Palampur, a pleasant hill station surrounded by old British tea plantations,
is in Kangra district in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. It is 30m
south-east of Dharamshala and stands at a height of 1260m. Set on the
rising slopes of Kangra Valley before they merge with the Dauladhar ranges,
Palampur is crisscrossed by streams and brooks.
Also known as the 'Tea Capital of North India', the town
has derived its name from the local word ppulum', meaning lots of water.
Earlier Palampur was a part of the local Sikh kingdom and later it came
under the British rule.
Dense oak and deodar forests surround Palampur, making it ideal for long
walks. Behind this town stands the high ranges of Dhauladhar Mountains,
whose peaks covered with snow most part of the year. This hill station
is not only known for its numerous tea gardens but also known for its
colonial architecture and temples. Palampur and places around it
are popular for adventure sports like hang-gliding and trekking also.
Places to see in and around Palampur
Palampur Cooperative Tea Factory
The cooperative society tea factory is open for the visitors. One
can also visit the factory where they will explain to the visitors the
whole process of drying of the leaves, packing, sorting etc.
St. John Church
It is the landmark of Palampur which has a splendid artistic construction
style. Constructed in 1929, the church has several memorial tablets.
Temple of Bundlamata and Neugal Khad chasm
It is a five centuries old temple and close to this temple is the 300-metre-wide
Neugal Khad chasm through which flows the tiny Bundla stream.
Located 13kms from Palampur town, Andretta is a small and a charming village.
Also known as the Artist's Village, it is spread below the thickly wooded
hill and sprawling plains of Kangra Valley. It has been the home of famous
writer and dramatist Ms. Norah Richards known as the 'nani' of Punjab
Theatre. It has an open air theatre where students of Punjabi University
at Patiala arrive every year to stage plays on her birthday. Andretta
also has been the home other notable artists like Sobha Singh and B. C.
Sanyal. In Sobha Singh's home, now an Art Gallery displays several of
his notable works. Also, there is a Pottery and Crafts Society and Terracotta
Situated 13 from Palampur, Gopalpur is famous for the Dhauladhar National
Park and a mini zoo which has rare species like black bear and several
types of deer like goral and sambhar.
It is a famous temple dedicated to Goddess Chamunda. Located 10km west
of Palampur, devotees offer prayers for their ancestors here. Situated
on the banks of the river Baner, the natural surroundings and the views
of the mountains, the Baner Khud, Pathiar and Lahla forests makes Chamunda
Devi temple an apt site for meditation, prayers and spiritual growth.
Situated 16 km from Palampur, Baijnath is known for its jewel-like
Shiva Temple. This Vaidyanatha Temple which contains one of 12 jyotirlingas
stands by the roadside on the Mandi - Palampur road, within a rectangular
enclosure. A good example of Nagari style, the temple houses miniature
shrines and memorial stones. One of the famous temple in Kangra valley,
the temple drawns hundreds of visitors daily. The temple has an intricate
carvings and graceful proportions. Shivratri of Baijnath is a well attended
Kangra fort also known as Nagarkot enclosed by high ramparts was,
built about 1,000 years ago on the confluence of the Banganga and Manjhi
rivers. It was constructed by Raja Bhumi Chand, founder of Katoch Dynasty.
Set midst lush green forests and gushing rivers, the fort, its various
gates, museums, miniature paintings, shrines, remains of the old palaces
are still noteworthy. Its walls have a circumference of approximately
4 km. The fort is now under the control Archaeological Department of India.
Bir and Beelling
These villages are famous for its Buddhist monasteries. Bir has
as many as four monastereis since many prominent Tibetan Lamas settled
here. Bir is known as the paragliding capital of India. Surrounded by
tea gardens and hills, Bir is ideal for para gliding. One can contat the
Dhondup Phunstok (Ph:01894-268350) for flying assistance. Fine Tibetan
handi craft are also produced here. Billing, 14 km from Bir lies roughly
midway between Dharamsala and Mandi and to the south west of Manali and
Kulu valley. Here one can see the spectacular views of the Dhauladhar