Palampur is a fascinating spot in the Kangra Valley, surrounded on all sides by tea gardens and pine forests. The place enjoys a healthy climate and the pine scented air is said to have curative properties. The scenery presents a sublime and beautiful contrast- the plain presents a picture of rural loveliness and repose, while the hills are majestic. Behind this town stands high ranges of Dhauladhar mountains, whose tops remain covered for most part of the year. This place is being developed as large tourist centre. A ropeway and an amusement park is also on the to be established here. An Agricultural University is already functioning and some tea factories are also coming up. There are also some pleasant walks around the town.
How To Reach
By Air : The nearest airport is Gaggal in Kangra, which is located at a distance of 37 km from Palampur. Private taxi or bus ply regularly from airport to the city.
By Rail : Pathankot is the nearest broad gauge railhead, located at a distance of 115 km from Palampur. Palampur is also connected by a narrow gauge railway line, Jogindernagar located at a distance of 5 km.
By Road : Palampur is connected by good network of roads. The Himachal Road Transport Corporation runs its buses that cover major cities of state. From Delhi, Palampur is located at a distance of 545 km on a stretch of 10 hour drive.
Palampur – Tea Capital of North India
Situated at a distance of 235 km from Shimla and 40 km from Dharamsala, the hill station Palampur gets its name from word ‘Pulum’ meaning abundant water. Earlier Palampur was a part of the local Sikh Kingdom and later on came under the British empire. Today, Palampur is best described as the ‘ Tea capital of India’ , which can be noticed on the excursion journey from Palampur. A perfect destination for the outdoor adventure, here tourists can enjoy hand gliding and trekking on the travel to Palampur. Apart from the natural beauty, there are many temples and waterfalls situated in and around the Palampur. Baijnath temple and Bundla waterfall are the two most important tourist destinations located in the vicinity of Palampur.
Places of Interest in Palampur
Neugal Khad (2 km) A famous picnic spot, Neugal Khad gives panoramic view of the mountain ranges that overlooks this beautiful landscape. Especially during the rainy season, the roaring noise of the forest produces excellent effects in the surroundings. Neugal Khad is a perfect getaway from the hectic and busy schedule of daily life.
One of the most remarkable monuments of the Kangra valley is the temple of Baijnath. Baijnath is situated East of Dharamsala on the main road that leads from the Dharmsala to Mandi. Baijnath is in reality the appellation of the chief temple dedicated to Siva Vaidyanatha (“Lord of Physicians”) by which the town itself has become known. The original name of the town was Kiragrama. This we learn from the two extensive Sarada inscriptions incised on stone slabs, which in elegant and florid Sanskrit verse give the history of the foundation of a temple, by two local merchants. “There is in Trigarata,” we read in the inscription, “the pleasant village of Kiragrama, the home of numerous virtues where the river called Binduka, leaping from the lap of the mountain, with glittering wide-waves resembling playing-balls, merrily plays, like a bright maiden in the first bloom of youth. That village is protected by the strong-armed Rajanaka Lakshmana.” The river Binduka, so well described by the poet, is the modern Binwa, a tributary of the Beas. The date of the inscription is expressed both in the Saptarshi and in the Saka eras. Cunningham first read the Saka date as 726, corresponding with A.D. 804. The true date, however, must be the Saka year 1126 corresponding with A.D .1204.
Bundla Stream (2 km) A perfect destination located few miles away from Palampur, Bundla stream could be reached by a long walk through the lovely surroundings of lush green forests and mountains. The beauty of the stream can be best viewed at the time of monsoons, when high streams of Bundla drags stones and boulders in its stride making loud noise like a continuous thunder.
Andretta (13 km) Andretta, a tiny village 14 km south of Palampur, is to artist in the present century. Nestling amongst the rolling plains of Kangra Valley, with a wide panorama of snowy mountams its constant backdrop, Andretta has attracted artists of many hues. The village was brought to prominence by Ms. Norah Richards, the famous writer and dramatist. Known popularly as the `Nani of Punjabi Drama’, Ms. Richards’ writings exhibited her deep sensibility to life and people around her. Equally well known, and as sensitively marked, was her contemporary Sir Sobha Singh. Honored with the title of Padma Shri, Sobha Singh’s paintings perhaps show the influence of the Kangra school, especially in the use of colors and their shades.
Gopalpur (13 km) Known for the Dhauladhar National Park, Gopalpur also has a mini zoo, that attracts many tourists for the glimpse of rare species like black bear and several types of deer like goral and sambhar.
42 km from Palampur situated on the banks of foaming Beas, the historical town Sujanpur Tira (Tira mean palace) was built by Raja Sandra Chand, who had ascended to the throne when only ten years of age. The Tira Palace was the winter residence of Sansar Chand and the Alampur palace on the other side of the Beas was his summer resort.
The township is picturesque having a vast natural ‘chaugan’ (flat ground)and grassy plain surrounded by the trees where traditional annual fair of holi is held for four days. A sainik school is located here. The temple of Gauri Shankar has life size statues of Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati in Ashatadhathu. A real wealth of paintings lies in the Narbadeshwar temple in the town.Hardly any inch of the space has been left anadorned. The town has also the temple of Lord Ganesha and Laxmi Narayan. Appropriately, the town was once a major trade center and known for the craftsmanship of the jewelers
Hand/Para-gliding Travel to Palampur for one of the most adventurous activities called hand/para-gliding. Bir and Billing are two main cities located near Palampur at a distance of 28 and 42 km respectively. Surrounded by lush green tea gardens, Bir serves as a landing ground for the hand gliders. The town of Billing can also be travelled for hand/para-gliding experience.
Trekking Tourists can travel to Palampur for the memorable trekking experience, that covers some of the best treks like Sanghar Pass to Bharmour via Holi and from Baijnath over the Jalsu Pass to Bharmour. The best season for trekking is post-monsoon between mid-September to mid-October.
Shopping in Palampur
There are many things to buy from Palampur, especially the Kangra tea is world famous. Apart from tea, there are Tibetan handicrafts, carpets, woollens, thangka paintings on display. Tourists can get one of these items as a token of remembrance of Palampur.