The hill town of Palampur in Kangra Valley captivates you with its beautiful landscapes, pine and deodar forests and sparkling streams. The town has derived its name from the local word "pulum', meaning lots of water. It was originally a part of the local Sikh kingdom and later on came under the British rule. The town came into being when the tea bush was introduced in the 19th century and Palampur became a focus for the planters. The criss-crossing streams and brooks coupled with the fertile slopes provide the ideal conditions for the tea crop to flourish. In fact, it is the tea that distinguishes Palampur, also known as the tea capital of Northern India.
The breathtaking landscapes of the mountain ranges inspired artists and they made these the backdrop of their paintings. Hence, it is also known for its miniature style Pahari paintings.
Andretta (13kms): Home of the famous artist, late Sardar Sobha Singh and play-writer. Ms. Nora Richards. There are beautiful paintings worth seeing in their private house, which is open as Art Gallery for visitors. It affords an excellent view of Dhauladhar range.
Baijnath (15kms): Baijnath is a pilgrimage centres of the Hindus in Kangra Distt. Here one finds the oldest existing Shiva temple in the country, believed to have been originally built by the Pandavas.
Bir (14kms): Bir, surrounded by tea gardens and an amphitheater of low hills, is an ideal place for para-gliders and hence rightly called the para gliding capital of the country. It also has Buddhist Monasteries that are worth visiting. Billing, up in the hills 14 kms from Bir with an arena of 200 km for high altitude and cross country flying, is also one of the best paragliding sites in the country.
TashiJong (12 km): A Tibetan monastery.
Neugal Khad (3kms): A 300 m wide channel which forms the passageway of the tiny Bundla stream. See the mighty Dhauladhar range that falls as the backdrop and the sight of the chasm, temple and mountains all together contributing to an awe-inspiring spectacle.
National Open selective for the 2010 World Cup Tour to be held from 20-25 Oct’09 at Bir.