Palampur is a fascinating green hill station in the Kangra Valley of Himachal Pradesh, India. It is situated near the Dhauladhar ranges on an altitude of 1,220 m above sea level, 30 km from Dharamshala. Palampur is called “Tea capital of Northwest India” because of various tea plantations. Plethora of water and proximity to the mountains provides the city with mild climate. Palampur can be visited all year round. Summers (April-June) are pleasantly warm and the winters (November-February) are cold. Snowfalls are common during winter. July-September is the Monsoon season which witnesses heavy rainfall.
Palampur has derived its name from word “pulum” which means lots of water. It has countless streams flowing from the mountains to the plains. The hill station gets its distinctive look from the combination of water and greenery. The contrast of snow covered mountains and the plains leaves viewers mesmerized.
There are three main festivals that are celebrated with gaiety and extravaganza in Palampur. Holi (February/March), Buddha-poornima (May) and Dussehra (October) celebrations gives a glimpse of the Indian culture.
Best time to visit Palampur
Palampur can be visited all year round. Summers (April-June) are pleasantly warm and the winters (November-February) are cold. Snowfalls are common during winter. July-September is the Monsoon season which witnesses heavy rainfall.
How to reach Palampur
Palampur is connected by Air through a domestic airport at Gaggal (Kangra) which is approx. 50 kms. away. From there one can take Taxi to reach Palampur. There are limited number of flights from New Delhi to Palampur.
Palampur is connected by narrow gauge railway from Pathankot, approx. 112 kms. Pathankot to Palampur takes about 7 hours by rail. Pathankot has good connectivity to other parts of the country through regular trains.
Palampur is very well connected by Road to all major cities and towns in and around the state through the State Government run buses. One can choose between Air-conditioned, Deluxe, Semi-deluxe and ordinary bus depending upon their budget. Frequent buses are available for some major cities like Delhi (530KM), Chandigarh (240KM), Shimla (259KM), Manali (205KM), Dharamshala (30KM) etc.
Best places to visit in and around Palampur
Bir and Billing (35 kms)
Famous for its Buddhist monasteries and Tibetan handicrafts, this village is sheltered by mountains and surrounded by the tea gardens. Bir is considered an ideal landing ground for para-gliders. In addition to various Buddhist Monasteries, Bir is also famous for the fine Tibetan handicraft. 14 kms. above the Bir, is Billing, which has an arena of 200 kms. for high altitude and cross country flying. Billing is one of the best aero sports sites in India.
Baijnath (16 kms)
One of the most famous monuments of Kangra Valley is The Shiva temple at Baijnath, which got its name from Shiva Vaidyanatha. The temple consists of an ‘Adytum’ which contains the Shiva Lingam and a ‘Mandap’ covered with a low pyramid shaped roof. Baijnath is one of the ‘Twelve Jyotirlingams’. of Lord Shiva. Shivratri is a major festival celebrated in the temple with hundreds of visitors.
Neugal Khad (2 kms)
Neugal Khad is the cafe run by Himachal Tourism providing mouth-watering snacks and food. This offers scenic views of Dhauladhar ranges. There is a 300 metre wide stream which makes it an ideal picnic spot. Neugal Khad gets rainfall throughout the year, but during monsoon its beauty leaps manifold.
Bundla Stream (2 kms)
A lovely walk from Palampur takes one to the Bundla stream, which is about 100 metres wide. The stream is a think streak running over stony ground much below the cliff. During monsoon, because of the rainfall, it swells and rages over the entire width taking stones and boulders with it.
Saurabh Van Vihar (4 KM)
Named after the valiant Army officer, Captain Saurabh Kalia, Saurabh Van Vihar in Neugal near Palampur, was set up with the purpose of providing information to the tourists about the nature and environment. Managed by the Himachal Pradesh Forest Department, The Vihar sprawls on an area of 35 acres. The area is surrounded by Dhauladhar mountains and offers breath-taking views.
Andretta (13 kms)
Andretta village is spread below the thickly wooded hill and sprawling plains of the Kangra Valley. It was once home of the famous painter Sardar Sobha Singh and the playwright Ms Norah Richards. Now Andretta is a centre for various artistic activities such as pottery and is famous for Sobha Singh’s Art Gallery. It is about 13 km away from Palampur. This village gives an admirable view of the Dhauladhar Range.
Chamunda Devi (25 Kms)
Situated on the bank of river Ban Ganga, overlooking the Dhauladhar ranges, is the temple of Chamunda Devi, which is one of the holy shrines of Hindus. This ancient temple is 700 years old. This temple is an adobe of Shiva-the destroyer God and Shakti-the goddess of power. As per legends, two demons Chanda and Munda tried to harass goddess Ambika. Enraged, the goddess emerged into the form of Kali and killed the demons. Devotees throng here all year through but the number increases during the holy ‘Navratras’. Palampur is a fascinating green hill station in the Kangra Valley of Himachal Pradesh, India. It is situated near the Dhauladhar ranges on an altitude of 1,220 m above sea level, 30 km from Dharamshala. Palampur is called “Tea capital of Northwest India” because of various tea plantations. Plethora of water and proximity to the mountains provides the city with mild climate.