Khahjjiar is basically a large open meadow sitting in a tall lush pine forest, high in the mountains. Everything looks so green and healthy here, more so than anywhere else we’ve been; a stark contrast from Badami, Orccha, Ajunta… We’d had such a good time in Chopta up in the mountains in Uttrakhand, and wanted to enjoy one more day in a similar environment before descending into the hot plains of the Punjab.
Khajjiar is not really a town – only a couple of hotels and restaurants border the meadow. It’s a popular day trip from Dalhousie for Indian families who take horse rides, picnic on the grass, and have their picture taken in traditional costume. Our guesthouse is set back a little way in the trees – just a few rooms looking out on a pretty garden.
The last couple of days in Chamba the weather kept chasing from cloudy to thunderstorms to clearing off – and continues to do the same here. After three months of continuous sunshine, it’s a novelty to have this changeable weather.
While waiting for dinner at the guesthouse, Gerard starts a conversation with the family in the room next door to us. They inquire where we’re going, and then surprise us with an invitation to join them driving to Panthakot. They happen to be going to the same way we are! We enthusiastically accept. I’m reprieved from one last bus ride in the mountains!