Snuggled adorably in the lap of the Himalayas is the town of Bir. The name doesn’t ring a bell? Maybe Bir Billing would sound more familiar. Though these are two separate places, they are often addressed collectively by locals and tourists alike. And what forms the connection between the two is paragliding.
Bir has rightly earned the title of the ‘Paragliding Capital of India’, and is truly a hub for aerial sports. But there’s a lot more to this secret town that you’ll love to explore as well. You don’t need to plan too hard for them; here are 6 exciting things to do in Bir that all you wanderlust souls would absolutely love!
Feed Your Adrenaline Rush With Paragliding And Hang Gliding
All adventure lovers will surely agree – you talk about exciting things to do in Bir and paragliding comes up first on the list. The entire paragliding experience takes you high on another level (yes, pun intended)! Though momentarily, it makes you feel like a free bird flying away from the clutches of the hectic routine of life.
You can enjoy this activity between the months of September and June. But, October and November are the months when you can best enjoy the pleasant and beautiful climate while paragliding. Billing is the takeoff site for paragliding and Bir is where you’ll land. If you have some time in hand, do try and witness the sunset at the landing site. It’s truly a soothing sight to behold. On rare occasions, you might even be lucky to spot the sun, moon, and a star, all simultaneously in one frame!
Along with paragliding, another aero sport that’s very popular in Bir is hang gliding. But know that you’ll need proper training and a good level of fitness for indulging in this activity. There are many operators that provide prior training if you wish to try out this recreational activity in Bir. If not hang gliding, do try your hand at paragliding, as no trip to Bir will ever feel complete without experiencing that adrenaline rush.
Make The Most Of Camping And Trekking
The scenic landscapes of Bir are perfect to indulge in camping and trekking activities. Camping is the best way to enjoy the unadulterated beauty of Bir. It gives you an opportunity to experience the raw beauty of nature in its best form. Camp Oak View is a popular destination for camping in Bir and it’s located just at a distance of 3 km from the main town. Ditch the conventional hotel experience once to spend a night under the stars – it’ll surely be a night to remember.
You’re holidaying in the mountains – trekking has to be on your list of exciting things to do in Bir! There are a number of trekking trails to be explored in and around the town. One trail that you wouldn’t want to miss out on is the one that leads to Gunehar Falls.
Surrounded by lush greenery all around, the entire trekking journey, as well as the destination, are beautiful beyond words. If you go in the evenings, you’ll be able to witness the mesmerizing sunset against the scenic backdrop of the Dhauladhar ranges and that will only leave you spellbound. Trekking to Rajgundha is also popular among adventure enthusiasts visiting Bir.
Relive Your Childhood Fantasy With A Toy Train Ride
As a child, did you have a train set that you loved playing with and always hoped to travel in one day? If your answer is yes, you definitely aren’t the only one out there. A lot of us have always loved the idea of traveling in a toy train and that’s one of the exciting things for you to do in Bir. The train starts from Joginder Nagar and covers a distance of around 160 km across ten stations.
It passes through wooden bridges, scintillating villages, and flowing streams, making the entire landscape look like it’s just out of a fairy tale. Set against the backdrop of the magnificent Dhauladhar ranges, the toy train ride in Bir is an enchanting experience for all travelers. Keep your cameras ready to capture the never-ending scenic views throughout the journey, you’ll want to cherish the beautiful sights for as long as you can.
Go Mountain Biking Through The Forests
Let’s give you a heads up here – mountain biking is very different from riding your bike on normal concrete roads. It definitely requires a lot more strength and physical fitness and some prior training would also be good. That said, if you’re confident and determined then mountain biking through the hilly terrains of Bir is nothing less than a thrilling adventure to experience. Once you try it out, you’ll know that it’s an experience of a lifetime that you’re glad you didn’t miss out on.
There are experts who can train you to develop the right skills for this activity and they could even accompany you on your journey if that’s what you need. You can rent out bikes from shops in Bir Bazaar and start your little adventure. Biking through the lush greenery and the serpentine mountain roads will expose you to the best of nature and will totally make your journey worthwhile.
Indulge In Some Café Hopping
Meals in the mountains are not the same as hogging on food in the city. Obviously, the type of food is different but so is the experience. You might not get as much satisfaction from eating a meal at a fancy restaurant in the city as you would get after grabbing a hearty meal at a mountain café. One of the most exciting things to do in Bir is café hopping. From Tibetan cuisines to the local Himachali food, your taste buds are surely in for a treat when in Bir.
Garden Café, Avva’s Café, Nyingma Kitchen Restaurant, Vairagi Café, Glider’s Pizzeria, and Tricky Food Corner are some of the popular food joints to check out in Bir. They serve everything from authentic Tibetan cuisines to South Indian, Continental, Asian, and even Italian. Along with the variety of pastas, pizzas, and salads, also get a taste of the traditional thukpa and momos. The Northern Café is yet another hidden jewel in Bir that serves delicious Himachali food like Siddu (steamed bread made from wheat flour) and a variety of other cuisines as well.
Unleash The Shopper Within You At Bir Road
Shopping on a trip is also an exciting affair that shopaholics won’t deny. Collecting souvenirs and unique items exclusive to a destination is an experience in itself. Not to forget, these items easily become your keepsake to remind you of your trip even after a few years down the road. Bir Road is one such destination in Bir that’s nothing less than a paradise for all shopping lovers. From handicrafts and clothes to a range of unique goodies, this place has so much to offer.
The market here is rich in Tibetan culture and has a variety of traditional and authentic items. Sharpen your bargaining skills and be ready because the colorful market is only going to tempt the shopper inside you. Don’t be surprised if you fill your bags and empty your pockets faster than you imagine because it’s simply not easy to return empty-handed from your shopping spree here. The area also has a number of eateries, so you can also grab hold of some refreshments while shopping your heart out here.
The best part about Bir is that it’s a place for all kinds of travelers. Whether it is adventure sports that call out to you or the desperation of needing a peaceful and rejuvenating holiday, Bir has plenty to fulfil your travel fantasies. It gives you an escape from your monotonous life and lets you enjoy time away from worldly worries.
What would further enhance your travel experience here is a stay at our goSTOPS hostel. You’ll get to meet like-minded fellow travelers and discuss your travel adventures. They might also have some exciting suggestions to add to your itinerary. But even when things don’t go as planned, you can still keep yourself occupied with the many entertainment options in the hostel. All in all, these exciting things to do in Bir are surely going to make your trip a memorable one!
Why is Bir Billing Famous?
Bir Billing is famous for a variety of aerial sports. This isn’t surprising; Bir is fondly known as the ‘Paragliding Capital of India’, after all. It’s a major attraction for adventure seekers and for people who wish to satiate their adrenaline rush. Not just that, Bir also has beautiful landscapes that are perfect for picnics and unwinding in the lap of nature. It also has a number of famous monasteries that give you a peek into the Tibetan and Buddhist cultures.
Is Paragliding Open In Bir Now?
Paragliding in Bir Billing can be enjoyed between the months of September and June. The activity is closed during the monsoon season due to safety reasons. The months of October and November are considered to be the best time to enjoy paragliding in Bir.
Where Is Bir Billing Located?
Bir is a small village located in the west of Joginder Nagar Valley in the state of Himachal Pradesh. Billing is the takeoff site for paragliding activities and Bir is where the gliders land. Collectively, the sites are often referred to as Bir Billing.
How Many Days Are Enough For Bir Billing?
Around 4 to 5 days are good enough to explore the various activities of Bir Billing. You can indulge in adventure sports activities, trekking, camping, mountain biking, and shopping all within these days. If you wish to have a more relaxed trip, you can also consider extending your stay for a few more days and include a visit to the other nearby towns like Dharamshala and Mcleodganj in your itinerary.
Is There Snowfall In Bir Billing?
Yes, there is snowfall in Bir Billing during the winter months of December and January. Heavy snowfall during these months often leads to roadblocks and can even affect paragliding activities.