Surrounded by mountains, Bir is a beautiful village in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh where you’ll find endless meadows with flocks of sheep. Located 14km uphill, Billing is the takeoff site for paragliders while Bir is the landing point.
Together, they’re known as Bir Billing – only the second best aero sports site in the world, and number one in Asia. Bir also hosted the Paragliding World Cup in 2015, the first ever in India.
Abundant in trained paragliding manpower, Bir Billing has now become a hub for this adventure sport, attracting several international visitors too.
The most striking aspect of gliding in Bir is its thermal (winds). You can find just the right amount of thermal at every high altitude point in the valley and can fly from there without any hinderance.
The panoramic view of the Dhauladhar range is spectacular from up above. From vast forests and fields to snow-capped peaks, one can expect many more stunning visuals while gliding here.
So drop your fears and plan a paragliding trip, because there’s no feeling like that of flying high without a care in the world!
At Bir you will come across several training centres for paragliding. They have trained pilots to help students get acquainted with the sport. Training sites are located in Solo, Tandem and Dhelu areas – these are perfect for beginners.
First-timers go through the standard 15-minute flight from Billing to Bir, but experienced paragliders can opt for 2 hour long cross-country flights all the way to Dharamshala to the east, and Mandi to the west.
Here are a few paragliding courses you could check out:
Best Time to Visit
Given the climate of Himachal Pradesh, especially in the Kangra region, one can actually go for paragliding at any time of the year. However, it is recommended that you avoid monsoon and go from March to May, or September to November.
Where to Stay
Bir continues to be a less explored destination in India. Tourism activities, especially those related to the hospitality sector, have not flourished on a big scale here. Your best bet would be looking for guest houses, camps (like Camp Oak View) and home stays that mostly have very warm, welcoming hosts.
Image Credit: Nikhil Mudaliar