One day while exchanging the talks over a cup of coffee, a friend asked if I knew about Bir Billing- small hamlet nestled in Himachal Pradesh. Few said “Yes’ and few wondered what is it? True fact: Many people across the world are not aware of Bir Billing– the ultimate destination for paragliding in India. Bir-Billing, of course, is not a commercialized popular tourist destination but definitely a must-go place for Adventure lovers and especially for folks who want to have a great paragliding experience in India. Bir billing has the laurel of the second highest natural para jumping spot in the world. It’s an overnight weekend destination from New Delhi.
For a trip to Bir-Billing, board a train from Delhi to Pathankot. After DE boarding at Pathankot, visit Mcleodganj and spent one night here. McLeod Ganj is the residence of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and the site of the Tibetan exile community’s main temple. While in McLeod Ganj do not forget to visit Namgyal Monastery– home to the residence of Dalai Lama. The residence of the spiritual leader is out of bounds for tourists but the other parts of the complex are wonderful and must be visited by all tourists.
On the second day set out to visit Bir Billing to experience Paragliding. En route to Bir-Billing, Chamunda Temple, Palampur & Baijnath are the few tourist destinations located in the proximity.
Billing is the world’s second highest natural Para Gliding spot. Duration of the paragliding is 25 to 30 mins depending on the wind and weather conditions. The flight starts from meadows of Billing and ends at Bir plains.
As you glide through the lush green mountains, you would be able to experience adrenaline rushing through each and every nerve of your body. One might also feel nervous as the jump has to be taken from a height which is quite at an elevation (9000 Ft from sea level, and approx 4500 Ft from Bir).
There are few good pilots and adventure companies available to hire the equipment from Bir village. The average cost per person for a single assisted flight is approximately Rs 1500/- to Rs.2500/-. The booking can be done on the spot at Bir village.
You might take the time to adjust yourself with the suspensions, but once ready, a short run will take you up to the sky. Experience the mind-boggling adventure, feel the gush of air that will take the parachute to a reasonably good height. The moment you see down you realize that everything down there is so small and tiny. The experience will be so enthralling that soon you forget your fear and get enchanted to the view below and ahead.
BEST TIME: March to May (Before Monsoon) and September to November.