Road trip to Bir in Himachal Pradesh
This was the only motivation!

The urge to go on a road trip somehow took us to Bir in Himachal Pradesh, India. Bir is a village in the west of the state of Himachal Pradesh. Famous as Paragliding Capital of India, it is also home to several Buddhist monasteries and a large stupa. We never thought that starting from Delhi, we will go on one side 530 km long trip. We started on a Friday afternoon, having lunch at Sukhdev Dhabha, Murthal and then all the way through NH-1 we kept driving. The road is absolutely perfect and we were zooming past one district after other.

We crossed Rupnagar , where famous Anandpur Sahib Gurudwara is thereNangal (where Bhakra Nangal Dam is there), Una and Kangra till we reached Palampur at 3 am. We choose to stay at Palampur as someone told us that it was not advisable to stay in Bir at night. Now finding a hotel at 3 am was adventurous. 
The next morning scene from our hotel’s balcony was something we have been waiting for months. 


Palampur as seen from our hotel's balcony
Palampur as seen from our hotel's balcony
Mountain ranges as seen from Palampur in Himachal Pradesh
Mountain ranges as seen from Palampur

We were lucky enough that it was a sunny day. For those who are planning to visit there, just check the weather update. Starting from Palampur, Bir is just 30 kms. We had our breakfast at Lover’s Point at Baijnath on the way to Bir. It was so ironical that 6 stags were eating paranthas at Lover’s point on 14th February, The Valentine’s Day.  

Scenery near Baijnath
Scenery near Baijnath
Geetansh and Gagan waiting for breakfast
Geetansh and Gagan waiting for breakfast

We reached Bir in an hour’s time. We have to park our car near Bir, the landing site (1400 metres above the sea level) and had to go up till take off site in a tempo traveler arranged by the paragliding company. We also saw some tea gardens in Bir. 
The journey to the Billing, (the world famous Paragliding take off point) was itself an adventurous one. With snow, mud and water flowing all the way and vehicles coming from opposite side it was an exciting journey upwards. The 14 km distance was covered in about half an hour. Billing is 2400 metres above the sea level.
Himachal Tourism welcome board at Bir in Himachal Pradesh
Himachal Tourism welcome board
The road from Bir to Billing
Snow, mud and water along the journey
Abhishek is excited to get clicked before tea gardens
Abhishek is excited to get clicked before tea gardens

At the take-off site, the view was awesome. We first clicked some photos of the awesome scenery. While preparing to takeoff, the pilot who controls your paraglider wing will ask for a video using Go-Pro. We didn't want to spend extra bucks on this so we somehow made some jugaad with our mobile phones to shoot videos and take pictures while doing paragliding.

You'll have to listen to the instructions given by pilot in order to enjoy maximum. He will control your paraglider wing or canopy in the whole journey. The pilot will wait for the right moment before you get launched into the air. A sufficient high speed and direction of wind, will help you to take off for the exciting ride in the air.

The sign board showing altitude of Billing
Gagan and Abhishek all set to go for paragliding in Bir
Gagan and Abhishek all set to go
Waiting for the right speed and direction of wind at Billing
Waiting for the right speed and direction of wind
Bird's eye view just after the jump
Bird's eye view just after the jump

The initial seconds of fear will soon turn into excitement at a whole new level. The bird’s eye view of Bir and Palampur was just awesome. The feeling of doing paragliding for half an hour cannot be described easily in words. Attaching few pics of our group doing paragliding. People who are afraid of height or feel vertigo should not try their hand at this adventure sport.

Abhishek with his paraglider wing
Abhishek with his paraglider wing
Aditya is relaxed while landing
Aditya is relaxed while landing
Gagandeep Singh in the action while landing
Gagandeep Singh in the action while landing
Gaurav is enjoying Paragliding at fullest
Gaurav is enjoying Paragliding at fullest

After half an hour, we landed at the landing site and watched other paragliders in the sky. The weather was awesome and so was the ride. 


Geetansh enjoying paragliding
Geetansh enjoying paragliding
Some other paragliders near landing
Some other paragliders near landing

After having some snacks, we left the landing site. In 2013, Bir organised a Pre- World Cup. Now Bir is all set to
organise Para Gliding World Cup” from 24th -31st October 2015.  Around 150 top ranked pilots of the world would participate besides 500 free flying pilots.

Bir- The Landing site for Paragliding
Bir- The Landing site for Paragliding
Village women at Bir
Village women at Bir
After Bir, we decided to go Manali which is about to 160 kms from Bir. Some other options were Dharamshala, Mcleodganj  and Shimla.

To book a customised tour to Bir to enjoy paragliding, feel free to get in touch with us.

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