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Chail

Tour: CHAIL
Location: Himachal Pradesh
Attractions: Cricket Ground, Wildlife Sanctuary, Sai Baba Temple
Best Time To Visit: Mid-May to Mid-October

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Located at a height of 2250 metres Chail is one of the smallest Himalayan hill resorts. When Bhupinder Singh, Maharaja of Patiala, was expelled from Shimla, he decided to create his own summer capital, which was Chail. Lying just 45 kms away from Shimla, surrounded by a thick cover of deodars and situated at a higher altitude, Chail was a perfect choice in the British-controlled Shimla.

Chail is a resort in the real sense of the term. Rajgarh palace with it's elaborate furnishings, comfortable log huts and cottages, dense forests, and serene walks, sprawling lawns, a childrens park, a lover's hill and sport facilities make chail worth a visit. It also provides good, opportunities for fishing and trekking and boasts of the world's highest cricket pitch and polo ground.

PRIME ATTRACTIONS

Sai Baba Temple: Maharaja Bhupinder Singh had originally intended this to be the site of his palace, and had even started building it, but as is believed, a `sidh', saintly person appeared in the Maharaja's dream, and declared that this was the place where he had meditated. As a result, Bhupinder Singh shifted his venue and built a temple on the spot.

Cricket Ground: Built in 1893, after levelling a hilltop, this cricket pitch at 2444 m is the world's highest cricket and polo ground.

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Wildlife Sanctuary: Ghoral, kakkar, sambhar, red jungle fowl, and khalij, cheer pheasants are some of the inhabitants of the Chail wildlife sanctuary.

Kufri: A long and enjoyable drive through lush forests and quaint villages takes one to the small but thoroughly popular hill station of Kufri. Its main attractions are the Himalayan Nature Park, and the exciting trek and horse rides that leads to the divine Mahasu peak.

Sadhupul: Halfway between Kandaghat and Chail is the tiny village of Sadhupul, and the bridge over the Ashwani stream, a popular picnic - spot.

ADVENTURE

Several trek routes lead out of Chail up to the Choor peak and to Simla. During winters, skiing is possible at Narkanda. The Giri river at Gaura, 29 km away, is ideal for fishing - enthusiasts.

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HOW TO GET THERE

Air: The nearest airports are at Chandigarh (120 km), and Simla (63 km).

Road: From Simla via Kufri the distance is 45 km and via Kandaghat the distance is 61 km. Kalka is 86 km away. Regular buses for Chail leave from Simla, Chandigarh, and Delhi.