Located at a distance of 30 kms form dharamshala and 110 kms from Mandi Palampur is a green hill station located in Kangra Valley in Himachal Pradesh. Popularly known as the tea capital of northwest India, Palampur is surrounded by tea gardens and pine forests. Palampur is situated 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 Dhauladhar mountain range hills on the other side. On the outskirts of Palampur flows Neugal stream in a thin streak running over stony ground far below the cliff. It offers great scenic beauty with snow-covered peaks. There is a trek to Bundla Falls which cascade from a height of 100 meters. A recreational spot, called Saurabh Van Vihar, in Bundla, gets its name from Capt. Saurabh Kalia who hails from Palampur. Palampur is also hometown of Capt. Vikram Batra who was awarded Paramvir Chakra (posthumous).
Due to its scenic beauty and moderate climate Palampur (4800’) is one of the popular tourist attraction of the Himachal Pradesh. The major tourist attractions here and around are: Negual café, Saurabh Van Vihar, Jakhni mata temple, and around Palampur are Baijnath Temple, Tashi Jong Khampagar Monastery, Bir Billing Paragliding, Sobha singh Art Gallery, Gopalpur Zoo and Chamunda Devi Temple.
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Palampur is a all weather hill station which can be visited during throughout the year. It experiences pleasant summers with the temperature rising to the maximum of 30 degrees, the monsoons experience mild rainfall and the winters are chilly with temperatures falling to sub-zero levels.
1. Negual Khad & Negual Café
Nevgal Khad is one of the popular attractions of Palampur, which is located at a distance of approximately 2 km from the main town. The location is popularly known as Bundla Chasm. There is a stream 300 metres wide flowing through the region that besides being a picnic spot also offers scenic view of the snow covered Dhauladhar ranges. Stream surroundings become serene during monsoons.
Neugal Cafe is a famous Picnic Spot offers a fine view of the Dhauladhar range & the great view of Neugal Khud. This Himachal Tourism café provides food and a fine view from its restaurant.
2. Saurabh Van Vihar
Saurabh Van Vihar is a beautiful garden in the Palampur town, named after valiant Army officer, Captain Saurabh Kalia. The garden managed by the Himachal Pradesh Forest Department is situated in proximity to Neugal. There are over 151 species of herbs along with medicinal plants in the complex. Saurabh Van Vihar is spread over an area of 35 acres, which houses Picnic Sheds, Children Park, Water streams, Health trails, Open Air Theatre, Bamboosetum and Tiger Hill Bridge.
3. Jakhni mata temple
Dedicated to Devi Latti Jakhni, the Jakhni Mata Temple is situated at the topmost point 5 kms from Palampur. It’s a steep climb up to the temple, and is a delight to the trekkers. It is also connected by moterable road. The temple is located at a vantage point, from where the view of the Dhauladhar range, the valley and the rural human settlements is simply spectacular.
4. Baijnath Temple
Located at a distance of 16 km from Palampur Baijnath Temple is one of the chief attractions of the region. This temple dedicated to Lord Shiva was established in 1204 A.D by regional merchants, named Ahuka and Manyuka and is considered to be the one of the 12 jyotirlinga. Highlights of the shrine are the inscriptions on the porch of the temple that indicates a shrine of Lord Shiva’s existence before the construction of the temple.
5. Tashi Jong Khampagar Monastery
Tashi Jong Monastery is one of the famous attractions of the region. The monastery is more of a community than a religious centre of Buddhists. Tashi Jong complex have provided refuge to several Tibetans. It is frequented by the peace seekers and Buddhist pilgrims all the year round. One of the highlights of the complex is the monastery, which has decorated walls depicting Tibetan culture and traditions. Monastery complex comprises of gardens and restaurants along with craft emporium.
6. Bir Billing Paragliding (35 kms)
Known as the ‘Paragliding capital of India’, the towns of Bir and Billing are extremely popular places for adventure sport. Bir is the take off site while Billing is the landing spot. The village, completely surrounded by tea gardens and an amphitheater of low hills, is ideal landing around for para-gliders. Billing presents a panoramic view of the valley below. Bir and Billing was rated as one of best destinations for paragliding in the world. The best season for paragliding in Bir and Billing is from March to May and then again from October to November. Bir is also famous for its Tibetan colony and various Buddhist monasteries.
7. Sobha singh Art Gallery (14 kms)
Located in Andretta village and dedicated to the work of eminent artist Sobha Singh, the Sobha Singh Art Gallery is one of the major tourist attraction of Palampur. The art gallery displays some of the finest work of Sobha Singh, which includes portraits of Sikh Gurus and Sohni-Mahinval and Hir-Ranjha (famed Punjabi couples).
Apart from Sikh Gurus, Sobha Singh also painted portraits of Indian national heroes like Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Kartar Singh Sarabha, Mahatma Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri. Today, Sobha Singh Art Gallery is an important art centre and holds great value in Punjab’s heritage.
8. Gopalpur Zoo (13 kms)
Speeding over an area of 30 acres. Dhauladhar National Park, also known as Gopalpur Zoo, is one of the chief attractions that draw attention of wildlife enthusiasts. Set up by the wildlife department of Himachal Pradesh Government this national park is one of the major attractions of the destination. Tourists visiting the mini zoo situated in the complex can spot animals like leopards, black bears, angora rabbits, Asiatic lion, sambhar, red fox and varieties of deers.
9. Chamunda Devi Temple (10 kms)
Chamunda Devi Temple is one of the prime religious centres and one of the 51 Shakti Peethas of Hindus. The shrine dedicated to Goddesses Durga or Chamunda, provides an ideal ambiance for meditation and seeking blessing of the Goddess. Homage at the shrine is believed to provide spiritual peace for the ancestors of devotees.
Chamunda Devi Temple complex features a Kund (a pond), which is believed to have sacred water. Besides, there is a cave-like scoop on the back side of the sanctum which represents Shivalingam. Paintings of several Gods and Goddesses located in the temple complex draws attention of the tourists.