The Instagram pictures of Khajjiar was tempting enough to make it on my top list, the day I boarded the bus to Dalhousie. But, since the direct road up to Khajjiar was closed, I explored Dalhousie and Kalatop at my own pace and was hoping for the snow to get cleared after few days. One fine morning, I felt the need to move to a new place, and so I decided to take a detour to Khajjiar via Chamba. The distance was approx. 75 km from this route but I had enough time before returning home and wouldn’t want to miss a chance to see a place I’d been dreaming for a long time.
The bus dropped me right outside the ground. The place was bustling with roadside stalls, horses lined up with their owners looking straight into my eyes judging me if I could be their potential customer. I make my way to the ground straight away and behold the beautiful sight. Rolling meadows with the view of the Himalayas makes me want to run, roll on the ground and lay down on the grass. But, the grass is too moist due to the mist and the weather too cold to get wet. I see children playing the same way I would imagine myself while some parents running behind their children to stop getting them dirty and wet. I feel happy and content watching the kids that at least fears and reasons are not holding them back to follow their heart.
Read: Kalatop: Poetic Beauty
By now, my stomach rings the alarm for hunger and I find a nearby hotel.
I take a stroll around the ground and click pictures post lunch and while away the evening by walking on the unknown streets.
As the light fades, boredom takes its toll making me feel lonely. I find my accommodation and visit the Jagdambe Temple which is just a stone’s throw away from my hotel.
The temple owner is delighted to see a tourist (winter is the offseason) and asks me to stay at the guest house of the temple. I humbly deny the offer as I have already booked my stay.
He seems to be not so talkative and is completely lost in the devotional songs that he is playing on his mobile. Even I find solace in the unspoken and the cold night as the music in the background plays-
“ sukh k sab saathi, dukh me na koi,
mere Ram, mere Ram
Tera naam, ek sacha.. duja na koi!”
Translation- Everyone is a friend in happy times, but no one is there during sad moments. Oh Lord! only your name is the true one, no other.
How to Reach Khajjiar?
Khajjiar is approx. 20 km from Dalhousie. There are local buses from Dalhousie running up to Khajjiar daily. However, the roads remain closed in winter due to snowfall (December to March). During winters, one can opt for an alternate route via Chamba which is 75 km long but remains open throughout the year.
One can also hire a local guide from Dalhousie and trek till Khajjiar.
Where do I stay?
There are ample of option for accommodation. If one is planning to visit the place in summer, I would advise booking hotel in advance as the place remains crowded in summer. The cost for the room of 2 people starts from Rs.800/night.
Low budget travellers can ask for a stay at Jagdambe temple. Though the guest houses in the temple premises are meant for the members of the trust, they do offer stay if the room is vacant. Generally, it is available in winters. The price for the stay is Rs.300/ night that includes one-time meal and tea for the breakfast. Also, it has to be noted that the use of alcohol/drugs is strictly prohibited in the temple premises.