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Places to visit in Chail, Himachal Pradesh

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Chail in Himachal Pradesh

Chail is a popular Hill Station located in Himachal Pradesh

Chail is located in Himachal Pradesh, India. It used to be a small town until the 19th Century when Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala decided to make it his summer retreat. Most of the properties of the Maharaja have been taken over by the Indian government and some of those are being used by the State’s Tourism Department as attractions for excursionists. Chail is quite popular amongst those tourists who wish to avoid crowd, which they can easily find in a major tourist destination such as Shimla.

Attractions in Chail

Chail Sanctuary: The town is surrounded by thick forests of Deodar and Oak, which are home to a myriad of animals. The Chail Sanctuary covers more than 10,000 hectares and visitors may spot animals such as goral, sambar, barking deer, red jungle fowl, cheer, and many more.

Cricket Ground: It is located at a height of 2,144 m above the sea level.  The cricket ground in Chail is the highest cricket ground in the world. It was built in 1893 and is a surrounded by forests that offer a very picturesque view.

Maharaja’s Palace: The palace was built in 1891 and features a number of elaborate furnishings designed to suit the exquisite taste of the Maharaja. The palace is also a resort where visitors can enjoy the luxuries of life.

Chail Gurudwara: The gurudwara was one of the first buildings to be constructed after the completion of the Maharaja’s palace. It is built in Indo-Western style with a 22-foot high wooden roof, which is its most prominent feature.

Sidh Baba ka Mandir: The place where Sidh Baba ka Mandir is located was initially the ground that Maharaja Bhupinder Singh had chosen for constructing his palace. However, one day he had a dream, wherein he was told by a sidh, or a saint, that the place was his meditation ground. Therefore, the Maharaja constructed a temple there and moved his palace to the place where it is today.

Accommodation in Chail

The Hotel Chail Residency and the Hotel Grand Sunset are great options for those tourists who are looking for a reasonably priced hotel. However, the Chail Palace is definitely the best option for those tourists who  wish to savor the experiences that the Maharajas of Patiala would have had when they used to stay there.

Chail Location Map

Facts about Chail

  • Chail was turned into a summer retreat because Maharaja Bhupinder Singh was banned from entering Shimla by Lord Kitchener.
  • It was built on the land that was allotted to the Maharaja after he assisted the British in the Anglo-Nepalese War.
  • Chail is situated 2,250 m above sea level.

Where is Chail ?

Chail is located in Himachal Pradesh, India, and is about 40 km away from Shimla.

How to Reach

By Air

The Shimla Airport is the closest airport to Chail. It is about 66 km away and is about a two-hour journey. However, the airport isn’t very big as not many flights operate from that location. Chandigarh is the closest major airport to Chail and is about 103 km away. Driving from the Chandigarh airport to Chail will take you about three hours.

By Rail

The Kalka Railway Station is the closest broad gauge station to Chail and is about 77 km away from Chail. Tourists may choose to drive to Chail, which will take about two and a half hours, or take the Toy Train to Shimla, which will take considerably longer time; however, it will surely offer a picturesque ride along the way. From Shimla, Chail is about 40 km away and a drive will take just over an hour.

By Road

Chail is well-connected by roadways to all major cities via the popular Kalka-Shimla route.

Best time to visit Chail

Summer is the best time to visit the town as the weather is quite pleasant.

More about Chail

Chail also offers a number of adventure activities for visitors. Kufri and Sadhupul are popular locations offering day trips.

The weather can be quite cold during winter. Visitors traveling to Chail during this time are advised to wear heavy woolen clothing.


Image credit : Abhishek Kumar

Published On: Saturday, April 25th, 2015