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Gap year in Palampur


Know your city

Travelling to Palampur you will notice it is not quite a city, it is merely a rural hill station, it may be small but it presents a very special Indian travel experience for a number of reasons. It is the northern capital for tea growing, tea is the main export here and beautiful tea gardens surround the town. You can visit the Co-Operative tea factory for an in depth tour into the tea industry.

Palampur is named so because of its abundant supply of water, “pulum” translates to plentiful water. It is situated 1220m above sea level between the sprawling plains bellow and towering mountains above. Its location gives it a mild, comfortable climate for volunteering; temperatures are between 15 and 30 degrees centigrade in the summer but can drop below freezing in the winter.

Dharamshala is 30kms out of from town; current home of the Dalai Lama who is in exile from Tibet. The Tibetan government in exile also resides here along with many Tibetan refugees who live here in an area called McLeod Ganj and Tibetan culture has become the norm here. It is a very popular tourist destination and has some beautiful Buddhist, Tibetan temples that make this area a real gap year experience.

If you are into adventure travel several trekking routes begin in Palampur. Trekking here you will find yourself in fantastic landscape with beautiful mountain views so bring your walking boots. You will also find skiing, hang gliding and white water rafting here so if you’re up for it you are in for a real gap year adventure!

Other things that make this place a fantastic travelling experience are the host of potters and other craftsmen in town and in local villages. One such potter is Sardar Sobha who runs a world famous pottery school that you can visit about 17km from town.

History of the town

Palampur was established in 1849 when Dr. Jameson, the Superintendent of the Botanical Gardens of Saharanpur introduced the tea bush of Almora, a Chinese variety, here. Tea thrived here and subsequently so did the town and it quickly became an important centre for European tea estates. Tea from the Kangra Valley where Palampur is situated is drunk all over the world and is similar to Darjeeling tea, although has a distinct and unique quality.

Business in the town

In Himachal Pradesh agriculture contributes to about half the state’s economy with the rest coming from truism and hydroelectric power that it sells to the rest of India. Palampur is famous for tea production and is home to the Palampur Tea Co-Operative which you can visit.

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