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Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary

 
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Introduction
The velvety meadow surrounded by the thick foliage of Deodar on all sides and the view of the snowcapped Pir Panjal Range from above the forested heights, Khajjiar is little less than a paradise on earth. The Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary stretches over the deodar forests that crowd the slopes between Khajjiar and Dalhousie in Himachal Pradesh.

The Kalatop Sanctuary is one of the most popular and well known of the wildlife sanctuaries in Himachal Pradesh and spreads over 1962 hectares. It falls under the jurisdiction of the Chamba District.

Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary- Flora and Fauna
The vegetation inside the sanctuary consists of blue pine, deodar and oak forests. The forest also has dense undergrowth. The sanctuary also boasts of a wide variety of wildlife. Bear, Himalayan Black Marten, Leopard, Deer, Barking Goral, Squirrel, Serow, Jackal, Langur are often spotted.

The Himalayan Bear very often comes out into the buffer area and infringe the territories of the surrounding villages, thereby making trekking into the jungle alone without a guide especially after dusk a risky business.

The temperature varies from 10C to 35C. Several tributaries of the River Ravi, which lies to its north, flow through the sanctuary.

How to Reach Kalatop
By Rail :- the nearest railhead is at Pathankot 86 km.
By Road :- Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary is 6 km from Dalhousie and 24 km from Chamba. It is well connected to other towns in Himachal like Jot, Dharmshala, Noorpur.

Exploring Kalatop
Kalatop and Khajjiar are best explored if you take a three days trek from Dalhousie to Kalatop, Khajjiar and back. Kalatop is 10 kms from G.P.O. at an altitude of 8000 feet. Walking along the secluded and forested road through upper Nakorota hills, you would reach Lakkarmandi. Between G.P.O. and Lakkarmandi you will find the Dalhousie water system, Tibetan Handicraft Centre and Dalhousie Potato Farm at Ahla. Lakkarmandi is nestled between 8600 feet high DayanKund peak on its right and Kalatop on the left. Dayan Kund has military installations and is closed to civilians save the local people who visit Bhulwani Mata temple near DayanKund.