest Cricket ground. Close by is a National Park, which has limited number of birds and deers.
In 1891, Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala incurred the wrath of Lord Kitchener, the then Commander-in-Chief. As a result, he was banned entry into the summer capital of the Raj, Shimla. This enraged the Maharaja and he vowed to build a new and better summer capital for himself. He looked around and after quite some time realized it had all the while been in his possession. Chail, a little village close to Shimla, was a ’slice of heaven’ surrounded by lush forests with a commanding view of the snow-capped Himalayas. He rebuilt the city according to his requirements and built himself a wonderful palace.
The picturesque resort located amidst scented forests of chir pine and gigantic deodars. Overlooking Satluj Valley, Shimla and Kasauli are also visible at night from here. Chail has also the highest cricket ground in the world. Well kept and well maintained the ground is surrounded by huge trees of deodar and pine. On the other side of the town are situated the massive Himalayan ranges spectacularly gleaming in the sun and snow-covered every thing under it.
Attractions of Chail
For a visitor, Chail offers numerous options of sightseeing, from wildlife to places of worship. Spending a couple of days amidst the heart-stirring beauty of Chail can keep you coming back here over and again
Chail Sanctuary: The Chail sanctuary, is a regular haunt of tourists and holidaymakers. The Deodar and Oak forests with grasslands around the township are the abode of wildlife. sanctuary was notified on 21st March 1976 near Chail Town in District Shimla and covers an area of 10,854.36 hectares. The vegetation of the sanctuary consists of oak forests, deodar forests and grasslands. Major wildlife species that can be spotted here include goral, red deer, Himalayan black bear, flying squirrel etc.
Cricket Ground: Surrounded by gigantic deodar and well maintained Chail Cricket ground is the most-elevated cricket ground (highest cricket ground) in the world. Built in 1893, this cricket pitch located at the height of 2,144m is also used as polo ground. Massive trees of deodar surround the ground from all sides.
Palace Hotel: The magnificent Rajgarh palace, with elaborate furnishings, was built in the year 1891. With comfortable log huts and cottages, dense forests and serene walks, sprawling lawns, a children's park, a `lovers hill’, and sports facilities this place is an ideal tourist destination for nature lovers. Besides, this the dense forests impart irresistible charm to this palace. This palace built by Maharaja of Patiala is now converted into a heritage hotel.
Sidh Baba Ka Mandir: Maharaja Bhupinder Singh had originally intended this to be the site of his palace, and had even started building it, but as is believed, a ’sidh’, saintly person appeared in the Maharaja’s dream, and declared that this was the place where he had meditated. Consequently, Bhupinder Singh shifted his venue and built a temple on the spot. The temple is situated on the hill sandwiched by Rajgarh and Pandhawa. Set in the army cantonment area, the temple sits next to the cricket gound currently being used by the Army.
Angling: Head for the Giriganga River 29 km from Chail on the Gauda Road for a spot of angling. Trout is only an occasional visitor here.
How To Get There
Chail By Air Chail is 63 km from Jubbar Hati Airport, the closest from the town. The airport has connecting flights to Delhi and Chandigarh, the capital of Punjab and Haryana.
By Rail The ideal way of covering the Kalka-Shimla track is by the toy train. It takes five hours from Kalka to get to Kandaghat and the distance is about 50 Kms. The toy train with a maximum of seven bogies chugs through the most thickly forested tracks, breathtaking bends, deep ravines and never-ending tunnels. Kandaghat is the station to get down and take a cab further for the remaining 20 km journey to Chail.
By Road Chail is well connected by road. One travels on the NH 22 from Chandigarh / Kalka towards Shimla. This is a two lane highway. Stations in between are Parwanoo, Dharampur, Solan. At Kandaghat leave the highway and take a right turn towards Chail. If coming from Shimla, take the road to Kufri and there is a diversion to Chail from the Kufri bazaar.
New Delhi to Chail via Kandaghat – 336 km, Chandigarh to Chail – 86 km, Kalka to Chail – 56 km, Kandaghat to Chail – 20 km, Shimla to Chail – 45 km
Sunrise Villa Shimla: Stay with nature @ Rs 1500 per day only. Stay in the lap of nature along with flowers and garden, forest walks, trekking, hiking and much more just 13 Kms before Shimla.
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