Chail himachal pradesh
Have you ever been to the “Queen of Hills”? Shimla is beautiful in its own way but do you know? There are many tiny hill stations near Shimla with breath taking beauty and peaceful environment. Hill stations are not only about mall road, expensive and luxurious hotels or only sightseeing; they are about local markets, small houses, home stays and walking on an endless road engulfed by cool and fresh air that make your senses wide open and ultimately turns you cheerful.
Chail is one of those, it might not have the famous mall road or every facility but it has local markets, less crowd, small houses, and few road side shops which offer you sumptuous food, snacks, Maggie and hot tea. Want to visit Chail? Follow me
1. Catch a bus from Delhi to Solan:
If you are an international traveler or coming from southern part of the country; Land at Indira Gandhi International Airport and take a bus or cab till ISBT Kashmere Gate. There are both local and Volvo Himachal Road Transport Corporation buses plying between Delhi to Solan. I advise you to book ticket in advance if you are traveling on weekends. The bus fare for local buses is around INR 350 and fare for Volvo buses is around INR 750.
After reaching Solan, look for buses plying between Solan and Chail. There are specific buses that travel from Solan to Chail at specific timings. Make sure you check the bus timings before travelling or you can also take a cab till Chail which will take INR 1500-2000 for the whole cab.
2. Book a hotel or homestay.
Once you reach the mesmerising jewel of a hill station, look for hotels or home-stays. There are multiple options that you can explore. But, my opinion is that book a hotel before leaving from Delhi during peak season. In off season, you can easily find a hotel or homestay in the hill station. The check-In timing of most hotels is 12.00 PM. So, plan accordingly. Once you get the room, throw your backpacks and have some rest. After that, you can stroll the hill station on foot. The ways are engulfed with fresh air and lush green trees on both sides. The beauty of Chail can only be experienced on foot. You can face light rains in the month of June which makes this hill station fresh and lively.
3. Local Market, Chail Palace, Gurudwara Sahib Chail.
Head to local market of Chail on foot. It is the central part of the hill station. You can visit Chail Palace which is around 2 kms from Local Market.
The Chail Palace is well known for its architecture: the palace was built as summer retreat by the Maharaja of Patiala during the British Raj, on the land allotted to him by the British for former’s assistance in the Anglo-Nepalese War. There is a cricket ground and polo ground which is situated at a height of 2444 m making it the world’s highest cricket ground.
There is a Gurudwara Sahib Chail which is situated at around 1 km from local market. It was established in 1907. It was constructed by Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala. At present, Giani Pritpal Singh (Master of Arts in Punjabi language), who has earlier served in a Gurudwara in Kandaghat town, is the caretaker of Gurudwara Saheb Chail. He is staying and looking after the Gurudwara along with his family, including three daughters, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. You can visit this Gurudwara and donate so that it functions well all around the year. And, do meet Pritpal Singh. He is a gem of a person, a selfless human being. You will surely have a smile on your face after meeting him.
4. Visit to Kali Mata Mandir
This temple is the gem of Chail, here you can feel the serenity and I assure you that positive vibes will echo inside you. From breath-taking views of lower Himalayas to mesmerizing hills that will surely send a chill down your spine. The wind speed is quiet high here. There is only one priest available at a time in the temple. This temple is often called “Kali ka Tibba” where Tibba means ‘top’. You enjoy the sweeping views of Choor Chandni and Shivalik Range from the temple. I advise you to travel this temple at sunset time. The only way to reach the temple is cab which will take around INR 400-600 from local market. The buses are there but are limited so cab turn out to be the best alternative.
5. Come back to Hotel/Home stay.
After a hectic day, you can come back to Hotel/Homestay and sleep well in the night. Next morning, have Breakfast, stroll on the roads and eat Maggie from local shops. Come back to Hotel and pack your bags.
Catch a bus to Solan which will cost around INR 60/person or take a cab which will take INR 1500-2000.
6. Explore Solan and Leave for Delhi.
Solan is also a very nice hill station but yes it is crowded by tourist all around the year. You can explore local markets and try various food items in different cafes on the mall road of Solan. If you have not been to Railway station of Solan. Do visit and experience the beauty of toy train running with the hills surrounding from everywhere. Catch a Volvo or Local bus by evening so that you can reach ISBT Kashmere-gate Delhi by 6.00 AM.
So, Chail is all about serene environment, local market, highest Cricket Ground, Chail Palace and majorly Kali ka Tibba from where you can experience enthralling views of lower Himalayas. Visit Chail and do add this place in your bucket list. I assure you, the chances of disappointment is meagre.
Rahul Chhabra (Co-Founder of Travel With Art)