An exhilarating road trip from Delhi to Khajjiar and Dalhousie crossing Jot Pass

In a thousand ages of the Gods, I could not tell thee of the glories of the Himalayas

– The Puranas (Vedic Scrptures)

Sometimes, my love for Himalayan Roads even amazes me. For me, Himalaya is the frontier where I go to test myself and feel humbled. Amidst the glory of Himalaya, I seek myself and after every trip, I come back being a better human. Self driving on Himalayan roads gives me much required kick that fuels my everyday life.

So, loaded with ever throbbing desire to drive across Himalaya, this time we went to explore Dalhousie and Khajjiar side of Himachal Pradesh. After crossing Jalori Pass, this time we had in mind the Jot Pass in Chamba district which is a moderate pass at around 8000 feet from average sea level.

The route from Delhi to Khajjiar via Dalhousie

We had precisely three days in our hands and wanted to make most out of it. As usual, it was an unplanned trip and only after reaching Murthal for morning breakfast, we finalized my route.

Route

Complete Route – Delhi Dalhousie – Khajjiar – Amritsar -Delhi

Day one – Road Trip Delhi to Dalhousie

The route : Delhi – Ambala – Nangal  – Noorpur  – Chowari –  Hunera – Dalhousie

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Being a lover of Himalayan roads for their curves and the challenges they pose, I was expecting some real roads to enjoy self driving. However, till Chowari, it was a dull drive for me as till then I was driving on plain road. At Chowari, we took a deliberate detour towards Dalhousie  and that offered us some good Himalyan views and above all I could finally drive on road with Himalayan characteristics.

Chowari to Dalhousie

The real Himalayan road from Chowari to Dalhousie

Day two – Road Trip Dalhousie to Khajjiar and Jot Pass

The Route: Dalhousie – Kala Top – Khjjiar – Jot Pass – Amritsar

Day two was full of thrill as we explored iconic Kala Top Forest Guest House, experienced the Himalayan beauty akin to Switzerland at Khajjiar and finally reached the Amritsar the city of Golden Temple.

Dalhousie to Khajjiar and Amitsar

Day Three – Road Trip from Amritsar to Delhi

After visiting Glden Temple in the morning and having famed Amritsari Kulchhe at Bhairon Da Dhaba we left for Delhi.

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A cloudy morning at Golden Temple Amritsar

Highlights from our Road Trip to Khajjiar and Jot Pass

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Self drive on the loop road – Chowari – Dalhousie – Khajjiar – Jot Pass – Chowari

Chowari Loop

The above image of the route is self explanatory. This one stretch actually made my trip a thrilling one because such roads gives me more he reason to explore Himalaya through self drive road trips. After a day long drive in plains, my adventure thirsty soul wanted some real thrill and hence we reached Chowari to experience this detour.

On day one, the Himalayan views and golden hour vistas justified our decision.

Dalhausie-7914Dalhausie-7918Dalhausie-7929Dalhausie-7935Dalhausie-7943Dalhausie-7944Dalhausie-7954One day two, we left Dalhousie and explored  Kala Top and Khajjiar before finally crossing Jot Pass to reach Chowari.

Dalhausie-7960Dalhausie-7964Road to KhajjiarMisty Dalhousie

Highlights from our Road Trip to Khajjiar and Jot Pass

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Exploring famous Kala Top Forest Rest House

On day two, our first stop was Kala Top which means a Black or dark  peak. It got its name from the fact that even sunlight cannot reach this place as it is thickly surrounded by dense jungle of deodar trees. Our main reason to visit Kala Top was to feel and experience forest rest house at Kala Top.

Built by Britishers in 1925, this Forest guest housed is beautifully nestled amidst Kala Top Wild Life Sanctuary. When driving from Dalhousie to Khajjiar, one needs to take a 3KM detour from Lakkadmandi to reach this Rest House. This beautiful british era building is situated at an altitude of 8000 feet from sea level.

Kalatop RFHKalatop Forest Rest HouseKala Top Rest House

It became famous in mid nineties when super hit Bollywood movie 1942- A Love Story was filmed here and in recent years this place used extensively in Hindi Bollywood movie – Lootera also.

It has a nice open air canteen also where yo can have simple home made Indian delicacies. My one year old son Shivansh had some great time in this rest house which is very well maintained by the Forest Department.

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With its charm, this place took our heart away and we decided to stay at this heritage property someday.

Highlights from our Road Trip to Khajjiar and Jot Pass

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The Alpine Story of Khajjiar – The Mini Switzerland

The high point of the road trip was reaching Khajjiar where a dying lake, green meadow and surrounding forest tell an Alpine story of Himalaya. In 1992, Mr.Blazer, The Vice Counselor and Head of Chancery of Switzerland in India brought Khajjiar on the world tourism map by calling it “Mini Switzerland” for its topographical resemblance with Switzerland.

The unique ecosystem consisting of Lake, Pesture field and forest presents a heartwarming scene before eyes which was first of its kind of experience for us. We have never seen such a huge patch of natural greenery at one place. We were overwhelmed to be there and by seeing people from all walks of life enjoying a day out in nature. Khajjiar with its topographical charm leaves you spellbound and force you to feel amused while taking a long stroll through this verdant landscape which is a protected peace of land at 6400 ft from sea level.

For Shivansh, it was a perfect playing ground and he took full advantage of his new found freedom amidst nature.

Khajjiar HPKhajjiar MeadowKhajjiarKhajjiar PlaygroundDalhausie-0126Dalhausie-0114

 

Highlights from our Road Trip to Khajjiar and Jot Pass

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Crossing Jot Pass

Jot pass is an important pass in Chamba Districts which takes you to Khajjiar and further to Chamba from Pathankot. It is approximate 800 feet from Sea level and famous for mountain views and snow fall.

We crossed this on day two while tripping from Khajjiar to Amritsar. As the month was August, we literally drove through clouds and enjoyed every bit of our drive.

Jot PassRoad to Jot PassAcross Jot Pass HimachalFrom Jot Pass

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Each road trip to Himalaya teaches me life’s lesson and keep me on toes physically and mentally. Himalaya tests you mentally and physically before you can cherish its vast beauty. Its like a father who makes you to behave properly and stay in discipline and when time is appropriate surprises you with something that you sought for.

After this Himalayan road trip to Khajjiar and crossing Jot Pass, now I aim to experience Sach Pass someday which is claimed to be father of all Himalayan Passes.

Feature Image

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Would love to know your story from Himalayan Road Trip.

If you feel motivated, please share this blog post with your loved ones so that they can break the mundane cycle of everyday life and explore the world.

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