Surrounded by a large number of slopes of emerald green tea plantation and set against the backdrop of the dominating Dhauladhar ranges, Palampur is nestled away in the north-west region of Himachal Pradesh. The city derives its name from the term ‘Pulum’ which in local language means “lots of water.” Reckoned as the ‘The tea Capital of North India,’ Palampur is a major center for tea production. Palampur is sprinkled with the eloquent art galleries, paddy fields, and ancient shrines.
An erstwhile retreat of the British people, Palampur is a small, offbeat destination nestled amidst the foothills of Dhauladhar range. Palampur carries the legacy of being a tea estate since the 18th century, when the British ruled India. Since then, Palampur has achieved international fame for its tea plantation. The countryside is layered with multiple layers of tea estates, but the oldest and the most famous amongst them is the Bundla Tea Estate complex which has existed for 200 years.
Palampur is a visual delight filled with gushing streams passing through the plains with a backdrop of Dhauladhars ranges. From the artistic Andretta and Taragarh Palace to the fantastic Sourabh Van Vihar, there are a thousand shades of green engulfed here.
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Spread in an area of 13 kms, Saurabh Van Vihar is a nature park that is dedicated to brave soldier Saurabh Kalia (martyr in the Kargil War). The park is situated on the bank of snow-fed Neugel Khad in Kwat Village. A perfect place for recreation, Saurabh Van Vihar is at a distance of about 4kms from Palampur. Overlooking the mighty Dhauladhar Range, the beauty of this nature park is enhanced with the different varieties of plants and trees. The park also shelters a sizable population of birds’ species, which further adds to its charm.
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Saurabh Van Vihar was established in order to create awareness regarding the gradually depleting environment. In the course of time, this nature park has become a popular picnic ground for people. Today, boating, birdwatching and bouldering can be enjoyed in the park apart from nature walks on the pebbly bank of the Neugal Khad.
History:Saurabh Van Vihar is dedicated to Indian Army martyr Capt. Saurabh Kalia, who lost his life during the Kargil War in 1999. Capt. Kalia is believed to have endured tortures in the captivity of Pakistan for more than 20 days during the war. The nature park dedicated to him in Palampur is an inspiration of all to sacrifice for our country, conserve its rich wildlife and respect it by protecting it against all odds.
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Tea gardens in Palampur cover a large area on the hillsides. Palampur was established by Dr. Jameson, who introduced tea plantation on the hill station. Amongst these gardens, a few are privately owned; some are called as “demonstration plots” that are managed by organizations such as the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. Vast tea plantation estates can be seen on the road to Dharamshala that belongs to Palampur Co-operative Tea Factory. The abundance of tea plantation has made Palampur the Tea Capital of North India. The lush plantation with the backdrop of gorgeous Dhauladhar Mountain Range adds to the beauty of Palampur.
Dedicated to Devi Latti Jakhni, the Jakhni Mata Temple is situated at the topmost point of Chandpur Village in Kangra district. This holy shrine is situated about 7 kms from Bundla Mata Temple and 5 kms from Palampur. It’s a steep climb up to the temple, so it is ideal to take a car instead of choosing to walk. However, physically fit people can try hiking up to the temple. 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.