Bir Billing is a quaint little town located in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. While Bir-Billing is widely known as the ‘Paragliding capital of India’, there is so much more it has to offer. From rich cultural experiences and authentic Tibetan food, to amazing treks and hikes, Bir-Billing has something for everyone! Read on to find out how you can make the most of your visit to this region!
One of the largest monasteries in the region, this is located in a serene forest in Keori near Bir and is home to over 1200 monks!
Chokling Monastery: Located within the Tibetan colony (just 1 km away from the landing site), this brightly painted monastery houses a beautiful statue of Padmasambhava
Palyul Chokor Ling: Situated right within the Bir market, this monastery offers a quick spiritual escape from the hustle of the town
Tsering Jong Monastery: Complete with a Tibetan café, a park and residential complex for monks, this beautifully designed monastery is a must-visit attraction
Deer Park Institute: This monastic institute offers the opportunity to understand Indian and Tibetan philosophy through courses in filmmaking, languages, meditation and photography.
The town also attracts numerous foreign visitors who enroll in Deer Park's Buddhism courses and attend events during important Buddhist festivals like Buddha Purnima. This cultural exchange enriches the area's spiritual atmosphere, making it a sought-after destination for both international travelers and locals interested in exploring the depth and beauty of Buddhist traditions.
The paragliding landing site in Bir Billing is a grassy meadow where gliders touch down after their exhilarating flights. Conveniently, ample parking space is available on the road adjacent to the site. This location boasts the best sunset views in town, making it a popular spot for capturing breathtaking photographs. Visitors gather here not only to watch paragliders land but also to soak in the scenic surroundings and magical sunsets.
Billing, located approximately 14 kilometers from Bir, serves as the primary take-off site for paragliders. It not only provides an exhilarating launch point but also offers breathtaking panoramic views of the entire valley, with lush mountains stretching as far as the eye can see and distant rivers meandering through the landscape.
Billing is the takeoff site and paragliding starts from here. it offers magnificent views of snow covered Dhauladhar mountains and valleys below. the mountain top also recieves signifacnt snowfall in winters which is also a sign of attractions for locals as well as tourists.
In Bir Billing, you can enjoy ‘Café Hopping' as you explore the vibrant local food scene. At June 16, treat yourself to delicious cakes, pastries, and coffee. Savor tasty burgers, continental, and Chinese food at the Mafia Café. Experience the best thin-crust pizzas in the town accompanied by live music at the Himalayan Pizza. Finally, don't miss out on Silver Linings' mouth-watering cheesecake and Mocha, which are truly unforgettable. Some other cafés worth visiting are Ava's for South Indian food and Garden Café for authentic Tibetan cuisine. This culinary adventure adds another delightful dimension to your Bir Billing experience.
Visiting tea gardens is another enjoyable activity you can engage in while exploring Bir Billing. Many tea gardens are spread randomly near the paragliding landing site and throughout other parts of the town. You can learn about the process of making different teas, take a leisurely walking tour within the gardens, and even purchase local teas from the market. This unique experience offers a deeper appreciation of the region's tea culture and provides an opportunity to bring home a taste of Bir Billing.
Bangoru Waterfall: A rewarding hike in Bir Billing is the trek to Bangoru Waterfall, which takes approximately 1 to 1.5 hours. Located above Guner village, this hidden gem is not widely known, making it an exciting adventure for those who seek it. The hike involves a steep ascent followed by a somewhat treacherous, steep descent in the last stretch. However, the effort is well worth it, as you'll be rewarded with a breathtaking view of the cascading waterfall and surrounding scenery.
Forest Hikes: Bir Billing also offers forest hikes and walks, with numerous forests to explore beyond the paragliding landing site. These serene trails provide a chance to connect with nature, breathe in fresh mountain air, and discover the diverse flora and fauna of the region.
Bir to Billing: About 14 kms by road, the hike shortens the distance and goes from dense forests full of rhododendron trees. En-route you can stop to enjoy the mesmerising views of the Bir town surrounded by lush green mountains.
Paragliding: Bir Billing's signature activity has earned it the title of the paragliding capital of India. The area attracts both first-time Indian tourists and seasoned foreign paragliding veterans who come every season to experience the exhilarating flights. Click here to know more.
Bungee jumping and Sky cycling: Located in Guner village and organized by Tiger Adventures, these thrilling activities offer adrenaline-pumping experiences for adventure seekers looking to push their limits and create unforgettable memories.
Mountain cycling: Bir Billing's low traffic, well-maintained roads, and gentle terrain make it ideal for cyclists of all skill levels. Hire a bike for as low as 100 rupees an hour or bring your own to explore the picturesque valley at your own pace, enjoying the town and its surroundings.
Toy Train Ride: Experience a scenic journey to Bir on the Pathankot-Jogindernagar route, offering beautiful views and a unique experience on a slow-moving, narrow-gauge train. However, plan ahead, as sometimes parts of the track may be under maintenance.
Scooter or Motorbike Hire: Renting a scooter or motorbike is an easy and affordable way to explore Bir (averaging 500-1500 rupees per day, depending on the season). These vehicles are convenient for parking due to their compact size.
Swimming: Cool off during the summer months at a public pool in Suja village, which offers affordable rates at just 100 rupees per hour, providing a refreshing way to unwind and beat the heat.
Rajgundha: Located 73 kms away via Barot Valley or 25 kms through Billing, Rajgundha offers a picturesque escape, though caution is advised as the road can be treacherous due to rain.
Baijnath: Just 13 kms from Bir, Baijnath is home to an ancient Shiva temple with a rich history, making it a fascinating destination for spiritual and cultural exploration.
Andretta: Immerse yourself in the world of pottery at renowned studios like 'Andretta Pottery,' India's oldest pottery studio, where you can engage in hands-on pottery classes and witness the craftsmanship of skilled artisans. Explore the artistic heritage of the village further at the Sobha Singh Art Gallery, dedicated to the celebrated artist who found inspiration in European art and left a lasting legacy through his iconic paintings.
Palampur: Known for its tea gardens, Palampur boasts beautiful scenery, tea factories, and stunning snow-covered Dhauladhar views, offering a tranquil getaway for nature lovers. Click here to read more on Palampur!
Barot: At a distance of 65 kms, Barot is a haven for those seeking untouched valleys, mesmerizing views, and serene camp sites, providing a peaceful retreat in the heart of nature.