Some travel destination categories will help you discover your inner peace. Not only these places are beautiful, but they also make your trip worth your time and money. This category is ‘hill stations.’ Situated in the North Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, a beautiful hill station exists called ‘Khajjiar (Mini Switzerland Of India)’.
Khajjiar is situated in the Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh at 1920m height from sea level. It is often called “Mini Switzerland of India” due to its topographical resemblance to Switzerland. There are also some of the most unique forests and lakes in the area.
What is the best time to visit Khajjiar?
You can visit Khajjiar at any time of the year depending on your favorite season and weather. The summer season starts in April and ends in July. As it is a hill station, temperatures are milder.
Monsoon arrives in July and lasts till September with the region receiving moderate rainfall. The best time to visit for snow-lovers would be the Winter season from October to March.
How to get there?
Khajjiar is situated at a centralized location with Chamba district on one side and the town of Dalhousie on the other side. Dalhousie to Khajjiar distance is 24 km. From either of these locations, you can take a taxi to Khajjiar.
You can also reach here from Dharamshala by taking a private or government bus or train. Pathankot is the nearest railway station to Khajjiar.
You can also opt for air travel as the nearest airport is Kangra airport in Gaggal and is around 134 km. from Khajjiar.
The distance between Delhi and Khajjiar is around 550 km. and you can take a train from prime cities like Delhi and Chandigarh, get down at Pathankot and book a taxi for Khajjiar.
Where to stay and eat?
Khajjiar is filled with a lot of resorts and hotels to cover your accommodation and hunger needs. One of the most amazing properties that offer mesmerizing views is Shining Star Hotel.
Situated amidst Oak trees and an apple orchard, this place offers the best views of Himalayan peaks.
Another hotel that offers scenic views is Hotel Mini Swiss. There are different types of rooms to suit your needs with all the amenities and luxuries.
Other hotels like Royal Residency, Puri Guest House, Hotel Khajjiar Regency are also good and reputed places in the area. If you are a foodie and want more tasty food, you can head out to Deodar Manor, Hotel Country Resort, Punjabi Rasoi.
Places of interest
Khajjiar is present at the foothills of the Dhauladhar ranges of the Western Himalayas. There are numerous places of interest in and around Khajjiar.
This scenic lake is situated amidst a beautiful blanket of lush green meadow and Deodar forests. It is surrounded by a floating island and is one of the most relaxing places to visit.
The area of the lake is around 1.5 sq. km. and offers a perfect picnic spot.
You can take a walk around the beautiful landscape or take up paragliding, which is a recommended sports activity here. This paragliding trip costs around 3000 to 4000 INR but is worth every penny.
Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary
This is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the area and is situated on the slopes between Khajjiar and Dalhousie.
The area is huge, around 31 sq. km. with a lot of different species of trees like Deodar, Green Oak, Blue Pine, Rhododendron.
The sanctuary was founded in 1958 and was once a gaming reserve for Chamba rulers. Many animals like deer, leopard, jackal, langur, and several beautiful birds can be observed here.
With gentle flowing water streams on either side, this is also a great place for trekking and nature exploration. It is best to visit this place in dry weather from March to May.
Khajji Nag Temple
This temple is one of the most ancient and holiest temples in Himachal Pradesh. It was built in the 12th Century by the king of Chamba, Prithvi Singh. Due to its golden dome, it is also called as ‘Golden Devi Temple’.
It is dedicated to KhajjiNag – “the lord of the serpents“. In fact, the name ‘Khajjiar’ is also derived from this temple itself.
Khajji Nag temple is located near Khajjiar Lake and the images of Kauravas and Pandavas hang from the roofs.
There are also the idols of Shiva and Hidimba inside the temple. The temple’s sanctum is beautifully carved from wood and represents Hindu-Muslim architecture.
khajjiar is situated at the base of the Dhauladhar mountain range, which is a part of the lesser Himalayan chain of mountains. This is also a famous tourist spot as you can get some amazing panoramic mountain views.
To experience the countryside, these villages are the best places to visit. Some of the villages worth discovering are Lati and Rota.
These and other villages in the area offer picturesque views of Mount Kailash, green slopes, and snow-capped mountains. These villages are also popular for their apple orchards.
This is one of the most unique places in Khajjiar. The tree here has six shoots (stems) and locals believe that this represents the five Pandavas and Draupadi.
It is located near a rest house. There is also another Deodar tree with 15 stems and is called as “Mother Tree”.
Of course, any trip will not be complete without buying some souvenirs! At Tibetan Handicrafts Center, you can find a variety of mementos like wall hangings, carpets, shawls, etc.Some nearby food joints offer spicy noodles and steamingmomo.
There is also the HP (Himachal Pradesh) State Handicrafts Center where you can buy jewelry, metalware, rugs, furniture, etc.
If you want that touch of luxury and comfort, head over to the Nine Hole Golf Course. Situated in Khajjiar, you will be able to play golf by enjoying beautiful lush green meadows.
Trek to Dainkund
Khajjiar offers many trekking opportunities and one such trek is from Khajjiar to Dainkund. The distance is 3.5 km. with an easy to moderate difficulty level.
The trek starts from Dalhousie-Khajjiar road and ends at Pholani Devi Temple at Dainkund. It is suitable for beginners and children, with beautiful views and also has a cool camping site.
Thus, Khajjiar is a wonderful hill station in India and probably the best one up north. It is open throughout the year and you can visit the place as per your favorite weather and season.
It offers a mixed experience including breathtaking views of Mother Nature, a beautiful temple, ancient villages, wildlife sanctuary, luxurious hotels and resorts, tasty food, etc.
Watching the Himalayan peaks and natural beauty of a forest with your own eyes is an experience of a lifetime and must not be missed! No doubt Khajjiar is called ‘Mini Switzerland of India’.