I really feel people like me who are living in north India are well and truly blessed, we can go to Himalayas for a weekend getaway and not only escape the hustle and bustle of the big city but also indulge in the serene Himalayan landscape.
One such weekend getaway I like is Chail, which at one time was the summer capital of Patiala and the moment you take the diversion from Kandaghat you know why Maharaja Bhupinder Singh when forced to leave Shimla by the British, chose Chail as his summer capital. Chail also takes the honor for having the highest cricket ground in the world, located at a breathtaking 7500ft.
After enjoying the steep ride from Chail main market to the cricket ground and having your photo taken there, head over to Sidh Baba ka Mandir which is located barely a km from the cricket ground. Nestled between deodar trees the Mandir looks and feels serene and should be on your must visit list.
Above all I like Chail for the stupendous ride it offers to a biker/tourer like me. Roads from Kandaghat are single lane serpentine state roads with little or no traffic and a view to die for. If you have spare time, you can extend your journey by couple of hour by taking the state road to Kufri instead of coming back through the same roads to Kandaghat.
Route: Delhi – Karnal – Ambala – Zirakpur crossing – Kalka – Kandaghat (take a right from the roundabout) – Chail
Tips: Route from Delhi to Ambala is through 4 lane NH-1, after which you have to ride/drive on the single lane NH-22. Roads are mostly good and the petrol is easily available, though it is recommended to tank up before taking the turn from Kandaghat (if you have less than 100kms worth of petrol remaining).
Visit Cricket ground and Mandir in the morning to avoid tourist rush and to get some fantastic photos of the place
Accommodation: The Palace, Chail Tel: (01792) – 248141, 248143 Fax: (01792) – 248140. [email protected], several budget hotels can also be found near the main market.
Distance: 380kms (from Delhi)
Mileage: 40kmpl (Bajaj Pulsar 180 Classic)