Palampur

Destinations Covered: Palampur sightseeing – Neugal Khad, Tashi Jong Monastery and Palampur Tea Gardens
Palampur Tour Duration: 04 Day / 03 Nights

Introduction

Palampur is a picturesque hill station in the Kangra Valley. The whole state is surrounded extensive tea gardens and elusive pine forests and they gently flow and blend into the mystic Dhauladhar Ranges. The chief attractions that Palampur especially favourite among tourists are the fragrant tea plantations, the numerous gurgling mountain streams and the gigantic snow-covered mountains at the backdrop.

Palampur has derived its name from the local term palum, which means lots of water. The flowing natural streams justify the name of the state. The unique combination of greenery and pretty water bodies lend Palampur a distinct flavour. It is a perfect example of the communion of mountains and plains; green pitted against the whiteness of snow.

How to reach

By Road: Palampur in connected to the major cities till Maranda by bus routes and by train. There is a developed bus route network through the state for the benefit of the touristsand travellers visiting this area from far and near. Pathankot to Maranda distance is also connected by a narrow gauge train that makes for a fun travel. Pathankot-Maranda distance is 3 km.

Delhi-Palampur distance is 510 km and Chandigarh-Palampur distance is 250 km. Frequent buses ply from the major intersections on a daily basis. The air-conditioned buses make for a comfortable journey. State-run or HRTC buses are very popular when it comes to road travel. Private tourist buses are also hired by many in group bookings.

By Train: When it comes to the nearest major railway station Pathankot is the closest broad gauge rail-head. From Pathankot a fun travel can be availed for a distance of 112 km via a narrow gauge toy train. It is definitely time taking but is a wonderful experience travelling across the picturesque landscapes lined by snow-covered peaks. It is a journey time of nearly 7 hours from Pathankot to Maranda (1 km away from Palampur). Another major railway station is that of Chakki Bank, which is situated just outside Pathankot town and is the connection point of several long-distance trains arriving from the south, east and north. Chakki Bank station is connected conveniently by auto to Pathankot bus station. Once seated in a bus for Palampur, it is again a journeyof 4 hours across gorgeous landscapes.

By Air: Major airlines run daily flights from Delhi to Kangra Airport, which is located in Dharamsala. Palampur is just about 40 km away from Dharamshala. During the heavy dense fogs in the peak winters sometimes the flights stand cancelled. So flights are subject to weather conditions.

Places to visit

Neugal Khad: This is actually a 300 metre wide channel with a suspension across the channel. It is located about 2 km outside the city of Palampur. This suspension bridge offers breath-taking view of the Dhauladhar Ranges spread beyond. Catch a bite in a small cafe next to the parking that serves tea and cookies.

Tashi Jong Monastery: Tashi Jong Buddhist Monastery is located at a distance of about 15 km from Palampur. The monastery is in a small quaint village named Tashi Jong. Tashi Jong monastery is the base of the Drugpa Kagyu tradition of Buddhism. The monastery complex has the main temple housed and also has the stupa of Khamtrul Rinpoche. It also houses the Yamantak Retreat Center but entry here is restricted. This monastery was designed by Khamtrul Rinpoche. The entire structure has ornamental woodcarving as well as gilding and painting. Tashi Jong Monastery is also famous for being an excellent craft emporium, where one can see and buy Tibetan artefacts.

Tea Gardens: The hill slopes of Palampur are extensively covered with tea gardens. It was Dr. Jameson who introduced tea plantation on the hill station. Some of the gardens are privately owned while some of them are demonstration plots managed by organizations such as the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. The huge area of tea plantation in Palampur has earned it the name of being the Tea Capital of North India. These extensive green plantations with the scenic backdrop of lovely snow-covered peaks of Dhauladhar Mountain ranges have increased the beauty of Palampur manifold.

Saurabh Van Vihar: This is a beautiful garden located next to the Neugal Khad which is situated just outside the city. It has numerous walks, a pond with boating, lots of medicinal plants and a serene atmosphere. A small restaurant serves basic snacks and lunch.

Pottery Andretta: Andretta Pottery is a genre of beautiful pottery concept. This genre was started by Mansimran Singh way back in 1983. The concept was launched with the idea was to teach clay pottery-making and how to design to people who are interested in learning the art of pottery. Fee is charged for the courses. It is a great opportunity for local people of Kangra to take up pottery making course.

Naam Art Gallery is actually located at Sidhbari Dharamsala at a distance of 32 km from Palampur. It was established by a German painter, Elisabeth Buschmann, who had settled in Dharamshala, to exhibit her paintings. She named it NAAM. It is located on Dharamsala-Chamunda road to display her paintings. The abstract paintings of this painter that have been displayed in a portion of the gallery express multiple shades of spirituality that she had reckoned while she meditated. The other portion of the gallery displays paintings of Alfred W. Hallet.

Baijnath Temple: Baijnath Temple is located approximately 16 km from Palampur. This temple has historical connotation and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple exists since the reign of Pandavas and is an amazing temple to visit. The beautiful architecture is worth a visit. It is believed that Ravana had built this temple in honour of Lord Shiva. The temple also consists of a Yagaya Kund in which Ravana is believed to have performed Yagaya to please Lord Shiva.

Things to do

  • Wander amidst the lush green the plantations of Palampur and take in the fresh mountain air.
  • Go for a joyful family picnic to Neygal Khad 2 km from city centre.

  • Visit the mesmerizing Tashi Jong Monastery within the city and catch with some serene moments.

  • Learn and watch the beautiful art of Andretta Pottery at the Andretta centre located 9 km away from city centre.

  • Offer prayers at the famous Baijnath Temple located 12 km from city centre.

  • Indulge in a splendid shopping spree of intriguing Tibetan handicrafts, attractive Thangka paintings, lovely carpets, fascinating woollens, delicious Kangra tea and trinkets and memoirs at the Palampur local market.

  • Visit the Norbulinga Institute for deeper understanding of Tibetan architecture and design 24 km away.

  • Relax and enjoy the spiritual artworks of Naam Art Gallery of Dharamshala 23 km away from city centre Palampur.

Where to stay (Best 5 Hotels)

  • Seclude Palampur: Thisproperty is located in open valley amidst wheat fields and offers splendid views of the Dhauladhar Mountain Ranges. It has a private terrace to enjoy nature view, a library to spend some reading moments, spacious rooms with heating facilities, luggage storage and laundry service facilities and access to the open mountain trekking paths. It is 12 km from Palampur bus stand and is accessible from Dharamshala and Mcleod Ganj as well.

  • Marigold Palampur: This beautiful property has an operating a 24-hour front desk for the assistance and welcoming of guests. It is just 3 km away from the popular and beautiful Palampur Tea Gardens. Guests can enjoy free wired internet connection in all its rooms, wooden flooring, outdoor seating area, shower in private bathrooms provided with free toiletries and slippers. Also for extra attraction for guests there is garden and barbecue facility and free parking facilities. Other facilities include tour desk and laundry service. It is easily accessible from the city of Dharamsala and McLeod Ganj, which are approximately 20 km away from the property. It is also close to the Billing Valley, which is famous for paragliding. Also it is conveniently located just 9 km from Palampur Railway Station 11 km from Palampur Bus Station and 40 km from the Gaggal Airport is 40 km.

  • Hotel Centre Point Resorts & Club Palampur: This hotel offers multi-cuisine restaurant, free WiFi access in selected rooms, a cable TV, a balcony for garden viewing and a seating area for relaxing. The toilets are fitted with shower and free toiletries. A shared lounge and tour desk for assisting the guests is available. This hotel has free parking. Strategically located with the Kangra Valley 15 km away and the Dalai Lama Temple 37 km away, this property is just 3 km from Palampur Bus Station and 15 km away from the Palampur Railway Station and about 36 km Gaggal Airport.

  • Hotel Bagora Heights showcases a terrace with charming views of the mountains and is located just 24.1 km from Dharamshala. It has an on-site restaurant to serve delicious food and a free private parking, rooms with flat-screen TV provided with satellite channels and common sitting area. The rooms are provided with private bathroom built with a shower and equipped with slippers and free toiletries. Room service is prompt. It is located 22.5 km from the Gaggal Airport.

  • RS Sarovar Portico is located in P?lampur at a distance of 35.3 km from Dharamshala. This property has air-conditioned rooms and free private parking. The hotel also has a terrace for property viewing and a fitness centre to warm up and then they can enjoy a cool drink at the bar. The rooms are provided with TV and bathroom with added inclusion of bathrobes and slippers. The 24-hour front desk assists all guests.The Gaggal Airport is around 40.7 km away.

How to go around

Palampur is a neat and clean small hill station and can be covered mostly by foot. Taxis can be hired for local sightseeing. Taxis are available in abundance and can be conveniently hired from travel agencies locally.

Fests & Fairs

Holi: Holi can be considered to be the main festival of Palampur. It is celebrated with huge enthusiasm. Holi here has some typical rituals. The women of Palampur weave baskets with small twigs of kamal trees. These baskets are lined with thread, jaggery and pots filled coloured water. Bonfires also known as holikas are lit on the eve of the festival.

Baisakhi: Palampur also celebrates Baisakhi fair in a grand manner. The fair is held from 1st till 3rd of the month of Baisakh which falls in the English month of April. This is the time of harvest. This festival is especially favourite of the Sikh community and thousands of Sikh arrive from all corners to celebrate this festival.

Lohri: Lohri is another famous festival celebrated with great fanfare a day before Makar Sankranti. This is also very popular among the Punjabi community. Special Lohri songs and fervent dance with the merry beats of Dhol forms an integral part of celebration.

Diwali: Diwali or the festival of lights is another very popular festival of the entire Hindu community. It usually falls in the month of October or November. Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped reverently during Diwali.

Climate

Palampur has mild summers extending from the month of April till June. The temperature during summer months ranges from 8 to 30 degrees Celsius. Warm sunny days and pleasantly cold nights make summer months a pleasure to visit Palampur. Palampur hasmonsoon and receives most of its rainfall during the months of July to October. Monsoon months are better avoided for visiting the hilly town. Palampur has cold winters extending from the month of November till February. Temperature in winter varies from 10 to minus 10 degrees Celcius. Heavy woollens are recommended if visiting Palampur in winters. Also the brightness of hills and flowery meadows make Palampur the most charming during the winters. February and March are considered ideal to see this hilly town in full glory.

Ideal Itinerary

Bilaspur Itinerary (4D/3N)

Day 1Palampur sightseeing – Neugal Khad, Tashi Jong Monastery and Palampur Tea Gardens

Reach Palampur, the beautiful and refreshing mountain destination away from the crowd and bustle of city life in the lap of Himalayas. Get escorted to the hotel of your choice and after relaxing and getting refreshed go for a local sightseeing tour to discover the beauty of the hills.

  • Visit Neugal Khad located round 2 km outside Palampur and standing on the suspension bridge take in the majestic view of the magnificent Dhauladhar Ranges. Catch a bite and a drink in the quaint Neugal Café while breathing in fresh mountain air.

  • Explore the Saurabh Van Vihar on the banks of snow-fed Neugel Khad in the serene Kwat Village. Saurabh Van Vihar is a beautiful nature park full of various bird species. Enjoy the picnic atmosphere with fun boating, birdwatching and bouldering.

  • Explore the Tashi Jong Buddhist Monastery located at a distance of about 15 km from Palampur in a village named Tashi Jong. Enjoy the magnificence of the exquisite ornamental woodcarving, gilding and painting of the monastery. Indulge in some exclusive shopping of the Tibetan style artefacts.

  • Time to set your feet into the wide expanse of tea gardens where the green tea gardens look picturesque against the snow-clad Dhauladhar ranges.

After a power-packed day full of wanderlust return to the peace of the overnight stay at a choicest hotel in Palampur.

Day 2 Baijnath Temple, Andretta Pottery and Naam Art Gallery

Day2 will begin with an auspicious visit to the Baijnath Temple before visiting the other tourist attractions.

  • Visit Baijnath Temple that is located approximately 16 km from Palampur. This temple has historical connotation and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This is an ancient temple dating back to the reign of Pandavas.

  • Next destination would be the exhilarating stop at the Andretta Pottery where they teach clay pottery-making and how to design pottery.

  • Included in the day’s itinerary is the Naam Art Gallery established by a German painter, Elisabeth Buschmann. It is located on Dharamsala-Chamunda Road where you can find a brilliant display of exclusive paintings.

After a fun-filled day of travel and tour return to the hotel and post dinner and rest and sleep.

Day 3 Visit to Bharkudi, Sobha Singh Art Gallery, Kankaleshwar Temple and the Palpung Sherab Ling Monastery

Spend the day among unexplored natural beauty visiting the topmost tourist attractions.

  • Bharkudi is set amidst picturesque landscaping and is a trekker’s paradise. Also visit the Shiva Temple of Barkudi for a religious flavour.

  • Kankaleshwar Temple visit will be a memorable day trip where you can indulge in nature photography and spend a busy day sightseeing and wandering merrily.

  • Visit Sobha Singh Art Gallery to witness the richness of Punjabi culture. This gallery displays the finest art works of eminent artist Sobha Singh in Andretta village and includes a masterpiece of Guru Nanak and portraits of Sohni-Mahinval and Hir-Ranjha.

  • The Palpung Sherab Ling Monastery is a deep Buddhist learning centre providing basic education courses and is complete with all facilities. Catch up with some restful moments of peace and harmony.

Reach back Bilaspur to the warm corner of your hotel for an overnight stay.

Day 4 Departure from Palampur

Wake up to a fresh new day and the last day of Palampur trip. Time to journey back home.

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