Khajjiar is a small grassy meadow located in the picturesque Chamba valley. It is an important picnic spot whose quiet environs beacon the tourists traveling between Dalhousie and Chamba. The stopover at Khajjiar is a welcome break for the weary tourists. Khajjiar is located in the northwestern part of the state of Himachal Pradesh, in the northern region of India. Khajjiar is often called the Mini Switzerland of Himachal Pradesh. It has a rare combination of three ecosystems: lake, pasture and forest
Khajjiar Quick facts
Khajjiar Geography and Climate
The climate of Khajjiar is alpine Summers (April-June) are mild and winters (November-February) are cold and bitter. It experiences southwestern monsoon rains in July-September.
Best time to visit Khajjiar
The best time to visit Khajjiar is between March and June
Khajjiar Near Getaways
Chamba today is more interesting in history books than in reality. Still, there are enough reasons you should visit. Chamba provides a sharp contrast to Dalhousie, the colonial resort of rich Lahorians and the British, because of its uninterrupted ancient heritage and customs. However, over the years the influx of plains people has changed both the topography and ethnographic profile of this ancient Rajput capital. Its famed temples, stripped of their intricate wood-carved edifices first by the British and then by the Archaeological Survey of India, are mere shadows of their former selves. The growing town has also extracted its pound of flesh, crowding the temples into a maze of bylanes.
Khajjar is well connected with most of the cities of the state with well-developed and sophisticated roads. This place is easily accessible by road and is hardly about one and a half hours driving from Dalhousie and Chamba. Himachal Road Transport Corporation operates bus services, connecting Khajjar with the major cities in and around the state.
How to reach Khajjiar by Rail
Pathankot is the nearest railhead for traveling to Khajjar. The place is situated at a distance of 80 km from the hill resort. Almost all the main stations of India are connected with this railway station. Buses and taxis could be boarded to reach Khajjar from Pathakot. Chandigarh and Delhi are two big cities near Khajjar, you can start your journey from.
The nearest airport from Khajjar is that of Gaggal in Kangra, situated at a distance of 180 km. Travelers can take a flight till Gaggal airport and from there, board taxis and buses available for reaching Khajjar. After the Gaggal airport, the ones in Jammu and Amritsar are the next best options, especially with their connectivity with the rest of India.
Baisakhi Fair :
This fair is held at various places in the state. People carry village deity with music procession from one place to another. In upper hills, people perform 'Mala Dance' by joining hands to form a large circle. During day time, some games like archery and wrestling are also played.
Jwalamukhi Fair :
The Jwalamukhi fair is held twice a year during Navratras for worship of Durga goddess. It is the most imporatant fair in the Kangra valley. People come with red silken flags (dhwaja) to greet the Mother Goddess. The fair is attributed to the worship of that Eternal Flame which is coming out of earth spontaneously and perpetually.
Dal Fair :
It is held on the bank of lake Dal, in the month of August in district Kangra at Dharamshala. Held sacred, this has a small Shiva temple on its banks. The banks of the lake are enlivened every September by a fair attended - amongst others- by a large number of migrant Gaddi folk.
Sayar Fair :
It is a famous fair observed in the month of September at a number of places such as Bakloh in Kangra, Karsog in Mandi, and Subathu in Shimla.
Festivals in Kangra
Baisakhi or Bisoa :
It is knows as Bisowa in Kangra, Bissue in Shimla hills and Lisshoo in Pangi-Chamba. This festival is generally celebrated on 13th of April. Preparation for the festival starts much early. The houses are white washed. People take holy dip at Haridwar, Tattapani near Shimla, Banganga near Kangra, Markanda near Bilaspur. During day time, Baisakhi fair is held at many places with traditional gaiety and attraction. Women's participation in large number add special color to the festive mood of the people.
(Dholru) is the first month of the lunar year and the first day of the month is cellebrated with a belief to bring hapiness and prosperity. This festival is known as Chatrali in Kullu and Dholru in Bharmaur area of Chamba district. In district Kangra, Hamirpur and Bilaspur, first day of Chet month hold special importance.
Spring Festival :
This festival is celebrated only in the Kangra district in the month of March/April. Clay figurines of Shiva and Parvati are worshipped by young unmarried girls who dress up in their finery and gather around a heap of grass to sing and dance. After being worshipped for 10 days, the figurines are immersed in a pond or river on the first day of Vaisakha or Baisakhi (13th April).
Haryali means greenery, and in the Kangra Valley, it is the festival that celebrates rain. Since good rain means a good harvest and prosperity, it is important to keep the rain god happy. Haryali is celebrated on the first of Shravana (July 16). Some 10 days before this, seeds of five or seven grains (wheat, barley and the like) are mixed together and sown ceremoniously by the head of the family or the family priest in a small basket filled with earth. A day before the festival, Shiva and Parvati are ritually married as their union brings fertility to the world.
Sair is basically thanksgiving for abundant rainfall and is celebrated in September/October. Traditionally, a barber goes round the village with a galgal (fruit in a basket) announcing the coming of the festival. Men, women and children bow to this sacred fruit which is considered an emblem of the fruits of harvest about to be reaped.
Navratras are celebrated with great interest in Himachal Pradesh. Durga Ashtami is of great importance all over the state. People visit nearest Durga temple to offer prayer during Navratras.
It is celebrated in the month of February. The western part of India is influenced greatly by the mythology of Lord Shiva. This festival is given the greatest importance even in temples. Some people keep fast on this day. Images of Lord Shiva and Parvati are made from cowdung or earth soil for worshipping. Songs in praise of Shiva and Parvati are sung. This is the festival of great significance in the life of hill people.
Gaddis of Kangra, Chamba, Mandi and Kullu celebrate this festival, when a household individually collects enough money for celebration. Nawala, in fact, is a thanks giving ceremony to Lord Shiva, who is worshipped at the time of misfortune and clamiti. Devotional songs in praise of Lord Shiva are sung throughout the night.
Khajjiar Religious Places
On the brink of lake, there is a beautiful temple of Khajji Nag from where the place derives its name as Khajji. So it attached a religious significance for the local people who celebrate a fair every year. The Khajji Nag temple is made in pahari style and the object of worship is 'Nagdev', carved out of stone in human from. The images of five Pandvas: Yudhishtra, Bhim, Arjun,Nakul and Sahdev beautiful made out of wood stand in the corners of the Mandapa of the temple. A small temple of Hidimba also stands close by. This has led people tp believe that the Pandavas happened to visit this place during their exile and their period of incognito. 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. But trees with many shoots are a common occurrence in the Khajjiar forest. At a distance of one kilometetre from Khajjiar towards Dalhousie a big deodar trees exists having more than 13 soots of comparable height. This trees has popularly come to be known as 'Mother Tree' of the area.
Khajinag Temple (Golden Devi Temple)
The town of Khajjiar has been named after its ancient temple of Khajinag. Situated near the famous Khajjiar Lake, this temple dates back to as far back as the 12th century. The temple stands adorned with a golden dome and spire, which has led to the temple often being called as the 'Golden Devi' temple. It has wooden sanctum with intricate carvings. The 'mandapam' of Khajinag Temple has images of the Pandavas and the defeated Kaurvas, seen on the roof of the circumambulatory path of the temple. The temple attracts many devotees and tourists alike
There are plenty of opportunities for adventurous activities like trekking, mountaineering, para gliding and ice skating out here at Khajjiar. Khajjiar tour pacakages give you an insight into the different sightseeing places at Khajjiar and other nearby places.
SHOPPING: Tibetan handicrafts including pullovers and carpets at Dalhousie. Chamba Slippers, 'Rumals' and Shawls at Chamba town.
Khajjiar Museum and Hill Stations
State Museum Shimla
Overlooking the Institute of Advanced Studies and housed in a beautiful building on high ground, the Shimla State Museum was opened in 1974 and has a wonderful collection and display of around 2,000 objects. The collection includes the Kangra paintings, Pahari Paintings and sculptures in bronze and wood.
Gardens and Parks at Khajjiar
Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary : This small sanctuary lies in the catchment of the ravi river, and contains patches of good coniferous and Oak forests. A lovely bowl-shaped meadow at Khajjiar, with a lake and a ‘floating’ island, is a popular tourist spot. There is a ‘golden’ domed temple at the edge of this meadow, dedicated to the deity ‘Khajinag’, from whom the area derives its name. A motorable road to Kalatop Rest House leads from the Dalhousie - Khajjiar - Chamba road at the point named Lakkad Mandi. The track from Lakkad Mandi to Kalatop rest house is plain and the walk through the dense forest is amazingly refreshing.
Lake at Khajjiar
Location :- This vast reservoir lies in the district of Bilaspur and Una. The town of Bilaspur is 83 km. from the railway station at Anandpur Sahib.
Gobind Sagar Lake
It is an artificial lake formed as a result of the world famous Bhakra Dam on the river Sutlej in district Bilaspur. It is one of the world's highest gravity dams, the Bhakra rises 225.5 m above its lowest foundations. Under the supervision of the famous American dam-builder, Harvey Slocum, work began in 1955 and was completed in 1962. Incidently, Slocum had no formal training as an engineer, but his conceptions and designs had been proven successful. To maintain the level of water, the flow of the river Beas was also channelled to the Gobind Sagar by the Beas-Sutlej Link whish was completed in 1976. Today, this dam feeds electricity and water to several states of north India. Its reservoir - the Gobind Sagar - is 90 km long and encompasses an area of approximately 170 sq. km.
As far back as 1962, the Gobind Sagar was declared a 'water fowl refuge' and even today, hosts a variety of water and shore birds. Fishing is a regular activity and fifty-one-species and sub-species have been recorded. The varities found, include Labeo Dero (Gid), Tor Putitora (Mahasheer), Mystus Seenghala (Singhara) and mirror carp and allied species. Fishing licences may be obtained from the Department of Fishers at Bilaspur.
Water sports are available - as are speed-boat and ferry rides. In october and November, when the water and water level of the reservoir is at its peak, a series of regattas are also organised by the Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation. Water-skiing, sailing, kayaking and water-scooter racing become available at this time.
Khajjiar Lake :- ( 1900 metres above mean sea level )
Location :- In district Chamba, 16 km from Dalhousie and 25 km from Chamba.
The magical paradise Khajjiar sets you free in a different world of peace and enjoyment, and you simply don't want to leave. No wilderness in Himachal is so easily accessible and beautiful as Khajjiar. It is one of the must visiting places in Himachal Pradesh.
Fed by slim streams, this small lake rests in the centre of the large glade of Khajjiar. The glade and the lake are held sacred to Khajjinag - after whom the place is named. Khajjiar has the thick forest of the Kalatop sanctuary surrounding its soft green grass. It is 1.5 km long and 1 km wide. It is surrounded by cedar (deodar) forest. This is like a magical paradise. A temple dedicated to Khajjinag is also located there. Khajjiar is also called "Mini Switzerland". The lake remains full of water in all the seasons and requires no rain water for survival.
Lama Dal Lake ( almost 4000 metres above mean sea level )
Location :- In district Chamba 45 km from Chamba town.
Held sacred to Lord Shiva, this lake lies amidst bare rock. 'Lama Dal' means a long lake. It is in the inner slopes of Dhauladhar range. This is a group of seven lakes, the largest of all is Lama Dal. I t is 20 km from Dainkund (Dayankund). It is said to have unknown depth.
Mahakali Lake :- ( 4080 metres above mean sea level )
Location :- This lies between Sano and Gudial in district Chamba.
This lake is held sacred to the goddess Maha Kali. It is little bigger than Khajjiar and Manimahesh lake in Churah area of Chamba district.
The climate of Khajjiar is alpine. Summers (April-June) are mild and winters (November-February) are cold and bitter. It experiences southwestern monsoon rains in July-September.
Khajjar weatherWeather in Khajjar, just like the rest of India, can be is divided into three seasons - winters, summers and monsoons. Tourists flock to the place mainly in the months of February to April, when weather the conditions are the most pleasant. During winters, snowfall is common in the city, so you will easily find tourist from the plains, coming here to witness snowfall. In the following lines, we will provide more information in the weather and climate of Khajjar.
Summer season in Khajjar lasts from the month of March to June. During these months, weather in the city is quite pleasant. Temperature ranges from around 10°C at night (minimum) to 39°C during the day (maximum). Cotton clothes and light woolen clothes are recommended during this season. Make sure to carry your sunscreen too.
The winter season in Khajjar begins from October and lasts till the month of February. The weather during this time is very severe in many senses in Khajjar. At times, the temperature may fall below the freezing point, resulting in heavy snowfall. Travelers are suggested to travel this place, equipped with heavy woolens during wintesr.
Monsoon season in Khajjar starts in July and lasts until September month. The place gets annual rainfall of about 160 cm. Weather during these days is pleasant. Lush green mountains and water streams make Khajjar an even more beautiful place to see. The whole valley becomes full of versatile colors of flowers and enchants travelers.
3. Don’t be coerced in to shopping or sightseeing tours by touts, taxi drivers or strangers. Let the Department of Tourism, the Himachal Pardesh Tourism Development Corporation, approved travel agents or your hotel help you.
4. Don’t buy articles made from rare or endangered species or animals.
5. Don’t disfigure or scribble on rocks, trees, building etc.