Chail lies at a height of 2,250 metres above the sea level.Bhupinder Singh, Maharaja of Patiala,when was facing an exiled from Shimla, he decided to create his own summer capital, which was Chail. Chail was perfect – it was surrounded by a thick cover of majestic, soaring deodars, Simla was just 45 kms away, and most significantly, the hill of Chail was decidedly higher than the then British – controlled Shimla. The picturesque hill station located amidst scented forests of chir pine and gigantic deodars. Chail is built on three hills, the palace is on Rajgarh Hill, the Residency Snow View once occupied by British resident is on Pandhewa Hill and on the third hill Sadh Tiba where Chail is situated. Overlooking Satluj Valley, Shimla and Kasauli are also visible at night from here.
A former summer capital of the princely state of Patiala, Chail is a beautiful hill station situated 63 km from Shimla in the Shiwalik region of Himachal Pradesh. Spread over 72 acres, Chail is spread across three hillocks – Rajgarh, Pandewa and Sadh Tiba. Chail overlooks the valley of Sutlej. Chail enjoys amazingly pleasant climate throughout the year. Chail offers magnificent and panoramic view of the surrounding countryside. It overlooks both Kasauli and Shimla (45 km). Chail was a sleepy little mountain village till its transformation in 1893. It was founded by Maharaja of Patiala Bhupinder Singh. Banished from entering Shimla for eloping with the daughter of Lord Kitchner, the then Commander-in-Chief of the British Indian Army, the Maharaja resolved to build himself a new summer capital better than Shimla. The maharaja ensured that Chail matched Shimla in every respect. Majestic snow-capped Shivalik peaks, beautiful orchards and sylvan pine valleys cast a spell on everyone. Chail Palace, Chail Cricket ground, Chail Military School, etc. are all symbols of Chail’s connection with the erstwhile royal house of Patiala. Chail along with Kufri and Shimla is called the Golden Triangle of Himachal Pradesh. Despite being located close to Shimla, Chail is free from the crowds that throng Shimla and consequently allows travellers to enjoy the scenic beauty and charm of the place in relative peace. Chail has dense cover of pine and deodar trees. Its lush green outfields, stunning view of the mountains and captivating natural beauty makes it a fine place to visit. Lots of trekking trails lead from Chail to Shimla, Choor Peak, Kali Temple, etc. Angling is another popular activity undertaken in Giri River just a few km away from Chail. Nearby by places like Kufri are excellent places to enjoy other adventure sports like snow skiing. Chail Wildlife Sanctuary also attracts a large number of nature lovers and wildlife photographers. One can spot a wide variety of flora and fauna that includes animals like Himalayan black deer, common langur, sambar, goral, wild boar, etc. Kali ka Tibba is a popular shrine in Chail that is often visited by people from nearby towns and villages apart from tourists who visit the hill station.
THINGS TO DO IN CHAIL:
Shopping in Chail:
There aren’t too many shopping options in Chail. Locally made woolen shawls, carpets and caps can be bought in Chail.
Chail Wildlife Sanctuary:
Chail Wildlife Sanctuary is a small wildlife sanctuary in Chail. It is located between the Krishna River and Giriganga, a stretch that encompasses some 200 villages. You can spot langurs, leopards, brown bears, hogs, ghorals, sambars and wild pheasants (including the endangered khaleej) in this sanctuary. According to forest officials, if up at dawn, one can spot wildlife on the way to Kali ka Tibba and Gauda, besides the stretch between Chail Palace and Janerghat. The best time to visit Chail Wildlife Sanctuary is from March to October. Accessibility to this Wildlife Sanctuary is possible via the Kalka-Shimla route.
Halfway between Kandaghat and Chail is the tiny village of Sadhupul, and the bridge over the Ashwani stream, a popular picnic – spot.
WHERE TO EAT
There are limited eating options in Chail. Apart from a few local dhabas in Lower Market serving basic Indian meal, there aren’t too many options. Almost all the hotels in Chail have in-house restaurants that serve Indian, Chinese and Continental delicacies.
BEST TIME TO VISIT CHAIL:
The average minimum and maximum temperature of Chail is as given below. The best time to visit Chail is also specified.
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HERITAGE OF CHAIL:
Maharaja’s Majestic Palace:
The spacious and elegantly furnished palace, served Maharaja’s purpose of revenge, being a hundred meters higher than Shimla. The Himachal Tourism took over the reins of this grand mansion in 1971, which is now famous as the Palace Hotel. Located at a distance of 45 km from Shimla , Chail commands an excellent view of the Satluj valley with the river meandering below and green hills and mountains of both Shimla and Kasauli, as well as the snow-decked Kufri above. On a clear night, lights of this hilly spot present a connoisseur of resplendent, appearing like myriad little dots on the landscape.
Soothing In all Seasons:
Each season in Chail has its charm. The pine whiffed air is cool and pleasant in the summers, providing the visitors a soothing respite, irresistibly charming is the autumn when the forest seems to have taken a dip in the stream of gold and russet. The winters are bitingly cold when the white garb spreads all over and casts a spell of quietude in this salubrious hill resort.The majestic deodars, Blue Pines, ban Oak and the rhododendron trees surround the three hills, while the palace of the Maharaja is perched on the Rajgarh Hill. The Residency Snow View once occupied by the British is on Pandhewa Hill and the town of Chail lies on the third hill, Sidh Tibba.
The challenging trekking routes for adventurous ones together with mahseer and silver fish on the far the angler, makes the resort ultimate for the daring and enterprising ones. Well-maintained squash and tennis courts, besides Asia’s highest cricket pitch, enchant sports lovers. The ground is under the control of the Chail Military School.A walk amidst the woods leaves one spellbound. Formerly, a private game reserve of the erstwhile Maharaja of Patiala, it is now heavily degraded. Yet it contains one of the world’s most significant population of the greatly threatened cheer pheasant and European Red Deer, introduced half a century ago by the Maharaja. The lovers of wild life can also look out for barking deer, red jungle fowl, samber, ghoral, khalij, leopard, peacock, black partridge and several types of birds.
Royal Treats for Holiday Revelers
Emulating a Georgian mansion, the Palace Hotel is reminiscent of the royal grandeur. Spread approximately on 75 acres, the luxurious lifestyle of the erstwhile Maharaja is brought alive in the form of spacious and well-adorned rooms with blazing fireplaces.A large graceful lawn together with pavilion and fountain adjoins the hotel. Bedecked with ornate furniture a Maharaja and Maharani suits, give a feel of royalty to the visitors. Besides deluxe and semi-deluxe rooms, the prince and princess rooms are other attractions of the palace hotel. A facelift is being given to the place by the Himachal Tourism Development Corporation now.Equipped with all modern facilities, a number of cottages located in its vicinity, provide the visitors the much-needed solace from the hustle and bustle of city life.Address: Chail, Himachal Pradesh, India
URL for more details/booking: http://himachaltourism.gov.in/
Approximate visit duration for : 120-180 mins
GETTING TO GREAT WALL, CHAIL
Shimla is the nearest airport at a distance of 63 km. Flights from Shimla operate to Delhi and Kullu. Taxis are easily available from Shimla airport to reach Chail.Delhi is the nearest international airport at a distance of 380 km. Delhi is well connected to most major international and domestic cities by air. Taxis are available from Delhi to reach Chail.
Shimla, 63 km from Chail, is connected by narrow gauge line with Kalka (86 km) which in turn is connected with the major cities in India. The toy train journey from Kalka to Shimla is enchanting and passes through 107 tunnels and several arched bridges. The duration of the journey is around six hours. The frequency of trains that ply from Kalka to Shimla is pretty good, with at least four trains plying to and fro from Shimla daily. Taxis are easily available to reach Chail from Kalka and Shimla.
Chail is well connected by road to most neighbouring regions of Himachal Pradesh. State-owned buses connect Shimla, Narkhanda and Rampur to Chail.
There are many good hotel and resorts near Chail, we have given a quick link below to book your stay.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: