Where to travel
In day-to-day life, we are too busy in the rat race, an offshoot of excessive capitalism, consumerism and me culture. For instance, weapon makers always wish that war should never end otherwise their business would end and they may become paupers. They act like war mongers. And, all of us look for something in return for everything we do. However, there are people who strive selflessly for the chosen goal to benefit and protect the masses.
The courageous story of the selfless dedicated person is written in Saurabh Van Vihar in Palampur, Kangra District, Himachal Pradesh. Spend a weekend at the Vihar to commemorate sacrifices of Capt. Saurabh Kalia from the Indian Army. He fought bravely and endured the tortures silently in the captivity of Pakistan for more than twenty days during the Kargil War (1999) to protect the Indian borders and the citizens.
We are sure that analyzing patriotism in leisure would inspire many people to live selflessly.
Who will enjoy this short adventure trip idea?
Soft adventure seekers
The breed of patriots
What to do & see
Saurabh Van Vihar is on the right bank of snow fed Neogal Khad that is a tributary of the Beas River. The nature park in Kwat Village, covering approximately 13 hectares of area, is about four kilometers from Palampur. In the park, overlooking the Dhauladhar Range, you can weave patriotism and recreation together for a fulfilling weekend. Pick a recreational activity of your choice:
- Boating in the small lake is not challenging, but you can boat for the sake of it.
- Bird watching: Find silent corners to spot the birds if you like colorful birds.
- Bouldering: The park is strewn with boulders of different sizes. Select one considering your enthusiasm and fitness level for climbing and scrambling.
- Watch the world go by
- Walking within the park: Walk and / or jog within the lush environs of the park for joy and health.
- Walk to Kandi villages: After you have explored the park, walk to Kandi, which consists of several small Himalayan villages, including Sukandi, Drugun Kandi and Thala Kandi. Kandi and the park are connected with Palampur by the Neogal Khad bridges, one for vehicles and other for walkers. The walk from the bridges to Kandi is a gradual climb along the road that receives thin traffic. The traffic mainly consists of shared maxi cabs. Very limited number of public buses plies on this route. While walking, enjoy the Himalayan views and its rural landscape.
(Tip: Do this walk in the early morning (around 6:00 or 7:00 AM) for more enjoyment and fun. Then go to the park.)
- Walk along the Neogal Khad: You can also walk on the pebbly bank of the khad to add an extra challenge.
- Enjoy snacks at Café Monal in the park and / or in the shopping complex located within the parking under the bridges.
When to go
Entry to Saurabh Van Vihar
Entry fee: INR 10 per visitor
Timings: 8:00 AM — 8:00 PM (summer)
9:30 AM – 5:00 PM (winter)
Photography: allowed free of cost
How to reach
Delhi to Palampur: approximately 550 kilometers
Himachal Road Transport Corporation (H.R.T.C.) runs four types of buses from Delhi to Palampur: ordinary, deluxe, semi deluxe and air conditioned (AC). The fare starts from INR 440 per passenger.
Car / taxi
You can drive your own car and / or hire a taxi. You can book a taxi online. For instance, browse through Savaari Car Rentals that offers Tata Indigo (mid-size AC) cars at the rate of INR 14 per kilometer.
Kangra Toy Train, a narrow gauge train connecting Chakki (Pathankot) to Joginder Nagar (Mandi), stops at Maranda near Palampur.
Broad gauge trains: Delhi to Pathankot, http://www.indianrail.gov.in/
Delhi Pathankot Express (14037) runs on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday.
Departure from Delhi (DLI): 8:00 AM; Arrival at Pathankot (PTK): 6:10 PM
Dhauladhar Express (14035) runs on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Departure from Delhi (DLI): 10:10 PM; Arrival at Pathankot (PTK): 08:05 AM (next day).
The train fare varies from INR 212.00 (Sleeper Class) to INR 1,505.00 (First AC) per passenger.
Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (H.P.T.D.C.) operates two hotels in Palampur: Hotel Neugal and Hotel Tea Bud.
Hotel Neugal, located amid a tea estate, has only four rooms: 2 deluxe and 2 regular rooms. The tariff amounts to INR 2,000 per night for a deluxe room and INR 1,500 per night for a regular room.
Hotel Tea Bud has more choices. The hotel offers five different types of rooms: regular, suite, deluxe, semi deluxe and cozy deluxe. The tariff varies from INR 1,500.00 per night to INR 2,500.00 per night plus taxes. You can book accommodation online for both the hotels. http://hptdc.gov.in/custsw/viewuser8.asp
Welcome Heritage Group offers rooms in Taragarh Palace, a heritage hotel in Palampur. The tariff stars from INR 5,000 per night per person exclusive of taxes. http://www.welcomheritagehotels.com/hotel/taragarh-palace-palampur