July 2008
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Palampur in Himachal Pradesh

Altitude : 1,219 meters.
Headquarters : Dharamshala
Best Time To Visit : March to June and Mid-September to November. In winter, the temperature can drop below freezing point when heavy woollens are required. During summer the climate is mild and light woollens/cottons are recommended.

Palampur is the tea capital of northwest India. Palampur is set on the rising slopes of Kangra Valley before they merge with the Dhauladhar ranges. Countless streams and brooks criss-crosses the landscape and in their intricate mesh, hold tea gardens and rice paddies. The town has derived its name from the local word “pulum’, meaning lots of water. Palampur was a part of the local Sikh kingdom and later on came under the British rule. This hill station is not only known for its numerous tea gardens and paddy fields but it also known for its colonial architecture and temples. Palampur and places around it are popular for adventure sports like hang-gliding and trekking. The place is an example of a beautiful location not yet spoilt by tourists. Some time here is good for relaxing and stress-relieving.

Map to Palampur:

Things to do:

Trekking: Several trek routes lead out of Palampur, and given the close presence of the Dhauladhar Mountains, many of these treks are over the mountains and towards the town of Chamba. Treks of 5-8 days duration are viable from May to October. Some of the interesting treks from Palampur include Palampur to Holi over the Shingar pass, Palampur to Dharamsala via Indrahar Pass and Baijnath to Manali over the Thamsar pass.
Hang/Paragliding: Near Palampur, you have both Bir and Billing. Bir is twenty-eight kilometers from Palampur and has numerous Buddhist monuments and is famous for its Tibetan handicrafts (and is also one of the main landing points for the hang-gliders and para-gliders). The town of Billing, which is 42 km from Palampur and 14 km from Bir, is an important launching point for hang-gliding.
Fishing: There are ample opportunities for the angler between 1st March to 1st June and 1st September to end of October for Mahaseer fishing in and around Dehra Gopipur, Nadaun and Pong Dam.

Places to see:

Neughal Khad: Close to the Bundelmata temple, there is a 300-metre-wide chasm through which the Neugal stream flows and is a great view.
Andretta: The charming village, spread below the thickly wooded hill and sprawling plains of the Kangra Valley was once the home of the famous painter Sardar Sobha Singh. Now Andretta is a centre for various artistic activities such as pottery and is just 13-km away from Palampur.
Shobha Singh’s Art Gallery: It is situated in Andhretta which is 13 km. from town.
The Factory: At the very start of town the tea factory of the co-operative society, offers an insight to the processing of Kangra tea.
Baijnath: Noted for it’s ancient temple, which was built in 804 A.D. and dedicated to Shiva Vaidyanatha. The linga enshrined in its sanctum is one of the 12 jyotirlingas in the country. Every year during the Shivratri fair, thousands of pilgrims descend on Baijnath for the colourful fair and festivities. It is 16-km from Palampur and 56-km from Dharamsala. It is a must see if you are coming to Palampur.
Bir and Billing: Sheltered by the mountains and surrounded by tea gardens, Bir serves as a landing ground for hang & Para gliders as well as known for it’s Buddhist monasteries and Tibetan handicrafts. One of the best aero-sports sites in the world, Billing is 14-km from Bir. The mountain ranges set like an amphitheatre, offer opportunities for high altitude and cross-country flying for more than 200-km.
Chamunda Devi: The famous temple dedicated to the goddess Chamunda is 25-kms away from Plampur and Yatri Niwas here provides an excellent accommodation for the visitors. The temple is a place that attracts a huge number of devotees, especially during religious festivities.
Gopalpur: Situated 13-km away from the town, Gopalpur consists of a mini zoo.
Tea Factory: The cooperative society tea factory provides an insight to the processing of Kangra Tea, and you can also see the various tea gardens, and drive on the road through the tea gardens. With less traffic, it is a very calming influence.
Temple of Bundelmata: Walk through tea gardens and open fields or drive to reach this temple built about five centuries ago.
Al-Hilal: A few kilometers from the city of Palampur is Al-Hilal, a place of unparalleled charm. During the conquests of Kangra by Maharaja Renjit Singh, this place was a military bastion.
Neugal Khad: ( 2 km. from town.) Neugal Khad provides a fine view of the Dhauladhar range. It is roaring in the rainy season and gurgling all the year round. Himachal Tourism cafe provides food and a fine view from its restaurant.
Kangra Fort (27 km): The most important fort of the region, it is enclosed by high ramparts and its walls have a circumference of approximately 4 km. It was built about 1,000 years ago on the confluence of the Banganga and Manjhi rivers. Its various gates, shrines end remains of the old palaces are noteworthy.
Sujanpur Tira: 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.

Where to Stay:
Hotel T-Bud is run by the HTPDC at Palampur.
One of the most luxurious places to stay in the region in is the Taragarh Palace, 8-km to the east of Baijnath (this is a luxury hotel).
Silver Oak Mountain Resort
Sai Gardens
Country Cottage
Pops Hotel

How to get here:

By Road: The Himachal Road Transport Corporation is running its buses covering the whole state.
By Rail: Nearest broad gauge railhead is Pathankot 95 km from Kangra. A narrow gauge railway line between Pathankot and Jogindernagar passes through Kangra. Nearest railhead is at a distance of 5 km. from town.
By Air: Nearest airport is Gaggal airport located 50 km. from Palampur.

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