Himachal Pradesh Journals

Palampur: Everybody’s Cup of Tea

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An August 2005 trip to Himachal Pradesh by phileasfogg

Taragarh Palace Hotel Photo, Himachal Pradesh, India More Photos
Quote: Palampur nestles in the Kangra Valley at a height of 1,219m. Set against a backdrop of pine-clad mountains and gurgling streams, this is one of Himachal’s loveliest destinations--and the fact that it lies in the heart of tea country makes it even better.

Palampur: Everybody’s Cup of Tea

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Overview

Pinewoods near Palampur Photo, Himachal Pradesh, India
Quote:
Palampur’s biggest attractions are the pretty tea gardens that sprawl across the hills. Although many of these are off-limits for casual visitors, you can walk through the gardens of the Palampur Co-operative Tea Factory: as long as you don’t pick the leaves, you’re welcome. Spend some time at the factory itself for a handy insight into the process by which the amazingly aromatic Kangra tea is produced. For a taste of art, you can drive down to the artists’ village at Andretta. The highlights of Andretta include a tiny art gallery featuring the work of a famous portrait painter (Sobha Singh) and a pottery section where pottery is made, sold, and displayed. O...Read More

Taragarh Palace Hotel

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Hotel

Taragarh Palace Hotel Photo, Himachal Pradesh, India
Quote:
A part of the WelcomHeritage group of hotels, this one’s definitely one of the nicest heritage hotels I’ve ever stayed in. The Taragarh Palace Hotel, also known as Al Hilal (in Persian, "The Crescent Moon"), lies 11 km short of Palampur. The palace was originally owned by the Nawab of Bahawalpur but was acquired by the royal family of Jammu and Kashmir in the 1930s. Named after the erstwhile Queen of Jammu and Kashmir, Taradevi, Taragarh was later turned into a heritage hotel, an elegant and hospitable place. The hotel is divided into two wings, the Heritage Wing and the newer Palace Wing. Both lie amidst stands of rosewood, mango, plane (a tree typical of Kashmir, where it’s known as the china...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 27, 2005

Taragarh Palace Hotel

Himachal, India
+91 (11) 24643046

The Shiva Temple

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Attraction

Baijnath Temple Photo, Himachal Pradesh, India
Quote:
In Hinduism, the Holy Trinity consists of Brahma (the Creator), Vishnu (the Preserver), and Shiva (the Destroyer). Of the three, Shiva, also known as Maheshwar, Umanath, Vaidyanath, etc., is one of the most commonly worshipped. There are literally hundreds of Shiva temples across India, each of them housing a shivaling, the phallic symbol of the deity. Among the most famous temples in Himachal Pradesh is also a Shiva temple, a temple dedicated to Vaidyanath (or, in the local dialect, "Baijnath"). This temple, in fact, is so important that it imparts its name to the town in which it's located. The town of Baijnath lies approximately 16km from Palampur, on the Palampur-Mandi road. It’s a sma...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 27, 2005

Andretta

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Attraction

On the way to Andretta Photo, Himachal Pradesh, India
Quote:
Andretta is pronounced something like "under-rate-ah." I’d probably change that to "over-rate-ah." Maybe we were purely unlucky; maybe we didn’t see the right places; maybe we just aren’t intellectual enough to appreciate it. Whatever, it was a tad disappointing. To reach Andretta, drive down the Palampur-Baijnath road till Paprola and then turn towards Andretta, about 8 km away. The drive from Paprola is scenic: green fields, dense stands of bamboo, slate-roofed houses, and gurgling streams line the road. Andretta itself is a quiet, pretty village where almost anybody will be able to guide you to the sights: Norah Richards’ retreat and the Art Gallery of Sardar Sobha Singh. Norah Richards, ...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on October 27, 2005

Tashijong Tibetan Monastery

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Attraction

Tashijong Photo, Himachal Pradesh, India
Quote:
Also spelt Tashizong, this pretty Tibetan monastery is situated high on a hill near Taragarh Palace. Driving from Palampur towards Baijnath, go past Taragarh and cross the first bridge beyond it. Right after the bridge, a narrow road on the left leads to Tashijong. The road winds uphill, past fields, and to the monastery, which commands a wonderful view of the surrounding area. Unlike the Buddhist monasteries of eastern Himachal Pradesh (such as Lahaul and Spiti), the monasteries in this area have been built in the past few years, ever since the Dalai Lama came to reside in Dharamshala. Dharamshala, the home of the Tibetan government in exile, has a sizeable Tibetan population, and some of...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 27, 2005

The Palampur Co-operative Tea Factory

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Story/Tip

Tea leaves drying Photo, Himachal Pradesh, India
Quote:
There’s something about tea that’s almost guaranteed to make most Indians lyrical. We have it at breakfast, after meals, at teatime (obviously!), and just about any time in between. We add infusions of ginger or holy basil to it, to get rid of sore throats; we add cardamom, cinnamon, and even pepper in some cases, to make it a warming drink for a frosty morning. In places like Kumaon, where milk is relatively scarce, people add lime juice and slices of lime to tea. In the Kashmir Valley, chopped almonds and a couple of strands of precious saffron are added to a no-milk green tea, to create a decidedly regal digestif. And not too far from Kashmir, in the remote and cold deserts of Ladakh, s...Read More