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Among the hill stations and towns in northern India, there is arguably little that compares to Palampur, both in popularity and importance. Located in the Kangra Valley near the Dhauladhar mountain ranges of the state of Himachal Pradesh, Palampur rises at an altitude of 1,291 meters (roughly 4,236 feet) above mean sea level. It gained its fame and popularity mostly because of its picturesque and breath-taking snow-clad mountains and tea gardens. In fact, Palampur is dubbed as the tea capital of northern India, with the tea gardens located between 800 to 1600 meters above mean sea level. The city’s scenery presents both a sublime and awe-inspiring contrast: whereas the plain shows a perfect picture of rural calmness and simplicity, the mountains that serve as the region’s backdrops are grand and majestic.

Palampur got its name from the local word “pulum,” which means water. This is undoubtedly due to the fact that the town has a natural abundance of water, with countless streams and brooks crisscrossing the landscape. Its proximity to the Dhauladhar mountain range caused it to have a mild climate that is common among hill stations and elevated towns. This, in turn, makes it a very good place for tourists both domestic and international to spend their summer vacations in. The climate is healthy, and it is often said that the pine-scented air of the place has curative abilities. The town is also popular for its colonial architecture, temple and buildings, a legacy from the British colonial rule in the 19th century. Since Palampur is situated in and around the middle of the Kangra Valley, it is often a good starting point to explore the surroundings.

The town used to be a part of the Sikh kingdom, before the British came and colonized India, after which it came under British rule. It was also one of the leading hill states during that time, and was once a part of the Jalandhar kingdom. When the Superintendent of Botanical Gardens, Dr. Jameson, introduced the tea bush in 1849, the modern town of Palampur was established. The bush thrived and with it, so did the town and its fame, and it became the focus of the tea estate owners from Europe. Since then, the Palampur’s Kanga tea has become known not just in India, but around the world.

Aside from the famous tea and its scenic beauty, Palampur also has several attractions that may interest tourists and visitors – indeed, the place is currently being developed as a large tourist center, with a ropeway and an amusement park slated to be constructed there. Among the existing tourist attractions are the Neughal Khad, a 305-meter wide chasm that falls over 100 meters down to a Bundla stream, running over stony ground. During the monsoon season, the stream becomes a raging river. The Neughal Khad also offers a breath-taking view of the Dhauladhar mountain range. Another attraction is the Baijnath, a popular pilgrimage center for Hindus in the Kangra district. It is said that the oldest existing Shiva temple in all of India can be found here, believed to have been built by the Pandavas.

Palampur is also a good place for trekking and hiking, both within the town and to nearby towns. Paragliding is also a popular sport, with Billing being an important center for the adventure recreation. The town is also famous for its Tibetan handicrafts.


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