Khajjiar is a hill station, located around 23 km away from Dalhousie, in Himachal Pradesh. Situated at a height of 1960 meters above sea level, it is also fondly known as the Switzerland of India. The beauty of this place lies in the rolling fields, the imposing deodar fauna, cheerful rivers and its scenic grandeur.
Khajjiar is a lake noshed by the limitless brooks, which make the region more attractive and a perfect trekking destination. Its mesmerising beauty has greatly influenced and inspired many kingdoms throughout the years, which includes the Mughals and the Rajputs.
A Peek Into History
It is connected to the leaders of Chamba. The regional Rajput rulers attacked Khajjiar in the 6th century and took over Khajjiar as their capital city. As time progressed the area fell into the hands of the Mughal Empire and later under various Sikh Empires.
The land is known for being spongy, owing to the thick development of a wildflower known as Vacha, over which dirt has shaped a thick level to the land. It is considered as one of the most appealing spots in the Himalayas.
The place gets its name from the golden shrine of Khajinag, which is dedicated to the mother goddess.
How To Get There
Khajjiar is located at a distance of 24 km away from Dalhousie, 595 km away from Delhi and 360 km from Chandigarh. There are ample buses that operate from Delhi and Chandigarh to Khajjiar.
The nearest railway station is at Pathankot, which is 105 km away.
Best Time To Visit
It can be visited throughout the year. The months of January and February can be quite chilly and it receives snowfall occasionally. The roads during winters tend to get blocked due to the heavy snowfall.
From March to July the temperatures remain moderate and is also the best time to go around the place.
Places To See
1. Khajjiar Lake and Ground
The lake is located in a huge grassy landscape, with evergreen cedar trees surrounding it from all sides. The lake has considerably shrunk over the years and is now almost on the verge of extinction.
2. Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary
The wildlife sanctuary is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. Animals like leopard, bear, deer, langur, jackal, Himalayan black marten, barking goral and various varieties of birds can be seen here.
The sanctuary was known as a gaming reserve to the Chamba rulers. The area is a favorite destination for trekkers and the naturewalkers. It is open every day to visitors from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
3. Khajji Nag Temple
The temple was built in 12th century AD, located near the lake and believed to be one of the holiest shrines in Himachal Pradesh. The temple has a mantap, where you can see the hanging images of Kauravas along with the Pandavas.
The temple has mixed style of architecture with influences of both Hindu and Muslim styles. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
4. Kailash View
If you stand on the Khajjiar ground, one can catch glimpses of the Mount Kailash, which believed to be the holy abode of Lord Shiva.
5. Panch Pandav Tree
A popular tree in the ground of Khajjiar, which is famous for its shoots. One can notice that this particular tree has 6 shoots coming out of the tree, however, the shoots and the main root, is the same tree.
Local people say the five shoots represent the Pandavas and the sixth one, Draupadi.
6. Golden Devi Temple
The temple is located on the edge of the lake. It is popular because of its golden spire which attracts many tourists.
Food And Accommodation
There are a few hotels and cottages run by Himachal Tourism, also a number of guest houses.
The choices of food are very limited, there are a few restaurants which serve Indian food. The resorts and lodges offer more variety. Apart from these, one can try out small street joints that serve noodles and soup.