Tucked away in the hills of Himachal Pradesh, just 44 km from Shimla is the beautiful hill station of Chail. Once the Summer Capital of the princely state of Patiala, this quaint little town overlooks Shimla and the surrounding valleys, from its elevated height. It is said that on being banned by the British government from Shimla, Raja Bhupinder Singh decided to build his capital on a hill that is higher than that of Shimla. Hence Chail came into being! Famous for its picturesque views, peaceful environment, and natural beauty, Chail is a perfect hill station for relaxing and enjoying a quiet weekend off. Chail boasts of an arrogance, born out of a snub. Chail became accessible to tourists after the erstwhile Patiala royals handed over their 75-acre property to the government in 1972.
Why To Go
Chail is a beautiful old town that seen an inflow of tourists all around the year. However, April to June is considered as the perfect time; as the summers are very much enjoyable because of cool weather. Though winters are chilly, experiencing snowfall is a lovely sight to watch. In winter, winter adventure sports. Monsoon season, although pleasing, is prone to landslides.
Things To Do
Chail offers a host of exciting activities like Rock Rappeling, Rope Walk, Flying Fox etc. for the adventurous traveller. Walking the Tyre Bridge, Bamboo Bridge, or Burma Bridge are also popular adventure sports in the area. There is a lot of sightseeing to do if you are in Chail. Visit the highest point of Chail, Kali kaTibba, which is over 7000 m high and take in the mesmerizing view of the Himachali valleys below. The interplay of the clouds with the valleys and rivers below makes you feel like you’re on top of the world. There is also a bright white temple here – a spot that is quite revered as well as popular. Enjoy the fresh cool breeze that blows through the town! Chail Bazaar is a quaint little market that sells all the local artifacts and handicrafts. Visit the local temple of Sidh Baba ka Mandir and be part of the local tradition of reverence, but be careful of the monkeys. The world’s highest cricket field, situated at the height of over 2000 m, is a popular tourist attraction. The area is now a part of the premises of the Chail Military School, another popular attraction due to its royal and beautiful architecture. The Chail Gurudwara is yet another inspiring architectural tower, built by the Maharaja. Its high wooden ceiling is an architectural wonder, to this day. The Maharaja’s palace, now turned in to a hotel, is also a must-see! Known as the Chail Palace, it stands out due to its grandeur and indo-Western style of architecture. If you are interested in wildlife, the Chail Wildlife Sanctuary is a must-visit for you. Chail offers many small hills and incredible views. You can take a walk down an unknown path and breathe in the cold, clean air, and you’ll feel more refreshed than ever. Enjoy the views of Shimla and Kasauli, even as they twinkle in the distance at night.
To get around the town, you can rent a cab from one of the many rental agencies at Chail. Ask your hotel boy or receptionist for the best services available. But if you are keen on sightseeing, you can walk and reach places, Chail being a small town.
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There are various pretty locations around Chail are popular among travellers. Kufri, just 17 km away from Chail is yet another fantastic hill station worth a visit. A horseback ride through the hills and valleys of Kufri is a once in a lifetime opportunity for most. The Himalayan Nature Park and Indira Tourist Park are also exciting spots. Solan, another hill station, 38 km from Chail is again a beautiful spot and deserves a drive-through in the least. Chail Wildlife Sanctuary stretching from the Krishna River to Giriganga is this small sanctuary, which includes some 200 villages and has the langur, leopard, brown bear, hog, ghoral, sambar and wild pheasant. According to forest officials, one can spot wildlife on the way to Kali ka Tibba and Gauda, besides the stretch between Chail Palace and Jnerghat.