Visit Khajjiar : Plan Your Trip To Mini Switzerland In India (2022)
Khajjiar is a small hill station in the Chamba district in the state of Himachal Pradesh In India. It is also referred to as Mini Switzerland of India and is situated at a distance of 24 km from Dalhousie. This small town has everything you can ask for. It is surrounded by hills, has dense forests rich in flora and fauna, has lakes and pastures. You will feel like you have landed in heaven in Khajjiar and will be amazed by its beauty. Khajjiar is a part of Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary. In 1992, the vice Chancellor and head of the chancery of Switzerland in India, Willy Blazer had called Khajjiar the ‘mini-Switzerland’ of India due to the topographical resemblance of the place with Switzerland. He then instructed the government to put a signboard at the place in Khajjiar which showed the distance of Khajjiar from Bern which is the capital of Switzerland.
There are many hikes in the area which makes the place famous among adventure seekers too. The most common hikes around the area are Kalatop wildlife sanctuary hikes from Khajjiar and Dalhousie. You will also get to see the snow-laden beautiful and sacred mount Kailash. This is the perfect place for you to unwind yourself away from the hectic city life and take a broken doe a few days to rejuvenate yourself. There are many famous picnic spots in Khajjiar. It is also a famous destination for love birds and honeymooners, and you will find people walking hand in hand. There are many places you can go and see in addition to just enjoy nature and admire the beauty. Here is a list of the places you can visit during your next trip to Khajjiar.
Best Things to See and Do While in Khajjiar
- Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary: Kalatop wildlife sanctuary is one of the top-visited tourist destinations in the area. This sanctuary was the gaming reserve of the former rulers of Chamba and has been famous for its pleasant weather and beautiful scenery. It is spread over an area of around 31 square kilometers and is surrounded by dense and lush greenery. It has trees like Blue Pine, Green Oak, and Rhododendron. You can also spot goral, Himalayan black marten, langur, jackal, bear, and leopard if you are lucky within the sanctuary. There are small tributaries of River Ravi, that makes this place awe-inspiring and it looks scenic and spectacular. The place is open from 7 AM till 6 PM and the best time to visit is between March, April until October.
- Khajjiar Lake: This beautiful and serene lake is rested at an altitude of 1920 meters and offers tranquility and escape from the hustle-bustle of the city. A walk by the lake or simply sitting at its edge enjoying a book is equally satisfying. If you are fortunate enough, you will be able to get a peep of the Mount Kailash. It is the best feeling in the world when you are at lower hills and you are blessed with clear weather and you can spot higher peaks and enjoy the view. The view and sounds of birds in the area will take you to another world altogether. You will hear the chirping of the birds, sun rays dancing on the crystal-clear water makes you contemplate the beauty of nature. It is also one of the highest lakes in the country and the world. It is the perfect spot to enjoy quality time with your family and loved ones and a perfect getaway. It is also advisable to visit the lake early in the morning to enjoy the best views and see the sunrise to click the best pictures.
- Kailash Villages: One of the best places to be in Khajjiar is the Kailash villages where you get to experience the country’s life. Kailash villages are located amid lush green deodar, rhododendron, and pine forests. There are a few villages which are located very close to each other and offer the best view of the hills. Villages named Rota, Ladi, etc. are close-knit and on a clear day you can enjoy a beautiful view of the Kailash mountain ranges. These villages and the other nearby villages are also famous for their apple orchards. Most of the apples in northern India come from Himachal Pradesh. There are very comfortable homestays in these villages for people to enjoy the laidback country life and live with locals for a few days.
- Panch Pandav Tree: It is one of the most famous places to visit in Khajjiar. This place is especially famous to visit for Hindu devotees. This tree has 6 shoots and locals believe that each shoot represents 5 Pandavas and Draupadi. Panch Pandav tree is located near a rest house in Khajjiar that leads to remote villages. There is a giant Deodar tree just about a kilometer from Khajjiar towards Dalhousie which has about 15 shoots of similar height. This one is known as ‘Mother Tree’ in the region and is also visited by thousands of tourists. This is a very unique place and must be visited if you are in the area.
- Khajji Nag Temple: This is considered to be the most vintage temple in the state of Himachal Pradesh. It is dedicated to Khajji Nag or the Lord of Serpents and is one of the oldest and most visited temples in the entire state of Himachal Pradesh. The temple is built in a mixed Hindu and Mughal architecture and is built on the bank of Khajjiar lake. This temple has idols of Lord Shiva, Hidimba who was the wife of one of Pandava brothers. This temple also has images of Pandavas and Kauravas. the old age and now almost forgotten practice of goat sacrifice is still done here.
- Nine Hole Golf Course: To satisfy the aristocrat in you, this beautiful city also has a magnificent gold course. This is a very old, beautiful, high class and vintage gold course where you can enjoy the day and have a good time.
- Hiking in the Hills: The best thing to do in Khajjiar and enjoy the view of the hills is to go hiking and calm your nerves with the beautiful views and tranquil landscapes. The most famous hike around the area is Ganj Pahadi that is just 24 km from Khajjiar. You can take a taxi or car to this place and park your vehicle and walk uphill for about 5 km and back. The hike takes around 2 hours one way and back and is easy to moderate on the difficulty level. There is a beautiful landscape on the top and is breathtaking. You must go and do this hike if you are an adventure seeker.
- Dainkund Peak: Dainkund peak is a famous sport for people to go to if they are in Khajjiar and Dalhousie. The view is breathtaking and makes you not want to leave the place. It is also known as Singing Hill as the whistling sounds that are made the fast cool breeze as it passes through the hill sounds like someone is singing. You will also see many people on their bikes around the place enjoying biking in groups. The roads are thin with deodar trees on both sides makes you feel like you are in a fairy tale and not real life. Water from the streams along the roadsides coming on the roads and the rocky terrain makes this place even more enticing to visit.
- Shopping in Khajjiar: There are many famous places to shop around in Khajjiar. Shopping is another fun activity that can be enjoyed at numerous places in Khajjiar. Some of the famous places for you to shop at are Tibetan Handicrafts Center where you can buy some authentic Tibetan souvenirs for your friends and family and home décor. This place would not disappoint you as they have many beautiful things like Thangka paintings, Buddha murals made of metals and wood and other materials and other Buddhism inspired artifacts. You can also enjoy the local Tibetan food besides these souvenir shops where you must try spicy noodles and steaming momos if you are a fan of Tibetan food. You can also enjoy shopping at the Himachal Pradesh state handicrafts center. You will find local woolens, carpets, rugs, jewelry, wall décor, and other beautiful artifacts to decorate your home or to buy for your friends and family back home.
Best Time To Visit Khajjiar
Khajjiar has a pleasant climate all-round the year and you will see tourists visiting at all times of the year. But summer is the best time to visit the town as during the summer when the snow starts to melt, you will start seeing the greenery and flowers all around which makes the place look like the alps in Switzerland. The weather is pleasant in summers and is considered the ideal time to spend in the lap of nature. Khajjiar is also called the Gulmarg of Himachal Pradesh.
Summer in Khajjiar starts in March and lasts up to May and this time is the most visited in the city as the temperature is pleasant compared to other parts of the country where it is brazenly hot.
Winters start in October and last up to February. However, October and November are not very cold months. It is in December that the temperature drops sparingly low and you start seeing the snow. At the end of February or at the beginning of March the snow starts melting. Every weather has its charm in this small town.
How to Reach Khajjiar?
Khajjiar is well connected to the plains and all the nearby major cities. There are several means of transport available to travel to Khajjiar. You can choose from air travel, trains, buses, or taxis to reach this place.
Air Travel to Dalhousie: The nearest domestic airport to Dalhousie is Gaggal airport which is also known as Kangra airport. Khajjiar is 120 km from Gaggal airport. And the local airlines and carriers like Air India, Jet Airways, Indigo, Spice Jet, and others have direct flights from Delhi. You can take connecting flights from other local airports in India. You can hire a taxi from Gaggal airport to go to Khajjiar or you can take a bus that operates quite frequently from Kangra to Khajjiar as there is good and frequent service of Himachal roadways and other private buses.
Rail Travel to Dalhousie: The Nearest railway station is Pathankot airport, which is around 118 km from Khajjiar, and it takes around 4 hours to reach from Pathankot to Khajjair. Pathankot railway station is directly connected to prime cities of the country, including Delhi, Jammu, Bhatinda, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, and Jodhpur via several superfast, express, and mail trains. You can take a taxi or take a shared cab from outside the railway station to reach Khajjiar. You will be able to enjoy the stunning views of the Himalayas on your journey all through which makes your train travel worthwhile and pleasing.
Road Travel to Khajjiar: This is the best way to reach Khajjiar as you will be able to enjoy the views on your way to the city while traveling by road. This might take a longer time than by air or train, but it is worth it. There are several private and state buses of Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HPTC) and Haryana Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) providing services from nearby cities. From New Delhi, it takes around 11 hours via NH 1 to reach Khajjair, covering a distance of about 555 km.
Additionally, Khajjair is also well connected with other major places of the region like Chamba is only around 14 km and it is easy to reach Dalhousie from Chamba by a private vehicle or by a taxi or a bus, and Amritsar is around 200 km and Shimla is 365 km.
Places to Stay at Khajjiar
Khajjiar has several places for you to choose from and find your ideal holiday home away from home. You can choose between luxurious hotels with great views, mid-budget, and budget hotels with all necessities. Additionally, there are several homestays in Khajjiar and nearby Kailash villages where you can choose to stay and live a life like the locals and learn from what they cook, eat, drink and wear and explore hidden beautiful spots in the area with their help. People in the hills are exceptionally kind and they will happily teach you their cooking secrets and take you to many unexplored hidden spots. Make sure you befriend some locals while you stay at Khajjiar. Do not forget to book accommodation before your travel dates as the places are occupied very quickly and it is extremely difficult to find accommodation on the spot during peak season.
Places to Eat at Khajjiar
Many restaurants are serving multi-cuisine food but the preferred food in the area is North India. Do not forget to eat local food in the scrumptious area. Many restaurants are serving local dishes you can relish during your stay. If you are a fan of the local food, you will enjoy the famous Tibetan spicy noodles, streamed and fried momos with spicy sauce in the cold weather at local shops and vendors close to the Tibetan Handicrafts Center. You will find many vendors selling the local Tibetan food for you to try.