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Dalhousie Chamba Khajjiar in winters- Road Trip to remember

“Mai ni meriye, Shimle Di Raahe, Chamba Kitni door”

“O Shimle ni vasna, Kasauli ni vasna, Chambe jaana zarur”

Oh Mother! How far is Chamba from Shimla Side,
I don’t want to settle in Shimla or Kasauli,
Have to go to Chamba only!

Have you heard this Himachali folk song? The first time, we heard it, we were absolutely in awe of it and since then; had made up our mind to visit Chamba. On little research, we further found that a trip to Chamba can be clubbed with Dalhousie and Khajjiar. So, on my birthday it was the perfect time to make a winter trip to Dalhousie Chamba Khajjiar.

Dalhousie Chamba Khajjiar in winters

Dalhousie, a colonial hill station in Northern Himachal Pradesh lies at an altitude 6500 feet above sea level and is a famous tourist spot whereas Chamba lies on the banks of River Ravi at 3300 feet and is an ignored tourist destination. With the similar notions in our head, even we left with a thought of first visiting Dalhousie, then Khajjiar and Chamba. But at times things don’t work according to your plans and you have to choose the paths directed by nature and that is what happened with us.

Winter Trip to Dalhousie Chamba Khajjiar

How to Reach Dalhousie & Khajjiar?

Dalhousie lies 560 Kilometers from Delhi and 313 Kilometers from Chandigarh. Further, Khajjiar lies 22 km from Dalhousie via Dalhousie Chamba road and 23 km from Chamba. From Delhi we took a halt at Chandigarh and started the next day early at 9:00 am to reach Dalhousie on time.

Route from Delhi  Delhi – Panipat- Karnal – kurukshetra – Ambala – Rajpura- Sirhind- Ludhiana – Phagwara – Dasuya- Pathankot – Dalhuoise – Khajjiar

Route from Chandigarh – Chandigarh – Roopnagar – Garshankar – Dasuya –Pathankot – Dalhousie – Khajjiar

We reached Dalhousie around 4 pm. Roads were covered with slush and had walls of snow on sides whereas some trails were completely laid in white. Trees had specks of snow on them and few cars were covered by 2-3 feet of snow. It clearly seemed the area had received an adequate amount of snowfall this year. We went straight to our hotel JK Clarks Exotica, Dalhousie and after relaxing, left for a quick stroll. It was freaking cold, Sun was playing hide and seek behind the clouds. And as it started getting dark, the wind speed and chilliness increased. In minutes, the rain too joined the drama, and people started running to find the shelter wherever it was possible. We too joined the league and without much delay rushed back to our hotel. The whole night it continued raining and the temperature had fallen drastically (Probably -5 or even lesser than that).

Dalhousie in winters - Dalhousie Chamba Khajjiar
Dalhousie Chamba Khajjiar in winters

The next morning, the sky was clear but had some hovering clouds. And within an hour, the weather took a drastic turn from sunny to cloudy. It started raining and locals predicted snowing in Khajjiar. Hearing this, we immediately packed and left for Khajjiar, which lies 23 kilometers ahead. But as soon we reached near Gandhi Chownk Market in Dalhousie, there was a big Que of vehicles apart snow and slush. Traffic was halted and was not allowed ahead to Khajjiar because of the roadblock due to snow. On further inquiry, we learned that it will probably take months or more to open this route.

Jk Clarks Exotica - Dalhousie  Chamba Khajjiar

Also Read: Chanshal Pass- The road less traveled in Himachal Pradesh

We started looking for another route option in GPS and the only way was to go Khajjiar from Dalhousie was via Chamba. It too looked completely luck dependent, as the Chamba to Khajjiar road was also closed due to snow till yesterday.

Bit disappointed, we took a U-turn to Banikhet (6 Kilometers from Dalhousie) to refuel our car, and there we saw a diversion for Chamba, stating 44 kilometers ahead.

Note: There is no fuel station in Dalhousie. The last one is available only at Banikhet

Also Read: Walk to the Nako Village in Himachal Pradesh

Dalhuoise to Chamba

From Banikhet itself, we took the Dalhousie Chamba road. Landscapes changed immediately. Roads got wider as compared to the Dalhousie road, and we were driving at lesser altitude. There was greenery all around and the towns on the way looked thickly populated.

On the way to Chamba - Dalhousie Chamba Khajjiar
On the way to Chamba – Dalhousie Chamba Khajjiar

On the way, comes the turquoise green color Chamera Lake. It looks grand and was perfectly gelling with the surrounding. Indeed, with the backdrop of Himalayas, it made the perfect picture.

Chamera Lake - Dalhousie Chamba Khajjiar winter road trip
Chamera Lake – Dalhousie Chamba Khajjiar winter road trip

The weather was worsening, so we thought of booking the room at earliest before we don’t get a place to hide. The majority of the hotels were not operating. It looked people had gone to the hibernation zone and they will only come out once the sun warms up the place and summers come back.

Also Read: 5 Winter destinations to see snowfall in Himachal

First look of Chamba - Dalhousie Chamba Khajjiar Roadtrip.
First look of Chamba – Dalhousie Chamba Khajjiar Road trip

Somehow Goibibo came into help and we got a place to stay at Anantson resort in Chamba. Reaching the resort was another task, but once we reached and saw the views from the cottage, our whole day pain vanished away.

Our Cottage at Anantson Resort, Chamba - Dalhouise Chamba Khajjiar
Our Cottage at Anantson Resort, Chamba

Rains had washed away the dust, everything looked crystal clear and now we knew why the above Himachali Song quotes “Chamba Jana Zarur” (Must visit Chamba).

The town looked heavenly on the banks of River Ravi. There were shades of green everywhere, clouds were floating among the Himalayas and extreme winters looked like monsoons. The ancient town still looked unadulterated although modernity has begun to sneak into the lives of town people.

View of River Ravi and Chamba from our Balcony- Dalhousie Chamba Khajjiar
View of River Ravi and Chamba from our Balcony

The beautiful Chambalis were happy to greet and meet us. We inquired about the Chamba – Khajjiar road from the manager and were happy to know that road had just been opened yesterday. For us the perfect day was still ahead; so, we spent rest day gazing and clicking the landscapes from various angles.

At Anantson Resort - Dalhousie Chamba Khajjiar
At Anantson Resort

Chamba to Khajjiar

The next day, after a good scrumptious local Chamba breakfast (Aloo cooked in Dahi and Puri), we left for the trip to a winter wonderland – Khajjiar, also known as Switzerland of India. It lies only 22 kilometers form Chamba. But just a kilometer ahead from the resort, there was a big landslide. Disappointment started building up again in our mind, but our heart was fighting back with positive thoughts. After an hour the road got cleared and we took a turn to Khajjiar.

Route for Chamba to Khajjiar

The single-lane road looked narrow, steep. We had to climb another 3300 feet in 22 Kms. Landscapes looked breathtaking. The great Himalayas in between were decorated with patches of terrace gardens, colorful houses and had adorned a beautiful white crown. Clouds were floating along with the scalps and it looked like rain on the mountain tops. We inquired from another crossing car about the way and were super delighted to hear Yes!

On the way to Khajjiar - Dalhousie Chamba Khajjiar
On the way to Khajjiar – Dalhousie Chamba Khajjiar

Also Read: Hike to Kheerganga

From there we took a deep ascent and the specks of snow increased to mounds and trails. The Dauladhar range of Himalayas started resembling black forest cake and there came the board of view of ManiMahesh Kailash Peak, also known as Chamba Kailash (One of the five abodes of Lord Shiva according to Hindu mythology). It was engulfed by the clouds while going but we got a crystal view while returning back.

Manimahesh view point on the way to Khajjiar-  - Dalhousie Chamba Khajjiar
Manimahesh view point on the way to Khajjiar

We reached the entrance of the Kalatop – Khajjiar reserve. It was snowing inside and was dark. Roads were completely covered in white except the tire marks. There were no vehicles and people. The whole scene looked scary for driving but Tashi wanted to drive. 5 Kilometers distance felt like 50 kilometers here, as we were driving at speed of 10. The car was slipping, and there was no parapet. Literally my heart was pounding and in the next few minutes’ taxi crossed us giving assurance to go ahead. We followed them, kept moving, and there we saw the first view of meadows.

Entrance to Kalatop Khajjiar Reserve - Dalhousie Chamba Khajjiar
Entrance to Kalatop Khajjiar Reserve – Dalhousie Chamba Khajjiar

Note: Khajjiar is a part of Kalatop – Khajjiar wildlife sanctuary

OMG! Is this for real? It was a dreamy winter wonderland, with Dhauladhars on one side and pine forests on other. The road was not visible except the Tyre marks. Clouds were floating in the snowy meadows. There was silence all around, and looked shops, restaurants all were closed due to bad weather.

Turning to Khajjiar meadows

Without stoppage, we directly moved to HPTDC (Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation) Hotel Devdar Khajjiar. What a perfect location they have? The resort directly opens to meadows and our balcony room had a Khajjiar Lake view. It was still snowing and raining, looked 2 feet snow will soon turn to 3 feet.

Outside Hotel Devdar, Khajjiar - Dalhousie Chamba Khajjiar
Outside Hotel Devdar, Khajjiar – Dalhousie Chamba Khajjiar

Hotel Devdar, Khajjiar

We left our vehicle in between the road and climbed the stairs to check whether the hotel is operational or not. The manager came out and our fear came true. There was No water, No electricity from the past 7 days and it was too cold. Met Department had forecasted overnight snow and the roads might get closed for several days. Hotel Manager narrated this and asked us to stroll and play in the snow for an hour and go back to their Chamba guest house in the evening.

View of Khajjiar Meadows form Hotel Devdar - Dalhousie Chamba Khajjiar

But “we were we”. We reversed the talks by saying that, we don’t need electricity, we just need a bucket of hot water and give us the same food you will cook for yourself. We will be more than happy. He got convinced and allowed us to stay.

Also Read: Must know Challenges before taking a winter Spiti Trip

Honestly, it was one of the best decisions we took. If one moment the snow meadows were covered with moving clouds, another moment we could see the saucer-shaped Khajjair lake in between the Devdar forest with a backdrop of white Himalayas.

Stairs leading to Khajjiar Meadows

Note: Other good locations to stay are Forest and PWD Guest House, but you need to have a prior booking with them.

Khajjiar Meadows

After having tea at hotel, we left for a quick walk. It was serene and magical beyond words. White powder was all we could see around. There we saw leading stairs to reach the Khajjiar meadows and we took them at once.

Our feet were sinking in the snow and looked only a few tourists had set their foot on it. Lake was completely frozen from one end and the other side looked semi-frozen. We wanted to walk along the circular meadow and visit the Khajjinag temple but it didn’t look like a perfect time. So, we retired back to our hotel early.

At Khajjiar Meadows - Dalhousie Chamba Khajjiar Roadtrip
At Khajjiar Meadows – Dalhousie Chamba Khajjiar Road Trip

At night, the moon was playing hide and seek with clouds and the snow in the meadows was glowing like a silver sheath. We wanted to take some good night shots but gave up in the freaking cold and started waiting for the next morning.

Also Read: Our love for Old Manali over New Manali

The next morning was a promising sunny morning. We got ready as active birds to roam in the circular meadows. The entire Dhauladhar range was clearly visible and it was painted in the shades of white and green.

Khajjiar Meadows in winter- Dalhousie Chamba Khajjiar.

The Khajjiar meadows which looked all-white yesterday, now looked entirely different, colors were jutting out from white. Locals were out in the sun to bask their bodies whereas adventure organizers were hunting tourists for paragliding, tube Skiing, river crossing, snow skating, etc but all we wanted to do was see, feel, and click every inch of the circular meadows.

Khajjiar Meadows - Dalhousie Chamba Khajjiar

Khajjinag Temple, Khajjiar

In between the Khajjiar meadows stood an ancient, golden dome Khajjinag Temple, dedicated to Naga- the lord of serpents. The temple is also known as Golden Devi Temple. It was built by King of Chamba in 12th century and was renovated in 16th century. The temple has a lot of wooden work, which looks a perfect blend of Mughal and Indian architecture. The Temple is believed to have a mythological significance too. The circumambulatory path of the temple has the images of Pandavas defeating the Kauravas in the epic battle of Mahabharata.

Also Read: Tabo – National Historic Treasure of India

From the temple keep moving toward the Khajjair lake. There were water streams in between and spongy earth around the banks of the lake, due to the dense growth of weed called vacha.

Boat in the frozen Khajjiar Lake- Dalhousie Chamba Khajjiar
Boat in the frozen Khajjiar Lake

From there walk towards the fairytale HPTDC cottage, smushed between green and white. We couldn’t stay here this time, but for sure during the next visit.

HPTDC cottage in Khajjiar Meadows- Dalhousie Chamba Khajjiar Road Trip
HPTDC cottage in Khajjiar Meadows

After the complete round, it was time to head back to the civilization but our heart and mind were not ready to leave. We were still looking back at the mesmerizing scenery at each step. Khajjiar is a perfect combination of lakes, meadows, and mountains which resembles a fairyland of the stories.

Also Read: Padam Palace – The royal Palace in Rampur Bushahr

Why Khajjiar is known as Mini Switzerland?

Khajjiar is among the 160 locations in the world that bear topographical resemblance to Switzerland. On 7 July 1992, Mr. Willy T. Blazer, the Vice Counselor and Head of Chancery of Switzerland in India brought it on the world tourism map by calling it “Mini Switzerland”. He also installed a signboard showing Khajjiar’s distance from the Swiss capital Berne -6194 km.

Khajjiar Meadows - Dalhousie Chamba Khajjiar Road Trip
Khajjiar Meadows – Dalhousie Chamba Khajjiar Road Trip

The counselor also took a stone from Khajjiar, which will form part of a stone collage around the Swiss Parliament to remind the visitors of Khajjiar as a Mini Switzerland of India.

Also Read: View of Chau Chau Kang Nilda from Langza

Points to Remember for Dalhousie Chamba Khajjiar winter trip

  • Snow looks very fascinating but driving on it is really tough and risky. Don’t try to be a stunt man and drive as slow and cautiously as possible
  • There are high chances of vehicle slipping on applying brakes, so be really careful
  • Try driving 4* 4 and if you don’t have one, use snow chains to increase the traction
  • Do cover your bonnet at night to avoid freezing of fuel
  • Don’t drive in extreme snowfall as you can get struck too. Listen to the local’s instructions
  • Walk very carefully in the snow; as a severe fall can lead to fractures too
  • Fuel station is available at Chamba and Banikhet
  • Be prepared for NO electricity and No water at Kahjjiar in winters
  • There are plenty of ATM in Dalhousie as well Chamba

Also Read: Shimla After Snowfall

Must carry

  • Do carry multiple layers of clothes from warmers to fleece to feather jackets, wind cheaters, cap and gloves
  • Also keep rain coat, umbrella, sun glasses
  • Snow and water proof boots are must. If you don’t have one, you can get them on rent at Khajjiar meadows

Also Read: Spiti Valley in winters

Other Nearby Attractions

  • Kalatop Sanctuary
  • Chamera Dam
  • Dainkund Trek

Best Season to visit Dalhousie Khajjiar & Temperature

Dalhousie Khajjiar can be visited throughout the year. Summers lasts from March – July (temperature lies between 32 – 44 degrees Celsius), Monsoon is in July – August (Temperature 22 – 35 degrees Celsius) and winters step from November till February (Temperature 7 to -4 degree Celsius).

For snow lovers, the best time is January- February, and remember it is an off-season too.

Dalhousie Chamba Khajjiar in winters

You can find more pictures of Dalhousie Chamba Khajjiar winter trip on our Facebook and Instagram accounts or find us by using #allgudthings.

5 winter destinations to see snowfall in Himachal

I don’t know how special the falling snowflakes are to you but for me, that whole moment is extremely thrilling. I love witnessing and capturing how the whole colored town gets painted in white color in minutes. It looks so heavenly. I can sit and gaze at the snowfall for hours. They seem like cotton candies of various sizes. Anyways, if you too feel the same and want to experience the live snowfall, then January and February are the right months to rush to satisfy your eyes and soul. And here are the five winter destinations to experience snowfall in Himachal.


  1. Shimla – Kufri – Chail

Shimla, the queen of Himachal is a colonial town. In winters the slanting roofs of buildings get covered in snow sheets and dancing deodars around it give a Paradise feel. The whole scene is a perfect postcard picture. Kufri a small hill town lies 18 km ahead and it is a famous skiing hotspot in winters. Chail known for its quietness and birds lies further 27 km to Kufri. In winters during snowfall, there is only snow, greenery and the misty surroundings engulfing the whole environment.

Shimla Ridge - Snowfall in Himachal
Source: skymetweather.com

Distance from Delhi to Shimla: 350 km

Route: Delhi – Panipat – Karnal – Kurukshetra -Ambala – Zirakpur- Pinjore – Solan – Shimla

Expected Lowest Temperature: -2 to 0 degree Celsius

What to do: Play and walk-in snowfall, build snowmen, enjoy snow games like skating, skiing, and party with bonfires

Difficulties you may face: Water shortage, power trips, road blocks, traffic jams

Special: Winter Sports festival happens around February in Kufri


  1. Manali – Solang Valley

The Manali town is surrounded by snow clad mountains on one side and Beas River on the other It is beautiful during all the months and imagines how beautiful it will be in extreme winters (December, January, and February) when there is fresh snow with a fluffy texture. Everything gets white, more beautiful, and picturesque. The landscapes get more enhanced and are clearly demarcated.

Manali - Snowfall in himachal
Source – www.snow-forecast.com

The Solang valley lies 14 km ahead of Manali and is famous among tourists and travelers for ice skating, skiing, and zorbing. The cable car from Solang valley is a beautiful ride and it takes you to the snow point.

Distance to Manali from Delhi: 543 km

Route: Delhi – Panipat – Karnal – Kurukshetra – Ambala – Rupnagar – Bilaspur – Sundernagar – Mandi – Bhuntar – Kullu – Manali

Expected Lowest Temperature: -6 to -8degree Celsius

What to do: Enjoy snow games, click lots of pictures, visit old Manali restaurants and party all night

Difficulties you may face during snowfall in Himachal: Water shortage, power trips, roadblocks, traffic jams and high chances of slipping on ice. So carry snowshoes or you can rent it from there.

Solang Valley - Snowfall in Himachal
Source – www.tourism-of-india.com

  1. Haripur Dhar

Haripur Dhar is a small town situated on a ridge overlooking deep valley in Sirmour district of Himachal Pradesh. It is quiet, serene and not a common tourist destination. The temperature during summers in Haripur Dhar varies from 0 to 5 degree Celsius and in winters it is completely snowing. There are awesome views of snow clad mountains from the ridge top.

Haripur Dhar - 5 winter destinations to see snowfall in Himachal
Source – www.flickr.com

Distance to Haripur Dhar from Delhi: 337 Km

Route: Delhi – Panipat – Karnal – Kurukshetra – Shahbad – Mullana – Nahan- Renukaji – Haripur Dhar

Expected Lowest Temperature: less than 0 and can go up to -6 degree Celsius

What to do: Leisure walks, photo shoot mesmerizing views and visit Maa Bhangayani Temple

Difficulties you may face: roadblocks due to excessive snowfall, extreme cold, power cuts and water shortage


  1. Dharamshala – Mcleodganj

The Mcleodganj located at an altitude of 1700 meters is a home to Dalai Lamas and has a jumbled mix of shops, restaurants, hotels, and cafes strewn along the steep winding alleyway. It lies in the Dauladhar range, 10 km ahead of Dharamshala. Mcleodganj receives a good amount of snowfall in Himachal during winters in January and February. The environment is chilling with the cold breeze and is flocked by couples especially honeymooners.  The whole place is blessed, romantic and a tranquilizer in itself, quite different from summers.

Source – www.365hops.com

Distance to Dharamshala from Delhi: 476 km

Route: Delhi – Panipat – Karnal – Kurukshetra – Ambala – Rupnagar – Anandpur Sahib – Nangal- Una – Amb- Kangra – Dharamshala- Mcleodganj

Expected Lowest Temperature: 0 to -2degree Celsius

What to do: Visit Bhagsu Waterfall, climb to Shiva Cafe, roam around the local colorful market, Buy local wood and metal artwork, enjoy Tibetan food

Difficulties you may face: Traffic jams, Parking problem, water shortage, extreme cold

  1. Dalhousie- Khajjiar

Dalhousie, a quiet colonial Hill station is named after British General Lord Dalhousie. It is a tourist destination throughout all seasons but in winters during January and February snowfall adds an extra charm and cream to its picturesque landscapes. The white sheet makes the combination of white and green nature more enchanting and beautiful.

Dalhousie - 5 winter destinations to see snowfall in Himachal
Source – www.traveltriangle.com

The Khajjiar town lies 21 km from Dalhousie and is known as Switzerland of India.  In winters its huge green meadows get covered with snow sheets and pine trees in backdrop look so poetic and it is like a dream come true.

Distance to Dalhousie from Delhi: 565 km

Route: Delhi – Panipat – Karnal – Kurukshetra – Ambala – Ludhiana – Jalandhar – Pathankot – Dalhousie

Expected Lowest Temperature: 0 to -7 degree Celsius

What to do: Visit potato field, Dainkund Peak, Bakrota Hills, leisure walk at Cantonment area and Tibetan market, click pictures of snow clad mountains, and shop at Gandhi chowk

Difficulties you may face: Roadblocks and traffic jams, power cuts, carry extra clothing and take precautions for elderly and children

Khajjiar - 5 winter destinations to see snowfall in Himachal
Source – www.holidfy.com

Word of Caution while traveling to see snowfall in Himachal

  1. Pack well with enough of clothes, gloves, caps, food, and medication. Carry an extra blanket for an emergency
  2. If you are snowbound, stay in your vehicle. It will be easy for locals to locate you and don’t walk out in snow storm
  3. Drive slowly. Accelerating, stopping, turning all takes time on snow covered roads as compared to dry roads
  4. Make sure your vehicle and its tires are in peak operating condition
  5. Keep your gasoline tanks at least half full
  6. Clear snow from windows and lights and check your vehicle’s exhaust pipe is never clogged with snow or ice
  7. If your vehicle gets stuck, don’t overexert to dig it out from snow. Tie a colored cloth to the antenna to make your vehicle visible to rescuers
  8. Apply brakes carefully. As there are more chances of vehicle slipping during snowfall in Himachal
  9. Keep fog lights on and maintain some distance from the vehicles moving ahead of you
  10. Equip your vehicle with basic winter driving equipment like small shovel, tow chain, jumper cables etc when traveling to see snowfall in Himachal
  11. Always keep locals no and your cell phone handy, to call in distress situation
  12. Check the weather forecast before leaving if you don’t want to be struck
  13. Most important is – Don’t panic if you are struck. Calm down and think how to handle the situation.

5 Winter Destinations to See Snowfall in Himachal

You can also check the places to experience snowfall in Uttarakhand near Delhi.