Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary

This sanctuary area with its well laid out trekking jungle trails both at Kalatop and Khajjiar is a tourist paradise. Dense Deodar and Fir forests are places of solitude very close to Dalhousie town. Visitors should look for pheasants and Serow in these forests but should be beware of black bear which can be encountered often in the area.

Hiking is the best way to appreciate the beauty of the flora and fauna. However, most tourists use taxis and buses to traverse this 43 km motor-able route to Chamba through Khajjiar. Khajjiar is officially proclaimed the mini-Switzerland of India. It is 24 km from the GPO. Daily return bus trips are available from the bus stand by Himachal Tourism.

The best period for visiting the sanctuary are March-May, and from September to November, when the weather is favorable.

The vegetation consists of mature mixed Blue Pine and Deodar forest, with some Green Oak and Rhododendron trees. Undergrowth in the forest is well developed, dense in places and with a good cover of grass in November.

A very thick and dark forest crowns the hilltop and perhaps that is why the place has derived its name as Kalatop which literally means a black cap. The spot really commands a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape. One can see the hills, snow-capped mountains, the valleys, the hamlets, the greenery and the ruggedness standing from the place. The forest mainly comprises of the deodar, kail, spruce, ban trees and various bushes providing a safe habitat for wild animals.

How to reach Kalatop Sanctuary

By road

From Chandigarh to Dalhousie (320 km.), on to Lakkad-mandi inside the sanctuary (10 km.). Kalatop is a further 3 km, and Khajjiar another 12 km. Alternately, from Chamba to Khajjiar (36 Km). Taxis and buses are easily available from these places.

By Rail

The nearest railhead is Pathankot, 80 km away. Pathankot is on Delhi Jammu Railway line and there are plenty of trains to choose from at different timings.

By Air

The airport at Gaggal in Kangra is at a distance of 135 km, this is the nearest airport. It takers around four hours to reach Dalhousie from this place. As the flights are limited, and location is far off travelers generally avoid air travel

Topography and climate

Altitude 1185 to 2768 m above sea level

Temperature –10°C to 35°C; Mean annual rainfall 672.3 mm.

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