Khajjiar , Himachal Pradesh
Hill-station, Scenic, Lake
Hindi, Pahari & English
The rolling meadows, the mysterious looking alpine forests and the snow-capped peaks in the distance make Khajjiar picture perfect but ‘picture-perfect’ can never compere to the ‘perfect’ you have in your memory when you have been to that place and this tiny town, in the gorgeous district of Chamba, is really a place you cannot get out of your mind. With its magical folds of meadows and alluring alpine beauty, it is commonly referred to as Mini Switzerland and is also the most favored picnic spot near Dalhousie.
The prime attraction in this beautiful town is a small glacial spring, the Khajjiar Lake, studded in the middle of a brilliantly lush saucer shaped meadow of the Khajjiar, which in turn is fringed by the taller darker woods of deodar trees and pine forests and rugged mountains surrounding them. It is beautifully bordered by thick weeds with the banks covered by a blanket of earth. Much of the sparkling lake has now turned to muddy slush, but that has not diminished the beauty of the spot.Legend goes that nobody knows the depth of this pond and long back, a hermit died trying to find out. It doesn’t look too deep to me but who’s to know?
There are the Dhauladhar Mountains for the hikers or simply the nature-gazers. There’s something hypnotic about these hills. You gaze at them once and you just don’t seem to be able to turn your eyes from them. There’s also a lovely hill temple located at a small distance away from the lake. The presiding Lord is Khajji Nag. It is a very old temple. Its date can be traced back to the 12th century. One can see depictions of the Panch-Pandav and the Kauravas on the roof of the path. It’s a typical Himachali wood cut structure. It’s interesting to see the snake idols housed within here. This place is so heart-breakingly gorgeous.
Dalhousie to Khajjiar to distance is only 25 kilometers and you can take a bus, shared taxi or a private cab to come here. Best time to visit Khajjiar is in winters when snowfall has happened recently. Khajjiar is quite a popular honeymoon destination in North India. Staying in a wooden cottage would be an amazing experience. Various accommodation like hotels, resorts, campstays and home stays are also available.
Willy T Blazer, the Vice Counsellor and head of Swiss Chancery in India installed a signboard of a Swiss hiking footpath here showing the Switzerland’s distance of 6194 Kms from the spot. Its counterpart, a stone taken from Khajjiar is a part of a stone collage near the Swiss Parliament to indicate the close resemblance between Switzerland and India. You really do want to come see India’s ‘Mini Switzerland’, don’t you?
If you have read the ‘Mysteries of Udolpho’ by Ann Radcliff. It gives mind-blowing scenic descriptions of Central France. You need not worry if you haven’t read this book. To know the kind of exotic described here, you just need to go to Khajjiar. It’s West Europe right inside Incredible India.
Khajjiar can be visited throughout the year except perhaps during monsoon season when weather is still good but quite rainy. Khajjiar is well connected to cities like Pathankot and Chandigarh by road. Overnight Bus or private car is the best way to reach Khajjiar from Delhi. If you want to visit Khajjiar by flight then the closest airport is Gaggal Airport also known as Kangra Airport. Frequent buses run for Khajjiar from Shimla.
Lot of hiking trails are present near Khajjiar. You can go on a trek near Khajjiar through meadows and forests of Deodar and Pine trees but make sure you take a guide along with you.