Visit Palampur: The Tea Capital of North India in Kangra, Himachal Pradesh (2023)
Palampur is a beautiful hill city in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. It is also known as the tea capital of North India. It is located in the northwestern part of the state of Himachal Pradesh, in the northern region of India. It is situated in the Kangra valley, near the Dhauladhar ranges. It is located at an altitude of 1,220 m above sea level. Palampur is 30 km from Dharamshala and 35 km from Kangra city is located on a plateau with a backdrop of beautiful mountains and stream. Palampur got its name from the word pulum that means an abundance of water. It was a part of the local Sikh kingdom and later it came under British rule. You will also get to see an old-world charm when you visit Palampur with the old colonial buildings of the British era which will entice you into visiting the place over and over.
You will see numerous tea gardens and paddy fields all around you in Palampur which gives it a unique place among other hill stations in the region. People specially come to Palampur to visit the tea gardens and spend their time. They say a visit to Himachal would be incomplete without seeing Palampur. It is a unique place set against the beautiful Dhauladhar Ranges. From majestic mountains, tea estates to temples, monasteries, and art galleries, you will find it all at Palampur. Two very famous temples in the area are Shiva temple and Jakhni Mata temple that have intriguing and interesting stories behind them. It is a place of dreams to spend vacations and some time away from city life. You can also enjoy experiences like pottery classes and some unique Tibetan workshops. A vacation at Palampur is one-of-a-kind experiences and should not be missed. A detailed guide to planning your trip to Palampur is mentioned below.
Places To See And Things To Do In Palampur
- Tashi Jong Monastery: There are many famous monasteries all over the state in Himachal Pradesh. Tashi Jong Monastery is a special one located in the Himalayan foothills in Palampur. And the important fact is that it is not just a monastery but also a home for Tibetan refugees. The monastery also has a college for freshers and also has a Tibetan restaurant beside the main shrine. The place is inhabited by Tibetans since the time they took refuge in India after the Chinese invasion of Tibet. The place has a quaint serenity about it as you will hear chants and prayer most times which makes it more peaceful. If you are interested in buying Tibetan artifacts, this is a nice place to buy souvenirs for your friends and family. A visit to Palampur is incomplete without visiting this monastery.
- Tea Gardens: Palampur is also known as the tea capital of Northern India. This is the main attraction of the city and for every traveler to visit the gardens and enjoy the chill in the air with the lush greenery of the tea gardens around. You can also enjoy watching the tea making process in detail at this beautiful place too. Stepping into these lush green tea gardens makes you feel as if you have stepped into heaven and the divine fragrance of tea makes you feel like you have entered into a new tea world. This is even more special for tea lovers who specifically enjoy this place with great pleasure. The idea of growing tea was introduced in this area in the 19th century and it has never stopped. This place has become famous for specialty teas called the renowned Kangra Tea. This tea is very famous, rich, and good quality, that 90% of it is exported out of the country. You can also visit the Palampur Co-operative Tea Factory Limited to see the complete process of plucking, picking, and processing of tea, as well as the commercial production of tea. Travelers and visitors are welcome here and they enjoy taking photographs of the tea gardens and the women picking tea leaves. It is a good and informative place to spend a few hours at Palampur.
- Saurabh Van Vihar: Saurabh Van Vihar is built in the memory of the brave soldier martyred during the Kargil war whose name was Saurabh Kalia. It is a nature park spread over an area of around 13 km. The beautiful and scenic tourist attraction is located on the banks of the snow-fed Neugel Khad in Kwat village. Saurabh Van Vihar is located just 4 km away from Palampur and is an ideal place to visit for a quiet getaway from the city life. You will see many people in the area coming here for a daycation and enjoying a day here to calm the nerves by taking a walk around the park and enjoy looking at the lush greenery. This place attracts nature lovers and photographers equally. They come here especially in the mornings and evenings to capture the beautiful views. Saurabh Van Vihar is a proud symbol and honor of all the soldiers who were martyred during the war. The park was initially built to spread awareness about the environmental damage that was turned into a park in memory of martyrs. You can enjoy walking, bird watching, and boating in this beautiful place.
- Neugal Khad: Neugal Khad is a beautiful place located 2 km from the town. People come here to enjoy long walks and marvel at nature’s beauty. It is a beautiful place equally enjoyed by children and adults, adventure seekers and nature lovers as well as photographers who wish to enjoy the natural beauty away from the hustle-bustle of the town. Make sure you visit Neugal Khad while you are in Palampur next time.
- Pottery at Andretta: Andretta is a small village located 9 km from the town famous for pottery and is visited by many tourists who are around. You will find people coming here especially to visit to buy beautiful things and to try their hands at pottery. This is a perfect place if you want to learn pottery. It is an extremely beautiful concept that was started by Mansimran Singh in 1983. The idea was to teach clay pottery-making and designing to interested candidates for a fee, with an opportunity to undertake this course while living in the Dhauladhar Himalayas in the Kangra District. This one should be on your bucket list if you want to learn pottery from scratch.
- Baijnath Temple: This temple holds a special place in the heart of both locals and tourists. Baijnath temple is one of the most famous temples in the state of Himachal Pradesh. This is a Lord Shiva temple and is built in classical architecture. It resembles the temple in Jagannath Puri and attracts many tourists from faraway places. This water in this temple is considered sacred and that is another reason for it to attract a large number of tourists. This temple is visited by many people throughout the year. Baijnath temple was built in 1204 A.D by two native merchants, Ahuka and Manyuka. The legend says that they were devotees of Lord Shiva. Baijnath temple is situated at a distance of only 16 km from Palampur. It is one of the very few temples in India where both, Lord Shiva, and Demon King Ravan are worshipped. People come and spend hours here just admiring the view from this place. Even if you are not very religious, you must visit this place to look at the beautiful hills and forests around and praise the marvel and grandiosity of nature.
- Toy Train Ride: Another popular activity when in Palampur is to enjoy a toy train ride. It is also designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. You can enjoy a ride between Palampur, and Pathankot and the train take you on a hilly ride amidst lush green pine and deodar forests, beautiful streams, and waterfalls in between the hills. You get the opportunity to enjoy the unadulterated and picturesque views in the world and you will also cross rural villages and can witness the rural way of living in the hills.
- Shopping in Palampur: One of the best things to buy in Palampur is Tibetan artifacts. You can buy the original Thangka paintings, artifacts, and jewelry with Tibetan influence liked by many people. You can also buy rugs and woolen clothes from the local market. Another thing to buy and relish at home after your vacation is the Kangra Tea. Make sure you buy some Kangra tea from Palampur before heading back to your places.
Best Time to Visit Palampur
The best time to take a trip to Palampur is during the summer season between March and June. Early winters are also a really pleasant time to visit Palampur from September to November are also a pleasant time of the year. Winters in Palampur are freezing which can be quite a scenery as mountains are pleasant in all weather but if you are looking for an adventure then summers are the ideal time for a visit.
The small village is nestled with trees, majestic mountains, and beautiful tea estates all around, Palampur is adorned with pleasant weather all around the year and you will see tourists frolicking here in all seasons.
How to Reach Palampur?
Himachal Pradesh is a playground for the gods as well as humans. It is graced with majestic mountains, serene rivers, and lakes with crystal clear waters and deep forests that entice every traveler with its beauty. Palampur is well connected to the plains and all the nearby major cities. There are several means of transport available to travel to Palampur. You can choose from air travel, trains, buses, or taxis to reach this heavenly town in the lap of the Himalayas.
- Air travel to Palampur: The nearest airport is Kangra Airport which is also known as Gaggal Airport. It is located at a distance of 25 km from Palampur. You will find many flights connecting Delhi to Gaggal or Chandigarh to Gaggal you can choose from these depending upon your convenience. And you can book a taxi from Gaggal airport to Palampur which is quite a scenic drive and not to be missed. You can also take a bus from the Gaggal bus stand to reach Palampur if you enjoy public transport. It is quite a scenic view with tea gardens and beautiful pine and deodar trees around.
- Rail Travel to Palampur: The closest railway station is Pathankot Railway station which is located at a distance of around 90 km from Palampur. You will find a direct train to Pathankot from major railway stations in the major cities. You can take a train from Delhi if you are in the city or take a direct or connecting train from where ever you are and you can order a taxi from Pathankot to Palampur which is 3 hours’ drive. Or if you choose to take public transport i.e. a Bus, it will take around 4 hours for you to reach Palampur from Pathankot. You will be able to enjoy the stunning views of the Himalayas on your journey all through which will be the highlight of your trip to Palampur.
- Road Travel to Palampur: You can easily take a bus preferably Himachal Pradesh tourism from Delhi to Palampur. This is one of the most frequent direct routes from Delhi to cities in Himachal Pradesh. You can easily find a bus from the Inter-State Bus Terminus. The better option is to take an overnight bus which leaves Delhi around 9 or 10 and arrive at Palampur in the morning. You can also bring your car and drive to Palampur from the nearby plains or book a taxi to reach Palampur. The scenic drive to this hill city is bewitching and will force you to come to this part of the hills again and again.
- Local Transport in Palampur: Palampur is a fairly small village which can be covered on foot if you like walking. You can book a taxi to visit the places nearby at a price of around INR 700 to 1000.
Places to Stay in Palampur
There are several hotels and resorts to stay in Palampur for every budget. From hotels to homestays, this place has it all. The best places to stay when in Palampur to enjoy the local luxury is to stay at homestays and learn to cook like locals do and eat what they eat. You will get to have the locally flavored Kangra tea as well. There are places for every budget at Bir and Billing and you can choose a place that fits your requirements. Additionally, there are many beautiful hotels in the area you can choose to spend a luxury vacation. Some of the best hotels in the area are Infinitea Garden Resort which is built amid the tea estates is a dream come true. Others are RS Sarovar Portico, Norwood Green, Mastiff Villa, WelcomHeritage Taragarh Palace, and Araiya Palampur.
Make sure you book the place before visiting during the season because it gets really difficult to find accommodation if you land in the town without any arrangement to stay in the peak season.
Things to Eat in Palampur
You will have an amazing culinary experience at Palampur during your vacation. This place has many restaurants you can eat to satisfy your senses and the foodie in you. The most commonly served and preferred food in Palampur is North Indian food. However, you can enjoy other cuisines at some of the restaurants in Palampur. The famous cafes serving local to multicuisine food are The Himalayan Heritage, The Terrace Restaurant, Republic of Chicken, Skybar, and Restaurant. Make sure you visit these places and enjoy your time eating the best food while you are here and discover more cafes and restaurants to enjoy good food and time.