Changing face of Palampur

Driving through a link road to Palampur, I could see the difference between the Palampur of yore and Palampur of today. This link road joins Palampur from Maranda and what a pleasure it was to drive through dense pine forest on both side of the narrow road. It reminded me of the Palampur of yore when such was the scenic beauty on both sides of the main road. But not any more. Big and palatial houses in colorful exteriors welcome the visitor. These houses may speak of the rising financial status of the populace of Palampur but to an old timer. like me, they seem like eyesores on the picturesque beauty of Palampur.

What a pleasure it used to be in the town when the pine trees surrounded the living area of villages, the tea gardens were at one’s backyard, so close by that one could pick a few tea leaves while having put water to simmer! But as I was told tea cannot be prepared from fresh tea leaves the poor leaves have to undergo a long and hard processing before they turn into customary tea leaves! And the water Kuhals, an integral part of a courtyard, would flow through the aangan. It would be common sight to see water kuhals flowing near most of the localities. But I repeat, no more!

While I got down to take a few pictures at this road, I heard faint sound of water and surprisingly found a water kuhal nearby! It passed through the pine forest, silently and without any grudge! But still lucky Kuhal it was, having clean and cool water in it, as I found later many others literally dried up kuhals turned into places to dispose of waste material.

At right hand to the Neugal I was lucky to see a small rustic mud house, a seemingly relic from the Palampur of yore and near to it was the Gharal, a small enclosure for the cows! There were no cows as there was no water in the Kuhals! Just adjacent to this mud house was a palatial and colorful concrete house putting to shame the humble mud house. When I was busy taking the pictures and talking to a passerby about the changing face of new Palampur, he lamented that very soon this mud house would also be razed to ground to give way to another big palatial house! Who knows when I visit next it would not be here anymore.

But this is the price that we pay for development. I looked around the tea gardens and silently thanked the Government policy of not selling the tea garden land for any construction work. This check has restrained the emergence of concrete jungle in Palampur to some extent but the powerful lobby of land mafia is sure to find some way out to turn Palampur into a place alien to my tastes!

5 thoughts on “Changing face of Palampur

  1. paradoxphillic

    I think you must have passed by my house then. Looking at all these pictures make me so nostalgic🙂
    Thankyou for writing about my hometown mam.

  2. Vinod Kumar Rathore

    The Palampur has changed a lot, old greenery is day by day being engulfed by the concrete structures.People who have seen Palampur of yesteryear will not be able to recognize the place. Old Kuhals have are vanishing. Tea gardens and deodar Trees are going and the apart of this all the number of vehicles have risen to a great extent. This may be the cost of development, but a planned development may save the remaining beauty of Palampur. We all miss the once a small green hilly town of yesterdays.

  3. Your post took me some eighteen years back in timeline when I was posted at Palampur. The tea gardend or tea estates were a wonderful sight. The Lohna area with a canal flowing in between and the Neugal catchment were the places worth visiting time and again. The so called development has taken its toll everywhere including Palampur.

    Nice post with eye catching photographs !

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