Fly like a Bird – #Bir -Billing
Then plan a 2 days 3 nights trip of Paragliding in Bir-Billing. Bir-Billing is a town in Kangra District of Himachal Pradesh located in Dhauladhar range of Himalayas. It is well known as the highest spot for paragliding in India and second highest in the world.
They say ‘ Random plans are the best plans’. And it is so true. Somewhere in the mid June 2015, my friend and me randomly decided to leave for Bir-Billing and explore paragliding. Since it was a random one and that too a weekend plan, so we had no option of booking bus or train tickets. We hired a taxi straightaway from Delhi to Bir (Plus point of hiring taxi or your personal car is you enjoy scenic beauties that come along the way). Bir widely came into picture when it hosted Paragliding World Cup 2015. Several paragliders around the world participated in the event.
How to Reach Bir?
We visited Bir by our own hired taxi because it was a very random plan. But Bir is reachable through following modes:
By Bus: There is no direct bus to Bir from Delhi as far as I know. One has to reach Baijnath or Dharamshala then has to take bus from there. Baijnath is 10 kms away from Bir. And Dharamshala is 70 kms away from Bir. Buses are available from both he places. Either take a bus or hire a taxi/cab.
By Train: There are no direct trains for Bir. One has to book train till Pathankot then from there, take a bus or hire a taxi for Bir.
By Toy Train: Fellow travelers have option to enjoy ride of Toy Train also if you have ample time.. Reach Pathankot and board toy train from there which goes till Ahju. From Ahju, one can hire taxi as it is only 3 kms away from Bir.
By Taxi: This is the most convenient way but expensive also. You just need to hire a cab or taxi directly to Bir (if you are going from Delhi) and enjoy the ride with picturesque beauty of nature.
And the Day Arrived – Paragliding
The much awaited moment had arrived. We were there at Bir for paragliding. We were ready with our thorough research work on paragliding rates. There were many adventure clubs which offer paragliding sport.
Board – Fly from top of the mountain and land at field of Chowgan
Charges – INR 2, 500 per person.
Flight time – 20-30 minutes
Advice – Always go for tandem flight. If you know paragliding then enjoy the ride alone.
Thrill – Feel thrill on top of the world at an elevation of 2400 meters. Do not forget to get your video filmed while flying because you should never miss a chance to make memories wherever you go and whatever you do. Act bubbly and crazy to create a wonderful memory with the video.
Tip to Fellow Travelers
Don’t be scared of height. Just enjoy the moment. Feel like a bird. Imagine God has bestowed upon you a gift of having wings and live prideful moments of 20 minutes. I am sure you will add lifetime memory to your bucket list as we did.
Paragliding is very safe at Bir still there are many new paragliders over there so you need to evaluate them while having some chit-chat and discussion with them. If you have time then learn paragliding courses at Bir. There are instructors with certified courses who will teach you how to fly. We did only paragliding there.
Other Adventurous Activities
- Mountain Biking
- Monking and meditation
Apart from paragliding, we covered many spots on the second day.
- Paragliding site – This is the major attraction at Bir. I have described earlier about this in my post.
- Dharmalaya Institute – If you are interested to do some something fruitful and creative then go there. This place offers programs related to health, yoga, meditation, ecology and gardening. It gives immense peace to the inner soul. We spent around 2 hours here. It is easily reachable by local transport.
- Chokling Monastery – This is located at Chowgan, offers culture of Buddhism. A serene and spiritual place to get relaxed from all tensions of life.
- Tea gardens – Do not forget to experience stunning view of big tea gardens and the tea plantations.
- If you have time then explore the pristine village, Tibetan refugee colony and the Baijnath temple.
Bir has many exemplary food joints which offer delicious grub. Both the days we bumped into the cafe named ‘Four Tables’ owned by a Frank – an Indo-German. This German cafe offers finger-licking food. Apart from this, one can enjoy delicious food at Hotel Surya, Garden cafe located at Tibetan Colony, Lhakpa Cafe etc.
Bir provides many budgeted rooms. You can easily get a clean room offering majestic view of hills under INR 1,000. We stayed at a resort in Upper Bir only. One can stay at Chowgan (lower Bir), Tibetan Colony also.
Money: Get enough cash with you while on the trip to Bir. Bir has few ATMs.
Local Dishes: One of the most amazing thing about visiting different places is their food. No trip is complete without relishing local cuisine. When you are in Bir you cannot afford to miss lip-smacking local dishes like Thukpa, Thenthuk and Laping. Out of all, Thukpa is my most favourite dish.
Ideal Stay Period : 2-3 days
Best season – March to June (Before Monsoon) and again October to November. Paragliding ceases in Monsoon season.
Nearby visiting spots – Baijnath, Dharamshala, Mandi, Palampur
And a refreshing paragliding trip ended with so many memories and we came back to Delhi. And now hereby I certify that indeed random plans are awesome plans.