Amazing weather calling me outdoors along the lovely lanes and huge mountains and yet increasing my urge for some hot tea at the same time. Well, this is the diary entry I made after landing in Chail, one of the most beautiful and relaxing hill stations I have ever been to in Himachal Pradesh. What I liked best about Chail is that there’s something for everyone, be it the adventure traveller, the close knit family or even the couple looking for romance.
Yes, Kufri and Shimla are within commutable distance from Chail but I would still recommend that you stay here for a day or two to get a feel of the place. Here are some of the best things to do in Chail hill station which I found irresistible and I’m sure you will too!
Sightseeing in Chail & Things To Do
If you’re going sightseeing in Chail, you can definitely start with the Chail Palace Hotel which is what I did. It is a masterpiece that is out of the world with its beautiful gardens, the lovely valleys and views (I couldn’t stop clicking!) and of course, the history behind it all. The Maharaja of Patiala sure had good taste, going by the décor of this now-heritage hotel and you will go gaga like I did over the ancient and traditional styles, interiors and furniture.
If you’re a foodie like me, you will love the heavenly grub at the Café Palace which has a spectacular open-air dining zone with lovely views. The Chail Sanctuary is another place which I loved and it is truly a treat for wildlife lovers. I also went to the School Play Ground which truly looked gorgeous and I was delighted to learn of its cricket connection. This is the highest cricket ground in the world and the experience is surely one to savour.
If you’re in the mood for some relaxation (remember dipping your legs in a swimming pool and how good that feels?), try the Sadhupal Lake. I just couldn’t bring myself away from this pristine place, having dipped my legs in the beautiful waters and embraced its soothing effect. I loved the chicken momos that came fresh out of the oven. I also indulged my spiritual side with trips to Kali Ka Tibba and the trek to the temple helped me work up a healthy appetite! Gurudwara Sahib and Siddh Baba Ka Mandir were also calm and peaceful.
A date with nature
Nature is all around with its beauty in Chail. There are lovely nature walks that you can take throughout this delightful hill station. The Pine Forest is a must-try, particularly for photography lovers. The Himalayan Nature Park is a short distance away in Kufri and contains several animals that you can spot including the Tibetan Wolf, Black Bear and even the Leopard Cat.
Jhajja and Gaura are adventure lovers’ delights as well, particularly if you love trekking like me. You will love the beautiful pine trees all along the route and the fresh mountain air. There are gorgeous viewpoints where you can click some lifetime pictures as well.
Living it up in Mashobra
Moving on to Mashobra, I was initially clueless about things to do in Mashobra but some friends came to my rescue and suggested the Reserve Forest Sanctuary (which you have to take permission to visit) that turned out to be a dream excursion. The mountain views are of course to die for and you can spot barking deer, jackals, birds and even the occasional leopard if you’re lucky (I wasn’t!). I also loved going down the pathways lined with oak and pine trees and apple orchards and also the lovely streams scattered here and there.
The Fruit Research Centre or Craignano is a fabulous experience while I like innumerable others, clamoured to the Tattapani Sulphur Springs to get a taste of the medicinal and healing properties. The Craignano trek is a must-try and so is the Mashobra Valley trek, the one I went on. The route itself goes through forests and there is even a temple that is 400 years old. If you wish to go skiing, you can try Kufri which isn’t that far away from Mashobra.
Tattapani is an ideal spot for rafting and also fishing. You can also go camping if you want since the hills in Mashobra are ideal for this purpose. In fact, adventure junkies can enjoy their fair share of paragliding in the Mashobra Valley (the views are the bonus) and even quad biking (yes it’s a thing here as well!) along Tattapani.
All in all, I was glad my better half and friends coaxed me to go on this picturesque trip covering Chail and Mashobra and several other little hamlets that looked straight out of picture postcards. Both Mashobra and Chail have the beauty of the mountains to offer you along with the best weather and awesome adventure activities. Simply taking in the views will be an experience that is unforgettable! As it happened with me, you’ll never want to come back!
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