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Khajjiar, Himachal: India's Mini-Switzerland

Who says you have to travel far and wide, all the way to the Swiss Alps to enjoy the scenic hills and valleys and lush greenery? Because, we have it all here, in one corner of the scenic Chamba Valley of Himachal. A small grassland with velvety slopes, enveloped with lines of pine and deodar trees; no, we aren’t talking about a land from a fairy tale. This tiny settlement is located in the northwest of Himachal Pradesh, about 22Km from Dalhousie and 24Kms from Chamba.

Welcome to the Switzerland of India!

History & Accolades

The village of Khajjiar derived its name from the ancient temple of Khajinag, a locally revered Goddess. The temple still stands as a symbolism of the town. In the modern era, the pristine beauty of this grassland and the allure of nature, engulfing the town, has brought Khajjiar a lot of accolades and recognition from visitors and world tourism authorities. One such came in 1992 from the Vice Counselor of Switzerland, Mr. T. Willy Blazer, who dubbed this hamlet as “Mini Switzerland”, due to its topographical resemblance to Swiss villages.

Getting There

This town acts mostly as a stop-over for tourists traveling to and from Dalhousie and neighboring hill stations. But if you want to experience the real charm of this cozy town, spend a couple of days and explore the natural beauty and its warm culture. Khajjiar is best traveled by road; there are, however, buses running from Dalhousie and Chamba to Khajjiar, but due to seasonal conditions, limited availability etc., travelers prefer to have their own vehicles. You can also book taxi in Amritsar to make your travel convenient and comfortable.

Best Times of Year to Come

Khajjiar has an alpine climate. So, if you want to enjoy the verdant beauty of the grassy meadows and pine forests, then plan your trip between March and June. You can enjoy the seasonal and outdoor sports in these months. On the other side, if the frosty weather is your calling, then you would also enjoy Khajjiar in winter. Between November and February, with temperatures dropping to as low as -2 degrees (Celsius), you can be sure of a chilly and biting winter. And, if you are lucky, you might enjoy a snowfall and experience a real winter wonderland.

Ways to Enjoy Khajjiar

You can explore these local attractions in and around the village.

  • Take a trek across the Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary and explore the forests of pine, deodar and other alpine trees.
  • Pay obeisance at the Golden Devi Temple, sitting on the bank of the Khajjiar Lake. Pilgrims from local towns, villages and neighboring cities, come to visit this sacred site for its mythological and historical significance.
  • For summer travelers, there are plenty of outdoor activities that Khajjiar offers. Ride a pony or a horse, winding through the grassland and get a cowboy-ish feel. Or roll down the grassy slopes with Zorbing. There are paragliding options also available in summer.
  • The soft grasslands also make for a perfect golf course. You might also see (and may be join) plenty of tourists heading for a game of golf at the only nine-hole golf course, which has developed as a recent attraction of Khajjiar.

And of course you can just sit by the lovely local lake and unwind. The Khajjiar Lake is serene and hence, perfect for relaxing. Meditate, introspect or simply enjoy the beauty of this fairytale-like land. Because, sometimes, just letting your hair down in the lap of nature, is the best thing to do on a holiday. And, especially if you are on a break from the maddening crowd, just breathing in the mountain air and smelling the fresh greenery, can rejuvenate you. It’s really easy to get to Khajjiar even when you have short weekends - book Amritsar cabs to get there.

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