8 Best Things to Do in Khajjiar, Himachal Pradesh

Khajjiar is a popular hill station in India, about 26 km from Dalhousie in the Himachal Pradesh region, situated at a height of 6500 feet with a pleasant climate and geographical appearance very similar to Switzerland. Khajjiar offers visitors meadows and dense forests, as well as views of the majestic summits of the Himalayas that make Khajjiar, with the lake Khajjiar and Lake Chamera, a unique place of its kind.

At an altitude of 6,500 feet, the all-natural appeal and also stunning landscape of this place are bound to leave a lasting perception on a vacationer. The highlight of this place is the floating island! Crowds of backpackers descend to the lake to get their adrenaline boost.

From paragliding to horseback riding as well as zorbing, there are lots of leisure activities in this breathtaking hillside town. Khajjiar is a nature lovers paradise with some extraordinary visitor areas in and around it.

Known as the Gulmarg of Himachal, it is also a starting point for Chamba, Dalhousie, as well as Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary treks.

Trekking is the best way to explore Khajjiar and from there, for example, trekking through Chamba, Dalhousie and Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary. Make your way to a wondrous place – loaded with natural beauty shinning brighter under the bluish skies with the richness of biodiversity. Khajjiar is a striking hill station and summer retreat situated in the North Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. About halfway between Dalhousie and Chamba, stop at Khajjiar, also known as the mini Switzerland of India.

Occupying an old crater whose flat bottom constitutes a small shallow lake and green meadows, this tourist site is the joy of people on vacation because it allows pretty horse rides (you can rent it).

The Chamba Valley, north of Himachal Pradesh, is framed between two chains of high mountains, Pir Panjal in the north, and Dhaula Dhar in the south, the latter separating it from the country of Kangra and the heights of Dharamsala. It is crossed by the Ravi river which, at the level of the town of Chamba, looks like a tumultuous torrent flowing in a bed cluttered with large stones and cashed between steep banks.

To reach Dalhousie, the starting point towards the Chamba valley, from Delhi, the easiest solution is to take the train which joins Delhi (Old Delhi station) to Pathankot (Jammu line). The journey of some 500 km covers approximately 11 hours. On arrival in Pathankot, you go outside the small station to an office of the Union of taxis. You can also take the bus for much less. It is also from Pathankot that taxis reach Dharamsala.

To get to Chamba from Dalhousie, you can take two roads, one by the valley (if one can say), the other by the mountain, much more beautiful and picturesque, from where one enjoys superb views of the mountains and passing through Khajjiar. On the way to Khajjiar you can enjoy a walk in the middle of nature, we will start at the Kalatop toll bridge until the rest station.

For over 1000 years, the Chamba Valley has formed the oldest princely state in northern India. Chamba, at an altitude of 1000 m, is perched on the right bank of the Ravi.

Khajjiar Travel Guide

You can visit various places which, fortunately, have not been pillaged in the course of history because the remoteness of the valley has sheltered it from incursions. These places are:

1. Khajji Nag Temple

The Khajji Naga temple is the most sacred splendor of Khajjiar. Some accommodation and the small Khajjinag temple are the only constructions. In this 12th century temple with architecture revealing a very specific local style (slate roof with four sides, open mandapa with wooden columns), you can see rare and interesting wooden sculptures representing, at the foot, each of the five Pândava brothers, whom the epic of the Mahabharata immortalized.

These statues date from the 16th century and are said to have been donated by the Raja of Chamba. In the sanctuary, Shiva is represented on a very beautiful old stone stele blackened by the years.

2. Chamera Lake

Leave for Chamera Lake in the morning. It is a hidden gem in the lap of the Himalayas, surrounded by mountains everywhere. Enjoy boating on the lap, surrounded by mountains everywhere. After that visit the meadows of Khajjiar. No wonder it is called Mini Switzerland of India. Watch the sheep graze in the grass next to you and the pines swing towards the winds.

3. Dainkund

After breakfast, you can take the short Dainkund Trek. It is a very nice walk. You can have lunch in some excellent Dalhousie restaurants in the local market, and also buy some colorful woolen garments in the surrounding shops.

4. Bharmour

This big village, whose name is also indifferently Bharmaur or Bharmour, is a good 3 hour drive (85 KM). It is a mountainous road and subject to landslides in the side of the cliff that runs along the Ravi. Perched at 2200 m above sea level, Bharmour is the starting point for treks, but also the place of passage for pilgrims who go to Manimahesh Lake (4170 m).

From Bharmour, the Gaddi shepherds lead their herds to the high mountain pastures. Before the Raja Sahil Varman founded Chamba in the year 920, Bharmour was the capital of the Chamba region for 400 years. The village has a magnificent group of temples, the Chaurasi temples. They are grouped on a large esplanade at the top of the village but, unless we count as temple each Shiva Lingam, they are much less numerous!

5. Manimahesh temple

The most imposing of them is the Manimahesh temple dedicated to Shiva in the form of Lingam: it is easily identified by the beautiful bronze Nandi which, seated under a canopy, faces it. The second temple of importance is the temple of Narasimha (Narsingh) where an impressive bronze statue of two colors of this frightening deity (an avatar of Vishnu in the form of a Lion-Man) resides in the sanctuary.

A third temple draws attention. It is the Lakshna Devî temple, remarkable for its finely carved wooden porch, on which we see the God Vishnu riding the Garuda eagle. As for Ganesh, he discreetly lives in the first small temple on the right when you arrive on the esplanade. It is an extraordinary bronze statue dating from around the year 750, making it one of the oldest bronze figurations that has come down to us.

The face is very powerful with its prominent eyes and the harmonious curvature of the proboscis; it is surmounted by a pretty ornate crown in the shape of three stylized crescent moons.

6. Bhuri Singh Museum

Do not forget to visit the Bhuri Singh Museum, a beautiful introduction to the different art forms that have developed in the region. Miniature paintings called Pahari in different styles from Kangra, Basholi, Chamba, fine embroidery on canvas (Rumal) represent scenes from the religious mythology of Krishna, with a sculpture room with some deities and engraved ornamental plaques from old fountains.

There are also carved wooden doors, some remarkable small old bronzes (showcase in the entrance), weapons and coins, not to mention interesting old photos of the city. The name of the Museum comes from Raja Bhuri Singh, who reigned over Chamba at the beginning of the 20th century (1904-1919).

A last Chamba specialty is the making of Rumal embroidery. Dating back to at least the 15th century, this art developed a lot in the 18th century, as it was strongly sponsored by local rulers. This kind of satin embroidery on cotton canvas is special because the two sides of the fabric are embroidered without any knot being visible. The patterns most often relate to Krishna's gesture or are charming little animal scenes.

7. Shri Hari Rai Temple

The Harirai temple, near north of the Chowgan meadow, is old since it dates from the 11th century. Its construction is attributed to Salabana. With a classic finely crafted shikhara tower, it houses a very beautiful bronze statue of Vishnu in its form of Chaturmurti, with four arms.

8. Champavati Temple

The Champavati temple, built by the Raja Sahil Varman, received this name in memory of his daughter Champavati. Champavati, in this temple, is assimilated to the Goddess Durgâ of which a beautiful bronze representation resides in the sanctuary. In the temple courtyard, two stone lions, symbols of the Goddess, painted in red, face the sanctuary. Note that this temple also has a large mandapa.

Kalyan Panja