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. In the backdrop of this beautiful town stands the Dhauladhar mountain range, which remains snow-covered for most part of the year.
Palampur is an important town located in Kangra Valley. It was one of the leading hill stations and was once a part of the Jalandhar kingdom. 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.
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Visitor attractions in Palampur include:
- Neugal Cafe is the most famous eating joint in Palampur. It is owned and run by Himachal Tourism. It is one of the those attractions in town from where one can have an endearing view of the Dhauladhar mountains as well as the Neugal stream. Food, beverages and snacks are also available here.
- 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 forests.
- Old Vindhyavasini temple near the Kingerchhoo (Bundla) falls, 328ft is another place that one must visit during his stay at Palampur. Construction work for a power house has also begun.
- Mata Bandla Devi’s temple, situated around 1.5 km from Neugal Cafe, is an important spiritual place visited by local people and tourists alike.