At some point or the other, you definitely must have heard or read these two terms - ‘Mushroom City Of India’ and ‘The City Of Red Gold’. For those who didn’t already know, both the terms are attributed to Solan because of the extensive mushroom farming and mass production of tomatoes in the city. The Directorate of Mushroom Research (DMR) is also located in Solan.
If you go to Google Maps, you will find Solan somewhere in the middle of Chandigarh and Shimla on the Kalka-Shimla National Highway 5. The city lies in Himachal Pradesh and is located in the foothills of the lower Shivalik Ranges that offer jaw-dropping views of the humungous Himalayan peaks. Solan gets visitors in huge numbers throughout the year, courtesy of the stunning scenic views it offers. Around 1,500 meters above sea level, the peaceful hill station also acts as a gateway to tourist destinations like Kasauli, Chail, and Kalka. Apart from the natural beauty, Solan is home to ancient temples, monasteries, and one of the oldest breweries in India.
Here’s the detailed Solan travel guide for you to know the place better.
It was on September 1, 1972, that the city of Solan was declared the district headquarters of the newly created Solan district in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. This happened when the various districts of the state were reorganized on a linguistic basis. The present-day Solan district is an amalgamation of what were princely states back in the day like Bhagal, Bhagat, Kunihar, Kuthar, Mangal, Beja, Mahlog, Nalagarh, and parts of Keonthal and Kothi.
A majority of the princely states mentioned above are believed to be invaded by the Gorkhas in 1803, and only after the Britishers defeated them in 1815, were the states restored to their original rulers. Himachal Pradesh was put on the Indian map for the first time on April 15, 1948, when it became a province and gained statehood on January 25, 1971.
Solan derives its name from the sacred shrine of Goddess Shoolini Devi in whose honor, a three-day fair is organized and celebrated at the central Thodo ground in the last week of June every year. The languages most widely spoken and understood in Solan are Hindi, English, and Punjabi along with a local dialect known as Pahari. The city has its unique cultural essence while also reflecting a bit of Himachal Pradesh in its food, festivities, clothing, and day-to-day activities.
Also Read: Himachal Pradesh Travel Guide
Although Solan doesn’t have its own airport, there is still a couple of solutions if you want to visit the city from a faraway location by air. The nearest airport to Solan is in Shimla which is around 55 km or a two-hour drive away. The second nearest option to Solan is the Chandigarh airport which is around 75 km away. Both Shimla and Chandigarh airports are well connected to a number of major cities of India like Mumbai, New Delhi, Amritsar, Bengaluru, Goa, Ahmedabad, etc. The nearest international airport to Solan is the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, which is around 315 km away.
Solan has a railway station called the Solan Railway Station and the next best option is the railway station in Kalka at a distance of around 40 km from the city. Kalka connects Solan to quite a few major cities like Chandigarh, Shimla, New Delhi, Amritsar, Dehradun, etc. The Himalayan Queen train runs between New Delhi and Kalka. The highlight remains the Kalka-Shimla railway which was added by UNESCO to the mountain railways of India World Heritage Site in 2008.
Solan can be reached from many Indian cities via the buses run by the Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) on a daily basis. You will easily find a large number of AC and non-AC buses to Solan or Kalka and Shimla. The city of Solan is easily approachable by road from both Shimla and Chandigarh. If possible, you might want to try driving your vehicle all the way to Solan while enjoying the mesmerizing scenery throughout the journey. Nothing will beat that experience.
Also Read: Best Places For Camping In Himachal Pradesh
Solan is one of the few places that are suitable for travel throughout the year. There are certain months that are still considered better than the others. For Solan, the best time to visit the city are the months of summer - from March to July. The weather is pleasant at all times with clear visibility to bask in the natural beauty of Solan and for sightseeing. The maximum temperature during summers goes to 30°C while the minimum is around 15°C.
The city doesn’t experience heavy showers during its monsoon season and the temperature is a little more than during the summers. Thus the months from August to October are also just as favorable for traveling to Solan as March to July.
A visit to Solan in the winter season is only recommended if you really love the cold weather because Solan gets extremely cold from November to February. The temperature can drop to -4°C and you will love the place if you enjoy the snow.
Also read: 5 Places To Go Glamping In Himachal Pradesh
The best and the easiest way to get from one point to another in Solan is its network of local buses. The fares are nominal and the buses are easy to find.
Solan has a large number of private cab service providers and you will easily find local taxis throughout the day as well. Another exciting option is to rent a car, motorbike, or bicycle for a day; be adventurous and explore the city on your own.
If the idea of trekking excites you, Solan will prove to be a paradise for you and your friends. You can try and trek to the Karol Tibba and further continue your journey to the Pandava Caves. Also, there are many organizations that specialize in planning and organizing treks about which you can get information from the locals as well as from the Internet.
Also Read: Best Places For Camping In Himachal Pradesh
“There is nothing beyond stunning views to enjoy in Solan.”
Do you realize how lucky you are to be blessed with this article? You almost missed out on a fantastic holiday destination. Solan has a number of attractions for its visitors like Majathal Sanctuary, Shoolini Mata Temple, Menri Monastery, Bon Monastery, Kuthar Fort, and the Solan Brewery. Continue reading and you’ll know which places to definitely check out and experience the best of Solan.
Also Read: Best Homestays In Shimla
Solan Brewery is said to be one of the oldest breweries in India, dating back to 1855 when it was started by Englishmen due to the availability of top-quality mineral water in the area. Now under the supervision of Mohan Meakin Ltd., the brewery has been transformed into a distillery and attracts a huge chunk of tourists throughout the year. Solan Brewery is located in close proximity to the Solan Railway Station and you are guaranteed to have a great experience whenever you decide to visit.
Located just around 12 km away from the central point of Solan, the Bon Monastery is believed to be the second oldest monastery of the Bon community in the entire world. This is the best place in Solan to visit with your family. Here’s how this monastery in Solan is all set to entertain all kinds of tourists. Those who want to meditate and spend some quality time in absolute peace are going to love it the most. In fact, you might just get so relaxed that it gets difficult for you to leave for your next scheduled spot.
Anyone who is interested in learning about new cultures will be thrilled to experience the Tibetan culture. Architecture enthusiasts are going to be blown away by the craftsmanship of the monastery. And finally, since the monastery sits on the top of a hill, it offers spellbinding views of the snow-covered Himalayas and the rest of the city, giving the photographers an amazing opportunity to capture beauty. All of this makes the Bon Monastery in Solan one of the most popular attractions among visitors.
The Kuthar Fort was built by the Gorkha Kings over 800 years ago and if you hire a cab from Solan, it should take you approximately one hour to reach. The fort is covering a large area of 52.8 square km and the sophisticated artwork catches your eye as soon as you step foot on the premises. In addition, you will spot multiple fresh-water springs, a well-maintained garden, and an ancient temple as you move ahead. There are a few sections that are not as old as the fort but have been developed in the last 100 years. Once you’re finished exploring the Kuthar Fort and if you have time, you have the options of going to Kunihar, the Gorkha Fort, and Kasauli which are not far from the fort.
What Is Solan Famous For?
A number of different things make Solan famous and special. The natural beauty of the city is something out of the ordinary and there are various public attractions for tourists. But the uniqueness of Solan lies in the fact that it produces the best quality of mushrooms and tomatoes in the country.
What Language Is Mainly Spoken In Solan?
Since Solan is located at the border of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab, the people of the hill station speak and understand Hindi, English, and Punjabi. Many locals also use the Pahari dialect to communicate with each other.
What Is The Best Time To Visit Solan For A Vacation?
The best time to visit Solan is from the month of March right till October as the city experiences its summer and monsoon seasons during this time. The weather remains pleasant and perfect for sightseeing. However, you can visit the city even during the winter months if you really like the cold weather.
What Are The Popular Places To Visit Near Solan?
What Are The Attractions That Should Not Be Missed in Solan?
Some of the must-visit attractions in Solan are Majathal Sanctuary, Shoolini Mata Temple, Menri Monastery.
Why Is Solan Called Red Gold?
Solan is known for its strong foothole in the tomato production sector. That's why it earned the nickname as "The City Of Red Gold."
How Far Is Solan From Jalandhar?
Solan is around 210 km away from Jalandhar.
Is Solan And Solang Valley Same?
Although they both have nearly similar pronounciations, Solan and Solang Valley are two different locations. Solan is a city in Himachal, whereas Solang Valley is a valley located in Manali.