Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary

Kalatop and Khajjiar, Himachal Pradesh

#Forest #Nature and Scenic


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Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary is a 30.69 km² animal sanctuary at Kalatop and Khajjiar in the Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh, India. The sanctuary area is well laid out for trekking trails both at Kalatop and Khajjiar. There is a dense deodar and fir forest covering 19.63 km² of the sanctuary, which is about 6 km from Dalhousie. Pheasants, serow and black bear are some of the common animals found here. The sanctuary lies in the path of the Ravi River, and is surrounded by coniferous and oak forests.

This sanctuary area with its well laid out trekking jungle trails both at Kalatop and Khajjiar is a tourist paradise. Dense Deodar and Fir forests are places of solitude very close to Dalhousie town. Visitors should look for pheasants and Serow in these forests but should be beware of black bear which can be encountered often in the area.

Hiking is the best way to appreciate the beauty of the flora and fauna. However, most tourists use taxis and buses to traverse this 43 km motor-able route to Chamba through Khajjiar. Khajjiar is officially proclaimed the mini-Switzerland of India. It is 24 km from the GPO. Daily return bus trips are available from the bus stand by Himachal Tourism.

The best period for visiting the sanctuary are March-May, and from September to November, when the weather is favorable.

The vegetation consists of mature mixed Blue Pine and Deodar forest, with some Green Oak and Rhododendron trees. Undergrowth in the forest is well developed, dense in places and with a good cover of grass in November.

A very thick and dark forest crowns the hilltop and perhaps that is why the place has derived its name as Kalatop which literally means a black cap. The spot really commands a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape. One can see the hills, snow-capped mountains, the valleys, the hamlets, the greenery and the ruggedness standing from the place. The forest mainly comprises of the deodar, kail, spruce, ban trees and various bushes providing a safe habitat for wild animals.

 

Flora and fauna

The vegetation consists of blue pine and deodar forest, with oak. Undergrowth in the forest area is well developed.

  • Mammals- bear, Himalayan Black Marten, leopard, deer, Barking Goral, squirrel, serow, jackal, langur.
  • Birds- Blackbird

Birds in this sanctuary, many Birds are found. some of them are listed below:-

  1. Eurasian Jay
  2. Whitewinged Black Bird
  3. Black Headed Jay
  4. Chesnut Billed Rock Thrush
  5. Blackheaded Jay.
  6. Grey Headed Cannery Flycatcher.

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