Bir Billing Paragliding - A list of know how about thrilling Paragliding sports in Bir Billing Valley, Himachal Pradesh in India 5
Since the advent of airplanes, it became quite clear that human is fond of flying. And years of development in aviation technology has helped us reach new heights. So, you do fly while traveling across the globe and exploring different destinations.
You might feel great to witness flying along with the clouds high above, getting breathtaking views from your flight window. You wonder what would it be like to fly outside the comfort zone of an airplane! Well, take a break from wondering and make your flying fantasies come true! Give a try to the adrenaline pumping and adventurous Paragliding activity!
Here is a list of things we would know further about Bir Billing Paragliding:
What is Paragliding?
Just like skydiving, hang gliding and other adventure activities, Paragliding is one of the most popular recreational sport across the globe. Paragliding activities have always attracted a large number of thrillseekers for decades. But it has seen a huge surge in popularity in recent years.
It consists of a foot-launched glider aircraft along with a harness. Huge wings made of nylon canopy that can be driven and operated by the pilot. Wind movements, speed, weather conditions, and air pressure are used to take flight and control flight while paragliding.
By using proper technique and skill, it becomes quite convenient to enjoy this. You can reach higher altitudes and glide over long distances for a considerable period of time.
What are the best places to try paragliding in India?
If you are visiting India, then you must know that its a hotspot for some of the best sites to offer Paragliding. These sites provide scenic mountain views, lush green or snow-capped valleys, and beautiful sunsets. Following are the best paragliding sites in India:
- Bir Billing, Himachal Pradesh
- Manali, Himachal Pradesh
- Yelagiri, Tamil Nadu
- Sanasar, Jammu
- Kamshet, Maharashtra
- Nainital, Uttarkhand
- Panchgani, Maharashtra
Even though there are more than a dozen incredible places with favorable paragliding conditions, the best among them is Bir Billing Valley in Himachal Pradesh, India. Let’s know further about Bir Billing
About Bir Billing, Himachal Pradesh
Bir is a quaint village amidst the Dauladhar mountain ranges in the Joginder Nagar Valley. Though it is a small peaceful town it hosts the second best paragliding site in the world. Billing is located 14 km north of Bir as the combined site stands at an altitude of nearly 3000 meters.
The launch site at Bir-Billing stands at a height of 8500-ft above sea level. This makes it the best paragliding destination in India as well as Asia. It attracts hundreds of adventure seekers and paragliding enthusiasts every year. The landing site is located village of Chowgan in the southern region of Bir.
One of the most major attractions of Bir-Billing is the Paragliding world cup which was held back in 2015. The event popularized the destination even more and thus promoted a major influx of tourists.
Reasons why you should try Paragliding at Bir Billing
Bir Billing offers one of the most incredible ambiances for paragliding. It is not just the sport but breathtaking valleys, lush greenery, and pleasant favorable weather conditions make is a must-see tourist place. Let’s see further, a few reasons to why you should try Paragliding at Bir Billing Valley:
1. Favorable Air Currents and Weather Conditions for Paragliding
- As mentioned earlier, Bir-Billing offers magnificent climatic conditions to enjoy Paragliding at its best.
- Adequate wind movements and currents ensure you can take longer paragliding flights at a much higher altitude.
- Thermals (Hot air near the surface) vary quite favorably. Thus it helps to navigate flights that are desired by the pilots.
- An average thermal wind of 5 meters per second flows consistently at Bir-Billing hence making it one of the best sites for paragliding activity.
2. Most incredible Landing site and Takeoff sites at Bir Billing
- Before flying at much higher altitudes you would ensure safety. Don’t worry! The landing and takeoff sites at Bir Billing are the safest you would ever find.
- The take off-site consists of a natural launchpad that stands at an altitude of 8000 feet from sea level. Whereas the landing site at Bir reaches a height of 4300 feet above sea level.
- Both sites of takeoff and landing at Bir house basic safety and medical amenities. They also have a large number of paragliding personnel standing nearby to help individuals during take-off or landing or in any sort of emergency situation.
- These landing and takeoff sites also offer mindblowing views of sunset and sunrise as well as natural landscape all around.
3. Best Cloud Base
- A cloud base is the lowest visible portion of a cloud above sea level. The cloud base at Bir Billing stands at an average height of 4000 to 6000 meters.
- This altitude, therefore, ensures paragliding flights for longer intervals of 20 to 30 minutes.
4. Learning Paragliding by licensed instructors
- This is one of the most notable reasons to visit Bir Billing. If you are eager to learn the sport of Paragliding, then Bir Billing is the right place to be!
- A large number of instructors and small institutes offer certified paragliding courses. These courses are about 15-20 days long and provide extensive training to individuals.
- You may take up these lessons and become an expert in paragliding activity.
Types of Paragliding Offered in Bir Billing
1. Tandem Paragliding
- If you just wish to enjoy this incredible activity and fly high above then this is for you! For those who don’t feel like learning paragliding may opt for Tandem flying.
- You will be accompanied by a trained pilot who would operate the flight while you can comfortably enjoy the scenic views all around.
- All the navigation and flying operation will be carried out by the pilot. Just follow his instructions and make the most out of beautiful views around you.
- You could even capture video footage and photos with your GoPro camera provided to you before takeoff. It lasts between 10-25 minutes depending upon the given weather conditions and air current. They cost about 2500-3000 INR.
2. Solo Flying
- You can go for solo flying if you are a properly certified paraglider. As mentioned earlier you can get trained for 15-20 days and get certification for paragliding.
- A lot of solo certified flyers enjoy paragliding in Bir, some of them being international paragliders who obtain their certification from World Air Sports Federation (Fédération Aéronautique Internationale).
3. Long Paragliding Flights
- For those who wish to fly for a longer period, may opt for longer paragliding flights.
- These flights take you through the air for about 40-60 minutes. They cost around 6000-8000 INR.
Best Time For Paragliding in Bir Billing Valley
Just like other adventure sports, the best time for paragliding in Bir Billing largely depends on the weather conditions and air movements. Better thermals ensure ideal flying conditions.
Therefore, the months between March to May and October to November is the best time to pursue Paragliding activity in Bir Billing.
- The time between November to March which also marks the Winter season is considered as the peak season for Paragliding experiences since enthusiasts from all across the globe arrive at the Bir Billing Valley.
Safety Tips and Things To Know Before Paragliding at Bir Billing
Just like other adventure sports, Paragliding in Bir Billing is an incredible experience. But you never know what may go wrong. Don’t worry! Follow this list of safety tips and recommendations to avoid unnecessary and potentially dangerous situations:
- Stay calm and prepare yourself mentally. It is natural to be nervous but make sure you maintain your composure before you jump off the cliff!
- Do go solo if you aren’t an expert already. If you don’t have the certification to fly solo then go for tandem flights. It is a far safer and enjoyable option.
- Make sure you strictly follow the instructions given by the paragliding pilot. If you do otherwise you may risk getting severely injured. Paragliding pilots who accompany you try their best to make sure you are safe as well as have a good time. Try not to give them a hard time.
- Overeating right before your flight is not a great idea. Make sure you have something light.
- Wear warm clothes but not too heavy. Since you would be flying high above it would get colder. But don’t double down on heavy clothes that may indirectly affect your paragliding experience.
- You need to remember than underage children are not allowed to go for paragliding without the supervision of their parents. Apart from being 18 years of age, bodyweight should not exceed 120 kgs.
- It is important to prepare well before the flight. Check the weather conditions and climate and proceed to flight accordingly. If confused ask fellow fliers or paragliding pilots.
- Follow proper paragliding techniques and methods to ensure a safe flight. Unorthodox methods are inadvisable.
- Assemble the right equipment for paragliding. Paragliding equipment consists of nylon fabric wings, harness, parachute, helmet, variometer, GPS, radio and camera. Don’t overspend money on your equipment but still buy a decent working kit.
- Avoid sitting on the harness while launching from the cliff. Make sure you keep running until you are in the air.
How to reach Bir Billing
There are different modes of transport that will help you reach Bir Billing in no time. Following are your options:
The easiest and the fastest way to reach Bir Billing is by flight. You can board a flight from anywhere to reach Dharamshala Airport. It is located about 70kms away from Bir Billing
- Another mode of transport is by using the bus. You could find various public and private bus service that would help you reach Bir Billing.
- You could also use the state-owned HRTC buses that reach Pathankot or the Chougan Village.
- Buses also halt at stops like Baijnath, Joginder Nagar and Mandi which are just a few kilometers away from Bir Billing
You can directly hire a cab that will take you to Bir. It would take about 10 hours to reach Bir if you hire a taxi from New Delhi.
Where to stay at Bir Billing
A presence of a large number of tourists in Bir Billing, demands the availability of hotels and stays. Bir Billing is a small village and region still offers, spectacular accommodation facilities for tourists. Following are the best options for you to stay at Bir Billing:
- Camp Oak View
- Chokling Guesthouse
- Dharmalaya Institue
- Hotel Paul Manor
- Glass House
- Colonel’s Resort
- Hostel at Camp Oak View.
- Bhawani Guest House
- Dome tents at Billing
Things to do in and around Bir Billing Valley
Lastly, let’s know more about the prominent landmarks and things to do in Bir Billing apart from paragliding activity.
- Bir Tibetan Colony
- Bir Tea Factory
- Bir Road
- Chokling Monastery
- Sherab Ling Monastery
- Dharmalaya Institute
- Gunehar Waterfall
- Deer Park Institute
- Raj Gundha Village Visit
- Hanumangarh Trek
- Bara Bhangal Tribal Valley Trek
- Trout Fishing
- Hand Gliding
- Tashi Jong Buddhist Monastery, Baijnath, Palampur