A small picturesque saucer-shaped plateau surrounded by dense pine and deodar forests, is one of the 160 places throughout the world to have been designated “Mini Switzerland”. Yes, this is Khajjiar, a tiny tourist resort in Chamba about 24 kms from Dalhousie; at an altitude of 6,500 ft. above sea level. The moment one enters the picturesque Khajjiar, one is welcomed by a yellow Swiss sign for ‘hiking path’ which reads “Mini Switzerland”.
Set against the backdrop of dense pines, deodars and lush green meadow, Khajjiar is exquisitely nestled down in the foothills of the imposing Dhauladhar ranges of the Western Himalayas. The dish-shaped Khajjiar provides a panoramic and breathtaking perspective to visitors.
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.
The journey from Chamba to Dalhousie to this idyllic scenic spot may be undertaken either by buses run by the HP Tourism Development Corporation or by one’s own vehicle. Khajjiar is about 95kms from Pathankot Railway Station and 130 kms from the Gaggal Airport in the district Kangra.
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 said to represent the Kauravas who were tied up here in the hideout by the Pandavas. 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.
How to Reach:
The nearest air port is at Pathonkot, 99 Km from Khajjiar. Other reachable air ports are Kangra(130 km), Amritsar (220 km) and Chandigrah(400 km).
The nearest railway station is at Pathonkot, 94 Km from Khajjiar. Regular trains to Pathankot from New Delhi are available .
The Himachal Road Transport Corporation runs long distance services throughout the state from their main stands at Shimla, Solan, Kangra, Dharmsala and Pathnakot and from locations in the adjoining states of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh(UT). Private buses, serving everywhere else, frequent and provide a relaxed mode of commuting.