The fairyland cloaked in snowy clouds
|State||: Himachal Pradesh|
|Type of Tourism||: Hill Station|
|Altitude||: 2444 meters|
|Area||: 72 acres|
|Population||: 7726 (As per Indian census- 2001)|
|Languages spoken||: Hindi, Himachali, Garhwali, Pahari, English|
|Best Tourist Season||: April to June, September to November|
|Clothing recommended||: Light woolen in summer, heavy woolen in winter|
|Telephone Code||: India (01792), International (+91)|
|Pin Code||: 173217|
|What to buy||: Handicrafts, key chains, candle stands, carved sticks, pots, pans, spoons, hand fans and other trinkets made of wood, metalwork, sandstone crafts, woolen & Pashmina shawls, Kinnauri mufflers, scarves, Himachali caps, pullovers, sweaters, woolen coats, gloves, socks, rugs, carpets, handmade shoes, Tibetan jewelery, metal, silver and stone-studded jewelery, other local tweeds, handmade artifacts, dolls, pickles, jams, squashes, juices, etc.|
|Food Specialties||: Rice, Maahni (Urad Dal prepared with dried Mangoes), Madra (Lentils made with Yoghurt), Sattu, Kaddu Ka Khatta, Guchhi Matter & Sepu Vadi, Mittha, Nasasta, Dham, Moong Dal and Rajma Cooked in Yoghurt, Dark Lentil or Mash Dal, Tamarind Sauce, Roasted Corn, Sidu with Ghee, Patande (a Kind of Pancake), Sweet Rice, Ankalos, Anaardana, Boori Ki Kari, Grilled Fish, Chicken, Mutton, Dal, Milk Products, a Dessert made from rice mixed with Dry Fruits and Raisins, Chouck, Bhagjery, Pateer, Til Chutney, etc.|
|Local transportation||: Auto Rickshaws, Shuttles, Taxis, Buses, etc|
|Must Do||: Ice Skating, Skiing, Hiking, Horse Riding, Fishing, Angling, etc|
Chail; the former summer capital of the erstwhile Patiala Maharajas and a tiny charming township of the Shimla District cradled in the lap of the alpine snow clad Himalayas is a dandy little hill station of Northern India that is explicitly extolled on the world tourism map for its infinite natural splendor and its delightfully salubrious clime. Perched at the elevation of 2,444 meters above the sea level, Chail is expanded over three soaring knolls namely; Rajgarh Hill, Pandava Hill and Sidh Tibba. The celebrated Chail Palace is erected atop the Rajgarh Hill, the British ‘Snow View’ Residency is nested over the Pandava Hill while the Chail Town is burgeoned along the Sidh Tibba Hill.
Reposed against the imperial backdrop of the snow crowned Himalayan Ranges stunningly reflecting the luster of the effulgent sun, Chail; the paradigm of celestial grandeur is elegantly positioned overlooking the charismatic Satluj Valley and the enchanting Shimla and Kasauli plateaus. The colorful twinkling lights of Shimla and Kasauli look utterly stupefying from the highlands of Chail at nights. Blanketed under the verdant tapestry of Pine & Deodar forests and the luxuriant sweeps of the leafy grasslands, Chail endowed with immeasurable scenic dazzle offers an ideal retreat away from the humdrum of the bustling city life.
Brimming with flourishing woodlands, carmine and rhododendron meadows, meandering paths and unexplored hills, the uplands of Chail are rightly deemed the paradise of hikers and a dream come true of the adventure aficionados. Moreover, the verdurous terrains of Chail provide a protected haven to numberless species of wild birds and animals. Other than its astonishingly angelic tableau, this hill station of Himachal Pradesh sited just 50 kilometers away from the state capital Shimla is commended on the international front for its world’s highest cricket ground, polo ground, the Chail Wildlife Sanctuary and the historic Chail Palace which is now converted to a heritage hotel.
Tourists headed towards Kandaghat, Shimla, Kasauli, Kufri, Solan, and other Himalayan hill resorts make it a point to pay a visit to Chail; a poetry composed by nature’s prolific hand.
History Of Chail
Originally Chail formed a part of the Princely State of Keonthal which was founded in 765 AD by Raja Giri Sen; the son of a Sena Raja of Bengal. Later on, Chail came under the dominance of the Gurkha Kings. The British Government confiscated Chail from the Gurkha General ‘Amar Singh’ in the year 1814 and annexed it to the British Empire. Afterwards, Chail was gifted to Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala by the British Government. In 1891 AD, when Maharaja Bhupinder Singh eloped with Lord Kitchener’s daughter, the enraged Lord Kitchener; the then ‘Commander-in-Chief’ of the British Indian Army banished Bhupinder Singh from Shimla; the Summer Capital of the British India. The aggravated and insulted King Bhupinder Singh vowed that he would establish a new summer capital for himself which would be better than Shimla in every possible aspect.
Chail, located just 50 kilometers away from Shimla and strategically disposed at the altitude of 2444 meters against the majestic backdrop of the snow-capped Sivalik Ranges overlooking Shimla as well as the exotic Satluj Valley was a quaint & sluggish mountain hamlet that was finalized by Maharaja Bhupinder Singh as the site of his new summer capital. Laden with thick foliage & alluringly youthful orchards and ornamented with sylvan pine & deodar valleys, the spell binding town of Chail was converted to an ethereal summer retreat post 1893 AD. The Maharaja of Patiala constructed a commanding alcazar atop the aerial Rajgarh Hill measuring about 2,226 meters in its average altitude. Subsequent to the Independence of India when Chail was merged into the Indian Union, the then Maharaja of Patiala donated most of the royal edifices to the Chail Military School and the Government of India.
In 1972 AD, the Chail Palace was taken over by the Tourism Department of the Himachal Government which converted it to a luxury heritage hotel. Spread over an extensive area of 75 acres, the Chail Palace houses several small quarters, sports and recreation facilities, an orchard and numerous other sections. The Chail Palace Hotel; a jewel hanging from the clouds has presently emerged as a premier holiday resort amongst the lavish vacationers and the newly wedded couples.