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Khajjiar - Mini Switzerland

February 24, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 137

You don't have to go to Switzerland to enjoy its scenic splendor, you can see it in Khajjiar (H.P), India's own 'mini Switzerland'. It was christened thus by the Vice Counsellor and Head of Chancery of Switzerland in India, William T. Blazer on July 7, 1992. With this Khajjiar was put on the world tourist map, sharing this honor with 160 mini Switzerland the world over, which bear topographical resemblance to Switzerland.

Khajjiar is a nature lovers' paradise and a visual treat. Perched at a height of 6400 ft. it is encompassed by the lush green pine and deodar forests, and fringed by the mountains. The hub of Khajjiar is a saucer shaped meadow measuring a kilometer and a half in length and a kilometer in breadth with a lake in its centre.

Overlooking the meadow are tourist cottages, rest houses, hotels and shops. The HPTDC hotel 'Devdar' has this prime location. You can book in advance from HP tourism office in Delhi or any other city. The P.W.D. an the forest rest house are also located around here. The private hotels are slightly away from the meadow.

The shortest route to Khajjiar is from Pathankot via Dalhousie. It takes three hours to cover the 80 km. stretch from Pathankot to Dalhousie. You have taxis and buses plying along this route.

If you want to detour from the beaten track and are looking for adventure you can trek to Khajjiar from Dalhousie since it is one of the easiest treks. The route is through the dense fragrant pine forests along upper Bakrota road. The rough mid-point of the trekking route is Kalatop (8000 ft.), which has a small wildlife sanctuary with a good population of barking deer, a variety of birds, a few Himalayan black bears and an occasional leopard.

There is a forest rest house here and if you are inclined to take a break you can request the forest officer for accommodation. But do ensure that you reach Khajjiar before it gets dark due to the wildlife threat. Even at Khajjiar the waiters warn you against walking in the meadow after dark and advise you to walk along the gravel path because of the possibility of an encounter with a leopard.

You can take a look at the Khajjiar Nag temple dating back to 12 AD.-it is overlooking the meadow. Incidentally Khajjiar has been named after the deity Khajji Nag who is worshiped by the locals here. Another place for sightseeing is 'Mother Tree' which is 2-3 km along the Khajjiar-Dalhousie road. This Deodar tree named "Mother Tree" is a unique piece of creation-it has 12 trees sprouting from one main trunk.

Mayank Gupta is a writer for travel website World Travel Guide. You can check his latest articles on travel, best restaurants, hotels and city attractions on Travel Blog

Source: EzineArticles
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