Destinations Covered:Solan sightseeing – Mohan Shakti Heritage Park – Jatoli Shiv Temple- Dagshai Jail Museum – Bon monastery
Solan Tour Duration: 03 Day / 02 Nights
Solan is another small and beautiful town resting in the heart of Himachal and is the district headquarters of the district by the same name. Solan is the largest Municipal Council of Himachal Pradeshand is strategically located just 46 kmsfrom Shimla.Solan is situated at a height of 1,600 metres. The valley derived its name from the name of the Hindi deity Shoolini Devi. In the month of June, every year a fair is held in the honour of the Goddess. A three-day fair creates a lot of furore. Solan is famously known as the Mushroom City of India because of the extensive mushroom farming in the valley. The Directorate of Mushroom Research(DMR) is situated here.Solan is popularly also called City of Red Gold on account of the huge production of tomatoes locally in the area.
How to reach
Solan is around 70 km from the state capital Chandigarh, which is again, 300 km from the country capital, Delhi. The distance of Solan is around 45kms from Shimla and is connected very comfortably by road via state transport buses and taxis. Chandigarh is connected via NH-22. By rail, the trains all trains from Kalka to Shimla have stop at Solan. The closest airport to Solan is the Shimla Airport.
Places to visit
Kasauli: Kasauli is a quiet and peaceful town and is approximately 13 kmsaway from Solan. Deep woody forests of pine and deodar and high hills surroundingthis perfect getawayof Kasauli is a perfect destination for people who visit this hill station in search of peace. With pine trees and hills all around, Kasauli is the perfect tourist destination situated close toSolan, with just the right amount of hustle and bustle.
Chail: Chail is a small and beautiful village approximately 12 kms away from Solan. It is situated at an altitude of 2250 m above sea level. Chail is a popular destination among hikers. It offers splendid view of lush greenery and mesmerizing mountain ranges from a great height. Chail remains a favourite haunt for travellers since ages.
Solan Brewery: Solan brewery is famous for being one of the oldest breweries in India. It was found way back in 1855 and later on converted into a distillery. The brewery is currently run by the company called Mohan Meaking Ltd. Visiting a brewery can be an interesting excursion for the curious.
Kuthar Fort: This ancient fort of historical interest is situated 14 kms from Solan. This fort dates back 800 years and is spread across a huge wide expanse dotted with a large number of fresh-water springs. Exploring the nooks and corners of this fort premises is an exhilarating experience, especially for those interested in ancient Indian culture and heritage.
Menri Monastery: This is a beautiful and old monastery and is extremely lively and colourful. Unbroken calmness and spirituality prevails here. One of the oldest monasteries in India, the Menri Monastery is one of the most colourful places in Solan. So much peace and tranquillity prevails in the monastery premises that it forms an island of solitude and sanctity in the otherwise bustling city of Solan.
Shoolini Mata temple: The Shoolini Temple is famed to be one of the oldest and holiest temples in Solan. It is dedicated to Shoolinideity as is evident from its name. Every year, this region hosts an annual fair in the month of June that attracts a huge crowd from far and near.
Things to do
Mohan Shakti Heritage Park: This is a heritage park that is just half an hour drive from Solan. It is first of its kind and deserves a visit definitely. The pioneer in ancient heritage park in India, it is located at Shakti Sthal. This Park is on route No. NH 22 and is located between Kalka and Shimla. The park is splendidly picturesque and has many unique structures. It is also the largest heritage park of Himachal Pradesh. Enjoy the feel of extensive grasslands, watch the multitude kinds of birds, enjoy past time travel through archaeological sites and get fascinated by the gorgeous landscapes all around comprising mighty peaks, floating clouds and merry sunshine.
Jatoli Shiv Temple: This is a grand and spectacular temple situated at the top of a hill and derives its name from the long hair that Lord Shiva has which is known as ‘jata’ in Hindi. Apart from being an architectural marvel, it is also a well-known pilgrimage and attracts a large number of devotees. This temple is merely 6 kms from the city.
The Dagshai Jail Museum: Dagshai is a quaint and old cantonment town in Solan. It is actually a cellular jail and is currently a museum. The jail is famous for housing Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of Our Nation for a day in this jail. Dagshai Jail Museum was actually a prison of the British era. The jail contains around 54 cells and 16 cells out of these were used for extending severe punishments to the inmates. These cells are absolutely claustrophobic without proper ventilation and source of natural light.
Bon Monastery: The Bon monastery that is situated in Solan atop a high hill is the second oldest Bon monastery across the world. It is highly respected by the Bon community. The Bon community is known to be even more ancient compared to the Buddhist community but largely follows the same principles. The monastery offers vivid and picturesque views of the town spread below and the majestic snow-capped mountains all around. It has impressive manicured gardens and was founded way back in 1969.
Where to stay (Best 5 Hotels)
Centa Rosa Resort: Decent hotel with tastefully done interiors and exteriors. Has a quiet and peaceful ambience matching to the location and guest’s expectation of a hill station. It is a very well-maintained property and has friendly staff. The hotel provides majestic views of the lush green woods and giant mountain ranges surrounding the property. It has got a parking facility and food is good.
Ramshehar Fort Resort: This is an amazing hotel in the heart of the majestic Himalayas fully equipped with swimming pool and extends a royal experience to its guests. Away from the city, this hotel is a paradise on earth. It is a Fort property and the view from the fort is breathtakingly beautiful. This property is a picturesque and unique one and stay here is bound to be memorable. This fort property is used for innumerable photo shoots and is a proud exhibitor of the grand national heritage and architectural splendour of ancient India.
Misty Meadows Resort: This hotel is ideal for a family stay and has good reviews from the ones who have already stayed in this property. The rooms are comfortable each of which commands a charming view of the natural hilly surroundings. The staff is very helpful and friendly. The balconies overlooking the mountains beyond gives a feel of peace and beauty. It is an ideal hotel to choose for the tourists travelling from busy destinations and towns and looking for a quiet break amidst the hills. Prompt services and great hospitality by the hotel staff makes for a memorable stay.
Mayur Hotel: Lovely food and warm hospitality form the strength of this hotel. The rooms are neat and clean apart from being quite spacious. Modern amenities and cordial and friendly staff, a very good location with a mesmerizing hill view and excellent maintenance of the property makes it a wise choice for people looking to spent a comfortable vacation in the heart of the Himalayas.
Hotel Baghal: The main strength of this hotel is that it is a Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC) Hotel. The tariff is reasonable and the food is awesome. The meals are freshly prepared and very reasonably priced. This hotel is usually used for travellers for having meals while in the midst of a day trip.
How to go around
Solan has a huge network of HRTC buses that connects all the major tourist spots. Solan has two bus stops, one of which is the New or the Main Bus Stand situated on the by-pass road which also is the main bus stand of the city and the other, which is the Old Bus Stand on The Mall. There are also three other local transport providers operating in the city. Hired and private cabs are also easily available.
Fests & Fairs
Shoolini Fair of Solan: This fair is a grand fair is held in the name of goddess Shoolini. Shoolini Devi is the the local deity and the town of Solan is named after her. The fair evokes vivid cultural sentiments of the local inhabitants and all sentiments related to tradition. The participants pray for the well-being of all. Goddess Shoolini is believed to be the youngest sister of Goddess Durga. At the very outset during the very first day of the Shoolinifair, the idol of goddess Shoolini is carried in a majestically decorated palanquin in a long procession. The procession starts from the Shoolini temple which is situated close to the temple of Goddess Durga located in the main market area of the town. It is believed that Goddess Shoolini is setting out in a procession to visit her sister Goddess Durga. Shoolini Devi idol is kept in the Durga Temple as a respected guest. Elaborate bhajans or devotional songs sung by the devotees, accompanied by frantic ceremonial dance electrify the atmosphere. The fair proceedings are initiated by some eminent local person. People enjoy watching the procession all through the route. The Thodo ground comes alive with the spectacle of the joyous celebrations. The festival is attended by a multitude of crowd pouring in from near and far and a huge number of tourists and travellers.
The Himachal Pradesh Summer Festival:The Summer Festival of Solan is celebrated in the month of August or September every year on the Todo Ground of the Solan district. This festival continues for several days in which lively cultural programmes are presented. In the summer festival a host of entertaining shows such as modelling show performed by kids, dancingand singingcompetitions are participated by innumerable children from all across the state. The winners of the competitions are awarded and acclaimed and shown due respect. Children from various schools gather in the Todo ground to present colourful performances. The festival is participated heavily by the localites. People also get to buy a wide assortment of items and lots of sweets from the sweet shops.
Himachal Utsav in Solan: Solancelebrates Himachal Utsavwith grand fervour every year. This utsav continues for 8 long days and hosts mega event presenting lively cultural nights, variegated trade fair, delicious food festival, exciting wrestling matches and much more to entertain and attract tourists from far and near.
Solan valley is situated at an altitude of 1600 metres approximately. It is a cool and pleasant destination to visit all through the year. The temperature in summers does not exceed as the 32°C. Solan is known to receive mild snowfall in the winters. Winter temperature drops to around ?4°C.
Day 1Solan sightseeing with a visit to Mohan Shakti Heritage Park andJatoli Shiv Temple
Reach Solan, the beautiful and peaceful mountain destination in the lap of majestic Himalayas. Get escorted to the hotel of your choice and after relaxing and getting refreshed go for a local sightseeing tour to discover the beauty of the hills.
Visit the Mohan Shakti Heritage Park located in Shakti Sthal on route No. NH 22. The setting is splendidly picturesque and has unique structures. Enjoy the open grasslands and variety of birds in the middle of scenic landscapes of mountains valleys and woods.
Next, visit the Jatoli Shiv Temple beautifully set at the top of a hill and revel in its architectural splendour.
After a peaceful day of enjoying natural beauty return to hotel in Solan for overnight stay.
Day 2 Dagshai Jail Museum and Bon monastery
Day2 will begin with an interesting visit to the Dagshai Jail Museum followed by the visit to the famous Bon Monastery.
DagshaiJail Museum in the quaint old cantonment town of Dagshai was a cellular jail and now a Relive the British days of prison horror for political prisoners of British period by a visit to this jail cum museum.
Bon monastery locatedon the top of a high hill is a revered destination of the Buddhist community. Revel in the picturesque views of the town spread below from the tip of the hill.
After a fun-filled day of travel and tour return to the hotel and post dinner and rest and sleep.
Day 3 Departure from Solan
Time to bid adieu to the hill paradise of Solan and journey back home.