Chail

Originally Chail was the summer capital of the Princely state of Patiala before independence. Chail village was developed into a hill station by Maharaja Bhupinder Singh to score one up with the British who had expelled him from Shimla. He retaliated by creating his own summer capital, in view of Shimla and at a higher altitude than the British summer capital. Today, Chail is a well known hill station welcoming those who wish to get respite from the heat of the plains.
One of its attractions is the Chail Sanctuary which is home to ‘ghoral’, kakkar’, ‘sambhar’, ‘red jungle fowl’ and ‘khalij’ and ‘cheer’ pheasants. For sighting wildlife, machan like posts have been built at a place called Khuruin. Chail also prides itself on having the highest cricket ground and polo ground in the world surrounded by deodar forests.
Also worth a visit are the ancient buildings made by the Maharaja of Patiala which now house the Chail Military School. Chail is connected by road to Shimla.
Best time to visit: March to October for scenic beauty and December to February for enjoying snowfall
Languages spoken: Hindi, Pahari, English, Punjabi
Climate: Pleasant summers, Cold in winters with snowfall
Places to see: Chail Sanctuary, Cricket ground, Chail Military School, Sidh Baba Ka Mandir, Kufri, Sadhupul
Things to do: Trekking, Fishing

Chail- a virginal suburb of Himachal Pradesh

Chail- a virginal suburb of Himachal Pradesh

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The hills were dead silent with occasional laughter and cries of ancestors of the HOMO SAPIENS. These brave hearts have made tall and fragile pine and deodar trees their play grounds. They dare to walk on high tension electric wires and water pipes at a height good enough to claim your life, if you lose your balance. They generally reside in abandoned homes, towering trees and earn their living by robbing from homes and climbing tall trees eating seeds and fruits. They were the sole owners of these lands encroached by humans. Their voices might be a welcome to us and an agreement to live peacefully with them or they might be planning a revolution against us or maybe they have an attitude that they don’t care. Hills grow quieter as you glide down the day. Sky turns darker as sun takes your leave. You keep filling your lungs with the fresh air just to make sure that serene natural air reaches even to the last ruptured alveoli of your smoke and pollution damaged lungs. The mist is the best treat that you can give to your eyes next to actually snowing.

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Himachal Revisited (Aug,14)

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This time, while in India, visit to Himachal was more of necessity than tourism… leaving behind Iceland, Landing in Delhi full of heat and humidity was not a joke…. at the airport itself, we were almost fainted and without waiting for my friend to come to pick up, hired a taxi and went home…the heat and humidity was unbearable as the body had tuned to climate of Iceland…. so to go back to Iceland settings, Himachal trip was mandatory

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Home Of Serenity – Chail, Himachal Pradesh

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After breakfast we proceeded to Chail Palace Hotel, once owned by Bhupinder Singh, Maharaja of Patiala. Well known for its architecture, the palace has now been converted to a heritage hotel. Many films have been shot here. You can also enjoy delicious food at their restaurant. Do try their cold coffee..it was yum!!! There is also a drinks bar for those who love to booze. We came back to the town after spending some time at this beautiful place and proceeded to Kali Ka Tibba temple. Kali Ka Tibba is a must visit place in Chail. Being located at a hill top it , you can enjoy mesmerized view of Chail valley and breathe cool and fresh air. The road leading to the place is very narrow and poor in condition making it quite an adventurous experience. It was around mid of the day and our next destination was Chail Cricket Ground. It is being used as a play ground of the Military school in Chail. We were disappointed with the place as entry to the playground is restricted to everyone except school staff and students. We came back to our resort after strolling for some time and buying wooden souvenirs from Chail Mall Road. Compared to Shimla’s crowded long Mall Road, Chail Mall Road only has a few shops and eating joints. There was nothing much to purchase in Chail but you know it is a custom in our homes that if any family member goes on a trip, they have to bring gifting specialties of that place.

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Bike Ride to Chitkul in HP from Delhi

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The day! We had plans to move to Chitkul – About 250 KMs from Shimla and 3450 meters above the sea level. This is the last town in India and is near Sangla. The population of Sangla is about 650-700 and the nearest river is Baspa. Coming back to our travel, we started in the morning at around 8 AM after having a decent breakfast and drove on the Sutlej river-side for not less than 150 KMs before hitting the tough terrain. We reached Chitkul at about 6 PM in the evening and no points for guessing, the town was already asleep. We decided to knock some doors and ask for an accommodation or hotel but just before we took a step ahead the wanabe models in us instructed us to click a few pictures and we had to obey. An old pahadi man came to us and asked if we had a place to stay. Trust me, in the given circumstances, he was nothing less than a god’s gift to us, especially when he offered us to stay in the PWD guest house in Chitkul.

The guest house however had its own share of problems to offer to us. There was extremely low voltage (hence really dim lights), the water pipelines were frozen – did I mention the temperature was -3 degree celcius? If this wasn’t all, there was no key to lock the rooms and we were expected to get our on own water for bath (and other important things) from the river Baspa (flowing right across). Last but not the least, we were the only people staying in the property – quite a situation to watch this horror movie, Amityville huh?

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Chail alone

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Next morning, by 9.30am, the folk market work was on full swing and I was saying adieu to Chail. Hold on, experience did not end here; I just started driving my car, the first turn left and a person standing there with thumbs up. Lift? Seems decent, he accompanied me till Panipat, and we shared lot of thought, and that was also an amazing experience to share the values of life with him.

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मानसून का आनंद चायल के जंगलो मे..

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अगले सुबह नींद खुली तो याद आया की अरे हम तो पहाड़ो के बीच आए है और सो कर अपना टाइम खराब कर रहे है,बस फिर क्या था रोज़ के क्रियाकलाप निबटा कर प्लान बनाने लगे की की किधर का रुख़ किया जाए,तो सबसे पहले दिमाग़ मे फिर रसोइगिरी करने करने का भूत सवार हो गया ..पर बाहर देखने पर पता चला की बरसा रानी अपने पूरे अपने चरम पर है ,पर मन मे आया उत्साह कम ही नही हो रहा था

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Blue sky country

Kinnaur-The land of apples (Part 1)

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On day 3, before starting off for Sangla, we were in a dilemma on whether to make the short trip to Hatu peak or not. As we had to reach Sangla before it was dark, we decided to skip Hatu peak, which is about 8 KMs from Narkanda. Thus, we hit the NH22 directly and road conditions being good, we reached the town of Rampur in about 2 hours. We refuelled the Ertiga here and noted a mileage of 15-16 KM/Litre in hilly road conditions.  After, Rampur, the highway, which was once known to the British as the Hindustan-Tibet road, leads you further on to Jeori before entering the district of Kinnaur at Chaura. After entering Kinnaur, the road, cut into sheer rock, rises steeply above the Satluj River. It follows the Satluj and is one of the most vertiginous roads in the whole country offering a spectacular view of rugged mountains.

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