Situated in the Shimla Hills, a part of the erstwhile Mahasu district of Himachal Pradesh, another small town developed by the British, is named after the Goddess, Sholoni Devi, whose temple is located in the southern end of the town. Solan district came into existence at the time of the re organization of the districts of the State on 1st September 1972. Solan is located midway between Kalka and Shimla. The fine climate of this place round the year makes it an ideal destination for all seasons. Connected to Kalka, broad-gauge railway terminus by a hill-railway, using diesel engines, and also by road. Solan is at a height of 1,350 m and popular with those desire to spend more time in the hills. Coming from the parched plains, the first stop traditionally, is Barog, 37 kms from Kalka, and 5 kms from Solan. Barog, refreshingly cool spot in idyllic surroundings is a wonderful prelude to the holiday ahead. HPTDC hotel and restaurant are available. The mountains near Solan offer interesting trekking possibilities and its streams are well stocked with a variety of game fish. Solan district is covered by catchment areas of three rivers.
Solan is well known for its brewery 4.8 kms from town started in 1835 with Anglo-German co-operation, and known as Dyer-Meakin Brewery, producing excellent larger beer and quality whisky. In 1950, it was taken over by the late Major Mohan, renamed Mohan-Meakin Breweries in 1966. The area surrounding Solan in very rich in peas, tomatoes, ginger and beans.
Solan is the ideal spot for picnics and long rambles into the woods, where, more often than not, is a cool and refreshing spring. For picnickers and ideal places are Karol Tibba and Meteol Tibba. Just a km away is the Kotla Nullah providing lovely shady spots with running water while Saproon spring and the Happy Valley are delightful places for a ramble through fragrant pines. Solan has not forgotten the avid angler, within a radius of 20 km on motor able road are Mareog, Gaura and Karkanu where the river Giri flows. It is well stocked with fish. The Himachal Agriculture College and the Research Institute are also located in Solan.
Places of Interest
KASAULI: 35 kms from Kalka, 26 kms from Solan, at an altitude of 2,107 metres. Kasauli is a charming and quiet place for relaxation. It is a little town with dainty English Cottages set in gardens spilling with flowers, easy and beautiful paths and old fashioned shops. This town seems frozen in time. Its colonial ambience is reinforced by cobbled paths, quaint shops, gabled houses with charming facades and scores of neat little gardens and orchards. Kasauli is surrounded by a mixed forest of chir-pine, Himalayan oak and huge horse-chestnuts. Its narrow roads lither up and down the hillsides and offer some magnificent vistas. You can get vantage views from Monkey Point, 4 km from the bus stand.
BAROG: 37 km from Kalka and 5 km from Solan, it was an important stop on the railway line in the early part of the century. The hill train halted for an hour here, while the travelers indulged in a lavish lunch. Today, this little town with refreshing air and fine views, is a little holiday destination in itself. It is well surrounded by Pine forests, presenting a fascinating view of the Churdhar Peak, which poetically translates into ‘Mountain of the Silver Bangle’. It has longest tunnel on Shimla-Kalka narrow gauge railway line.
Gurkha Castles: The Gurkha castles in Solan, Sirmour, Bilaspur and Shimla districts remind us of the life and time under the Gurkha regime. While most of the structures built by the Gurkhas have crumbled, the remaining few beckon tourists.
Arki Fort: Once the capital of the princely state of Baghal, Arki has witnessed a good measure of turbulence in this area. It was the capital of Parmar Dynasty.
Dr. Yashwant Singh Parmar University Of Horticulture & Forestry: This is the first forestry & horticulture university of Asia. It is spread over an area of 550 hectares in village of Nauni on the Solan-Rajgarh road in district Solan and is 15-km from the Solan town. This university was established on 1st December 1985, the founder being Dr.Y.S. Parmar, the first chief minister of Himachal Pradesh.
Shoolini Devi Temple: The temple of Goddess Shoolini Devi is situated at the southern part of the town. The famous Shoolini fair is held here every year in the month of June, which is dedicated to Goddess Shoolini Devi.
Bon Monastery (Yung Drung Ling): 12kms from Solan, this monastery is the second oldest monastery in the world after the one present in Tibet. Cham or the sacred Bon dances conducted on New Year Eve attracts a lot of tourists to this Monastery.
Jatoli Shiv Temple: Jatoli is a place about 07 km from Solan. Jatoli means long Jata (hairs) which further signifies the long Jatas (hair) of lord Shiva. According to a legendary belief, lord Shiva visited this place and slept for a night. This temple has been built according to Indo – Aryan Style where the top tower is round with a curvilinear outline which ends into a tip.
KAROL TIBBA: The names refer to two peaks located in the Himalayas. The peaks are frequently visited picnic spots that can be accessed through a fairly easy trek. Karol Tibba also houses places of immense historical and religious importance, a cave in the Himalayas that was believed to be inhibited by the Pandavas during their exile in the epic Mahabharatha.