February 25, 2007
The first stoppage of our itinerary was Palampur. The day was a little cloudy and the rain seemed to be in the air. The scent of the pine needles combined with the aroma of the tea gardens and the effect was deadly enough to submerge us in its heavenly concoction!
The Majestic Dhauladhars
The distant Dhauladhars looked magnificent and majestic. It was almost evening when we reached Palampur and went to a friends’ home at Agricultural University campus to take a little rest and sip a hot cup of Kangra tea. The tea soothed the tired body and the nerves. The Dhauladhar ranges seem to look down on us mortals and gleam in the glory of its timelessness and unparalleled beauty. The word “Dhaula” means white in Pahari dialect rather to be more specific it means the graying crown of an aging person! And “Dhar” means ranges! The name itself captures the charm of the ancient ranges, wise and white, keeping a vigil over the town.
The Gaddis, the nomadic tribes, have been using the trails in the ranges for taking their flock to the higher altitudes and these very trails are used these days by the trekkers who want to explore the nature in its pastoral charms!
These trails passing through the dense growth of lovely oaks, deodars and pine trees would captivate anyone who wants a few days of respite from the mechanical life of the cities. And who doesn’t?
Even the driving through the roads leading to or out of Palampur is a refreshing experience. The scenic beauty and the smooth roads are a rare combination to have in this part of Himachal. What to speak of the main roads, if you take any side road the beauty of the surrounding would usher you to go further to explore the mystic charms of the nature.
If on one hand the nature has been bountiful to Palampur, the tea gardens plantrted during the Raj period have added more to the grace of the surrounding and adding to the natural beauty of the place. The Kangra Tea is internationally acclaimed for its quality and flavour.
The verdancy of the HPKVV
The campus of the Agricultural University and its verdancy has further multiplied the beauty of the town manifold. The various projects to educate the local farmers to grow crops scientifically has added to the cash returns to the farmers. The best that I liked about the campus was that it seemed to submerge with the surroundings and has become a part of the natural charms of the town!
Palampur looks exquisite if only one could somehow bypass the town that because of its narrow road and heavy traffic seems like an eyesore to a person searching for respite from the maddening crowds. It definitely needs some attention of the local Government.