Your guide to traveling to Bir Billing
Perched at an altitude of 5,000 feet above sea level, Bir Billing is a quaint little village located in the west of Joginder Nagar Valley in Himachal Pradesh. Popularly known as the "Paragliding Capital of India," the place also houses stunning Buddhist monasteries and a Tibetan colony that was established in the early 1960s and houses several Tibetan refugees. Read on to know more!
There are no direct flights available to Bir. However, Kangra Airport is the nearest airport to Bir, around 67.6 kilometers away from the destination. The nearest broad gauge station is in Pathankot, about 142 kilometers away from Bir. You can take a bus or taxi from the station. Regular bus and cab services are also available from Shimla, Chandigarh, Delhi, and Dharamshala.
The Chokling Monastery is one of the most popular religious sites in Bir. Located in the Bir Tibetan colony, it houses a statue of Padmasambhava along with a grand stupa. You must also visit the Baijnath Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. The water of this temple is believed to have medicinal properties. Gunehar Waterfall, Deer Park Institute, and Dharmalaya Institute are also must-visit.
Paragliding is a must-try here and March-May and October-November is the perfect time to try this adventure sport as the climate remains pleasant during these months. Hang gliding is also a popular aero sport that requires some prior training. Apart from this, you can also try camping, trekking, mountain biking or just take a leisure walk by the Gunehar River.
The summer season is one of the peak tourist seasons in Bir Billing as the temperature is pleasant and is the perfect time to try paragliding in the clear blue skies. The temperature stays between 11-25 degree Celsius during this time. Myriad paragliding competitions are also organized during this period. You can carry normal cotton clothes with a few jackets for cold nights.
Siddu drenched in local desi ghee and dipped in homemade apple chutney is one of the most popular foods of Bir Billing. It helps to maintain your body temperature and boost energy. You can also try Kullu Dham, a traditional seven-course meal served on plates made of leaves. Mittha is also a must-try dessert here made with sweet rice, dry fruits, and desi ghee.
Bir Billing has a lot of lodging options including luxurious resorts, mid-range hotels, and comfortable camps. The place is safe for women and you can book a hostel as well if you are looking for some budget-friendly options.