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A guide to trekking in Khajjiar: Trails, tips, and accommodation

A guide to trekking in Khajjiar: Trails, tips, and accommodation

By Aquib Nawab

06 Jun, 2024

Nestled In the lap of Himalaya, Khajjiar is a very mesa hill station and famous for its landscape beauty amidst the intervening forest. Khajjiar is famously known as the 'Mini Switzerland of India' and for many good reasons such as scenic natural beauty, silence, adventure and tranquillity.

Dotted with thick forests, rich meadows, and majestic mountains, Khajjiar is home to some of the most picturesque trekking routes in Himachal Pradesh. From best trails and trekking tips to the best accommodation for a comfortable journey, this trekking guide will help you with all you need to know about trekking in Khajjiar.

Overview of Khajjiar

Khajjiar lies on a small plateau with a small stream-fed lake in the middle that has been covered over with weeds. The hill station is surrounded by green meadows and dense forests and it is about 25 km from Chamba in Himachal Pradesh. It sits on an average altitude of 6500 feet above sea level.

This hill station is camped around a tiny lake and surrounded with cedar forests. Weather at Khajjiar is great all-around the year for trekking. Temperatures range from 15°C to 30°C during the summers and can get quite cold with temperatures dropping well below the freezing point during the winters.

March to June and September to November are the best months for trekking in Khajjiar due to the pleasant weather.

  • Location: Himachal Pradesh, Chamba district
  • Average elevation: 6500 feet
  • Area: Approximately 5 sq. km
  • Main attractions: Khajjiar Lake, Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary, Khajjiar Sanctuary / Great for: Hiking, paragliding, boat rides, horseback riding, nature walks
  • Nearby spots: Dalhousie, Chamba, Dharamshala

Top 3 Trekking Trails in Khajjiar

Khajjiar provides easy to difficult-marked trails with so many trekking routes, from uphill to downhill. Some of the popular trekking trails in Khajjiar are:

Khajjiar Lake Circular Trail

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Duration: 1-2 hours
  • Distance: 3.5 km

It is a simple, quick loop trail that runs through the forest around lake Khajjiar. The lake views are stunning and certainly worth a visit. It is perfect for beginners as it is on almost flat terrain.

Credits: Canva

Kalatop-Lakkar Mandi Trail

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Duration: 3-4 hours
  • Distance: 9 km

The relatively tougher 12-kilometre Kalatop to Lakkar Mandi trail is an alternative for those seeking something a bit more challenging. It initiates from Kalatop near the sanctuary and then drops into the valley of Grand Dadan glacier to finally culminate at the Lakkar Mandi village. As you climb up through the fir and pine forests the vistas to the mountains and valley below are stupendous.

Credits: Canva

Khajjiar-Manki Trail

  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Duration: 5-6 hours
  • Distance: 13 km

This challenging trail starts from Khajjiar and culminates at the beautiful Manki village. En route, you'll encounter lush forests and a hilly area. Although difficult, this trek offers a rewarding experience to adventure seekers, making the walk worthwhile.

Credits: Canva

Trekking Essentials and Tips

Some important Tips to Keep in Mind before heading to a Khajjiar trek:

  • Trekking Gear
  • Waterproof trekking shoes with improved sole and ankle support
  • Backpack (25-30L)
  • Clothing layers & jackets
  • Sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses
  • First-aid kit


Follow these tips  

  • Get an early start: Hiking early in the day, before the heat of the afternoon, is in order during the summer months.
  • Keep yourself hydrated: Meaning, keep sipping water all during the trek.
  • Watch your step: Keep an eye out for steep slippery sections on those descents.
  • Load up on Quick Bites: Nom nom - nibble on environmentally-friendly dry fruits and granola bars you brought along during quick pit stops on the journey!
  • Respect for wildlife: Do not disturb or feed the animals, and keep your distance.
  • Stay tuned for the weather news: Trekking in bad weather will ruin the trip for everyone so stay informed on the weather conditions and act accordingly.
  • Hire a local guide: For trekking in tough terrains or at high altitude you should probably book a local guide.

Where to Stay in Khajjiar?

Khajjiar has very limited accomodation options. The Hosteller Khajjiar is a highly recommended choice, offering comfortable and affordable stay amidst this tiny little hill station of Himachal Pradesh.

The Hosteller Khajjiar

View of the guests in The Hosteller Khajjiar

Backpackers enjoying at The Hosteller Khajjiar

Located in the tranquil surroundings of the cedar forest, The Hosteller Khajjiar is a lovely hostel that provides a pocket-friendly living option. Clean & well-maintained, modern private rooms & dorms are available; it can fit different budgets according to your needs.

The hostel has a laid back communal feel, complete with bonfires and indoor games to relax and enjoy post trekking. It provides services like free parking, Wifi, laundry and housekeeping. The in-house cafe provides well prepared and tasty dishes at inexpensive costs.

The Hosteller Khajjiar is situated right at the heart of the city; just 10 mins away from the main Khajjiar Lake, making it the perfect base for you to explore the hill station. Friendly staff around, which can help you with planning the sightseeing.

The Hosteller has accommodations for every budget as they offer comfortable private stays to enable hassle-free trekking and memorable trekking experience for all the trekkers in Khajjiar. The small town is a fantastic place to be near such trails, taking a ride in nature, in forests or through valleys. Arm yourself with the veracious gear, secure your stay and get set for an exhilarating trek while you soak in the majestic beauty of the Himalayas.

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