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Mini Switzerland of India
|Elevation||1,920 m (6,300 ft)|
|Time zone||UTC+5:30 (IST)|
|Vehicle registration||HP 48|
|Lok Sabha constituency||Kangra|
|Vidhan Sabha constituency||Dalhousie|
Khajjiar sits on a small plateau with a small stream-fed lake in the middle that has been covered over with weeds. The hill station is surrounded by meadows and forests. It is about 2,000 metres (6,500 ft) above sea level in the foothills of the Dhauladhar ranges of the Western Himalayas and peaks can be seen in the distance. It is part of the Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary.
On 7 July 1992, Swiss Envoy Willy P. Blazer, Vice Counselor and Head of Chancery of Switzerland in India brought Khajjiar on the world tourism map by calling it "Mini Switzerland". He also put a sign of a yellow Swiss hiking footpath showing Khajjiar's distance from the Swiss capital Berne: "6,194 km" or 3,849 mi. Khajjiar is among the 160 locations in the world that bear topographical resemblance with Switzerland. The counselor also took from Khajjiar a stone which will form part of a stone collage around the Swiss Parliament to remind the visitors of Khajjiar as a "Mini Switzerland of India".
There is a hotel and some cottages run by HP Tourism at Khajjiar where the tourists can stay. Besides that, there are two rest houses one each of P.W.D. and Forest Department. A couple of private hotels have also come up, which do not match the above places in terms of location and amenities.
Most tourists travel to Khajjiar by private or rented vehicles. Bus service to and from Khajjiar is limited and timing changes according to local demands.
Places of interest
The best entertainment in Khajjiar is to walk around the lake or to go for long walks in the thick pine forests. In winter there is snow which can be up to 910 mm (3 ft) of height. Children enjoy this place because of the freedom of movement and the sloped terrain which permits them to roll down to the lake without getting hurt. Another attraction is horse riding. There is a huge Hanuman Statue and a park.
Dense deodars, pines and lush green meadows are characteristic of Khajjiar. Since Khajjiar is situated at the base of the Dauladhar mountains, the tourists here can get panoramic views of the mountains.
Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary
The Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary which has a wide variety of flora and fauna. It is densely covered with deodar and fir forest. The place is a favorite spot for picnics and trekking.
Khajjiar Lake is a small lake, surrounded by saucer-shaped lush green meadow and a floating island. The dense growth of weed called vacha has made its earth spongy. Now the banks stand covered by a thick layer of earth, formed by the years of dust settling down on the weeds.
Khajji Nag temple
A little away from the lake is the temple of Khajji Nag belonging to the 12th century CE made by the king of Chamba, Prithvi Singh. The temple has a golden dome due to which it is also known as Golden Devi Temple. In the mandapa of the temple one can see the images of the Pandavas and the defeated Kauravas hanging from the roof of the circumambulatory path. The sanctum of the temple has been carved from wood. This temple is dedicated to snake (Nāga) worship and there are some snake idols inside. The temple also has idols of Shiva and Goddess Hadimba.
Khajjiar offers numerous trekking opportunities. Khajjiar to Dainkund is a 3.5-kilometre (2.2 mi) easy to moderate trek. The trek starts 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) from Khajjiar on the Dalhousie-Khajjiar road and ends at Pholani Devi Temple at Dainkund. This trek with a well-defined trail and moderate ascent is an excellent trek for beginners and children. The trek offers excellent views and a beautiful camping site.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 20 October 2012. Retrieved 13 September 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 December 2014. Retrieved 25 March 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Chamba Government official website". Archived from the original on 16 July 2006. Retrieved 23 September 2006.
- "Himachal Tourism". himachaltourism.gov.in. Retrieved 25 November 2017.
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