When Bhupinder Singh, Maharaja of Patiala was expelled from Shimla - The Summer Capital of the British India, he decided to create his own capital for the warm months. The little village of Chail was perfect. It lay surrounded by magnificent deodar forests, Shimla was in direct vision and most importantly, Chail at 2226 m was somewhat higher than British controlled Shimla. Today, the Maharaja's creation can be experienced by everyone. And for Himachal Tourism, now owner of the gracious mansion, every visitor is a Royalty. Here is a resort in the true sense of the word. A beautiful Palace with ornate furniture, charming cottages, delightful log huts, thick forests, quiet walks, a 'lovers hill', an orchard of its own, elegant lawns, badminton and lawn tennis court, billiards and even a children's park. Each regally appointed room, each quaint cottage and every warm log hut offers a memorable holiday. Whether you are on a honeymoon and in search of seclusion or wish to organize a conference, Chail offers it all. Then, there are good sightseeing places and possibility of some fishing and trekking. Chail also has the world's highest cricket pitch and polo ground.
Access : Chail is connected by road. From Shimla via Kufri the distance is 45 km and via Kandaghat is 61 km. Kalka is 86 km away. Regular buses for Chail leave from Shimla, Chandigarh and Delhi. The closest airports are at Chandigarh (120 km) and Shimla (63 km).
Climate :In winter, the temperature can drop below freezing point when heavy woolens are required. In summer the climate is mild and light woolens / cottons are recommended.
Places of Interest
- Sidh Baba Ka Mandir (1.5 km) : Maharaja Bhupinder Singh originally began building his palace at this site. It is said that a Sidh - saintly person - appeared before the Maharaja in dream and declared that this was the place where he had this temple built.
- Cricket Ground (3 km): Built in 1893, after leveling top of a hill, it stands at 2444m and is the highest cricket pitch and polo ground in the world.
- Wildlife Sanctuary (3 km) : The Chail sanctuary has 'ghoral', 'kakkar', 'sambhar', red jungle fowl and 'khalij' and 'cheer' pheasants. Machan like sighting posts have been built at Khuruin.
- Kufri : An enjoyable drive through forests and small villages leads to this small but popular station. The Nature Park here is a great attraction. A short trek leads to the Mahasu Peak with breathtaking views.
- Sadhupul : Between Kandaghat and Chail is this village and bridge astride the Ashwani stream. A good picnic spot.
- Adventure and Fishing : A dozen or so trek routes lead out of Chail. Trails lead upto the Choor Peak and to Shimla. There is fishing on Giri river at Gaura, 29 km away.
Situated at an attitude of 2708 meters on the Hindustan Tibet road (NH - 22), Narkanda offers a spectacular view of snow ranges. This is an ideal retreat for the tourists who seek seclusion in mountains. It commands an unique view of the eternal snow line, the inviting apple orchards and dense forests. Narkanda is famous for Skiing & Winter sports. During these days the slopes come alive with skiers. The skiing at Narkanda was started in 1980 and since then HPTDC is conducting skiing courses every year. Narkanda is a gateway to apple country of Himachal Pradesh.
65 km. from Shimla, it is connected by Bus/Taxi services. Nearest Railway Station (65 km) and Airport (88 km) are at Shimla.
In winter, the temperature can hover around freezing point when heavy woolens are required. During summer, the climate is pleasant and cottons / light woolens are suggested. Narkanda receives heavy snowfall in winters.
Places of Interest
- Hatu Peak (3300m) : 8 km from Narkanda, the road is surrounded by pine and spruce trees. On top of the hill, ancient Hatu Mata temple is located. The peak offers spectacular view of the entire Himalayan ranges, snow clad mountains and in depths are the dense forests, green fields and apple orchards. Hiking is recommended to reach the peak.
- Kacheri (1810m) : This place is located 0.5 km from Oddi, and 7 km from Narkanda on NH - 22 and famous for ancient Mahamaya Temple.
- Kotgarh and Thanedhar (1830m) : 17 km link road bifurcating from Narkanda takes you to the Himachal's Horticultural heartland, Kotgarh and Thanedhar, renown for apple orchards. The famous Stokes Farm is located at Thanedhar. Stokes came to India on a trip and while on a summer visit to Shimla, fell in love with its environments, which included the charming hill folk and settled down in Kotgarh. He started the apple farm which soon became renown with its Red Delicious, Golden Delicious and Royal Delicious,apples.
- Jallori Pass (3,550 m) : 90 km from Narkanda, passing through the Sutlej Valley and crossing over to Luhri, Ani, Khanag through one of the best scenery in the Kullu Valley takes you to Jallori Pass. A 30 minute level walk from the Pass takes you to Sarolsar Lake among deep forests. See nature at it's best.