Why Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary Should Be Your Next Adventure Trip

A guide to visiting the Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary, its history, getting there and activities to try

Published On Nov 15, 2022 | Updated On Mar 07, 2024

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The Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary is perched between the slopes of Khajjiar and Dalhousie in Himachal Pradesh. Founded in 1958, the Kalatop forest was once a gaming reserve for the rulers of Chamba. Today, the sprawling 30.69 square kilometre Kalatop Khajjiar sanctuary is lined with towering deodar, oak, blue pine and rhododendron trees. The forest is also home to a variety of fauna like the Himalayan black marten, leopard, barking goral, langur and several exotic birds.

A trip to the Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary will open up a multitude of experiences within the realm of nature and to Khajjiar’s kaleidoscopic beauty. You can indulge in nature walks, picnics and treks while exploring the Kalatop forest area. A simple leisurely vacation in the biodiverse region of Kalatop, Himachal Pradesh, will reward you with a wholesome vacation to fondly look back upon.

One of the best places to visit in Khajjiar, the Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary was originally a hunting ground during British rule in India. The area under the Kalatop sanctuary was a natural reserve even in the 1960s, but it was only in the ’70s that active restoration and protection were enabled before declaring the zone a wildlife sanctuary.

The beautiful and rich forest of Kalatop, meaning a black cap in Hindi, is a literal representation of the dense black forest cover on the hilltop of the Kalatop Khajjiar sanctuary.

The Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary is spectacular from March to September. It brims with lush greenery and pleasantly cool air during this time. The overall vibrant vibe is perfect for setting out on sightseeing expeditions to explore areas in and around the sanctuary.

Timing: Open all seven days from 7 am to 6 pm

Duration: For a sightseeing session you will need 2.5 to 3 hours

How to Reach: The Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary is located about an hour’s drive from the picturesque town of Dalhousie. A private taxi from Dalhousie to Chamba/Khajjiar will put you en route to the wildlife sanctuary.

The lush green lands of Kalatop forest make it the perfect picnic destination. Pick a quiet spot encircled by the natural beauty of the sanctuary as you witness a magical sunset while munching on delicious snacks. There is also an adventure park within the sanctuary to keep the little ones occupied while you indulge in a cosy date in the wilderness.

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There are plenty of migratory and residential birds that inhabit the sanctuary. Bird watching at the Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary is a mesmerising and educational experience to indulge in with your little ones.

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Undertake a safari to witness the beautifully preserved Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary with your loved one. The open-air vehicle will take you through narrow trails of the dense forest as you enjoy the experience of trees all around and try spotting some animals. The safari is available from 7 am to 6 pm.

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Perfect for thrill seekers, trekking from the Kalatop forest to the quaint town of Khajjiar is easy to accomplish and will treat you to breathtaking views of the lush hills ahead.

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Soar like a free bird above the scenic settings of the Kalatop forest, paragliding in the clear blue skies of Himachal. Adventure sport is usually open in the summer season from 10 am to 4 pm. A one-hour session can cost you between INR 1,000 to INR 1,500.

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Use this guide to explore the Kalatop Khajjiar sanctuary and the abundance of nature’s bounty as you spend quality time with your loved ones. 
 


Photo: Shutterstock