Himachal Pradesh - Palampur
Palampur is situated in the Kangra valley, near the Dhauladhar ranges on an altitude of 1,220 m above sea level, 30 km from Dharamshala. It is the tea capital of North India. A pleasant little town surrounded by tea plantations is not only known for its numerous tea gardens and paddy fields but it also known for its colonial architecture and temples. 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. The weather in Palampur is moderate. Summers (April-June) are mild and winters (November-February) are cold but pleasant. It experiences southwestern monsoon rains in July-September. However, the best time to visit Palampur is between March to June and mid-September to November. Several trek routes lead out of Palampur, particularly over the Dhauladhar Mountains towards the town of Chamba. Some important treks are over the Sanghar pass to Bharmaur via Holi and from Baijnath over the Jalsu pass to Bharmaur.
How to reach By Air
Palampur does not have an airport or railway station. Nearest airport is at Gaggal after which it is accessible by road.
The nearest railway station is at Maranda, which is 2 km from Palampur and on the narrow-gauge line between Pathankot and Jogindernagar.
Palampur is also accessible by road and there are many buses from Dharamshala 40 kms, Kangra 18 kms, Kulu-Manali 205 kms & Shimla 259 kms.
Palampur at a glance :
|Palampur at a glance : || |
|Language||Hindi and Himachali |
|Best time to visit||Throughout the year |
|STD Code||01894 |
Places of Interest around Palampur
Sujanpur Tira, Neugal Khad, Bandla, Andretta, Chamunda Devi Temple, Baijnath, Bir and Billing, Tashijong Gompa
Sujanpur Tira, 42 km from Palampur, is famous for its fort and old temples.
Roaring in the rainy season and tinkling all the year around, Neugal Khad offers a fine view of the Dhauladhar range.
Spread over an area of 4kms, the estate has a modern tea factory.
The village of Andretta is 13 km from Palampur and is an important craft center, which is known for its pottery. A number of well-known artists had made their base in Andretta. Chamunda Devi Temple
From Palampur the road passes through tea plantations before descending to the colorful Chamunda Devi temple complex on the bank of the Baner River, 10 kms to the west. Chamunda is a particularly wrathful form of Durga, the idol in the main temple is considered so sacred that it is completely hidden beneath a red cloth.
At a distance of 16kms. from Palampur, Baijnath is a pilgrimage centres of the Hindus in Kangra Distt. Here one finds the oldest existing Shiva temple in the country, believed to have been originally built by the Pandavas close to the Binwa Khad. The temple features intricate carvings on the exterior walls, and the inner sanctum enshrines one of India's 12 jyoti linga. Large number of pilgrims make their way here for the Shivaratri festival in late February/early March. The temple is good example of the Nagari style of architecture.
This friendly gompa, 5 kms north-west of Baijnath, is the focus of a small Drukpa Kagyud community of 150 Tibetan monks and 400 refugees. The monastery complex has several halls having carpet making, thangka painting and wood carving cooperative here. Tashijong village is a 2 kms walk north from the main Palampur to Baijnath road.
Bir and Billing
Bir, surrounded by tea gardens and an amphitheater of low hills, is an ideal landing around for para-gliders. Bir has Buddhist Monasteries that are worth visiting. Fine Tibetan handi craft are also produced here. Bir is now the venue of an annual fair, traditionally a part of the Holi Festival. The beautiful oak forest of Bir resounds with the joyous sound of dancing and singing and carefree laughter, as Gaddis and Kanets pour in from the mountains around. They bring with them their Gods dressed in all their finery, ceremoniously placed and carried in colorful palanquins. Worship is an important part of the festivities during which huge quantities of lugri (rice beer) are consumed.
Billing, up in the hills 14 kms. from Bir with an arena of 200 kms. for high altitude and cross country flying, is one of the best aerosports sites in the country.