A Glance on Chail Sanctuary
Spread in an area of more than 110 sq. kms, at the foothills of mighty Himalayas, Chail Sanctuary encompasses a vast forest cover. In 1976, Chail wildlife sanctuary was identified and was declared as a protected area. Apart from its animals and birds, the main attraction of the sanctuary is the Chir Pheasant breeding farm. The Chir Pheasant breeding and rehabilitation programme has been started in 1988. Visitors can come to the Chir Pheasant Breeding centres situated at Blossom and Jhajja. The forests are mainly dense covers of Oak and Pine, apart from the other major grassland covers.
Attractions in the Park:
The forests in Chail sanctuary mainly comprises of Pine and Oak trees. The northern slopes are forested while southern slopes support grasslands, usually with patches of forest or scrub in the depressions. Grasslands are maintained by regular burning and cutting of plants. Rhododendron forms pure stands in places and Cedar and Blue Pine have been sown in some areas. There is little mature forest and much secondary growth in these areas. The forest is largely confined to the northern half of the sanctuary. The grassland of Sanctuary also has some small stretches of Pine, Oak, Cedar and Robinia.
Chail Sanctuary has mainly mammals in its area. The large mammals include rhesus macaque, leopard, Indian muntjac and goral crested porcupine. Other species include Himalayan black bear, wild boar, common langur, sambar, black-naped hare. European red deer was introduced half a century ago by the former Maharaja of Patiala but none was sighted during a census in 1988. The avian population comprises majorly of Chir pheasant and Kalij pheasant. The Chir breeding and rehabilitation centre has helped increase in number of Chir birds in the forests.
The Park Safari:
The Chail sanctuary can be best viewed by the means of trekking, as the uneven land does not allow to take a jeep safari in the park. The forest officers also encourage trekking, so the animals and birds feel safe and secure.
How to Reach:
Chail sanctuary can be reached from Shimla (40 kms), and Chail (3 kms) by road. Shimla can be reached by the means of train or flights. Chail city to Chail sanctuary trip (3 Km) is one of the most favored small treks in the region.
Where to Stay:
Chail has some good stay options for the visitors. Accommodation options vary in Chail from luxurious hotels such as HPTDC's Palace Hotel to budget hotels, cottages and tourist lodges, which are available at reasonable prices.