Solan , Himachal Pradesh
Solan is set in the hills of the Himalayas. Now Solan is not a prominent as Shimla but it is just as compelling. Named after Hindu Goddess Shoolani Devi, Solan is often christened as the ‘Mushroom City of India’ and ‘City of Red Gold’, interesting isn’t it! So folks long story short you never run out of ketchup and mushroom delicacies, yes, okay!
Solan first came into being as a cantonment town and still retains some of the colonial charm in its architectural features. It is also called as the ‘Mushroom city of India’ due to the extensive mushroom farming in the area. Solan was home to India’s first brewery; the Mohan Meakin brewery started in 1855 and produced India’s first home brewed ale, LION BEER.
Nestled within the peaks of Matuil and Karol, this tiny beauty is said to the abode of Pandavas during their exile. The Shoolini Mata Shrine, Jatoli Temple and Lord Krishna’s Temple are the most famous religious attractions here. One of the best cantonments of the British Era was established it is illustrious for its oldest brewery of Mohan Meakin, set up in 1855, well now there’s a concrete reason to visit. The Yung Drung Monastery is suggested as one of the oldest monasteries of our country. It protects the idol of Lord Shenrab Mibo, founded in 1969 but belongs to the Bon Religion and not Buddhist. It is interesting to understand two different religious convictions with the same principles and beliefs, a rare and fresh occurrence.
Solan is blessed with a perennial good weather making it fit to be trod upon all-round the calendar. Solan district is covered by catchment areas of three important rivers, namely Satluj, Yamuna and Ghagar. For adventure seekers, the mountains near Solan offer interesting trekking possibilities and its streams are well stocked with a variety of game fish.
Bon Monastery, Mohan Shakti Heritage park, Jatoli Shiv Temple are the most recommended visits in Solan offer a platter of scenic beauty ad bliss to the tourists. The journey to the monastery is very beautiful, small road waving through pine trees and hills. The monastery is beautifully situated on hill top. One will get many sights worth clicking, ideal for photographers.
Solan is situated between Chandigarh and Shimla on the Kalka Shimla Highway. Trekking here is quite exciting, and if one gets an opportunity to witness this little one from the top of the mountains, especially during night fall it looks like one splendid piece of work, with its city lights.
So the next time you get a chance to shake a leg on the ancient Thoda Dance in Solan, ditch those formals and GET OUTSIDE.