View of Dhauladhar Mountains from Palampur
|Nickname(s): Tea Capital of North India|
|Elevation||1,472 m (4,829 ft)|
|• Official||Kangri language, Hindi|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Vehicle registration||HP 37|
|Avg. summer temperature||34 °C (93 °F)|
|Avg. winter temperature||−4 °C (25 °F)|
Palampur is a green hill station and a municipal council in the Kangra Valley in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, surrounded by tea gardens and pine forests before they merge with the Dhauladhar ranges. Palampur is the tea capital of northwest India but tea is just one aspect that makes Palampur a special interest place. Abundance of water and proximity to the mountains has endowed it with mild climate.
The town has derived its name from the local word pulum, meaning lots of water. There are numerous streams flowing from the mountains to the plains from Palampur. The combination of greenery and water gives Palampur a distinctive look. Palampur is at the confluence of the plains and the hills and so the scenery shows the contrast: plains on one side and the majestic snow-covered hills on the other side. Behind this town stands high ranges of Dhauladhar mountains, whose tops remain snow-covered for most part of the year.
- 1 History
- 2 Evolution
- 3 Market
- 4 Demographics
- 5 Geography
- 6 Politics
- 7 Connectivity
- 8 Attractions
- 9 Festivals
- 10 Hospitals
- 11 Adventure Sports
- 12 Tourism
- 13 Education and research
- 14 Recent Issues
- 15 See also
- 16 References
- 17 External links
The Kangra valley is the Trigarta of old, where the Palampur town is situated. It was one of the leading hill states and was once a part of the Jalandhar kingdom. Palampur gets its name from Pulum which means abundant water. Countless streams and brooks crisscross the landscape and in their intricate mesh, hold tea gardens and rice paddies. The town of Palampur came into being when Dr. Jameson, Superintendent of Botanical Gardens, introduced the tea bush from Almora in 1849. The bush thrived and so did the town which became a focus of the European tea estate owners. Since then, the Kangra tea of Palampur has been known internationally.
The first prime minister of independent India, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru visited Palampur in 1941 when it was still British India. There is a Nehru Chowk in Palampur to commemorate this event.
Palampur, also known as the 'Tea Capital of North India', is a popular hill station because it is not only known for its scenic beauty but also for the beautiful temples and buildings built in the Colonial period. Here, a nature lover can enjoy a quiet stroll while feasting his eyes on the natural beauty and an outdoor lover with a taste for adventure can enjoy hand gliding and trekking during the holidays. It has something for people of all tastes, which makes it an ideal holiday resort for many. Palampur includes small places like Ghuggar, Aima, Ram chowk, Holta, Banuri, Sidhpur, Parour, Arla, Maranda, Rajpur, Bundla, Kandi, Kulani, Chandpur and many more.
During the second half of 18th Century, with success of tea estates in Palampur area, the original settlement started developing. In 1888, it was made tehsil headquarters, by shifting the same from Bhawarna. The tea estate owners impressed upon the administration to bring infrastructure like St. Paul's schools, colleges and hospital. It also became a centre of labourers engaged in plucking of tea leaves and packing, transportation and marketing thereof. The earthquake of 1905 left a trail of destruction. Therefore, building style, projections and building material had to be modified. The tehsil complex, school and church towards T-Bud Hotel were built during British Period. Consequent upon laying of railway line for hydro-electric project at Joginder Nagar in 1927 and thereby installation of railway station and staff quarters, construction activity grew fast. Increase in the employment, led to investment in the area, whereby multifarious development including roads took place.
In 1947, Sobha Singh, a well known contemporary painter moved from Punjab to Andreta and developed his art gallery. He painted world famous art pieces related to Punjabi culture and shot into prominence as an artist and as a director. After 1946, the regional linkages of town started improving. A military station got established at Holta, a strategic location of the town. Agriculture University got established, besides the establishment of Indian Council for Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) Complex (Institute of Himalyan Bioresource Technology). Many offices at the level of sub division pertaining to Electricity, Housing Board, Public health and PWD (B&R) were located. Tourist accommodation like T-Bud Hotel by Himachal Tourism Development Corporation and other leisure hotels were constructed.
The Market in Palampur is one of the most upscale markets in the Kangra District of Himachal Pradesh.The market has modern brands like reebok, adidas and also nurtures the ancient co-operatives like Bhuttico which are hallmarked for their quality in woolens especially shawls. Palampur has one of the most beautiful hotels in Kangra. The Tea Gardens in the back drop of the Dhauladhar mountain range add to the attraction of this tourist town. Sai Gardens and Taragarh Palace are rated as the most luxurious resort in Palampur. There are other city hotels like Yamini, Vishal Residency and Surabhi. The most famous restaurants include Joy and the Gardenia at Hotel Sai Gardens.
Palampur has a population of approximately 70,000. According to the counting of votes, the Palampur tehsil consists of approximately 70,000 people. It is among the 10 big cities of Himachal Pradesh and biggest city of district Kangra.
Palampur is located at  at a height of 1,220 meters above sea level, and the highest point, Birni Mata temple is at a height of 2,170 meters. It is close to the Dhauladhar Range. It is in the northwestern region of Himachal Pradesh, in north India and is only 30 km from the popular hill station of Dharamshala. Palampur, at a height of 1219 m, is a main spot in the beautiful valley surrounded by tea gardens and pine trees.,
Behind the town stands high ranges of Dhauladhar mountains (white hill of snow), whose tops remain covered for most part of the year. This place is being developed as large tourist centre. A ropeway and an amusement park is also on the way to be established here. An Agricultural University is already functioning nearby one Ayurvedic hospital is situated, also one Ayurvedic medical college is there in Paprola is about 10 km from here. Some tea factories are also in operation. Kangra valley is also known as tea capital of India this tea was quite famous among the British.
On the outskirts of Palampur, Neugal stream is a thin streak running over stony ground far below the cliff. It offers great scenic beauty with snow-covered peaks. There is a trek to Bundla Falls which cascade from a height of 100 meters. A recreational spot, called Saurabh Van Vihar, is also located in Bundla, which gets its name from Capt. Saurabh Kalia who hails from Palampur.
Several trek routes lead out of Palampur, particularly over the Dhauladhar Mountains towards the districts of Chamba and Kullu, Himachal Pradesh. Some important treks are over the Sanghar pass to Bharmaur via Holi, the Thamsar Pass (4,747 metres above MSL) from Billing to Manali via Bara Bhangal, over the Jalsu pass from Baijnath to Bharmaur, and the forest trek from Mcleodganj to Triund . A four-day trek will lead the traveler to Holi, via Waru La. Twenty-eight kilometers from Palampur is Billing, near Bir, Himachal Pradesh|Bir, an important centre for the adventure sport of paragliding. Paraglider pilots often land near Palampur after cross-country flights starting from Billing. Palampur also has numerous Buddhist monasteries and is famous for its Tibetian chutiya .
Palampur is a state legislative constituency in Himachal Pradesh. Palampur is the home city of senior BJP leader Shanta Kumar. The town politics is mostly dominated between ruling Congress and the Bhartiya Janta Party. BJP leaders from Palampur include Ch. Sarvan Kumar, Praveen Sharma and Shiv Kumar. For Congress, the politics has been dominated by a rich family, Butails. Lala Kanhiya Lal Butail, was the first representative from Palampur. His nephew Kunj Behari Lal Butail served as an MLA for over a decade and also the first Pradesh Congress Committee President. The seat is now occupied by Brij Behari Lal Butail, who is the Speaker of the state legislative. He is also the richest legislature of Himachal Pradesh.
Spice Jet and Air India is running daily flights from New Delhi to Kangra Airport (Gaggal Airport) which is just 40 km from Palampur. Flights are prone to climatic conditions and can be cancelled due to low visibility in the winters- plan your trip accordingly.
Palampur is connected by narrow gauge railway from Pathankot. Approximate distance from Pathankot to Palampur is 112 km. The journey takes about 6–8 hours covering two tunnels, one of which is only 250 feet and the other 1,000 feet in length. There is no reservation system in the train but you can buy a current ticket from the ticketing counter and search for a seat. There are chances that the train may breakdown in the middle. Also the journey may take 8–12 hours.
The kangra valley toy train also operates in the town. The nearest railway station is at Maranda (Palampur), 6 km from main bus stand.
Palampur is well connected by road to all major cities and towns in and around the state. Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) is the best way to travel plying Air conditioned, Deluxe and Semi Deluxe buses from major cities like Delhi and Chandigarh. Distances to the major cities are Delhi (530 km), Chandigarh (254 km), Shimla (259 km), Manali (205 km), Dharamshala (35 km), Kangra (51 km), Sandhole (60 km) etc. Tickets can be booked online from HRTC website.
Visitor attractions in Palampur include:
- Sai Gardens situated at Lohna in Palampur has the best unobstructed view of the Dhauladhars. It is known for its amzing rose gardens and a decade old lawn restaurant
- Neugal Cafe is the most visited place in the palampur. It is one of the great attractions in the town from where you can have an endearing view of the Dhauladhar mountains as well as the Neugal khad.
- Sourabh Van Vihar is another nice place to visit. Here you can find a green park and a small lake offering boating for the visitors. One can enjoy the pleasing beauty from the old hanging bridge over the Neugal khad, near to the Van Vihar.
- The village of Andretta, spread below the thickly wooden hill is known for the art gallery. The village was once the home for the painter Sardar Sobha Singh and playwright Norah Richards.
- Dhauladhar Nature Park at Gopalpur in the lap of Dhauladhar Range is just about 12 km from Palampur city and is a nice place to visit.
- Famous Devi Latti Jakhni's temple situated at the top of Chandpur village is a place to feel the beauty of Dhauladhar from very close.
- There is a trek to the Birni Mata temple from Bundla which takes you through thick oak and rhododendron forest.
- Old Vindhyavasni temple near to the Kingerchhoo (Bundla) falls, 328ft is another place that one must visit during his stay at Palampur. There is a road leading to the temple since the work for a power house has started.
- Mata Bandla Devi's temple situated around 1.5 km from Neugal park is one of the frequently visited temple by locals and people from other far areas.
- Sair is a local festival of Kangra district and is celebrated with great zeal by the people in Palampur. This festival is celebrated on first 'tithi' of 'chaitra mass 'चैत्र मास' every year. Palampur is a place of rivers and rain and in the old days when there were no bridges and less roads people used to die in the river floods. So this festival signifies the offset of rainy season and the black month. On this day people worship the Shair deity. They offer new crop, fruits and vegetables to there deity, they cook many local foods and delicacies and invite their friends and relatives. Newly wed brides return to their in-laws' house after a full month's break at their parents' home. Children celebrate this festival in their own style by playing game with walnuts.
- There is greater sobriety, but no less joy, when Lohri or Maghi comes along in mid January. This is the traditionally mid winter day and also commemorates the last sowing of the Rabi crops. Community bonfires, folk songs and dancing, mark the festival. Local folk songs known as 'lukdiyan' are sung by children, door to door. A special type of sacrament is being made from roasted rice, sugar and peanuts called as 'tircholi'.
- Palampur Holi Fair, held at Capt. Vikram Batra Stadium is also very famous. On these days many cultural activities are held. Many singers visit Palampur fair on these days, and beautiful tableux representing different gods are made.
- There are many hospitals present in Palampur
The main hospital is civil hospital operated by government and major hospital is tanda(kangra) 36 km. which is also operated by gov.
Hospitals list present in palampur
1 Civil Hospital gov. Palampur
2 Karan Hospital pvt. Palampur
3 Sushma nursing home pvt. Palampur
4 Kapila nursing home pvt. Palampur
5 Goienka hospital pvt. Palampur
6 Charak clinic pvt. Maranda
7 Sood nursing home pvt. thakurdwara
8 Dattal hospital pvt. thakurdwara
9 Swami vivekanand Hospital PVT. palmappur
Palampur has been named the best Paragliding site in the world.It is an ideal hill resort for enjoying trekking and Paragliding. There are several routes that one can trek on,one being over Sanghar Pass to Bharmour via Holi.
The paragliding site at Bir-Billing in Kangra district near Baijnath is regarded as among the best in the world for Paragliding. Billing (2290 m) is the take-off site and Bir (1400 m) is the village at the landing site. The road distance between the two is 14 km. Bir is sheltered by the Dhauladhar mountains and the ridges behind keep rising to 3000 mtrs, 4000 metres, 5000 mtrs and one after the other so as pilot can fly at 4000 mtrs and still watch the mountains tower above. Bir is a beautiful village surrounded by tea gardens and spectacular scenery, whereas Billing offers unique opportunities for high altitude and cross country flying and flights of 180 km have been achieved from here.
All along the bottom of the ridges runs a parallel road from Mandi to Dharamshala and beyond which assures easy recovery for pilots after landing. The most important feature of this region is its weather. On bad weather days one can still fly 20–30 km and on good days 100 km is not difficult. October & November are the ideal months for flying in autumn and March to May i.e. spring is also flyable but conditions are very strong in spring with thermals of 6-12 mtrs/sec and cloudbase of 4000 to 6000 meters.
The small towns of Taragarh, Baijnath and Jogindernagar are close to Bir- Billing and large town of Palampur is 29 km from Bir. Himachal Pradesh is conducting International Paragliding competitions since 2002 at Bir-Billing every year.
The Paragliding World Cup 2015 will be organised from October 24-31 under the aegis of Para-gliding World Cup Association, France.India bid to host the World Cup and won because of the sound infrastructure that was set up at Bir-Billing (at 2290 mts in Himachal Pradesh) for the paragliding pre-World Cup-2013. 2 years after successfully hosting the paragliding pre-World Cup amidst the mountains of Himachal Pradesh, the mega tournament will now be held in the country for the first time. India will host the Paragliding World Cup 2015 in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, which is considered one of the finest aero sports sites in the world.
Palampur is a rapidly developing city of Himachal Pradesh with plenty of accommodations. The upper areas of Palampur experience heavy snowfall and thereby providing plenty of opportunity for tourists to get themselves indulged in winter sports activities or enjoy a tea garden.There are some amazingly beautiful hotels in the area. Sai Gardens and the Tragarah Palace are rated the best hotels in Palampur. The crew of the famous movie Rockstar featuring Ranbir Kapoor and Nargis also stayed in these hotels.Palampur has emereged as one of the favourite places for movie shooting lately.Famous directors like Imtiaz Ali and Lawrence D'souza have shot movies here. A ropeway has been proposed across the Neugal river which will further attract tourists into Palampur. Palampur is the midpoint for all major toursist attractions towards Dharamshala on one side and Baijnath to Manali on the other. Homestays are also great options for staying in Palampur. Rupayan Homestay in Maranda is HP tourism department accredited homestay for comfortable stay.
Famous Places Around Palampur
Chamunda Devi Temple : This is a holy place around 20 km from town. Thousands of devotees from all over India visit the temple and offer prayers at this shrine.
Bir and Billing: (35 km. from town.) This village is famous for its Buddhist monasteries. Hang gliding pilots use it as their landing site. Bir, surrounded by tea gardens and an amphitheater of low hills, is an ideal landing around for paragliders. Bir has Buddhist monasteries that are worth visiting. Fine Tibetan handicrafts are also produced here. Billing, up in the hills 14 km. from Bir with an arena of 200 km for high altitude and cross country flying, is one of the best aerosports sites in the country.
Baijnath: (16 km from town) The Shiva temple at Baijnath is one of the most remarkable monuments of the Kangra valley. Ancient name of this town was 'Kirgrama'. Baijnath got its name from Shiva Vaidyanatha. The temple consists of an 'Adytum' surrounded by a spire of the usual conical shape with a 'Mandap' covered with a low pyramid shaped roof. The 'Adytum' contains the Lingam. There is fine sculpture work to be associated with Ravana, who worshipped Shiva at this spot and gained immortality. Shivratri of Baijnath is a well attended fair.
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. It is a famous picnic spot and ideal for a day escape from busy life.
Bundla Stream: (2 km from town) Bundla stream with wide chasm of more than 100 metres, swells up and rises madly in monsoons taking stones and boulders along with it making a loud noise like that of continuous thunder. This is a lovely walk from Palampur to Bundla.
Bundla Tea Estate: (2 km from town) This is one of the most beautiful tea estates of Palampur, which covers Bundla, Aima and Lohna Panchayat. The road to Neugal Cafe from the town leads from this estate. The lush green tea gardens are at its best in the monsoon. People can be seen plucking tea from April till October. The old Bundla Tea Estate complex, which is over 200 years old can be seen from the road.
Andretta: (13 km from town) It is the home of the famous artist, late Sardar Shobha Singh and late playwright Norah Richards. This presents an excellent view of the Dhauladhar Range.
Sobha Singh's Art Gallery: It is situated in Andhretta which is 13 km from town. Chamunda Maa: Temple complex is around 20 km from Palampur.
Saurabh Van vihar : (4 km from town) Named after the valiant Army officer, Captain Saurabh Kalia, Saurabh Van Vihar is in Neugal near Palampur. Managed by the Himachal Pradesh Forest Department, the Van Vihar was set up with the purpose of providing information to the tourists about the nature and environment.
The Vihar sprawls on an area of 35 acres and there is a green park located here. The area is surrounded by the Dhauladhar mountains and offers scenic views of the surrounding.
Mata Ashapuri Temple (Maa Ashapuri): Mata Asahpuri temple is very famous temple in Distt Kangra. It is located at the top of hill. My village Suan is very small town surrounded by hills and located right down the Hill of Mata Ashapuri Temple. On-Foot it takes around 1 hour and by bus it takes around 3 hours to reach Mata Ashapuri Temple from my village. On-Foot there is shortcut way to reach the temple. Suan town comes under Tehsil Jaisinghpur. Its populations is approximately 500 people. Bus service is available for Mata Ashapuri Temple from Palampur and Panchrukhi Bus stations. It is approximately 2–3 hours run by bus from Palampur to Mata Ashapuri temple. Bus service is available on specific times. You can consult at Palampur Bus Stand Counter regarding bus service queries and timings.There is another village called Khera which has its own legacy. It is situated on the opposite hill.The residents of this village worship Maata Saniyaari. According to legend Saniyaari wanted to commit Sati after her husband's death. She was tried to save by a Katoch couple who didn't have any issue. Saniyaari Maata gave him a boon of 2 sons and one daughter and asked the couple to make a temple in her name and to organise Mela every year. The Katoch family has now reached its 8 generation.
Education and research
- Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology (http://www.ihbt.res.in/)- A premier national CSIR lab of national importance is engaged on various advanced research aspects of Himalayan Bioresources and modern biology. It has also been imparting Ph.D. in biological and Chemical Sciences.
- Chaudhary Sarwan Kumar Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishvavidyalaya (CSKHPKV) or Himachal Pradesh Agricultural University (http://www.hillagric.ac.in/), an Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) accredited and ISO 9001:2000 certified university, has been operating since 1978.
- GGDSD College, Rajpur (Palampur) specializes in many new professional courses like BCS, BBA and BCA along with B.Sc., B.Com and B.A courses
- Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), Extension Centre, Palampur
- IGFRI Regional Research Centre, Palampur
- Central Tasar Research and Training Institute, Research Extension Centre, Palampur
- Sri Sai University, Palampur
- Aptech Computer Education
- Sikkim Manipal University, Learning Center
- NIIT Palampur Centre,
- Capt. Vikram Batra govt degree college.
- Pandit Sant Ram Govt. College, Baijnath, District Kangra (H.P.) specializes in many new professional courses like BCS, BBA and BCA along with B.Sc., B.Com and B.A courses
- Govt degree college shivnager
- Sambhaavna Institute of Public Policy and Politics
- St. Paul's Sr. Sec. School, Palampur(since 1905)
- DAV Public Sr. Sec. School, Palampur
- Mount Carmel School, Thakurdwara, Palampur
- Kendriya Vidyalaya, Holta Cantt., Palampur
- Kendriya Vidyalaya, Alhilal Cantt., Palampur
- Neugal Public Sr. Sec. School, Bhawarna, Palampur
- Shanti Niketan Public School, Tanda, Palampur
- Jai Public Sr. Sec. School Banuri, Palampur
- Aadharshila School, Dehan, Palampur
- Chand Public School, Ghuggar, Palampur
- Samuels School, Lohna, Palampur
- SD Chand Sr. Sec. School, Ghugar Palampur
- ABM Sr. Sec. School, Maranda, Palampur
- Crescent Public School, Banuri, Palampur
- Mother's Touch School, Chowki, Palampur
- Anuradha Public School, Maranda
- RMCM Govt. Sr. Sec. School, Sullah, Palampur (since 1913)
- Modern Public Sr. Sec School Moli Chack Banuri, Palampur
Palampur has seen exponential growth since the liberalization in India. It has grown from a decrepit and quite British hill station to a buzzing town. You can start counting the revenue generated from this town, since around nineteen banks are present here, e.g. IDBI, BOI, PNB, SBI, etc. There has been a widespread growth in and around Palampur. It threatens the fragile ecology of the town. The pollution level of the town has shot up exponentially in past decade, as well as due to rampant concrete and construction work, the heat index and temperare has increased sharply. Earlier, it was frequent to see snowfall occurring in the town itself, which has now receded drastically to the upper hill areas due to pollution, poor forest conservation and rampant constructions. A place where the highest temperature would hardly cross 28-30 degrees and witnesses temperature rising as much as 35 degrees in summer, while the levels of water resources has dipped down. Recently, the deodar trees in Palampur are drying up with abnormally fast speed. Palampur is the only hill station in India where deodar trees grow within heights of 3000 feet to 4000 feet from Mean Sea Level.Recently a human trafficking and prostitution racket has been busted by Palampur police in which some girls free.Some boys and girls are arrested by police in this act.
- "IHBT Website". IHBT. Retrieved 2012-01-17.
- "Blog of Himachal". Retrieved 2011-08-15.
- Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Palampur
- Palampur travel guide from Wikivoyage