Bir Billing – Much More Than A Paragliding Paradise❤
Bir Billing is a huge Tibetan community which lies at the lower reaches of this valley. Upper Bir village is inhabited by farmers who also run the business of paragliding. This setting makes Bir Billing home to some beautiful monasteries, meditation studies, and delicious Tibetan food.
The charming village of Bir in Kangra valley shot to fame in 2015 when Paragliding World Cup was organized here. It is the second-best site in the world and foremost in Asia for paragliding.
Billing (alt-7800 ft.) is 14 km away from Bir and is the take-off site for paragliders. A pristine, off-beaten and uncluttered trek, winding through Himalayan pine forests, connects Bir to Billing.
This place is best suited for paragliding because of its topography, climatic conditions, and nature of wind here. The take-off and landing sites are at perfect altitudes, wind direction and speed ensures smooth sailing for longer durations as compared to other sites in India. However, there are plenty of treks around to explore and Tibetan culture to experience
- Paragliding in Bir Biling
The obvious and most exciting thing to do here is paragliding, which is sure to be a memory of a lifetime for you. Conducted by numerous operators, the activity is available as both solo ride and tandem ride (with a professional instructor).
First-timers should opt for a tandem ride in which one enjoys the ride, and the professional paraglider who flies along with the rider will do the job of take-off, landing, and steering across the skies.
Short duration courses in paragliding are also offered by many operators that enable you to ride solo. As this is a highly skilled adventure, one requires 10-15 days of training before flying solo safely.
Remember to eat light before the flight and carry a selfie stick if you would like to shoot yourself during the ride. Otherwise, opt for the Go Pro service provided by operators for around INR 500. Their photographers are also available at landing sites to click you while landing, this costs INR 200.
- Treks or Hikes around Bir Billing
There are a few treks around Bir if you plan to extend your trip and explore the surrounding area.
Trek to the semi-nomadic villages of Raj Gundha and Kukkar Gundha is of longer duration and provides beautiful views of Kangra valley on one side and Raj Gundha valley on the other side. You can cover Billing to Raj-Gundha can be covered in 4-5 hours; you may end your journey here, camp at the village, and come back or continue to Kukkar Gundha.
The trek is scenic and laced with Buransh (Rhododendron), Deodar and Oak trees which fall under the forest area of the Dhauladhar wildlife sanctuary.
Hanumangarh Trek takes you to the ancient pilgrimage site. Reaching Hanumangarh from Billing takes about 5-6 hrs. The trek is easy but long and may get tiring for beginners. Although it is worth the view of Dhauladhars that you get from the vantage point of the trek.
Tatta Pani trek is a trek to a hot water spring, it is not the same as the one near Shimla. The trek can be completed in a single day if you start early (2-3 hours uphill). However, it can get a little rough at the upper reaches. It is not a very scenic trek, and the only solace here is the hot water spring to take a dip into.
- Mountain Biking
This is another adventure sport you can enjoy at Bir Billing or Palampur. There are various beautiful trails around that let you pass picturesque forests, temples, monasteries, hills, and villages.
In fact, you can even ride from Palampur to Bir. There are multiple tour facilitators for mountain biking, most of the paragliding operators provide mountain biking and trekking facilities too.
- How To Reach Bir Billing
From Dharamshala, the most convenient way to reach Bir Billing is by taxi. A four-seater cab will cost INR 1300 and will take a little over two hours to reach Bir
- Best Time to visit Bir Billing
For paragliding, the best time to visit Bir is either March – June or October – November.
Bir-Billing has a lot more to explore than just paragliding. It has beautiful vistas and trails to explore. Tibetan institutes and monasteries to indulge in some spirituality. And lots of natural beauty around to soak in.