Chail

One of the smallest Himalayan hill resorts, Chail lies at a height of 2,250 metres. When Bhupinder Singh, Maharaja of Patiala, was expelled from Shimla, he decided to create his own summer capital, which was Chail. His choice of 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 magnificent Rajgarh palace, with elaborate furnishings, built in 1891, comfortable log huts and cottages, dense forests and serene walks, sprawling lawns, a childrens park, a `lovers hill', and sports facilities, Chail is a resort in the real sense of the term. The hill resort also offers ample opportunity for fishing and trekking, and boasts of the world's highest cricket pitch and polo ground.

Sightseeing

Sidh Baba ka Mandir : Maharaja Bhupinder Singh had originally intended this to be the site of his palace, and had even started building it, but as is believed, a `sidh', saintly person appeared in the Maharaja's dream, and declared that this was the place where he had meditated. Consequently, Bhupinder Singh shifted his venue and built a temple on the spot.

Cricket Ground : Built in 1893, after levelling a hilltop, this cricket pitch at 2444 m is the world's highest cricket and polo ground.

Wildlife Sanctuary: Ghoral, kakkar, sambhar, red jungle fowl, and khalij, cheer pheasants are some of the inhabitants of the Chail wildlife sanctuary.

Kufri: A long and enjoyable drive through lush forests and quaint villages takes one to the small but thoroughly popular hill station of Kufri. Its main attractions are the Nature Park, and the exciting trek that leads to the divine Mahasu peak.

Sadhupul: Halfway between Kandaghat and Chail is the tiny village of Sadhupul, and the bridge over the Ashwani stream, a popular picnic - spot.

Treking: Several trek routes lead out of Chail up to the Choor peak and to Simla. During winters, skiing is possible at Narkanda. The Giri river at Gaura, 29 km away, is ideal for fishing - buffs.

Access

By air: The nearest airports are at Chandigarh (120 km), and Simla (63 km).

By road: From Simla via Kufri the distance is 45 km and via Kandaghat the distance is 61 km. Kalka is 86 km away. Regular buses for Chail leave from Simla, Chandigarh, and Delhi.

Accomodation

The Maharaja's Palace was purchased by Himachal Tourism, in 1972. A wide range of cottages, suites and elegant rooms in the Palace complex is available for accomodation.

Address :
Palace Hotel,
Chail,
Himachal Pradesh - 173217.
Tel: ( 01792)8337, 8343,
Fax : ( 0172 )8383.

Himachal Tourism also runs Hotel Himneel at Chail.

Himachal Pradesh