July 2008
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Khajjiar in Himachal Pradesh

Distance from Dalhousie: 24 km
Altitude: 6,500 ft. above sea level
Climate: Alpine. Summers (April-June) are mild and winters (November-February) are cold and bitter.
Rainy season: Monsoon rains in July-September.
The best time to visit Khajjiar is between March and June

Khajjiar is a small picturesque saucer-shaped plateau surrounded by dense pine and deodar forests. This beautiful secluded mountain resort with a velvety glade and thick deodar forests with the view of the Pir Panjal range is an ideal stopover for tourists heading for Dalhousie. and is one of the 160 places throughout the world to have been designated “Mini Switzerland”. Khajjiar was officially baptized by the Swiss Ambassador on July 7, 1992 and as per records, a stone was taken here and forms part of the stone sculpture erected in Berne, capital of Switzerland.
Khajjiar is a picturesque green alp set in the midst of handsome deodar trees. The temple of Khajjiar Nag is dedicated to the serpent of Khajjiar. Legend has it that a renowned sage lived at this beautiful spot. There stands a deodar tree near the P.W.D. Rest house having six shoots of almost equal height. The locals believe that these six shoots represent five Pandvas and their common wife Dropadi.
The history of Khajjiar is associated to the rulers of Chamba. The Rajput rulers of Himachal ruled Chamba valley in the 6th century and made it their capital. In the medieval period this region became the part of the Mughal Empire and later came under the rule of the Sikh kingdoms. Finally, it was taken over by the British and became a part of the state of Himachal Pradesh when it was formed on April 15, 1948.
The drive from Dalhousie is through a beautiful road winding its way through dense forest of pines and cedar. The dish-shaped Khajjiar provides a panoramic and breathtaking perspective to visitors. Khajjiar is a beautiful sylvan glade about a mile in length and half a mile in breadth picturesquely set in the midst of forest.
Quite a few tourists make the mistake of visiting Khajjiar as a sightseeing spot from Dalhousie, but to get to enjoy the beauty of the spot, and the wonderful presence of nature, you should spend a night in Khajjiar.

Places to see:
Kala Top wildlife Sanctuary (2,440 m – habitat of a variety of fauna including the leopard, black bear, goral, barking deer, goral, barking deer etc. A very thick and dark forest crowns the hilltop and perhaps that is why the place has derived its name as Kalatop which literally means a black cap. The spot really commands a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape.
Khajjiar is famous for the popular Khajji Naga shrine dedicated to the serpent god from which the name is believed to have been derived. The temple dates back to the 10th century and is interspaced with different patterns and images on the ceiling and wooden posts. A curious blend of Hindu and Mughal styles of architecture is reflected in the wooden carvings on the ceilings and wooden posts. The image carvings are huge, lifesize wooden images of the 5 Pandava brothers. The temple consists of a spacious congregation hall sufficiently enclosed by wooden supports. The dome-shaped shrine is made of slates locally extracted from limestone quarries. Adjoining are other shrines of Shiva and Hadimba goddess also.
Khajjiar has an islet with a small lake surrounding it. The lake is considered to be holy by the locals as legend associated it with Khajinag, the deity in the Khaaji temple. The lake has been neglected over the years and its waters, which at one time reflected the clear blue skies, today give its resemblance to a shallow pond. It is no longer as beautiful as it used to be.
The fine walks in or around the ground and refreshing weather make Khajjiar ideal for a peaceful holiday experience and Honeymoon as well. You can also enjoy horse riding. If you can beat the birds in the pace of early rising, and is brave enough to face the morning chill on your skin, get out of your snug room and blanket and visit the meadow at dawn.

Places to stay:
Hotel Devdar Khajjiar
Hotel Mini Swiss
Hotel Royal Residency is situated at 1 kms from Khajjiar
Shining Star Resort, Khajjiar

How to get there:
Khajjiar is about 120kms from Pathankot Railway Station and 130 kms from the Gaggal Airport in the district Kangra.

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