A visit in an year to Khajjiar has made me click less photographs and rather experience different weather there. I was in Khajjiar during monsoons and this is probably the best season to experience lush green landscapes all around. Khajjiar, at times, is not accessible during winters because roads get closed due to snowfall.
This is the first view of Khajjiar lake when you are coming from Dalhousie. This is the point where you should start looking for parking slot. Road condition is usually not very good during monsoons. Maintaining roads in hills is very challenging, but still Himachal has been aggressive in maintaining it's roads. Especially roads in tourist regions.
During Monsoons, it's very important to keep umbrella with you, even if sun is shining and there is no patch of clouds. This change in minutes and hence very unpredictable. Our day started with clear sky and by the time we reached Khajjiar it started raining heavily. Fortunately we were carrying few umbrellas and borrowed one from our cab driver.
While it was raining, we took a table in one of the restaurants around Khajjiar Lake. It was lunch time and we thought of utilizing this time and had lunch. I am forgetting the name of the place where we had lunch and it was good Punjabi food.
A few kilometers ahead there is a temple with this huge Shiva idol. Now let me share a very useful tip. If you came to Khajjiar from Dalhousie in a bus and want to go back in bus only. Reach this place 30 minutes back. Usually there are lot of folks who board bus in Khajjiar and it becomes very challenging to get in. Since this temple is a stop before Khajjiar, there is good probability to get in comfortably and also find a seat. There are 2 buses from Khajjiar to Dalhousie between 1pm to 3pm.So if you come early in the morning, the timings would suit you.
These days paragliding is also quite popular activity around Khajjiar. One flies from a surrounding hill. You need to climb of the hill, so be sure about it. After flight, depending upon the flow of wind you can have a top view of Khajiar, but landing happens in village behind the shiva temple. I haven't done paragliding here so don't know the charges. Bir Billing is best place for Paragliding in Himachal Pradesh and I had that experience.
Another view of Shiva from road connecting Khajjiar with Chamba.
Monsoon is a good time to taste local produce. Local cucumber is much tastier than what we get in cities through cold storage. During Monsoons, you would see lot of folks selling fresh fruit salad around Khajjiar and what can be best snack when travelling in himalayas.
Clouds make this place more beautiful. I made some videos of clouds covering this place and going upwards to play in woods, but unfortunately we lost those videos due to card corruption. As I see some herbs vendor in above photograph, so let me warn you about a group of folks who sell you local herbs (don't know what that means and I never bought). But I have heard bad experiences of folks who dealt with these vendors. Please note that most of them are not local folks. and things they sell are not locally produced. They bring stuff from Jammu or Pathankot and sell to tourists. So if you can judge the originality of stuff being sold, go have a talk. Otherwise avoid even talking.
Pre-wedding shoots and post wedding shoots are getting popular in our country. And I noticed lot of couples here at Khajjiar with professional photographers. Some of these photographers roam around the lake and click photographs to hand-over in form of prints. Some of the photographers had come with couples, were indulged in finding appropriate location and guiding these couples for some unique shots.
I also wanted to do a shoot with my model, but this time she was acting like celebrities. And even weather was not favoring us. So this time, I couldn't click much.
Here is path outside the green meadows, which is used for horse riding. You can hire a horse to have a round of Khajiar or roam around the neighboring villages. I never took the other route where these folks promise to show village and apple orchards.
Carefully notice this photograph. Imagine the view when these clouds are slowing coming out of these forests. This was the best moment and experience at Khajjiar.
There are lot vendors selling toys for kids. Urvi also wanted few but settled at one, which didn't reach home safely :). We had long day, so that was expected... I like some of these things at tourist places which provide opportunities for local folks. Some selling these toys, few making fruit salad and others selling juicy bhuttas. And all these things are also available at reasonable costs if you compare with prices quoted in bigger cities like Delhi. And it's not about money, it's more about purity and love of these local folks.
This was shot when I was just leaving for Chamba. These colorful baloons in front of these green landscapes looked awesome. Over the years I have seen this place transforming, in good as well as bad ways. Local authorities don't allow people to play any kind of sport on these lawns but there are
Names of horses around Khajjiar are very interesting :) ... Romeo, Chetak etc..
If you intend to stay around Khajjiar, there are 3 reasonable options - HPTDC hotel, HPPWD Guest-House and Forest Guest-House. Apart from there are there are various private properties.
I would request you to follow these things when traveling -
- Manage your waste well and don’t litter
- Use dustbins. Tell us if you went to a place and found it hard to locate a dustbin.
- Avoid bottle waters in hills. Usually you get clean water in hills and water bottles create lot of mess in our ecosystem.
- Say big no to plastic and avoid those unhealthy snacks packed in plastic bags. Rather buy fruits.
- Don't play loud blaring music in forests of jungle camps. You are a guest in that ecosystem and disturbing the locals (humans and animals) is not polite