Khajjar is located at an altitude of 1960 metres above sea level. The place is at the north western part of Himachal Pradesh in the district of Chamba in Himachal Pradesh. The place is in the foothills of the Dauladhar ranges of the western Himalayan mountain ranges. The place is also called ‘Switzerland of India” because of the resplendent climate, panoramic view of verdant green meadows, rolling hills and the bubbly streams. It is made even more beautiful by the streams that lead down to the wonderful Khajjar Lake.
This place was under the rule of the Chamba kings. Later in the 6th century, the Rajputs ruled this part of their country and made it their capital. The Mughals invaded and made it a part of their kingdom in the medieval period. The Sikhs came to rule the place after that and was ceded to the British. Legend has it that the Pandavas had stayed in this place incognito on their exile
PLACES TO SEE
- Khajjar Lake: Set against a magnificent growth of Deodar trees and a beautiful glade, the lake is associated with a story that relates to the Khajjinag Temple. There is a floating island in the middle of the lake. The shape of the lake is saucer like and the ‘vacha’ grass makes the ground look spongy.
- Kalatop Khajjar Sanctuary: The sanctuary is 36 kms. from Chamba and 13kms. from Dalhousie. The sanctuary is in the catchment area of River Ravi. There are blue pines, green oaks and the Deodar in this sanctuary. The fauna consists of Himalayan Black Bear, Brown Bear, Leopard, Barking Deer, Ghoral, Jackal, Langur, Marten, Kasmiri and Giant flying squirrel.
- Kailash View: On a clear day, Mount Kailash is visible from the Khajjar ground. Mount Kailash is the abode of Lord Shiva., who is the principal deity of Himachal Pradesh.
- Panch Pandav Tree: This tree has six bases but only one set of roots. The tree is called Panch Pandav as they represent five Pandavas and the sixth base is Panchali, wife of all five Pandavas. This tree stands within the Khajjar grounds.
- Rest House, Khajjar: All the rest house buildings in this area are from the British era. The locals like telling supernatural stories connected to this particular rest house situated at one end of the Khajjar ground.
- Khajjar Village: There are a few villages in the close vicinity of the ground and they are at some distance from each other separated by apple orchards. There are villages from where the passes like Pir Panjal and Dauladhar mountain ranges can be seen.
- Khajinag Temple (Golden Devi Temple): The temple is dedicated to the snake God. The architecture is made out in the Pahari style and the serpent is carved out in a human form. This temple was built in the 12th century and has a gold dome. The temple has the life sized figures of the five Pandavas made in wood. There are intricate carvings inside the temple. There are images of the Pandavas and the defeated Kauravas, who, it is believed to have been tied up here.
- Golf Course: Khajjar has a nine hole golf course.
WHEN TO GO
Khajjar is best during the months from February to April. The weather is pleasant and light woollen or cotton clothes can be worn. Winter is from October to March and it will be snowing. There may be heavy snow falls and as such, visitors are advised to carry heavy woollen clothes during this period. The monsoon sets in from July to September. The hues and mist gives a magical touch during the period and the world around will look so fresh and green.
Horse riding: Horses are available on the Khajjar ground on payment of rent.
Hiking: Khajjar is a good place to venture out for hiking. The tracks from Lakkad Mandi to Kalatop Rest House can be trekked through dense forest. To stay in the rest house and to ply a vehicle through this forest, permission is required from the Divisional Forest Officer at Chamba.
There are many hotels catering to the budget of the tourists. There are Government rest houses also in the place. For eating out, there are many good restaurants.
HOW TO REACH
Khajjar is located on the road between Dalhousie and Chamba. The drive from Dalhousie to Khajjar is through a beautiful winding way over the Bakrota Hills. The drive is cool as the forest of Deodar trees provides shade and the quietness is comforting. Khajjar is 22 kms. by road from Dalhousie and 24 kms. from Chamba. The nearest airport is Gaggal, Kangra which is 134 kms. and Amritsar, 213 kms. away.The nearest broad gauge railway station is at Pathankot which is 142 kms. away. There are regular Government buses from all major stations.