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The tea capital of North West India: Palampur, Himachal Pradesh

A warm streak of sunlight softly knocks at your door, fresh morning airbrushes your hair, the tall mountains greet you a good day and the water streams motivate you to keep going. That’s the vibe that Palampur offers.

Situated at the foothills of giant mountains, Palampur is a small town in Himachal Pradesh which nestles between the Dhauladhar ranges of the Himalayas. It is blessed with vast stretches of tea plantations which earns this place the title of ‘tea capital’ of North-West India.

The town gets its name from the local word ‘Palum’ which means ‘lot of water’. There are numerous streams that flow straight from the mountains to this landlocked town.


Once, this town used to be a part of the Jalandhar kingdom. It was under British rule when the tea bushes from Almora were introduced here in 1849. The tea plantation flourished in the rich grounds of Palampur and so did the town. The Britishers viewed the town as a flourishing market for tea estates hence, a lot of development took place during that era. The town is surrounded by many tea beds but the most famous one is the ‘Bundla Tea Estate’ which dates back 160 years ago.

The town also has some of the major points that could be used for generating electricity from water thereby leading to the fast development of railway tracks and roads to facilitate the construction of hydro-power projects.

Being surrounded by snow-capped peaks almost throughout the year, the climate is usually cool over here with significant temperature drops during the winter season. The terrain as such in that town rarely receives snowfall, but the cold winds swept down to the valley due to pressure drop leading to bone chilled weather during peak winters.

While in town, one must try the local cuisine of the place. The Kangri Dham is famous in the whole town and drives its name from the Kangra Valley which serves as the district headquarters of the area. Earlier, the ‘dham’ which is a serving of multiple curries with white rice was found only during social gatherings but with the gaining fame, few of the eating joints have conceptualised the idea of serving it at their dhabas. Though, to get a true essence of it, you still have to be invited to some local gathering only!

Saurabh Kalia Van Vihar is a major tourist attraction of the town. Spread across an area of 13 kms, it is a nature park that is dedicated to Indian Army martyr Capt. Saurabh Kalia, who lost his life in the Kargil War in 1999. He had been held captive by the Pakistani Army and was tortured for 20 days. This park tells the tale of his bravery and is a proud monument for the people of Palampur.

One can also visit Billing which is the world’s second-best paragliding site, and is located at a distance of 44 kms from the town. The Paragliding World Cup in 2015 was held here.

One can also check out the famous Triund trek which is also located in the vicinity of the town. Since, the town is evolving into a major tourist attraction, there are numerous staying options that range from luxury hotels and cottages to basic homestays which one can book according to their preference.


The town is well connected by road with daily buses plying at regular intervals from Delhi, Chandigarh and Shimla. The nearest railway station is at Maranda. But the best way to reach here is by road only.

Although the town is at its best during all the seasons but to cite a best one, one should visit during the month of March, when the winter transits into spring and the town blooms with new buds. Snow-capped mountains shine brightly in the warm summer sunlight and the evenings are most pleasant. One can spend hours along the numerous streams of Palampur.

The town a must-visit to sync with nature as you sip a hot cup of tea. The mountain air and the serenity of the local life is a treat for every traveller who comes to Palampur.

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