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Kalatop Sanctuary

 
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    Kalatop Sanctuary

    The Kalatop sanctuary lies in the catchments area of river Ravi, and is located between Dalhousie and Chamba. The altitude of the sanctuary varies - 3910 ft to 9134 ft.

    The sanctuary area is interspersed with coniferous and oak forests. Several tributaries of River Ravi meander throughout the sanctuary area. 

    This wildlife sanctuary cum forest resort is rich in both flora and fauna. The thick forested zone also plays host to a variety of bird species, including migratory birds.

    Migratory birds of the wetland species visit the Khajjiar Lake every year. The beautiful and threatened Himalayan pheasant, known as danfe in Nepali, also dwell here. 

    There is a forest-rest house in the sanctuary which is surrounded by dense grove of coniferous trees. At the perimeter of the sanctuary, there is a check point at Lakar Mandi, which provides spectacular view of the mountains and the surrounding verdant area. 

    Flora: Mixed blue pine, deodar, oak, rhododendrons. The sanctuary is also rich in small scrubs, herbs, and more.

    Fauna: Bear, Himalayan yellow-throated cat, leopard, deep ghoral, squirrel, common giant flying serow, jackal, langur

    Avian-Fauna:  Blackbird¸ and pheasants such as state bird monas, danfe, koklas, kaleej and chukor can be spotted. 

    Major Attractions

    Kalatop Sanctuary is an ideal retreat for both wildlife enthusiast and nature lovers due its picturesque landscape, and flora and fauna. The sanctuary houses some of the rare species of Indian Wildlife. 

    If you are an avid bird-watcher, this destination in Chamba provides you an opportunity to spot colourful birds”both migratory and local.

    Location

    Kalatop Khajjiar Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in Khajjiar in Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh. 

    Area:  20 sq. km 

    Route:  There are regular buses available from Dalhausie and Chamba. The nearest railhead is at Pathankot, which is around 86 km away. From Delhi, the sanctuary is around 598 km. 

    If you are coming from Delhi, take the National Highway 1 (NH1) to Ambala, Ludhiana, and Jallandhar. From Jallandhar, hit the NH1A to reach Pathankot, and from there take the NH20 to reach Chakki. The State Highway (SH) leads you to Dalhausie via Banikhet from Chakki. Take the road going to Khajjiar up to Kalatop when you reach Dalhausie.

    Best Time to Visit: April-June and October-November

    Major Attractions

    Dalhousie: It is a picturesque hill station built during the British period, and is located an altitude of 2039 m above sea level. The place is bounded by alpine vegetation and offers exhilarating natural scenery to explore.

    Some other major attractions in Dalhousie are Jandhri Ghat, Satdhara Springs that has great therapeutic value as it contains mica with medicinal properties; Subhash Baoli, St Francis Church, and more.

    Khajjiar:  This small hill-station is 24 km away from Dalhousie, and is situated at an altitude of around 6500 feet in the foothills of the Dhauladhar ranges of Western Himalayas Treks. 

    The place is often called the Mini Switzerland of Himachal Pradesh. The place is a rare blend of ecosystems”lake, pasture and forest, all in one place

    Things to keep in mind 

    • Prior permission required from District Forest Officer (DFO), Wildlife Chamba
    • If you are planning to stay at the rest house, you need to book your accommodation in advance
    • To take a vehicle into the sanctuary, you require a permit from DFO