Height: 1,350 m
Area: 1936 sq. Km
Population: 5.00 lakhs
Languages: Hindi, Punjabi, English are understood and spoken by the people engaged in tourism trade.
Blessed with a pleasant climate all the year round, Solan has the district headquarters and has the famous temple of Shoolini Devi. From Solan, Jatoli village and the temple of Lord Shiva and on Rajgarh road the Buddhist Dolanji Bon Monastery may be visited. Known as the "Mushroom city of India", Solan has an old brewery and a sprawling horticulture and forestry university at Nauni. Rajgarh is full of orchards that grow stone-fruit like plums, apricots and peaches; en route you may stop for fishing at Gaura.
By Road - Solan is approachable by road from Shimla and Chandigarh.
By Rail - The nearest broad gauge railway station is at Kalka and nearest narrow gauge railway station is at Solan, which is connected by regular bus services.
By Air - Nearest airport is at Chandigarh.
Barog: Barog once just a stopover on the Kalka-Shimla highway, this town has grown to be a destination in itself. Surrounded by pine forests, it presents a fascinating view of the Churdhar Peak, which poetically translates into 'Mountain of the Silver Bangle'. HPTDC runs hotel Pinewood here and Barog is increasingly becoming a popular conference destination too.
Chail: Chail was the summer capital of the former princely state of Patiala. It came into being in the late nineteenth century when it’s handsome and dashing Maharaja Bhupender Singh was banished from Shimla, the summer capital of British India for a dalliance with the British Commander –in-Chief’s daughter. Smarting at this insult, Bhupender Singh began exploring the neighboring hills with a single guiding force – to find a hill that was within sight of Shimla but higher. The little village of Chail seemed perfect. Shimla lay within direct vision, and most important, Chail was higher than the British controlled Shimla town. Large tracts of the land here already belonged to him. This had been given to his ancestors for services rendered during the Gurkha wars which had come to an end in 1815-16. A site was selected and the Maharaja began building his summer palace. But an ill omen seemed to hang over the construction area. Local legend has it that the moment anything was built, it would collapse over night. Dozens of snakes would appear from nowhere and attack the laborers. Then Bhupinder Singh had a dream. A sage appeared before him and declared that the site the Maharaja had chosen was where he had meditated till he was taken by the earth, and his peace should not be disturbed. The Maharaja had the sage’s blessing to build on any other spot. Bhupinder Singh moved to another site and at the original spot – which is about a kilometer from the Palace Hotel – he had a temple built to the sage. Here the stone embodiment of the sage may still be seen along with the iron tongs and trident. The shrine is known as the Sidh Baba Ka Mandir and is revered by many who claim that the sage has the power to grant boons. Meanwhile Bhupinder Singh had another site leveled out and a splendid mansion was built and sumptuously furnished. And at 2226 m, a good hundred meters above Shimla’s average height, Bhupinder Singh’s summer capital was prepared to take on the British one at equal terms.
Kiarighat: A little short of Shimla, Kiarighat was once a Dak bungalow. Now HPTDC runs a Tourist inn here.
Kasauli: Located at 1,927 metres above sea level is a quaint little town Kasauli that seems to exist in a time wrapped in an era that reminds of the 19th century. Its colonial ambience is reinforced by cobbled paths, quaint shops, gabled houses with charming facades and scores of neat little gardens and orchards. Kasauli is surrounded by a mixed forest of chir-pine, Himalyan oak and huge horse-chestnuts. Its narrow road slithers up and down the hillsides and offer some magnificent vistas. You can get vantage views from Monkey Point, 4 Km from the bus stand. The town takes its name from the village of Kasol that has since merged with the fringes of the town. HPTDC hotel is available here. Kasauli is 77 Km from Shimla and 35 Km from Kalka and road bifurcate at Dharmpur on the highway.
Manjathal Sanctuary: This sanctuary has a very steep and rugged terrain. Cheer Pheasant away from habitation. This can be visited by travelling about 10 Kms on a kacha road Kararaghat (Shimla-Bilaspur- Highway) to Kashlog and then walking on foot from Kashlog. This sanctuary has the highest concentration of Goral which can be seen in its natural habitat. This sanctuary is reported to have the maximum population of endangered Cheer pheasant. One has to stay in tents in the forest; Best season to visit is the winters.
Chail Sanctuary: Chail is a hill station visited by many tourists. The Deodar Barking Deer and Oak forests with grasslands around the township are the abode of wildlife. One can see Sambar, Goral and Cheer Pheasants at Blossom and Jhaja. Visitors are welcome to the Cheer pheasant breeding centre at both these places. Barking deer and Kalijin in the forests are sure to meet and greet the visitors at dusk and dawn. Trekking from Chail to Gaura and Chail to Jhaja is common and rewarding as one is sure to see wildlife and beautiful snowy peaks. Range Officer Wildlife Chail and his staff welcome the visitors and assist the wildlife lovers to see wildlife in the sanctuary area.
Kuthar Fort: Within a short driving distance of both Arki and Subathu - and barely an hour away from the Jubbarhatti (Shimla) airport - is the fort of Kuthar. Its oldest sections are 800 years old while the most recent structures are barely eight decades old. This is spread over a large area and fresh-water springs flow within its confines. Close-by are several scenic attractions like Kunihar, the Gurkha fort of Subathu and the hill station of Kasauli.
Arki Fort: Once the capital of the princely state of Baghal, Arki has witnessed a good measure of turbulence in this area. Arki became the stronghold of an invading force of Gurkhas during the 'Gurkha Wars' that came to an end in 1815-16. About 1850, Raja Kishen Chand had the fort decorated with fine murals executed in the Pahari style. Here is a place packed with history and adored with fine art.
Nalagarh Palace: Strategically placed at the foothills of the Himalayas, Nalagarh was the capital of the state of Hindur. This area witnessed some fierce fighting during the 'Gurkha Wars' in the first quarter of the 19th century. Spread over considerable acreage, the fort and the palace of Nalagarh have a series of structures that are mostly built in the Mughal style of architecture. These have been exhaustively renovated and are now a quality heritage resort.
Dalraghat: Situated on the Shimla-Bilaspur-Manali state highway. HPTDC runs Hotel Bhagal here.
Parwanoo: This fast spreading town welcomes the traveler to Himachal as one enters the state from Kalka. There is an HPTDC tourist information office. Hotel Shivalik and restaurant is located here.
Places to visit
|Dolanji Bon Monastery||18|
1. Barog is favourite tourist destination throughout the year.
2. Enrich your historical knowledge at Chail.
3. Stay at the beautiful Kiarighat.
4. Enjoy sight-seeing at the beautiful Kasauli.
5. Visit the Nalagarh Palace and hear the legends of the Gurkha Wars.
6. Find your spiritual side at the Dolanji Bon Monastery.
7. Visit the lavish orchards of Rajgarh
8. Visit the Horticulture and Forestry University at Nauni.
Solan has accommodation to suit most types of budgets and tastes. HPTDC hotels at Barog and other private hotels and restaurant are available at Solan.
HPTDC guest houses provide a comfortable stay at reasonable prices. Details are available from local tourist offices.
Local buses operate regularly. Taxis are also available.
|STD Code, Solan||1792|
|Tourist Information Centre, Shimla||0177-2654589, 2654589, 2832498|
|Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Shimla|| 0177-2625924, 2625864, 2625511|
Fax: 0177-2625864, 2625864
|HPTDC's Marketing Office, Shimla|| 0177-2652561/2658302|
Temperature: Maximum temperature is 35 C and minimum is – 2 C
Clothing: Cottons in summer and light to heavy woollen in winter.