A Travel Guide to Chail

Chail is a gorgeous and peaceful small village near Shimla. It is breathtakingly beautiful, with one of the finest viewpoints in all of Himachal. This travelogue covers everything you need to know when planning a trip to Chail; you would know how to get there, what to see and all.

Chail is a name that comes up frequently when people talk about weekend getaways from places like Delhi and Chandigarh. It is ideal for a short trip to the Himalayas because of its easy accessibility and proximity to the plains.

On the other hand, it is not far from Shimla and has an excellent motorable road connecting it to the capital city. It also includes Chail in places to visit list that includes Shimla and its nearby areas.

The whole village is surrounded by a thick forest and remains pleasant throughout the year as it sits on the edge of the Chail wildlife sanctuary. However, it is blanketed in snow in the winter and transformed into a winter wonderland. Other must-see attractions in Chail include Kali ka Tibba and the Royal Palace (from the film 3 Idiots).

Chail is a hill station in Himachal Pradesh, about 44 kilometres from Shimla and 45 kilometres from Solan. From the Chandigarh Shimla highway, a road to Chail splits near Kandaghat. Chail is about 50 kilometres and an hour away from here. Other pathways include roads from Kufri and Solan.

Chail often referred to as a “backpacker’s paradise”, is a picturesque retreat with pine-covered hills, lush grasslands, calmness, beautiful scenery, and breathtaking views of the majestic Himalayas. It is situated at an elevation of 2,250 meters (7,380 feet), and you will adore it for its lush vegetation, harmony, and pleasant climate.

Chail has a fascinating history as well. In 1891, Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala clashed with Lord Kitchener of the East India Company over a political matter. This enraged Lord Kitchener so much that he barred the Maharaja from entering Shimla, which was the summer capital of the governing English at the time.

Infuriated by this move, the Maharaja pledged to create his summer capital, and thus Chail was born. The Royal Palace was constructed first, and then the village began growing around it.

Chail was the summer capital of the Patiala Kings for a long time. However, following India’s accession to the Indian Union, the Maharaja of Patiala donated the majority of his property to Chail Military School and the Indian Government. On the other hand, his royal palace was converted into a heritage hotel and is still used today.

Another myth is that the Maharaja of Patiala decided to marry Lord Kitchener’s girl. That is also how Shimla’s scandal point originally came.

Best Places to Visit in Chail:

  • Kali ka Tibba

Kali ka Tibba is located on top of a hill; there is a Kali Mata temple; therefore, the name “Kali ka Tibba”. It draws a large number of pilgrims and visitors from all over the world. You can also see the Shivalik Range and Choor Chandni from the summit.

  • Chail Palace

It was previously Maharaja’s Royal Palace, but it is now a heritage hotel. If your budget allows it, a stay here is strongly recommended. If not, come here to see the gorgeous structures. Tourists must pay Rs. 100 to enter the palace.

  • Chail Sanctuary

The sanctuary, which was originally the hunting grounds of the Maharaja of Patiala, was established on March 21, 1976, and encompasses an area of 110 km2. Chail Wildlife Sanctuary is among the country’s lesser-known yet well-maintained nature preserves.

It is home to a diverse range of flora, fauna, and animals, including sambhar, pheasants, wild boar, deer, black bears, and leopards. In addition, several “Machan”-style monitoring stations have been established across the Chail sanctuary.