While it is possible to go by road (22 km, 1960m) this exquisite glade is just a pleasant day's walk from Dalhousie. A picturesque spot with an emerald saucer shaped meadow amidst a dense forest which even has a lake with a floating island at its center, a temple with a golden spire by the wayside and a golf course, makes for a perfect holiday setting in the mountains. Khajjiar is also reffered as "Gulmarg of Himachal Pradesh".
"India's Switzerland", the saucer shaped plateu of Khajjiar is connected to Dalhousie by Road. The glade surrounded by Pine and Devdar forest has the charm of a lake in its midst. There is an old temple at Khajjiar dedicated to Khajji Nag and some believe that it was built in the 12th century. The Nag that is worshipped here has a human form. The stone idol has a mace in one hand and a khanda, a double dagger in the other. Five wooden life size statues of the Pandavas were installed in the temple in the 16th century. On a clear day, you can see the Mountain Kailash from Khajjiar ground. You can also enjoy the horse riding here. Some local people are engaged in this business and you can ride the whole Khajjiar ground (from outside) for a nominal charge. The riding is very enjoyable, also the horses are well trained and do not scare you away.
Khajjiar is a small hill station in Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh and it is 22 km away from Dalhousie and 24 km from Chamba Town. Khajjiar sits on a small plateau with a small stream-fed lake in the middle that has been covered over with weeds. Far from any major town, this tranquil spot has a small lake in the centre, on which is a floating island. The hill station is surrounded by green meadows and dense forests (Speacially cedar (deodar) forest). It is about 6500 ft. (1981m) above sea level in the foothills of the Dhauladhar ranges of the Western Himalayas and snowy peaks can be seen in the distance. Khajjiar is often called the Mini Switzerland of Himachal Pradesh and was officially baptized thus by the Swiss Ambassador on July 7, 1992. It has a rare combination of three ecosystems: lake, pasture and forest, all in one place. This like is a magical paradise. The lake remains full of water in all the seasons and requires no rain water for survival. The glade and the lake are held sacred to Khajjinag - after whom the place is named. Khajjiar has the thick forest of the Kalatop sanctuary surrounding its soft green grass. It is 1.5 km long and 1 km wide. Kalatop sanctuary is 13km away.
The 12th-century Khajinag temple, know also as the Golden Devi temple, is a small shrine dedicated to the local Devi is here. It has a golden dome and spire. It is a visiting spot for pilgrams. In the mandapa of the temple one can see the images of the Pandavas and the defeated Kaurvas hanging from the roof of the circumambulatory path. The sanctum of the temple has been beautifully carved from wood.
History : The history of Khajjiar is linked to the rulers of Chamba. The local Rajput rulers ruled Chamba valley in the 6th century ad and made it their capital city. This region became the part of the Mughal Empire in the medieval period and later came under various Sikh kingdoms. Finally, it was taken over by the British. It became a part of the state of Himachal Pradesh when it came into being on April 15, 1948.
FAST FACTS :
Cimate : The climate of Khajjiar is alpine Summers (April-June) are mild and winters (November-February) are cold and bitter. It experiences southwestern monsoon rains in July-September. In winter, the temperature drops around freezing point with snowfall and heavy woolens are required. In summer, the climate is mild and light woolens / cottons are recommended.
Best Time to Visit : March to June is the Best time to visit this India's Switzerland or Mini Switzerland.
- Amritsar 213km
- Chamba 23 km
- Chandigarh 322 km
- Delhi 585 km
- Jammu 210 km
- Jalandhar 214 km
- Manali 382 km
- Pathankot 102 km
HOW TO REACH / ACCESS / GETTING THERE :
Air : Nearest airport is at Gaggal in Kangra 134 km. via 'Siunta' and Amritsar 213 km.
Rail : Nearest broad gauge railway station is at Pathankot 102 km.
Raod : Almost each and every part of the state is linked by roads. The Himachal Road Transport Corporation is running its buses covering the whole state. There is huge network of HRTC to cater the needs of the people. Khajjiar is a small tourist spot, and can only be reached by road. It is well connected with other towns in the Chamba valley. Buses from Chamba take 1½ hour and from Dalhousie also 1½ hour stop at this picnic spot. Travelers can also hire taxis from either Dalhousie or Chamba to reach here. One can explore the pristine beauty of this spot by taking a walk in the meadow and around the small pond.
Places of Interest in and around Khajjiar :
- Khajjiar Lake : Set in the rolling green turf is a small lake. One gets out of the car to go to the lake but the ground seems to give way. The earth is 'spongy' due to dense growth of weed called 'vacha' over which dust has formed a thick layer of earth. Fed by slim streams, this small lake rests in the center of the large glade of Khajjiar. The glade and the lake are held sacred to 'Khajjinag'- after whom the place is named.
- KhajiNag Temple : A little away from the lake is the temple of Khajji Nag belonging to 12th century A.D. In the mandapa of the temple one can see the images of the Pandavas and the defeated Kaurvas hanging from the roof of the circumambulatory path. The sanctum of the temple has been beautifully carved from wood.
- Nine Hole Golf course : A nine-hole golf course is an added attraction at Khajjiar.
- Kalatope Khajjiar Sanctuary : The Kalatope wildlife sanctuary, (2,440m) area is the habitat of a variety of fauna including the leopard, black bear, goral, barking deer, monal and koklash pheasant and the chakor. It is 30 km from Dalhousie. Entry fee for sanctuary Rs 100, to be obtained from the Forest Checkpost, Lakkar Mandi Forest Rest House Permit Contact Divisional Forest Officer (Wildlife), Chamba; Tel: 01899-222639. Trekkers can stay at the Forest Rest House.
- Golden Devi Temple : Adding to the charms of Khajjiar, which also hugs a golden-domed Devi temple, is a golf course set in the midst of the idyllic surroundings. The golden spire of the Devi's abode beckons one to the fringe of the lake. It is adorned with a golden dome and spire. Pilgrims visiting the Chamba valley often come to this temple.
- Lakkar Mandi near Khajjiar is another place to visit.