KHAJJIAR – The mini Switzerland of India

Location: Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh

Weather: Pleasant all round the year except winters.

Places to See: Khajjiar Lake, Khajji Nag Temple, Kalatop Sanctuary, etc.

Best Time to Visit: March to November

Khajjiar is a beautiful, quaint hill station in Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh, India. Located about 24 km from Dalhousie, Khajjiar is a small plateau encircled by green meadows and dense forests, with a small stream-fed lake that has been covered over with weeds, in the middle. At an altitude of about 6,500 feet (2,000 m) above sea level, this hill resort is actually a part of the Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary. Khajjiar is also famous for its nine-hole golf-course; snuggled amidst lush greenery and a spectacular landscape.

Though its vivid beauty has influenced many kingdoms of Indian origin, Khajjiar was exposed on the world tourism map in the year 1992, by the then Vice Counsellor and Head of the Chancery of Switzerland in India, Willy Blazer, who called it the “Mini Switzerland of India”. He also rendered a sign board of a yellow Swiss hiking footpath showing distance between Khajjiar and the Swiss capital Bern-6194 km. Khajjiar is among the 160 places in the world that bear topographical resemblance to Switzerland.

Climate 

Khajjiar has a humid subtropical climate with an influence of monsoons. Here, summers extends from the months of April to June while monsoon lingers between July and September. Early mornings and evenings are generally quite cold in summers too. One must keep light woolens while visiting the place in summers and monsoons as well. The months of October to March is quite cold where the temperature at times reaches 0°C, resulting in frost and snow.

Tourist Attractions

Since Khajjiar is admired for its natural beauty, it is best to lay back and enjoy the panoramic view of the Dhauladhar Mountains. Walk around the Khajjiar Lake and through the beautiful trails amidst dense pine forests. Besides trekking, Zorbing is a great recreational activity which involves rolling downhill inside a plastic called ‘zorb’. Amongst the places to see in Khajjiar, the Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary tops the list with its exotic flora and fauna; and is absolutely a delight for nature lovers and wildlife photographers. The Khajji Naga Temple, which dates back to the 12th century, is the most sacred shine and is a ‘not to be missed” place in Khajjiar.

Excursions

If you’re thinking over things to do in Khajjiar, set your mind clear that trekking is the best way to explore this beautiful place. Also known as the Gulmarg of Himachal Pradesh, it also serves as the starting point for treks to Chamba, Dalhousie and Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary. The trek from Khajjiar to Dainkund (3.5 kms) is an easy to moderate trek. This trek, with a clear trail and moderate ascent, makes an excellent trek for beginners and children. It offers beautiful views and camping sites at various places.

Accommodation – Hotels/Resorts in Khajjiar 

HP Tourism runs a hotel and some cottages where tourists can have a relaxing stay in Khajjiar. There are a few private hotels too that offer basic facilities. Yet one can enjoy the serenity of nature and enchanting views of the snow-clad mountains from all the hotels. There are some basic restaurants and street stalls which serve noodles and soups. However, the restaurants at hotels still have options to suit your taste buds.

How to Reach Khajjiar

By Air

At a distance of approx. 95 kms, Pathankot Airport is the nearest airport to Khajjiar. Due to unfavorable climatic conditions, this airport hardly sees any air traffic. Gaggal airport, at Kangra (155 kms), is the second nearest airport which is connected via flights from Chandigarh, Delhi and Kullu airports. Taxis can be easily hired from here to reach Khajjiar.

By Train

Pathankot is the nearest railhead (118 kms) which is well-connected through regular trains from Ahmedabad, Bhatinda, Delhi, Jammu, Udhampur, etc. You can hire taxis to travel up further.

By Road

Again Pathankot is the nearest bus terminal which is connected to regular buses from important towns and cities of adjoining states. From here, taxis are easily available to reach Khajjiar. However, bus service to and from Khajjiar is limited, and the timing changes as per the local needs.

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