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.
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.
Access : 65 km. from Shimla, it is connected by Bus/Taxi services. Nearest Railway Station (65 km) and Airport (88 km) are at Shimla.
Climate : 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.
Gurudwara Paonta Sahib : This site was Guru Gobind Singh's home for over four years and it was here that he wrote the Dasam Granth. Within its precincts are the Sri Talab Asthan where he disbursed salaries and the Sri Dastar Asthan were he judged the turban tying competitions. At the Kavi Darbar Asthan, poetic symposia were held. There is also a memorial to sage Kalpi and a museum that displays pens and weapons of the period among other artefacts.
Yamuna Temple : This ancient shrine is immediately below the gurudwara and is dedicated to the goddess Yamuna.
Gurudwara Tirgarh Sahib (22 km) : This is built on the hillock from where Guru Gobind Singh shot arrows at the enemy.
Gurudwara Bhangani Sahib (23 km) : This commemorates Guru Gobind Singh's first battle when he defeated Raja Fateh Sahib and his allies.
Shiva Temple, Patlian (4.5 km) : Surrounded by fields and sal trees, the linga in this temple is supposed to be steadily increasing in size.
Shrine of Baba Garib Nath (8 km) : Located in a sal forest and with an excellent view of the area, the shrine is revered by childless women.
Ram Temple : Within Paonta Sahib the temple is located near the Yamuna bridge. With exquisite marble work built in 1889 in the memory of Raja Partap Chand of Kangra by his wife who originally belonged to Sirmour. The Kirpal Dass Gurudwara is just part of the temple.
Gurudwara Shergarh Sahib (12 km) : At this spot Guru Gobind Singh beheaded a dangerous man eater tiger with a single swipe of this sword.
Simbalwara Wildlife Sanctuary : 12 km off the main Paonta Sahib - Nahan road, this is known for a variety of bird life.
Sirmour (16 km) : Here are the remains of the old capital of the princely state of Sirmour. The town is said to have been destroyed by flood in the 11th century, when it was cursed by a dancing girl.
Nagnauna Temple (16 km) : Built in a hollow near the village of Puruwallia, this temple is closely allied with the legend of Sirmour's erstwhile ruling house.
Katasan Devi Temple (30 km) : Also known as Uttam Wala Bara Ban, this is on the Paonta Sahib - Nahan road. The Shrine is revered by local people. At this spot, the forces of Sirmour defeated the marauding armies of Ghulam Qadir Khan Rohilla.
Nahan (45 km) : Built in a series of interlocking circles, this charming town was founded by Raja Karan Prakash of Sirmour in 1621. It has numerous pleasing walks, several temples, a gurudwara and interesting architecture.
Fossil Park Saketi (60 km) : This was the site of the largest fossil find in the Shiwalik hills. The park has a museum and life size models of animals that once roamed these tracts.
Balasundari Temple, Trilokpur (63 km) : Legend has it that the Devi's pindi appeared in a bag brought by a local trader. The temple was built by Raja Deep Parkash of Sirmour in 1573. Close by is a recently built Shiva Temple.
Adventure and Fishing : The most popular trek in the area is to the 3,647 meter high Choordhar - which poetically translates as the "Mountain of the silver bangle". Fishing is possible on the Giri and Yamuna rivers near Paonta Sahib.