The Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary is made up of deep deodars, wildlife plethora, mountains covered with snow, carpets of grass fields, cool, eye-soothing streams of water. The sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary. This is situated in the scenic mountain area Chambal. This is a district in Himachal Pradesh. The highest point of the sanctuary is covered with dense forest and looks like a cap on the head of the hill. From this, the name Kalatop was invented as Kalatop is ‘black cap’. The distance of the Chamera reservoir and Chamba dam is only a few kilometers from here. It has a very rich beauty of fauna and flora. Ravi River flows north to this sanctuary. Several small streams mingle with the Ravi river. There are very few places in the world that can match the beauty of this sanctuary. With its serene beauty and pure air, Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary has become the perfect getaway trip for travel lovers.
There are hiking and trekking trails, lying out well in the Sanctuary. They offer a mesmerizing experience in the lap of nature. It is the best way to discover the dense dark and yet unexplored forest of Kalatop. One can also enjoy a great view from the towering Pir Panjal range from Kalatop Sanctuary resthouse. The heavenly views leave a permanent effect on the viewers’ mind and soul. The sight of the countryside landscapes leaves a sagacity of wonder and astonishment. Kalatop has become popular with time because of its jaw-dropping scenic beauty. People visit here for great trekking experience and to walk in the midst of natural beauty. It is also one of the most popular picnic spots.
More On Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary
Flora and Fauna at Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary
This sanctuary has a great variety in fauna and flora. Many animals can be seen in the jungle of Kalatop Sanctuary like barking goral, black bear, deer, leopard, wild cats, Himalayan black marten, serow (antelope-like creature goat-like) and others. Kalatop sanctuary can be called a paradise for ornithologists as it has a superfluity of various species like grey-headed canaries, Eurasian jay, Himalayan monal, pheasant, chestnut billed thrush, etc.
Things to do at Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary
Trekking: The well-laid trekking trails from Dalhousie through Kalatop are all trekker’s favourite. This is one of the popular trekking routes. The route goes around huge deodar, pine, far, oak trees. Trekking to this sanctuary gives trekkers a great adventurous experience.
Sunset viewpoint: At the top of the sanctuary one can enjoy the great sight of the ranges of Pir Panjal. The sunset view at the peak of this sanctuary is a must-visit for its enigmatic and breathtaking beauty.
Adventure park: For kids, the sanctuary has an adventure park. Small boys and girls can play and have fun there.
Local snacks: For food, the sanctuary also has a food store for snacks. People can have light snacks there. Tea, pakoras, and Maggi are recommended by all.
Forest Guesthouse: This sanctuary holds a guesthouse as well. The guest house is the same that was demonstrated in ‘Lootera’ – the Bollywood movie. For staying at this guesthouse, pre-booking is required. People usually book for 10 days in this guesthouse. The guesthouse is on the premises of the wildlife sanctuary.
Best Time to visit Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary
Summertime is the best time for visiting this sanctuary. The forest and animals are at their best during the months of March to May. During monsoon, traveling can become a bit difficult here. When the monsoon is over, the weather becomes pleasant and comfortable. People enjoy nature thoroughly then.
One should be careful of the bears in the sanctuary. Mainly the black bears can be deadly.
Permission from the District forest officer in Chamba must be taken to enter this sanctuary and to use the rest house and vehicles.
Taxis can easily be hired for sightseeing
For star-gazing, one must carry binoculars or their telescopes. During nights the starry sky looks amazing.
History of Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary
This place of Chamba was famous for sporting and hunting during British rule. In the 1960s the area was recognized as a natural reserve but only after the 1970s, efforts were taken to make it a wildlife sanctuary. Then it was officially declared as a sanctuary. There is no boundary of this sanctuary and animals freely roam in this sanctuary.
How to Reach Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary
There is only one nearest settlement to this sanctuary which is the Dalhousie hill station and resort town. It is 8 kilometers away from Kalatop sanctuary. One can hire a taxi from Dalhousie and take the Chamba/ Khajjiar road or Karelnu road to reach the forest area. There are parking facilities available inside the park. But the road of this forest area is very uneven and narrow so people usually cross this path on foot.