Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Chail, near Shimla - a popular summer retreat


India is home to innumerable hill stations/summer resorts across India and they serve the high rollers, rich and famous and others who want to escape from the terrible summer heat on the plains. Many hill stations in India were developed by the Colonial rulers as the Indian summer season was unbearable to them and they sought the lap of high mountains. They preferred cooler and nicer places akin to their native country and took refuge on the hill stations. Shimla, now the capital city in the state of Himachal Pradesh, had been British Raj's summer capital till they left India. The higher-ups in the British Era spent their summer holidays on the cool hills in their respective Residencies. Thus famous summer resorts like Ooty, Kodikanal (Tamil Nadu), Darjeeling (West Bengal), Dalhousie, Nainital (HM), etc., were all first accessed by the European rulers.The hill station Chail is a famous summer retreat in the north.

Chail Hill station. Travel Triangle
Situated at 45 kilometres from Shimla, Chail  is a well-known hill station set in a lush green hilly area. It was once the former capital of  the Patiala State. It has the unique distinction of being the  world’s highest and  well-maintained  cricket ground at a height of 8018 feet above msl surrounded by a thick forest of Deodar trees. It was built in 1893 by Maharajah Bhupender  Singh of Patiala, an avid Cricket player. It is now being used by the military school to play  cricket. 

Chail, highest criket ground in the world iseeindia.com

Besides, there is also a Polo ground near-by. Both were owned the erstwhile Royal family of Patiala. There is also a wildlife sanctuary  three kilometer from here. 

The Chail palace is known for its exquisite architecture and was built by the  Maharajah of Patiala  who used it as his summer retreat during the British Raj. The land was gifted to him by the British for his assistance during the Angelo-Nepalese war. 

Chail Palace. highontravel.com

 In 1891, Maharajah Bhupinder Singh of Patiala  earned the ire of Lord Kitchener who refused to allow him to enter  the Indian summer capital, Shimla. Infuriated as he was, the Maharajah  vowed to build a new summer retreat for himself. So he rebuilt the place (Chail) for his personal use.

Chail Palace.HPTDC

 After accession to the Indian Union in the late 1940s, after independence, Maharajah of Patiala  donated many buildings to Chail Military School (run by the Central government) and to the Indian government. The historical palace has been converted into a popular heritage Palace Hotel. Chail is a nice place for those who want to relax and explore wooded areas in a leisurely manner. In the summer, one may enjoy pleasant weather  and in the winter  the snow fall.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chail,_Himachal_Pradesh