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Location : Kangra Valley, 34 kms from Dharamshala
District : Kangra District
Altitude : Migratory Siberian Cranes
Major Highlight : Tea Gardens, Dhauladhar Mountains

Fields in Palampur
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.

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Palampur – The Land of Tea Gardens

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 from Dharamshala.

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.

Plucking Tea Leaves
Women Engaged in Plucking Tea Leaves

Palampur Attractions – Kangra'a Best Kept Secrets

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.

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Taragarh Palace in Palampur
Royal Stay in Taragarh Palace Hotel

Adventure Freaks Make Way to Para Gliding Destination of India

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.

Shopping a Delightful Necessity in Palampur

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.

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Hail Towards the Tea State of Palampur

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.

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Top 5 Reasons To Visit Palampur

Fields in Palampur

Alter at the Three Faiths in Palampur
Palampur for ages have preserved its sanctity as it house the religious symbol of three faiths. Visit the monasteries, churches and temples on the same land. The most important monastery will be Tashijong, while the Bajinath temple is a place of religious significance, that you cannot miss. Then there is the beautiful church of St. John's to complete the vitality.

A holiday Among the Aroma of the Tea Gardens
This in the only place in Himachal Pradesh that grows tea. In fact this town has created a niche for itself in producing excellent quality of the brew, that has earned it the title of being the 'Tea capital of India'. You should enjoy the view of the gentle slopes that seem to have been freshly manicured.

Glide in India's Gliding Destination of Bir and Billing
The most important reason for you to come to Palampur will definitely be the para gliding destinations of Bir and Billing. Located comfortably at 35 kms from the main town, here you can enjoy the bird's eye view of the tea gardens nestled in the lap of Dhauladhar mountains.

Visit the Artists Village of Andretta
Come to Palampur to see Andretta – an artist village that has achieved huge recognition in the past decades. Here you should see the Terracotta museum and Sobha Singh Art Gallery, while do not miss buying beautiful and delicate pottery from Andretta Pottery and Crafts Village.

Shop for Tibet Stuff in India
While in Palampur you can savor the delight of shopping for things that have a Tibetan influence. Check out the monasteries that sell Tibetan carpets with delicate weaves, Buddhist Thanka paintings and Tibetan artifacts. Besides these there are other places too that sell excellent handicrafts.

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