Why Khajjiar is known as the Mini Switzerland of India?

Khajjiar – The Mini Switzerland of India

Located in the picturesque Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh, Khajjiar is a small tourist resort nestled in the foothills of the Western Himalayas. With dense pine and deodar forests surrounding a saucer-shaped plateau, Khajjiar has been designated as "Mini Switzerland" due to its topographical resemblance to the Swiss Alps.

Khajjiar is located about 24 km from Dalhousie, at an altitude of 6,500 ft. above sea level. 

On July 7, 1992, Swiss Envoy Willy P. Blazer, Vice-Counsellor, and Head of Chancery of Switzerland in India, put Khajjiar on the world tourism map by naming it "Mini Switzerland". He also placed a sign of a yellow Swiss hiking footpath showing Khajjiar's distance from the Swiss capital Bern: "6,194 km" or 3,849 mi. Khajjiar is one of the 160 locations in the world that bears a topographical resemblance with Switzerland. The counsellor took a stone from Khajjiar, which forms part of the stone sculpture erected in Berne, the capital of Switzerland, reminding visitors of Khajjiar as a "Mini Switzerland of India".


Khajjiar is named after an ancient deity called KhajjiNaag. The deity was worshipped by the locals, and a temple was built in honor of him during the 12th century when the Rajput ruled the area. The temple houses a stone idol of KhajjiNaag, who is depicted holding a double dagger in one hand and a mess in the other. 

After the Rajput, the Mughals and the Sikhs came to rule the region, followed by the British East India Company. The town still bears the influence of the British era. After India gained independence, Khajjiar became a part of the Indian Republic. 

On July 7th, 1992, Khajjiar was christened as 'Mini Switzerland of India' for its breathtaking beauty. This recognition has put the town on the world map, and it now attracts visitors from all over the world.

Apart from the breathtaking views, Khajjiar offers several attractions to tourists. 

Dauladhar mountains

Khajjiar is a place of unparalleled natural beauty, nestled amidst dense deodar and pine forests that stretch as far as the eye can see. The lush green meadows that blanket the landscape make it appear as if nature has laid out a soft emerald carpet for visitors to tread upon. And with its location at the base of the majestic Dauladhar mountains, Khajjiar offers breathtaking views of the towering peaks that soar towards the sky. 

Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary

The Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary that boasts a wide variety of flora and fauna. The sanctuary is densely covered with deodar and fir forests. Within the sanctuary, you can spot several notable Fauna species such as the Himalayan Black Bear, Ghoral, Barking Deer, Leopard, Himalayan Gray Langur, Himalayan Black Marten, and Serow. 

The sanctuary is also home to several Bird species such as Western Tragopan, Himalayan Monal, Kaleej Pheasant, Eurasian Jay, Whitewinged Black Bird, Black Headed Jay, Chestnut Billed Rock Thrush, Blackheaded Jay, and Grey Headed Cannery Flycatcher. 

Finally, you can also spot a few reptiles such as the Himalayan Pit Viper and Common Indian Krait in this sanctuary.

Khajji Nag temple

Located a short distance from the lake, is the Khajji Nag temple which dates back to the 12th century CE. It was built by the King of Chamba, Prithvi Singh.  Inside the temple's mandapa, visitors can view images of the Pandavas and the defeated Kauravas hanging from the roof of the circumambulatory path. The temple's sanctum has been beautifully carved from wood. The temple is dedicated to the worship of snakes (Nāga), and there are several snake idols within the temple. The temple also features idols of Shiva and the Goddess Hadimba.

Panch Pandav Tree

This exquisite tree is located in Khajjiar among the coniferous trees. It has a unique feature of possessing six roots, which is considered as its specialty. According to the locals, the five roots represent the Pancha Pandavas and the sixth root represents Draupadi. It is believed that the souls of Pandavas and Draupadi still reside there. Due to its religious significance, the tree is considered to be a sacred site.

Activities in Khajjiar

Khajjiar is a perfect destination for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. The lush green meadows, dense forests, and breathtaking views of the Dauladhar mountains provide a perfect backdrop for trekking, camping, and picnics. The place is also ideal for photography and sightseeing. Visitors can enjoy the local cuisine, which includes Himachali cuisine and Tibetan cuisine. The local markets offer a variety of handicrafts and souvenirs, including shawls, woolens, and wooden handicrafts.

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