"Khajjiar...The Mini Switzerland of India”Feb 03, 2018
Nowadays people are always on the lookout for exotic locations to celebrate many important moments of their lives. And they don’t mind splurging big money for it. But a little knowledge about our country and its unexplored destinations can save both time and money. The snow-capped mountains and beautiful valleys of Switzerland may have been long pending in your bucket list. So, what if we tell you there is a mini Switzerland in our country, which is one among the 160 places on Earth that closely resembles the envious land of Chocolates?
This little hill station is located in Chamba district, Himachal Pradesh, and it is ideal for those who wants to spend some serene time amongst nature. Trekking would be best way to explore the region and the green meadows give plenty of scope for horse riding, paragliding and zorbing.
To start exploring the place, let’s begin with the Khajji Naga Temple. Though not much is known about Khajjiar, it is believed that the place got its name from this temple. It is the most sacred shrine in Khajjiar. Dedicated to Naga or serpents, the temple is inspired by Mughal and Hindu architecture. The interiors of the temple has scenes from the epic Mahabharata carved on its walls.
A stroll along Khajjiar Lake is something that is going to be etched in memory. This popular tourist spot has some recreational activities around it but the best thing to do would be to spend time in solitude so that one can enjoy time with nature. However, the natural lake is facing a threat from both the locals as well as the tourists. The place has been increasingly used for grazing, rearing cattle and commercial activities. Listed as wetland in 2006, efforts are on to preserve this waterbody. If you are lucky and if it is a sunny day, one can also get a view of Mount Kailash at a distance.
The Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary is another place to visit. It is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. If you are there for some adventure, try the 14 km trek through Deodar and Pine trees. But, it is always advisable not to trek alone and have a professional or guide to accompany you.
One can enjoy the beautiful sight of the whole valley if you are ready to trek the Daikund peak. The place is also known as 'Singing Hill', because of the cool noise the breeze makes while passing through trees. The peak offers a complete 360° view of the entire valley.
The 85 ft statue of Lord Shiva polished in bronze is a sight to behold. It stands tall at the Jagdamba mata temple. That and the Golden Devi temple are few other popular tourist spots here.
Tibetan Handicrafts Center and HP state handicrafts are good places to buy souvenirs and gifts before you return. The choices are plenty and the prices are affordable.
How to reach Khajjiar
There are no direct flights to Khajjiar. The nearest airport is called the Kangra Airport, Gaggal. It is about 120 kms from Khajjiar. Flights from Delhi, Chandigarh and Kullu operate to Kangra Airport. Taxis and buses are easily available from the airport to Khajjiar.
All the important towns of Himachal Pradesh are well connected by road to Khajjiar. State-owned and private buses ply on these routes.
The nearest railway station is located at a distance of about 118 km in Pathankot. Trains from Delhi, Bhatinda and Chandigarh are available till Pathankot. Taxis can be hired to take you till Khajjiar.
Places To Stay In Khajjiar
Most of the budget hotels are located on Khajjiar-Chamba Road. Himachal Pradesh Tourism operates some budget-friendly hotels and cottages here. There are PWD and Forest department run rest houses as well. Khajjiar also has several mid-range resorts.
Eating and Dining out
Don't expect too many eating options here. There are a few restaurants and few street stalls in the hill station that serve noodles and soups which are extremely popular. In-house restaurants of hotels and resorts cater to a wide range of taste buds.