Chail, in the Shivalik belt, is a secluded little have. As the ‘summer capital’ of the erstwhile princely state of Patiala, the small settlement of Chail came into being when its Maharaja was expelled from the British dominated town of Shimla. Completed in 1891, the Maharaja built a splendid mansion which is now Himachal Tourism’s Heritage Palace Hotel. The verdant forests near Chail are alive with many species of birds and deer but it is best known for its Scottish red deer which were introduced by the Maharaja. Chail is built over three hills – the Palace Hotel crown the Rajgarh Hill, the Sidh Baba ka Mandir is atop the Sidh Hill, while the third is Pandhewa Hill which holds the house of the former British Resident to Patiala. Since the early 1970s, Chail has been a popular resort destination and down the years, this continues to retain its myriad charms.
Height: 2226 m
Climate: Summer is mild and cottons and light woollens are suggested. In winter, the sunny days are pleasant – though the nights are cold and fairly heavy clothes are required. Through the rest of the year, light woollens/cottons are suggested.
Getting There & Away: How to reach Chail
Road: Chandigarh is 112 kms away, Delhi is at a distance of 370 kms and Shimla is 45 kms away via Kufri , while the distance is 61 kms via Kandaghat.
Rail: Kalka is 86 kms away and the Chandigarh railway station is at a distance of 112 kms.
Air: Chandigarh airport is 115 kms and Shimla airport is at a distance of 65 kms.
Tourist Attractions in Chail
The Sidh Baba Temple (1.5 kms) was the original site of Bhupinder Singh’s Palace. The temple is highly revered and the Baba is said to grant boons.
Chail’s Cricket and Polo ground was created in 1893 after levelling out the top of a hill. At 24444.4 m, this is considered as one of the highest in the world.
Chail falls within an 11,000 hectare Wildlife Sanctuary that has the rhesus macaque, leopards, the Himalayan black bear, the crested porcupine, the wild boar, the common langur, hares, ‘ghoral’, ‘kakkar’, ‘sambhar’, red jungle fowl and the ‘khalij’ and ‘cheer’ pheasants.
Mahakali Temple (8 kms) located on a hill top popularly known as Kali-ka-Tibba is a very famous temple. The temple is connected by road through the thick forests. This place is extremely popular among tourists because of its majestic views of the Chur Chandni Peak, Karol Tibba and the other neighbouring areas of Sirmour, Solan and Shimla Districts.
Fishing is possible on the Giri river, at Gaura (29 kms).
Sadhopul (15 kms) lies between Kandaghat and Chail has an attractive picnic spot by a stream.
Kufri (2510 m) 28 kms is one of the earliest places to be associated with skiing in India. It has fine views of the deep valleys and thick forests that are framed by a backdrop of unmelting snows. This also has the Himalayan Nature Park.