Information of palampur in temple and othervalley of which Palampur (1249 m) is a major station, was the `Trigarta' of old. It was one of the leading hill states and was once a part of the kingdom of Jalandhara. In local parlance, the world for `lots of water' is `pulum'. This is what has given Palampur its name and it is water that has given the valley so much of its character. Countless streams and brooks criss - cross the landscape and in their intricate mesh, hold tea gardens and rice paddies. The town of Palampur came into being when Dr. Jameson, Superintendent Botanical Gardens, North-West Frontier Province. introduced the tea bush from Almora in 1849. The bush thrived and so did the town which became a focus of the European tea estate owners. Kangra tea, with its centre at Palampur, has been internationally acclaimed since then. To further bless the area with remarkable natural beauty, the Dhauladhar ranges rise dramatically from the earth, just beyond Palampur. The town itself has some interesting colonical architecture and the area around is richly garnished with historical temples and forts - and scores of picturesque tam lets.
How to get There
The airport at Gaggal (Kangra) is 37 km from Palampur. The road gauge railway reaches Pathankot which is 115 km from Palampur - and the narrow gauge railway comes right upto Maranda, 4 km from the town. Taxies and buses are available at both places. By road, Palampur is 545 km from Delhi.
In winter, the temperature can get quite low when heavy woollens are required,. It is warm in summer and cottons are recommended.
The Nagri Resort
The Nagri Resort - the back alley to paradise. A blissful cluster of cottages amongst natural and man-made luxuries. Just 10 kilometers from Palampur, the Nagri Resorts is perched among paddy fields, a stream called Khadd and picture perfect views of the snow capped Dhauladhar. Read more
Places of Interest in and around Palampur
Tea Factory (1.5 km) : At the very start of town, the tea factory of the co-operative society, offers an insight to the processing of Kangra tea.
Church of St. John in the Wilderness (200 m) : This attractive church , very close to the hotel and surrounded by poinsettias, is built on a low rise. This was reconstructed in 1929 and has several memorial tables.
Tample of Bunslamata (2 km) : One can walk through tea gardens and open fields or drive to reach this historical temple which was originally built about five centuries ago.
Neugal Khad : Close to the temple of Bundlamata, is this 300m wide chasm, through which the Bundla stream flows. Immediately ahead are the Dhauladhar mountain.
Gopalpur (1200mt.) 10 km from Palampur is Gopalpur where the Forest Department has set up a zoo called Dhauldhar Nature Park
Chamunda devi (18 km) :
Legend has it that two demons. Chand and Mund tried to harass the goddess Ambika. Enraged, Ambika knitted her brows and from their folds emerged a terrifying from of Kali, who slew the demons. Pleased, Ambika declared that Kali would now be worshipped here as `Chamunda'. Himachal Tourism also runs a `Yatri Niwas' at this sacred place.
Andretta (13 km) : The Artist's Village
Some places in the world are made for inspiration. Kangra Valley, with its spectacular backdrop of the mighty Dhauladhar, the Milky Mountains, has forever been known to attract artists, the Kangra school of miniature painting being just one notable example. What Kangra was to art some 200 years ago. Andretta, a tiny village 14 km south of Palampur, is to artist in the present century. Nestling amongst the rolling plains of Kangra Valley, with a wide panorama of snowy mountams its constant backdrop, Andretta has attracted artists of many hues. The village was brought to prominence by Ms. Norah Richards, the famous writer and dramatist. Known popularly as the `Nani of Punjabi Drama', Ms. Richards' writings exhibited her deep sensibility to life and people around her. Equally well known, and as sensitively marked, was her contemporary Sir Sobha Singh. Honored with the title of Padma Shri, Sobha Singh's paintings perhaps show the influence of the Kangra school, especially in the use of colours and their shades. S. Sobha Singh Painting Gallery
Sujanpur Tira (700mt)
42 km from Palampur situated on the banks of foaming Beas, the historical town Sujanpur Tira (Tira mean palace) was built by Raja Sandra Chand, who had ascended to the throne when only ten years of age. The Tira Palace was the winter residence of Sansar Chand and the Alampur palace on the other side of the Beas was his summer resort.
The township is picturesque having a vast natural 'chaugan' (flat ground)and grassy plain surrounded by the trees where traditional annual fair of holi is held for four days. A sainik school is located here. The temple of Gauri Shankar has life size statues of Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati in Ashatadhathu. A real wealth of paintings lies in the Narbadeshwar temple in the town.Hardly any inch of the space has been left anadorned. The town has also the temple of Lord Ganesha and Laxmi Narayan. Appropriately, the town was once a major trade center and known for the craftmanship of the jwellers
More Information on Sujanpur Tira
One of the most remarkable monuments of the Kangra valley is the temple of Baijnath. Baijnath is situated East of Dharamsala on the main road that leads from the Dharmsala to Mandi. Baijnath is in reality the appellation of the chief temple dedicated to Siva Vaidyanatha ("Lord of Physicians") by which the town itself has become known. The original name of the town was Kiragrama. This we learn from the two extensive Sarada inscriptions incised on stone slabs, which in elegant and florid Sanskrit verse give the history of the foundation of a temple, by two local merchants. "There is in Trigarata," we read in the inscription, "the pleasant village of Kiragrama, the home of numerous virtues where the river called Binduka, leaping from the lap of the mountain, with glittering wide-waves resembling playing-balls, merrily plays, like a bright maiden in the first bloom of youth. That village is protected by the strong-armed Rajanaka Lakshmana." The river Binduka, so well described by the poet, is the modern Binwa, a tributary of the Beas. The date of the inscription is expressed both in the Saptarshi and in the Saka eras. Cunningham first read the Saka date as 726, corresponding with A.D. 804. The true date, however, must be the Saka year 1126 corresponding with A.D .1204.
The Baijnath temple is oriented due west. It consists of a puri or adytum. 8 feet squre inside and 18 feet outside, surmounted by a spire of the usual conical shape, and of a mandapa or front hall, 20 feet square inside, covered with a low pyramid shaped roof. The adytum, which contains the linga known as Vaidaya natha, is entered through a small anteroom with two pillars in antis. The roof of the mandapa is supported by four massive pillars connected by raised benches which form, as it were, a passage leading to the entrance of the sanctum. The architraves resting on these pillars divide the space of the ceiling into nine compartments, each of which is closed by means of corbelling slabs.
In front of the mandapa rises a stately porch resting on four columns. "The shafts of these pillars," Fergusson remarks "are plain cylinders, of very classical proportions, and the bases also show that they are only slightly removed from classical design. The square plinth, the two toruses, the cavetto or hollow molding between are all classical, but partially hidden by Hindu ornamentation, of great elegance but unlike anything found afterwards."
Set amidst a backdrop of Snow-clad Mountains and lush green Valleys the temple is visible from a far distance. Close flows the Binwa Khund (stream). Considered sacred by local people. The temple surrounding area has been developed into a beautiful lawn and flowerbeds so that the devotees are able to rest a while amidst congenial surrounding.