Palampur is a green hill station and a municipal council in the Kangra Valley in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, surrounded on all sides 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 the 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.
Kingfisher Red 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 7 hours covering two tunnels, one of which is only 250 feet and the other 1,000 feet in length.
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 (240 km), Shimla (259 km), Manali (205KM), Dharamshala (35 km), Sandhole (60 km) etc. Tickets can be booked online from HRTC website.
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 diety. They offer new crop, fruits and vegetables to there diety, 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.
Palampur is the ideal hill resort for you if you enjoy trekking and Paragliding. There are several trek routes that one can trek on, one important one being over Sanghar Pass to Bharmaur 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 mtrs, 5000 mtrs and one after the other so as pilot can fly at 4000 mtrs and still watch the mountains tower above.
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 para-gliders. 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.