Bir, a tiny village located in Kangra District of Himachal Pradesh, sits at an elevation of 5000 ft, almost touching the clouds. Travelers from all over the world come to Bir Billing to unwind, meditate, and enjoy adventure sports. Bir Billing holds the title of “Paragliding Capital of India” and is the second-best paragliding site in Asia. It offers a thrilling experience with various adventure sports activities, making it an ideal spot for a weekend escape.
To reach Billing, the paragliding launch point, tourists can either trek or take a car for the 13 km journey from Bir. The paragliding adventure begins from Billing and ends at the Landing Site in Bir. These two locations together are known as Bir Billing. The culture of Bir is heavily influenced by the Tibetan settlements in Chowgan, a nearby village. The Bir Tibetan Colony is home to many Tibetan refugees, and the monasteries in the area boast stunning surroundings. The lush green landscapes and the tranquility of the place are truly captivating.
Sunsets in Bir are exceptionally beautiful, and there are numerous delightful cafes to savor local delicacies. The population here includes Indian farmers, students, travelers, volunteers, international expatriates, and a Tibetan community. In 2015, Bir Billing shot to fame when it hosted a Paragliding World Cup. People from all over the world came to compete in this event, and ever since, Bir Billing has continued to thrive and grow.
Consider this article as your Travel Guide for Bir Billing.
How to reach Bir Billing
The closest airport to Bir Billing is Gaggal Airport, situated just 60 km away This airport has frequent flights connecting to Delhi. You can reach them at 01892-232374 for more information.
Ahju is the nearest railway station to Bir Billing. It’s on the Pathankot-Jogindernagar Narrow gauge rail route and links to places like Pathankot, Kangra, and Palampur. You can contact the Station Superintendent in Pathankot at 01862-22041.
Bir Billing is easily accessible by road, just 60 km from Gaggal, 50 km from Dharamshala, 180 km from Manali, 200 km from Shimla, 280 km from Chandigarh, and 500 km from Delhi. You can reach Bir through government HRTC buses or private services. HRTC Volvo Buses are also available directly from Bir to Delhi Bus Stand. For more details, visit http://hrtchp.com.
Reaching Bir Billing from Delhi
The distance between Delhi and Bir Billing is approximately 520 kilometers. To get to Bir Billing from Delhi, the easiest option is to take a direct overnight Volvo semi-sleeper bus from Majnu ka Tilla in Delhi. The HRTC volvo buses are available from ISBT Delhi .The bus journey takes about 10 to 12 hours. Alternatively, you can consider taking a flight from Delhi to Gaggal, but it tends to be more expensive. Self-driving is also an option, which will typically take around 10 to 12 hours from Delhi to Bir Billing.
Reaching Bir Billing from Chandigarh
The distance between Chandigarh and Bir Billing is approximately 280 kilometers. To reach Bir Billing from Chandigarh take a bus from Sector 43 in chandigarh.One can also board Volvo buses that come from Delhi to Bir Billing at tribune Chowk in Chandigarh but seat availability is a concern as most of the seats are occupied from Delhi. The bus ride usually takes about 6 to 8 hours. Another option is to take a flight from Chandigarh to Gaggal, but this is a pricier option. You can also choose to self-drive, and the drive typically takes around 5 to 7 hours from Chandigarh to Bir.
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Best Time To visit Bir Billing
You can visit Bir Billing at any time of the year, but the best time to visit Bir Billing varies depending on your preferences because each month offers a unique and beautiful experience. Monsoons, from July to September, are generally the quietest period. During this time, the streets and cafes are mostly empty, and some cafes even close temporarily. However, this tranquility can be relaxing, and having fewer tourists around can provide a peaceful atmosphere.
Bir Billing in Summers
The first paragliding season runs from March to May, making Bir a hub for thrill-seekers. The weather during this period is perfect for paragliding, with temperatures ranging from 11°C to 25°C. Summer is great for trying short paragliding lessons or tandem flights. You can also enjoy mountain biking and hiking. It’s an excellent time for a family or friends’ getaway. Besides paragliding, you can explore nearby villages through trekking, try your hand at fishing, and savor your catch.
Bir Billing in Monsoons
Monsoons, from mid-July to mid-September, are not suitable for paragliding, as it’s prohibited. The heavy rains make outdoor activities risky. Landslides are also a concern, so it’s best to avoid visiting Bir Billing during the monsoon season.
Bir Billing in Winters
October and November are perfect for paragliding, offering comfortable weather. This is the second paragliding season in Bir. Experienced paragliders come to enjoy the stunning landscapes during these months. The rains bring lushness to the surroundings, enhancing the views. The pleasant air and warm sunshine create ideal flying conditions. October and November are also great for trekking due to mild and pleasant weather. However, from December to February, temperatures drop significantly, reaching sub-zero levels.
Staying Options in Bir Billing
Bir Billing offers a wide range of accommodation options, catering to various budgets and preferences. You can find everything from budget-friendly hostels and shared accommodations to camping sites, homestays, and even luxury stays. If you’re on a tight budget, you can easily find a room in Bir Billing for as low as Rs 500. Camping is another fantastic option, with prices starting at Rs 800 per night, including meals. For those seeking a more luxurious experience, there are numerous high-end accommodation choices available.
If you’re looking for a touch of luxury, you can explore places like Sukoon Baag, La Maison, Sang-e-Meel and Zostel. For those seeking mid-range options or considering a longer stay in Bir, there are homestays like Aditya Homestay, Arun Homestay, Mohinder and Mohindra Homestay, Maharaj Homestay, and Hari Om Homestay. Budget-conscious and solo travelers have great hostel choices, including The Hosteller, The Bunker, and Sparrow House Cafe.
Why Should One Visit Bir Billing
Bir Billing is a picturesque and charming destination. It has gained popularity as a top tourist spot, primarily for its paragliding activities, but there are several other reasons why one should consider visiting Bir Billing:
Paragliding Capital of India: Bir Billing is often referred to as the paragliding capital of India. The region offers excellent conditions for paragliding, with reliable wind patterns and stunning landscapes. Visitors can experience the thrill of soaring through the sky while taking in breathtaking views of the Himalayan mountains.
Natural Beauty: The region is blessed with incredible natural beauty. The lush green landscapes, rolling hills, and serene atmosphere make it a perfect destination for nature lovers. The nearby forests and hiking trails offer opportunities for trekking and exploring the local flora and fauna.
Tibetan Culture: Bir is home to a significant Tibetan community, and you can experience Tibetan culture and heritage firsthand. There are Tibetan monasteries and settlements where you can learn about Buddhism, meditation, and witness traditional Tibetan rituals and festivals.
Peaceful Environment: Bir Billing is known for its tranquil and peaceful environment. It’s an ideal place for those seeking a break from the chaos of city life, and it’s perfect for meditation, yoga, and relaxation. It’s far less crowded than some of the more popular tourist destinations in India, allowing you to enjoy the solitude and serenity of the place.
Ecotourism: The area promotes eco-friendly and sustainable tourism practices. There are several initiatives in place to preserve the natural beauty and promote responsible tourism, making it an excellent destination for environmentally conscious travelers.
Adventure Activities: Beyond paragliding, there are other adventure activities available in the area, such as camping, trekking, mountain biking, Bungee Jumping and Sky Cycling. Bir Billing offers a range of options for adrenaline junkies.
Bir Colony Market : The small town of Bir has a charming marketplace called Bir Road, where you can shop for local handicrafts, souvenirs, and Tibetan products. It’s a great place to explore and interact with the locals.
Diverse Accommodation Options: Bir Billing offers a range of accommodation options, from budget guesthouses to boutique hotels and eco-friendly resorts, making it suitable for all types of travelers.
Accessibility: Bir Billing is easily accessible from major cities like Delhi and Chandigarh. It’s well-connected by road, making it a convenient weekend getaway or a longer vacation spot.
Overall, Bir Billing offers a unique blend of adventure, culture, and natural beauty, making it an attractive destination for travelers seeking a memorable and enriching experience.
Things to Do in Bir Billing
Bir Billing offers variety of activities like paragliding, camping, bungee jumping, Sky cycling, zip lining, trekking, Sight seeing, mountain biking, cafe hopping, waterfall hunting, Glamping, toy train ride, Shopping etc. To read about top ten things to do in Bir Billing please click here.
Famous Places near Bir Billing
Barot Valley, known for its Hydel project, is located 53 km away from Bir village. You can reach the valley in about 2 hours via Ghatasani. There are options for camping and accommodations for spending the night. Additionally, you can explore a wildlife sanctuary, several man-made lakes, and various temples in the area. Barot valley is home to famous Dehnasar Lake trek.
Rajgundha, a picturesque valley and village, approximately 30 kilometers from Bir Billing. A delightful one-and-a-half-hour drive will transport you to Rajgundha, where you’ll be welcomed by stunning vistas and a vast valley. You can choose to camp overnight or book a hotel room in Rajgundha. And if you’re a trekking enthusiast, you have the option to embark on an 8-kilometer trek to Palachak, located near Rajgundha.
Baijnath Town and Shiva Temple
Baijnath, situated just 10 kilometers from Bir, is renowned for its ancient Shiv temple. Dating back to the 7th century, this temple houses a mysterious shivling whose true depth remains a local enigma. This temple holds immense reverence and stands as one of Himachal Pradesh’s most renowned temples. Remarkably, despite the destructive Kangra earthquake of 1905, the temple miraculously remained unscathed.
Palampur, situated just 27 kilometers from Bir Billing, is a charming town renowned for its scenic tea gardens. Notably, Palampur is the hometown of the Kargil war hero, Captain Vikram Batra. Palampur boasts popular attractions like Saurabh Van Vihar and the renowned Neugal Cafe. Additionally, it’s well-known for its lush tea estates.
Phooladhar, also known as Phoola ri Dhar, is a stunning location situated approximately 30 kilometers from Bir Billing towards the Mandi Side. This place treats visitors to a panoramic 360-degree view encompassing Joginder Nagar, Bir Billing, and Barot Valley. To reach Phooldhar, you can follow the Barot road, and at a spot called Ghatasani, the road branches off towards Phooladhar. Overnight camping is an option, allowing you to enjoy a fantastic time surrounded by nature. Additionally, there are some homestay accommodations available in Phooladhar.
Treks Near Bir Billing
Trekking is a great option if you are in Bir Billing. There are many small and long treks available near Bir Billing
Trek to Billing
For trekking enthusiasts, Billing is a popular destination, located approximately 13 kilometers away from Bir town. There are three different routes to reach Billing. One follows the road leading to Bir Billing, another starts from Gharnala Village, and the third route begins near an Ashram in Upper Bir.
Trek to Mata Maheshwari Temple (Garh Wali Mata)
This is a short and easy trek, spanning about 2-3 kilometers. It takes you to an old temple and fort where you can enjoy panoramic views of the Kangra Valley and Bir town. This trek is suitable for people of all fitness levels and is quite accessible.
Trek to Brahani Mata
The Brahani Mata temple is the highest temple in the Baijnath and Bir Billing Area. This trek covers a distance of 5-6 kilometers and starts from the villages of Sansal and Dhared. For more detailed information about this trek, you can click here.
Trek to Tatwani
Tatwani is known for its hot water spring and is often referred to as the Manikaran of Baijnath. This is a relatively easy trek spanning 4-5 kilometers, commencing from Deol village. The trek offers a journey into the heart of the Dhauladhar mountains. For further information and to book this trek, you can get in touch with Paragliding Himachal.
The Palachak trek covers a distance of 8 kilometers and commences from Rajgundha Village. Palachak is a hidden gem nestled in the Dhauladhar ranges along the path to Bara Bhangal village, which happens to be the remotest village in Himachal and India. Palachak serves as a base camp for those embarking on the journey to Bara Bhangal. For more comprehensive information about this trek, you can click here.
Jalsu Pass Trek:
The Jalsu Pass is a remarkable location that links the Kangra and Chamba valleys. Surprisingly, this trek remains undiscovered by most tourists, despite its breathtaking beauty. Often referred to as the “flower valley” of Himachal Pradesh, this pass has been a traditional route for shepherds for generations. For more in-depth information about the Jalsu Pass, you can click here.
Winch Camp Trek
Winch Camp is a historical site established by the British during the 1930s. It acted as a crucial link connecting Jogindernagar to the Barot Valley, located approximately 5 kilometers from Jogindernagar. You can easily access Winch Camp from both Barot and Jogindernagar. To get a visual glimpse of Winch Camp, you can watch a video here.
Hanumangarh is the highest peak along the route from Bir Billing to Rajgundha. Despite its relatively short distance, it’s a remarkably beautiful trek. The journey begins from Chena Pass, which is located around 18 kilometers from Bir Billing along the Rajgundha road. You can drive up to Chena and then continue on foot to reach Hanumangarh. Once you reach the peak, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of Bir Billing, Rajgundha, and the surrounding areas.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between Bir and billing?
Bir and Billing, although distinct locations, are often referred to together due to their close connection in the world of paragliding. Bir serves as the landing site for paragliders, while Billing is the takeoff site, situated approximately 13 kilometers away from the town of Bir.
Is Bir Billing the world’s second highest Paragliding site ?
Yes, Bir Billing is often considered one of the top paragliding destinations in the world in terms of altitude. It is often referred to as the “Paragliding Capital of India” and is renowned for its high-altitude paragliding experiences. While it may not be the absolute second-highest place for paragliding, it is certainly one of the highest and most popular locations for this adventurous sport. The elevation and geography of Bir Billing offer excellent conditions for paragliding, attracting enthusiasts from around the world.
How Many monasteries are there in Bir Billing
Bir Billing is known for several monasteries and Tibetan Buddhist institutions.There are a few prominent ones that visitors often explore:
- Palpung Sherabling Monastery: This is one of the most famous monasteries in Bir Billing. It’s known for its stunning architecture, serene surroundings, and its significance in Tibetan Buddhism.
- Chokling Monastery: Chokling Monastery is another significant Buddhist institution in the area, often visited by tourists and practitioners alike.
- Nyingyang Monastery: This monastery is located in Bir Tibetan Colony and is known for its cultural and spiritual significance.
How to book Paragliding in Bir Billing
Booking paragliding in Bir Billing is a straightforward process, as it’s one of the most popular adventure activities in the region. Here are the steps to book a paragliding experience in Bir Billing:
- Choose a Reputable Operator:
Start by researching and selecting a reputable paragliding operator in Bir Billing. Look for operators with good reviews, experienced pilots, and a strong safety record. Some well-known operators include Paragliding Himachal, Parabooking, Adventure Bir Billing, Bir Billing Paragliding.
- Contact the Operator:
– Visit the operator’s official website or contact them through email or phone to inquire about availability, prices, and booking procedures. You can often find contact details and booking information on their websites.
- Confirm Availability:
– Check with the operator to confirm the availability of paragliding slots on your desired date and time. Keep in mind that availability may vary depending on the season and weather conditions.
- Provide Personal Information:
– The operator will typically require some personal information, including your name, age, weight, and any relevant medical conditions. Ensure you provide accurate information for safety reasons.
- Make a Booking:
– Once you’ve confirmed availability and provided the necessary information, you may be asked to make a booking deposit or pay the full amount in advance. Payment methods can vary, so inquire about the accepted payment options.
- Get Confirmation:
– After making the booking and payment, you should receive a confirmation email or booking voucher with details of your paragliding experience, including the meeting point, time, and any additional instructions.
- Arrive on Time:
– On the day of your paragliding experience, make sure to arrive at the designated meeting point on time. Paragliding operators typically provide transportation to the takeoff site.
- Safety Briefing:
– Before the flight, you will receive a safety briefing from your pilot. Pay close attention to the instructions and guidelines provided.
- Enjoy Your Flight:
– Once you’re securely harnessed and ready to go, your pilot will take you on an exhilarating paragliding flight, offering breathtaking views of the Himalayas and the beautiful landscape below.
- Capture the Moment:
– Consider bringing a camera or using a GoPro to capture your paragliding experience, but make sure it’s securely attached to you or your equipment.
Remember that paragliding is a weather-dependent activity, so it’s possible that your flight could be rescheduled or canceled due to adverse weather conditions. Safety should always be the top priority, so be prepared for potential schedule changes. By following these steps and booking with a reputable operator, you can have a safe and memorable paragliding experience in Bir Billing.
Where is Bungee Jumping Site in Bir Billing
The bungee jumping site in Bir Billing is situated close to Bangoru Waterfall in Swalag village, approximately 4 kilometers away from Bir town. To reserve a slot for bungee jumping, you can get in touch with the operators through their website at www.paraglidinghimachal.com
Which is the best Paragliding in Bir Billing
Determining the “best” paragliding operator in Bir Billing can be subjective and may depend on your specific preferences, budget, and safety considerations. However, several reputable paragliding operators in the area are well-known for offering safe and enjoyable paragliding experiences. Here are a few of them
Paragliding Himachal : Paragliding Himachal is a popular paragliding operator in the region. They have experienced pilots, a strong safety record, and offer various paragliding packages, including tandem flights for beginners.
Parabooking : This operator is known for its professional approach to paragliding. They provide well-maintained equipment, safety gear, and experienced pilots to ensure a safe and thrilling experience.
Billing Paragliding: Billing Paragliding is another reputable operator that offers tandem paragliding experiences. They focus on safety and customer satisfaction, making them a good choice for first-time paragliders.
To determine which operator is the best for you, consider the following factors:
– **Safety:** Ensure the operator has a strong safety record, experienced pilots, and well-maintained equipment.
– **Reviews:** Read reviews from other paragliders to get an idea of their experiences with different operators.
– **Packages:** Look at the variety of packages and prices offered to find one that suits your budget and preferences.
– **Equipment:** Check if the operator provides all necessary safety gear and equipment.
– **Customer Service:** Assess the operator’s responsiveness and professionalism when you inquire about booking.
Ultimately, it’s a good idea to contact a few operators, ask questions, and compare their offerings before making a decision. Choose the one that best aligns with your expectations and priorities for your paragliding adventure in Bir Billing.
How Many Days are enough for Bir Billing
The number of days you should spend in Bir Billing depends on your interests and what you want to do while you’re there. Here are some factors to consider when deciding how many days to allocate for your trip to Bir Billing:
- **Paragliding:** If your primary purpose for visiting Bir Billing is to experience paragliding, you can plan for at least 2 to 3 days. This allows time for booking and enjoying one or more paragliding flights, depending on weather conditions.
- **Trekking and Outdoor Activities:** If you enjoy trekking and outdoor activities, you might want to spend additional days exploring the beautiful landscapes and trekking trails in the region. Trekking options include the trek to Rajgundha, Palachak and more. Adding a couple of days for trekking would be ideal.
- **Cultural Exploration:** Bir also offers opportunities to explore Tibetan culture, monasteries, and the Bir Tibetan Colony. If you’re interested in cultural experiences, consider spending extra time to visit these places and immerse yourself in the local culture.
- **Relaxation:** If you’re looking for a more relaxed experience and want to enjoy the peaceful surroundings, you could spend 2 to 3 days simply unwinding, meditating, or practicing yoga.
- **Adventure Activities:** Besides paragliding, Bir Billing offers other adventure activities like mountain biking, camping, and bungee jumping. If you plan to engage in multiple adventure activities, add extra days accordingly.
- **Traveling Pace:** Consider your traveling pace. If you prefer a slower pace with more leisurely activities, you might want to spend more days in Bir Billing to fully savor the experience.
As a general guideline, a 3- to 5-day trip to Bir Billing should allow you to enjoy paragliding, explore the local culture, and engage in some outdoor activities. However, the duration ultimately depends on your personal preferences and the activities you want to include in your itinerary. Be sure to check the weather forecast, as weather conditions can impact your paragliding plans, and it’s a good idea to have some flexibility in your schedule in case of changes.
Can I learn paragliding in Bir Billing
Yes, you can learn paragliding in Bir Billing. Bir Billing is not only a popular destination for tandem paragliding but also offers excellent opportunities for paragliding training and courses. If you’re interested in learning how to paraglide, here’s what you can do:
- **Find a Paragliding School:** There are several paragliding schools and training centers in Bir Billing that offer paragliding courses for beginners. Look for a reputable school with experienced instructors and good safety records.
- **Choose a Course:** Paragliding schools typically offer different levels of courses, ranging from introductory courses for beginners to advanced training for those looking to become certified paragliders. Select a course that matches your skill level and goals.
- **Book a Course:** Contact the paragliding school or training center to inquire about course availability and booking procedures. Make sure to ask about the course duration, curriculum, and costs.
- **Training Process:** Paragliding courses generally consist of both theoretical and practical training. You’ll learn about equipment, safety procedures, meteorology, and the principles of paragliding. Practical training includes ground handling, takeoff, landing, and actual flights under the guidance of an instructor.
- **Certification:** Depending on the course you choose, you may receive a certification upon successful completion. This certification may allow you to paraglide independently in the future, but it’s important to continue gaining experience and proficiency.
- **Safety:** Safety is paramount in paragliding training. Always follow the instructions of your instructors, use proper safety equipment, and adhere to safety guidelines.
- **Practice:** After completing your training, it’s essential to continue practicing your paragliding skills to gain confidence and experience. Many people choose to do additional flights in Bir Billing to further hone their skills.
- **Stay Informed:** Keep yourself updated on paragliding techniques, safety measures, and any changes in regulations that may affect your flying activities.
Learning paragliding in Bir Billing can be a rewarding experience due to its favorable flying conditions, stunning scenery, and experienced instructors. However, always prioritize safety and choose a reputable paragliding school with a strong emphasis on safety and training.
In summary, Bir Billing caters to a diverse range of interests, making it a beloved destination among tourists in recent times. If you haven’t had the chance to explore this incredible place yet, it’s highly recommended that you plan a visit in the near future.
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