The town of Palampur is situated in an idyllic valley priding itself with tea gardens, and hills covered with pine trees. The place enjoys a year-round pleasant climate and the pine scented air is said to have curative properties. The scenery presents a sublime and beautiful contrast- the valleys presents a picture of rural innocence and repose, while the hills are majestic. Overlooking this town are the majestic Dhauladhars, whose tops remain covered with snow for most of the year. This place is thronged by tourists and is now being developed as a large tourist centre. An Agricultural University and a Central Scientific Research Institute's IHBT are pride of the town. Some tea factories are also coming up here.
While in town one could go for one of the several pleasant walks around the town. A short walk from here takes one to the awe inspiring Bundla Chasm which has a fall of over 100 meters to the Bundla stream. The stream is a thin streak running over stony ground far below the cliff. During the monsoon season, it swells and rages madly over the entire width of the chasm taking stones and boulders along with it making thunder like loud roaring noise.
In local parlance, the word for lot of water is "pulum". This is what has given Palampur (1249 m) its name and its water has given the valley so much of its character.
By Road - Transport Buses from Dharamsala, Kangra, Kullu and Shimla.
By Rail - Pathankot-Jogindernagar narrow gauge railway line.
By Air - Gaggal Airport at 40 Km.
Saurabh Van Vihar: In order to enable the visitors to enjoy the nature & make them aware of the importance of nature & environment, a nature park namely "Saurabh Van Vihar" at Palampur over the area of 13 hectare has been established. It is located on the right bank of Neugal Khad near Kandi Bridge in the lap of Dhauladhar ranges, in village Kwat, 4 Km from Palampur town. Saurabh Van Vihar is developed in the memory of Martyr Lt. Saurabh Kalia, who sacrificed his life during Kargil operation on 9th June, 1999. This tourist park is bounded by majestic and picturesque Dhauladhar mountain ranges in the north and north-east. It is being managed by H.P. Forest Department through a registered society called "Saurabh Van Vihar Management Society, Palampur".
Neugal Khud: Roaring in the rainy season and tinkling all the year around, Neugal Khud offers a fine view of the Dhauladhar range over a mountain stream gushing through a gorge. At Himachal Tourism's Café Neugal one can enjoy an idyllic evening amidst breath taking scenery.
Maharana Pratap Sagar: Named in the honour of the great patriot Maharana Pratap (1572-97 AD) the Maharana Pratap Sagar (Pong Lake) is situated at an altitude of 450 metres above sea level, 32 degree north and 76 degrees east, in district Kangra. This lake sanctuary is a big attraction for migratory ducks from Siberian region during winter. One can see thousands of ducks in the swamp area between Shahnahar barrage and Pongdam and the surrounding shallow waters of the lake. Clean blue water all around with the panoramic view of Dhauladhar Ranges and Kangra Valley make the visit to Ransar Island an unforgettable experience. Black buck and Cheetal on the island along with Surkhab, Cranes, Pintails and variety of water birds welcome the visitors on the Island. The best season to visit the Pong Lake is between Septembers to March.
Taragarh Palace Hotel: Low rolling hills criss-crossed by narrow fast-flowing streams, scores of tiny hamlets, lush tea gardens and paddy fields with the backdrop of the majestic Dhauladhar Mountains - all combine to make Kangra one of Himachal's most beautiful tracts. Here, built in 1931, by the 27-year old ruler of Bahawalpur, Nawab Sadiq Mohammed Khan Bahadur is Al Hilal (literally the Land of the crescent moon), now called Taragarh after Maharani Tara Devi, of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, who became its subsequent owner. Now a heritage hotel, this is a splendid art-deco mansion set amidst large grounds. Memorabilia of past adorn its elegantly appointed rooms while the grounds host a 'jungle camp'.
Jwala Mukhi: The famous temple of Shaktipeeth Jwalamukhi is 35 Km from Kangra and 53 Kms from Dharamshala. Dedicated to the "GODDESS OF LIGHT", the temple is one of the most popular Hindu temples in northern India. There is no idol of any kind, the flame is considered as a manifestation of the goddess. An eternally burning and shining blue flame emanates from the rock sanctum and is fed by the priests with the offerings of devotees. The golden tower (dome) of the temple was a gift from the Emperor Akbar. Two important fairs are held here during the Navratras in earlier March/April and September/October. Hotel accommodation, Sarai's, rest houses and HPTDC hotels with modern facilities are available for visitors to the shrine.
Chamunda Devi Temple: Just 24 Km from Kangra and 15 Km from Dharamsala is the famous temple of goddess Chamunda Devi (Chamunda Nandikeshwar Dham). At the back of the temple is a cave-like scoop where a stone "Lingam" under a boulder represents Nandikeshwar (Shiva). The temple complex is an enchanting spot with glorious view of Dhauladhar, the Baner Khad and Dadh. A vast running water pool houses the statues of Lord Shiva and Saraswati. A trek of about 16 Km up in the Dhauladhar ranges is the ancient temple of Aadi Himani Chamunda.
Andretta: Andretta is 12 Km from Palampur and is the home of the famous artist late Sobha Singh and late playwright Nora Richards. The place is famous for Shobha Singh art gallery. There are beautiful paintings in their private houses. It affords an excellent view of Dhauladhar range.
Baijnath Shiv Temple: This particularly beautiful ancient Shiv temple at Baijnath is 16 Km from Palampur, on the Pathankot-Mandi national highway. Built of stone in the 9th century AD in the shikhara style, it is a fine blend of sculpture and architecture. The temple is easily accessible from both Palampur and Kangra. The linga enshrined in its sanctum is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in the country. Every year during the Shivratri fair, pilgrims descend on Baijnath for the colourful fair and festivities.
Masroor Rock-cut Temple: Known for its monolithic rock-cut temples, Masroor is 38 Km from Kangra Town. There are 15 rock-cut temples in Indo-Aryan style and are richly carved. It is a unique monolithic structure in the sub-Himalayan region and is a protected monument.
Trilokpur: It is situated 41 Km from Dharamsala and can be approached by road the natural cave temple of Trilokpur contains a stalactite and stalagmite is dedicated to Shiva. High on the ridge of the cave are ruins of a palace and baradari (audience hall) of Lehna Singh Majitha, Governor of Kangra hills during the Sikh rule.
Dehra Gopipur: It is situated on the bank of river Beas. It is possible to use Dehra as a base for different fishing areas like Pong Dam, Pattan and Nadaun. PWD & Forest rest houses are available at Dehra for night stay, besides, private hotels & guest houses. One can also visit the famous temple of Shaktipeeth Jwala ji, Chintpurni ji from here. Heritage village Pragpur and Dada Siba, which is famous for ancient temple of Radha Krishan and wall paintings are accessible from Dehra. The small fort of Mangarh is close to Dehra. The view of the valley and Pong Lake is very attractive from the fort.
Kangra Fort: The torrential Banganga River deep in the valley forming a formidable sheer and the Kangra Fort lurking atop the flat mountain range is a scene that one encounters on nearing Kangra town when you drive from Shimla-Mataur national highway. A feeling of awe mixed with joy pervades you as you look back in time. The Kangra Fort is approximately 3 kilometer from the town and is also known as Nagarkot. The fort is historically significant; its massive size and the beauty of its structure lend it an added charm. At the entrance is a museum containing some valuable old photographs of the fort prior to the devastating earthquake of 1905 and some exquisite stone sculptures, carvings, idols and other artifacts.
Bir and Billing: Bir, surrounded by tea gardens and an amphitheatre of low hills, is an ideal landing ground for para-gliders. Bir has Buddhist monasteries that are worth visiting. 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 aero sports sites in the country.
This site is regarded as among the best in the world for Paragliding. Billing (2,290 m) is the take-off site and Bir (1,400 m) is the village at the landing site. 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 Kms 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. October and 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 4,000 to 6,000 m. Palampur is 29 Km and Baijnath is 13 Km from Bir.
Places to visit
|Saurabh Van Vihar||4|
|Baijnath Shiv Temple||16|
|Chamunda Devi Temple||25|
|Taragarh Palace Hotel||11|
1. Enjoy at the picnic sheds and movie at the open air theatre
and discover variety of health care with 151 species of medicinal
herbs at Saurabh Van Vihar.
2. Have a romantic viewing of Dhauladhar Range at Neugal Khud.
3. Go bird watching and get a panoramic view of the Dhauladhar
range and Kangra Valley from the Maharana Pratap Sagar.
4. Indulge in still water sports at the Maharana Prateap Sagar.
5. Enjoy para-gliding and other aero- sports at Bir and Billing.
Palampur has accommodation to suit most types of budgets and tastes.
HPTDC guest houses provide a comfortable stay at reasonable prices. Details are available from local tourist offices
Local buses operate regularly. Taxis are also available.
Shivratri Fair: Every year thousands of pilgrims descend on Baijnath to enjoy the colorful fair and festivities.
Paragliding Event: Every year in Oct/Nov Paragliding Event is organised in Bir-Billing.
|Tourist Information Centres|
|Shimla||0177-2654589, 2654589, 2832498|
|Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Shimla|| 0177-2625924, 2625864, 2625511|
Fax: 0177-2625864, 2625864
|HPTDC's Marketing Office, Shimla|| 0177-2652561/2658302 |
Temperature: In winter, the temperature can get quite low. It is warm in summer.
Clothing: Heavy woollens in winter and cottons in summer.