Location : Kangra Valley, 34 kms from Dharamshala
District : Kangra District
Altitude : Migratory Siberian Cranes
Major Highlight : Tea Gardens, Dhauladhar Mountains
Endless Fields of Palampur in Himachal Pradesh
|To See :||Monasteries, Temples, Andretta, Panoramis Vista of the Mountains, Tea Gardens, Neugal Khad, Taragarh Palace Hotel, Sherbling.|
|Also Known As :||Tea Capital of India.|
|Best Time To Visit :||All Round the Year.|
|Famous Temples :||Bajinath Temple (16 kms), Chamunda Devi Temple ( 25 kms), Bundlamata Temple.|
|Famous Monasteries :||Tashijong Monastery, Sherbling Monastery, Choling Monastery.|
|Most Famous Church :||St. John's Church.|
|Not to be Missed :||Taragarh Palace Hotel, Spread on 15 Acres, Housing Rare Portraits, Tiger Skins, Kangra Miniatures and Tibetan Thankas.|
|Must Visit :||The Artist Village of Andretta Hosuing some Mud and Bamboo Houses and Visit the Terracotta Museum that Displays Pottery Specimens from all Over the World.|
|Adventure Options :||Para Gliding, Hang Gliding, Trekking, Short and Long Walks.|
|Adventure Destination :||Bir and Billing Located 25 kms from Main Town. Known as Para Gliding Capital of India.|
|Popular Trails :||4 km long walk to Andretta.
Walk to the forts at Kangra and Sujanpur Tira.
Route from Sanghar Pass to Bharmaur via Holi Ideal for trekking.
|Must Enjoy :||Picnicking atop the forts of Kangra and Sujanpur Tira, that promises to offer excellent views.|
|Eating Out :||Joy Vegetarian Food, Neugal Cafe at Neugal Khad.|
|Staying Options :||Hotel Silver Oak, vacations Holiday
Resort, Hotel T- Bud.
Camping Options at SATH Camps in Bir.
|Must See :||The Gigantic Sherbling Monastery Containing Colossal Statue of Buddha. Participate in Darshan that is Held Every Afternoon from 2 to 4 pm.|
|Getting Around :||Bir and Billing 35 kms, Bundla Stream 2 kms, Andretta 13 kms, Gopalpur 13 kms, Taragarh 11 kms.|
|Important Distances :||Dharamshala 35 kms,Kangra 40 kms, Jogindernagar 40 kms, Pathankot 124 kms,Dalhousie 176 kms, Shimla 235 kms, GopaDelhilpur 545 kms.|
|Getting There :|| Air - Nearest
Airport is Gaggal Airport Located 50 km from Palampur.
Rail - Nearest Broad Gauge Railhead is Pathankot (95 km) from Kangra. Narrow Gauge Railway line between Pathankot and Jogindernagar Passes through Kangra. Nearest Railhead is at a Distance of 5 km from Town.
Road - Well Linked by good Roads. NH 1 to Ambala via Karnal; NH 22 to Zirakpur via Bassi; NH 21 to Mandi via Chandigarh, Kiratpur, Swarghat and Bilaspur; NH 20 to Palampur via Drang, Joginendernagar and Baijnath.
Criss crossed streams and brooks make up the town of
Palamapur. The name is derived from the word 'Pulum' which is the Pahari
word for water living it up to its name for being ideal for tea
plantation. There is a very interesting legend associated with this town.
It is said that the British had become so obsessed with the aroma of the
tea leaf that they began planting bushes wherever the land was suitable.
However, today this fact is very well proven by the gentle slopes of
Palampur that do produce a superior variety of tea which is famous all
over the world as 'Kangra Valley Tea'. Nestled in the tea gardens and pine
trees the air of Palampur will refresh your souls. Popularly known as the
'Tea Capital of India', this town is equally eloquent for its temple and
colonial heritage along with adventure alternatives. At the height of
1,220 meters above sea level it is ideally located at a distance of 38 kms
The drive to the main town road along with the Dhauladhar mountains that rise dramatically will surely seduce you, as you herald into the tea country of Himachal.
Women Engaged in Plucking Tea Leaves
The award for the major attractions of the town
definitely goes to the tea gardens, that have earned it the title of being
India's Tea Capital. Famous brands of tea produced here are Malhar,
Darbari, Bageshwari and Rahaar named after Indian 'Ragas'.
When on a heritage tour of Palampur, begin your journey by paying homage at the Baijnath temple located at a distance of 16 kms from the main town. This 13th century temple belong to the Kirat kings and is very unusual. Seems to be reflective of the temples of Puri, this temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Here, try to inspect the rare Sanskrit script etched on the temple's stone slabs. Another temple to be visited is the five century old temple of Bundlamata. Other places of religious significance is the Chamunda Devi temple, which is 700 years old and is located at a distance of 25 kms from the main town. To prove the existence of humongous religious tolerance there is the St. John's Church.
Close to the temple of Bundlamata you should see the Neugal Khud, a 300 m wide channel which forms the passageway of the tiny Bundla stream. See the mighty Dhauladhar range that falls as the backdrop and the sight of the chasm, temple and mountains all together is a leisure you will remember for long times to come.
When in Palampur, you cannot miss Andretta popularly known as the Asthete's Hideaway. A 13 kms drive from the town past tea gardens and mustard fields will lead you to this artist village. This is Kangra's best kept secret that owes its arty statures to Norah Richards. Here you will see mud and bamboo houses that have been lovingly restored. Besides having an open air theater there is the Andretta Pottery and Crafts Society, where you can pick up some exquisite pottery. Another important attraction here is the Terracotta Museum housing pottery specimens from all over the world. There is Sir Sobha Art Gallery which homes the works of the late portrait painter.
For all those who are looking for some peace retreat can go to the Tashijong, a Tibetan monastery. This is also a good place for shopping where you can buy carpets with delicate weaves, Buddhist Thanka paintings and other Tibetan arts and crafts. Another monastery that you should not miss is the Sherbling. Approached via Bhattu, this gigantic monastery is home to the pre eminent Tai Siti Rimpoche. The grand stupas standing in the middle of the forest will surely impress you. You should attend the 'Darshan' between 2 to 4 every afternoon, where the head monk addresses the audience, and mind it everyone is welcome.
Then there is Taragarh, which is a 15 acre commanding wooded estate in the Kangra valley and is beautifully surrounded by tea gardens. Here you should see the Al Hilal, which is known as Taragarh. This heritage property was built by the Nawab of Bhawalpur and today it is popularly known as 'Place of the Crescent Moon'. There is a palace here, which was converted into a hotel. Wearing its blue sleeves with the royal lineage, you should see the walls to see portraits, tiger skins, Kangra miniatures and Tibetan Thankgas. In the Taragarh Palace Hotel, you should relish the famous Mutton Yakhni.
The most inevitable destinations in your tour will definitely be Bir the Para gliding capital of the country and Billing, the place for hang gliding. You should come here to enjoy some amazing experience while indulging in these adventure sports. In Billing alone there are as many as four monasteries. Out of them the most important is the Choling. In this monastery you cannot miss but notice the entrance that is decorated with rocks sculpted with Buddhist mantras.
Royal Stay in Taragarh Palace Hotel
Adventure option in the hill station of Palampur is as
vast as the tea gardens. Dense forest of Oak, Pine and Deodar surround
Palampur, making it a haven for those who enjoy long walks. The green
valleys also make it pleasurable for long drives. The more voracious
adventurers can plung off course to nearby destinations that will be quiet
rewarding. Enjoy a 4 km long walk to Andretta, an artiste's colony or to
the forts at Kangra and Sujanpur Tira, that promises to offer you
excellent views and great picnic spots. The route from Sanghar Pass to
Bharmaur via Holi is also sure to delight a trek lover.
Turn left at Ahju on the road to Jogindernagar and drive through the tea gardens to reach Bir, the hottest para gliding destination in Himachal as well as the country. You cannot miss enjoying para gliding in Bir and Billing that has created a niche for itself as being the 'para gliding capital of India'. Though there are provisions for savoring hang gliding in Billing, but it is not particularly for freshers. However, no training institutes are available and one needs to carry their own gears if planning to indulge in gliding.
Though Palampur is not noted for its shopping activity,
but still it has a lot to offer. The hunt will definitely begin with tea.
Since it is illustrious as a tea state, so it is doubtless fact that the
most important buy here will be the tea leaves. You can buy some in the
markets or at Tea co - operatives Society's gigantic processing plants
that you will come across while driving into the town. Other important
things that you should not miss buying will be the local handicrafts and
souvenirs, local handiwork, Tibetan carpets and winter clothing.
Go to Andretta, an Artist's village, from where you should buy recherches pottery. There is Andretta Pottery and Crafts Society from where you should buy artistic items. Another wonderful halt for shopping will be the Tashijong Monastery, where you can buy carpets with delicate weaves, Buddhist Thanka paintings and Tibetan artifacts.
Palampur is easily accessible from main areas of the
state due to its proximity with Dharamshala. If inclined towards taking a
flight, the nearest airport will be Gaggal in Kangra, located at a
distance of 37 kms from the main town. Private taxis and buses travel to
and fro from the airport to the main town. Pathankoat located 115 kms from
Palampur serves as the nearest rail junction, as Palampur in itself do not
possess a railway station. Palampur is also connected by a narrow gauge
railway line, Jogindernagar located at a distance of 5 km.
As far as roadways is concerned 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. Provision for internal transport are also available. You can hire a jeep or an auto to commute inside the town.
Top 5 Reasons To Visit Palampur
Alter at the Three Faiths in Palampur
A holiday Among the Aroma of the Tea Gardens
Glide in India's Gliding Destination of Bir and
Visit the Artists Village of Andretta
Shop for Tibet Stuff in India
Taj and the Hills
Adventure Tour of India
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