By:Meetanjali Sood Kalra
Chail, a small hill station was built and used as a summer retreat by Maharaja of Patiala in the year 1891. This decision was taken by him after his entry was banned in the then summer capital of India, Shimla for eloping with Lord Kitchner’s daughter. As a result he took an oath to built a new summer retreat for himself at Chail where he made several buildings but after this place was taken over by Indian Union he had to donate most of his property to the Government of India and Chail Military school.
The small town of Chail is spread over an area of seventy-two acres on three contiguous hills- the Pandava hill, Rajgarh Hill and the Siddh Tibba. On visiting Chail the history uncovers and one can feel to be taken back in time to ancient India. One such example of colonial architecture is the Snow View on the Pandava hill, which is an excellent example of prerevolutionary India as this is where the British Residents stayed but this building is with the Indian Army these days.
The royal retreat of Chail, situated in the Shivalik hills is a uniquely built luxurious resort to stay in with its peaceful surroundings in the midst of pine and deodar trees which is also suitable for idyllic walks. This remarkable heritage of British India, built over several hills with its enchanting beauty and exquisite architecture is truly a paradise for nature lovers and is worth visiting. The royal summer palace was constructed by Maharaja but was also used by the British after he was defeated.
Chail is also known as the hikers paradise and is an ideal location for adventure seekers and a perfect dream location with majestic snow capped Shivalik peaks in the aura and beautiful orchards and pine valleys reminding one about the ponders of mother nature. The cricket and polo ground that were made under the guidance of Maharaja Bhupinder Singh is the highest cricket ground in the world. This legacy, which was once retained by the royal family of Patiala, is situated at an altitude of 2,444 m and is very well maintained even till date.
Moderately easy but high altitude trek to Kali ka Tibba dedicated to goddess Kali at the top of a mountain gives the most beautiful view of the surrounding Shivalik Range and Choor Chandni Peak. The trek passes through fantastic adventure and is surely a handout for anyone whose looking for an audacious trek.
The wildlife sanctuary at Chail also attracts tourists and travelers from around the country. It is home to a variety of birds and animals like barking deer, rhesus macaque, leopard’s black bear, goats and Himalayan wolfs. This wildlife sanctuary is a nice day trip as it supports a mix of flora and fauna due to its favorable climatic conditions.
Apart from this there are plenty of other things to do in Chail like shopping, sight seeing or one can nibble on traditional Himachali food that too without spending too much. This is one such place that attracts every traveler and assures to give comfortable consolation from your day-to-day stress.