Solan houses the oldest breweries in India. The tranquil hilly mountains and the always welcoming nature is something I wanted to visit for a long time. Last April I made the Solan trip. It was just over the weekend and it was worth every single rupee I spent.
Zirakpur to Solan
I stay in Zirakpur in Mohali, Punjab. After inspiring a few friends with Himachal stories and finally convincing them I searched to avail a licensed taxi service in Zirakpur with an experienced driver. Since we are talking about driving on hilly roads, it is important that you interview your driver for the journey. Make sure that they know their way around hilly terrain.
The journey was 3 hours approx. But it was a majestic one. The never-ending line of hills and skyrocketing trees entertained us the entire way. After reaching all of us spent a few hours stretching our legs. Once well-rested, we started strolling in Solan for the evening.
The Solan Valley
The evenings in Solan are something else. The place has a Buddist vibe to it. Everyone is so peaceful and soft-spoken all the time. The herbal tea is amazing and the stories that people have to share are captivating. We met a forest ranger, a local guide, and many localities going about their regular days. But all of them were kind enough to welcome us to Solan valley and give their two cents of advice on places to visit.
After collecting a complete brief of the place we call it a night and went back to the hotel. Bonfire in Solan is a must. Our dinner was around a bonfire with a sky full of stars twinkling away. They say it is common to spot shooting stars in this valley. And it is. We had dinner and went to bed early as the next day was going to be a trekking day.
Places to visit
The Shooloni Devi Temple was our first stop. The temple attracts devotees and spiritual travelers from across the globe. The pujari spoke of the mega puja they conduct every year at the Solan Fair. It must be majestic in June every year.
The next stop was the Gurkha Fort. The home to a 300-year-old history of fighter protecting their motherland. The fort is strategically built to withstand invasion and enemy attacks from all four sides. The sheer tactical elegance blew me away.
Then came the Bon Monastery, the second oldest monastery in the world. A little far from the main Solan city but this monastery is a must-visit place. Anybody can feel the contagious energy of this place. An abundance of peacefulness and serenity at its best.
The next was the Barog paradise. The most beautiful place in this valley. Covered with colorful flowers and tall trees this awesome place is straight out of a movie scene. The panoramic view of Churdhar Peak is breathtaking. It makes you realize how small we are against these mighty mountains.
The last two places were the Karol Tibba and Meteol Tibba. Tibba is famed to be the residence of Pandavas when they were outcasted by their cousins. The route to this place and the sight there is amazing. A healthy trek and many picnic spots, I am definitely coming back again. I highly recommend booking a direct cab from Zirakpur to Solan for a seamless experience.
This was around the 3rd day in Solan. So it was the end of a three-day marathon of beautiful and breathtaking views. I felt re-energized and happier. We booked a cab back from Solan to Zirakpur and reached in a few hours that very day with enough time to rest well and hit the 9-5 life from Monday. Everybody should go to Solan. It is a budget-friendly yet the most majestic natural wonder of Himachal Pradesh.
Featured image source: Freepik