Chail in winters – The secret sanctuary in the lower Himalayas

Sunrise hues at Chail in Himachal

The ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 fever is picking up!! With the wins over strong teams like South Africa and Australia, it’s a spectacular start to team India’s world cup campaign. Best wishes for the matches ahead!! But Abhi, why are you talking about the world cup on a travel post? I am no fool, there has to be a reason😄. Do you know where is the World’s Highest Cricket ground located? There is this beautiful place Chail in Himachal which is home to the world’s highest cricket ground.

World's highest cricket ground at Chail in Himachal

World’s highest cricket ground at Chail in Himachal

Every time as I looked out of the window, what I could see was the curly roads, winding its way through the lush green mountains, passing through the dense forest cover of Deodar trees. While exploring the towns around “The Himalayas”, I hardly feel like I am moving from one town to another. The landscape remains almost the same but I am never tired of it. So was the case with Chail, a hidden town in the lower Himalayas.

Chail

On way to Chail in winters

Located in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh at an altitude of approx. 2250 m, Chail is the heaven of peace and tranquillity. It is a perfect escape for the city dwellers, who are willing to succumb in the lap of nature. If you want to get away from Delhi’s sweltering summer heat and pollution, Chail’s gorgeous topography is the perfect fit for you.

Chail main market area

Chail main market area

How to reach Chail

Chail is located around 340 kms from Delhi, 100 kms from Chandigarh and 50 kms from Shimla. The nearest railway station to Chail is Kandaghat Railway station (25 kms) which is one of the stops for famous Kalka –Shimla toy train. If time is not a constraint, you can opt to take this train. The journey is an experience in itself. From Kandaghat, you can catch a bus for Chail. For train bookings check out IRCTC.
If you are short of time, you can opt for a bus. There are direct buses plying to Chail from Delhi, Chandigarh (sector 43 – INR 195 – 4 to 5 hours) and Shimla.

How to reach Chail from Delhi Chandigarh Shimla Kandaghat
Getting around Chail

The town is small and getting around is quite easy as compared to other hill stations in India. There aren’t many spots of tourist interest, it is the overall beauty of this place which will make you fall in love with it. Most of the tourist’s sports are at a walkable distance, for the far ones, you can opt for shared taxis which are easily available.

Deodar trees at Chail

Deodar trees at Chail

My journey to explore Chail

On this particular trip of 20 days to explore Himachal, Chail was first on my list. While planning, I was a bit confused between Kasauli and Chail, on where to make the night stay before I head to the touristy town Shimla. I had heard a lot about Kasauli of being a very popular weekend getaway for the people of Delhi and Chandigarh. But, I wanted to avoid the crowds and hence decided to give Kasauli a skip and visit Chail which is quite unheard.

Snow on Chail road in winters

Snow at Chail in winters

I along with one of my friend, took a bus from Chandigarh for Chail. On the Chandigarh – Shimla highway, one needs to take a left from Kandaghat. The road route from Kandaghat to Chail winds through the deodar forests and is amongst the most beautiful roads in Himachal for leisurely biking and hiking. I was loving every bit of the road journey and was happy that I chose this place Chail.

cloudy weather en route to Chail

Cloudy weather en route to Chail

On reaching Chail, since it was already late, we decided to explore the town the next day and started looking for budget accommodation immediately. It was extremely chilly due to the heavy snowfall at Chail.

bus to Chail

We were alone on the bus for Chail

The next day we woke up early and decided to explore the town on foot. One can visit the highest cricket ground in the world which is around 2 kms from the bus stand. Also, you can enjoy the 360-degree panoramic view of the surrounding mountains from Kali Ka Tibba temple. Sunset view from this temple is astonishing.

With friend at Chail Himachal
Apart from this, you can visit the Chail Palace, Chail wildlife Sanctuary, Siddh Baba Ka Mandir, Gurudwara Sahib and Stoned Kumbh Shiv Temple. At nights, you get a clear view of Shimla and Kasauli which can give you some great night shots. To be honest, Chail is a town which is not about specific tourist’s spots, it is known for its salubrious beauty and virgin forests.

Siddh Baba Ka Mandir Chail

Siddh Baba Ka Mandir Chail

Words like pollution and deforestation have never entered the dictionary of residents of Chail. The clouds, the hills, and the sprawling greens, all these signify Chail, a honeymooners’ paradise. There’s little sound except that of the chirping of the birds. This sums up the charm of the beautiful Chail. We spent the next few hours walking aimlessly, enjoying the warmth of the sun before heading to the crowded town of Shimla.

Sunset hues at Chail

Sunset hues at Chail

ATM, Petrol Pump, medical & mobile network information

There is SBI and UCO bank branch and ATM in Chail. There is a petrol pump in Chail just before the main market area. A medical facility is also available at Chail but bigger hospitals are at Shimla. The mobile connectivity is excellent in Chail and almost every mobile network works here.

Dogs at Chail
Best time to visit Chail

The best time to visit Chail entirely depends on what you want to experience. In the winter months (December – February), the town sometime experiences snowfall and temperature dips below zero degree Celsius. In summer months, if you want to escape the scorching heat prevalent in other parts of the country, Chail is the perfect place to be at. Monsoon months of July and August bring rains to the region and landslides become common, so one needs to be extra cautious.

Chail in winters by onacheaptrip
Food and stay options at Chail

Chail houses plenty of restaurants which serve Indian, Chinese and Continental dishes at nominal prices. Depending on your own preference, you can either chose to eat at the hotel you were staying at. I tried the food at Anand Homestay where I was staying and it was very delicious.

morning scenes at Chail with Shimla in vicinity
There are a few hotels in Chail, both luxury and budget that you could stay at. Whether or not to book in advance is completely your choice. If you are on a budget, just reach the main market, walk around and inquire at few hotels/ homestays and choose the one which suits your budget. I got a room at Anand Homestay( 9816373435) for INR 600/ night. It was a great place to stay and would highly recommend them.

Anand Homestay room at Chail

Anand Homestay room at Chail

Have been to Chail? If yes, then do share your amazing stories in the comment section. I will be the happiest to read about them.

Onacheaptrip at Chail

Do follow me on Instagram as I am regularly posting travel posts and stories over there. Also, you can message me on Instagram if you want to join me on my next trip.

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