Forming the headquarters of its namesake- the Solan district, Solan is among the most beautiful towns of the state of Himachal Pradesh. It is popularly known as the ‘Mushroom city of India’ due to extensive farming of mushrooms in the region, as also the famous centre for mushroom research- located in Chambaghat. Apart from mushrooms, abundant quantities of tomatoes are also cultivated in the state, giving it its other name- ‘City of Red Gold’. The town derives its name from the Hindu deity- Shoolini Devi.

Providing the quiet and relaxing atmosphere one craves for amidst the hustle bustle of city life, Solan is one of those fortunate places that have a pleasant climate pretty much throughout the year. One of the country’s oldest breweries is situated in Solan. It is positioned around 46 km south of Shimla- which is the capital of Himachal Pradesh, and is the most populated city of the state of Himachal after the state capital. It falls on the Kalka-Shimla National Highway 22, which runs between Chandigarh and Shimla.

Snow-capped mountains surround the town of Solan on either side, adding to the pleasing atmosphere of the place. The district of Solan came into being back when districts of the state were reorganized on September 1, 1972. The town of Solan itself came into being in the latter half of the 19th century, after the Cantonment was constructed by the British. It was earlier the capital of Bhagat - an erstwhile state part of the princely states. Availability of mineral water of exceptional quality led to the establishment of the brewery in Solan in 1855. The railway station of Solan is on the list of the world’s highest railway stations.

Places to See in Solan

The state of Himachal Pradesh makes for an excellent tourist visit. Solan perfectly encapsulates the spirit of the state and offers the traveler a new traveling experience that is far separated from the commercialisation of most hill cities. There are quite a few places that will appeal to tourists and make their trip an enriching experience. Here are some of the most popular and prominent places to visit in Solan:

  • Shoolini Devi temple- This famous temple attracts many visitors from all across the country and is important for its religious and historical significance. An annual three-day long carnival is held in central Thodo ground, in honour of the Goddess.

  • Jatoli Shiv temple- Another important temple of the town, the Jatoli Shiv temple sees devotees from nearby town visiting its holy gates on a regular basis. An annual fair on the festive day of Mahashivratri makes it popular.

  • Yungdung Tibetan Monastery- Also known as Bon Monastery and the Yung Drung Ling, this Tibetan Monastery holds the distinct honour of being among the oldest monasteries in the world, second only to the one in Tibet.

  • Barog- With pine forests surrounding it on all sides, Barog offers an exciting view and is among the most favoured spots for tourists- inviting them with its exquisite beauty. It offers a splendid view if the Churadhar Peak, part of the outer Himalayas. It is situated at a height if 1600 m.

  • Dr. Yashwant Singh Paramar University of Horticulture & Forestry- Founded by the first Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, the university takes its name after him. It falls under the Solan district and is around 15 km away from Solan town.

  • Karol ka tibba- The Karol ka tibba is situated near Solan town. It holds great historic significance as it is believed that the Pandavas resided here for quite some time during the time of their ‘agyatvas’.

Solan Cuisine

High on the spices, the local cuisine of Solan is a pleasing mix of the regular lentil, vegetables, cerals etc and special food that is unique to the hill state. While spices form the core of the different kinds of cuisines of Solan, there are many other preparations that are as pleasing. A special variety of bread called Sidu is among the unique kinds of food prepared here. Poode is another local traditional dish made of wheat and jaggery (known as ‘gud’ in Hindi). Lushke and Patande, pancake type dishes made of wheat primarily with the other ingredients differing between them, are also among specialties of the local cuisine. A seasonal dish called Pachole and another dish called Askalu which is made in a special kind of utensil are also part of the cuisine of Solan.

Climate of Solan

With a maximum temperature of 35 degree Celsius and a minimum temperature of minus four degree Celsius, the climate of Solan discrict and city is pleasant all through the year mostly. Solan can well be termed a cool hill station and forms just the perfect balance of climate as compared to its neighbouring hill cities. While Shimla tends to get a bit too cold and Kalka has a tendency to get too hot, Solan remains somewhere in between- with its temperature lying below 32 degree Celsius on an average. Often, there is mild snowfall during the winters.

How to Reach

By Air

The Shimla Airport, located close to 45 km from Solan, is the nearest airport as of now. However, the government of Himachal Pradesh is setting up its first ever international airport in the Solan district, on the model of private public ownership.

By Rail

Kalka is the nearest broad gauge station from Solan. It is well connected by various bus services at the narrow gauge railways station at Solan. It also falls on the route of the famous toy train till Shimla.

By Bus

The new bus stand in Solan city is on the bypass road below ITI Solan and is the chief bus stand of the city. The old bus stand is at The Mall. ISBT buses ply on a regular basis from nearby cities to Solan.

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