Have you ever dreamt of flying high in the sky and experience a bird’s eye view of the spectacular surroundings nearby? If yes, then Paragliding in Bir Billing is the best option for you. Paragliding in Bir Billing will make your dreams come true.
No prior experience or skill is needed for trying out paragliding at Bir Billing. Just an experienced pilot will accompany you and make your paragliding flight more fun.
Earlier in the country, this adventure sport is not famous as it is today. Paragliding in India has gained massive popularity over the past few years. Some technological advancements make this adventure sport more fun rewarding.
Today paragliding has emerged as one of the best and economical flying techniques. All the sport of paragliding depends on the wind thermals. So the place location and wind conditions the place provides matter a lot for paragliding.
Across India, there are various destinations where you can enjoy this famous aero sport. These locations all over India provide proper facilities and a decent gliding environment to the tourists and pilots who came for the purpose of paragliding.
In India among all of these destinations for paragliding, where pilots fly inflating paraglider’s wing, Bir Billing is the king.
Yes, Bir Billing is the best paragliding destination in India and it provides a uniquely wonderful experience as compared to other paragliding spots. Now feeling excited to discover more about Paragliding at Bir Billing. We will discuss everything further down in this article.
What is Paragliding?
A lot of people have a wish list of the things that they want to achieve before they reach a certain age. A common thing that appears often in such lists is Paragliding. In recent years, there is a lot of hype about Paragliding. It can fulfill one’s dream to fly like a bird in the air.
In the last few years, humans’ desire for flying had turned true with the help of various flying techniques. Paragliding is one of the techniques, involving flying low over mountainous terrains in open winds.
Paragliding is a type of recreational and adventure sport of pilots, flying with the help of their paragliders. It is a way of flying in the air with the help of a paraglider that allows the pilot to fly freely taking advantage of the wind currents.
A basic para-glider does not have any kind of motor-engine to propel itself. The one having an engine with a propeller at its back is called a Para-Motor. Another term for a paramotor is “powered paraglider”.
In basic paragliding, we perform free flight using the wind currents instead of using a motor. Even without the use of an engine, paragliding flights can last up to hours and can cover several hundred kilometers.
To fly a paraglider, one needs hard practice and a good amount of knowledge. To gain adequate paragliding skills, a person should be fully determined and spend sufficient time exploring the sport.
Paragliding depends on the air thermals and wind conditions. So normally, paragliding flights of 1-2 hours are carried out, covering some tens of kilometers. But a skilled pilot can even cover large distances depending on wind conditions.
One important thing to remember is that the sport of paragliding is all based on air thermals. So, if the weather is too cloudy then you might not be able to glide until it clears up. But the wait is always worth it, you get a mind-blowing experience.
A Glimpse of Billing Valley
Bir-Billing are two different places pronounced together. Basically, Bir is a collection of many other small hamlets and villages. The Billing(take-off site) is a small hamlet situated on top of the Bir Valley. Billing is located about 15 km from main Bir Village.
Bir is a quaint valley located in the west of Joginder Nagar Valley in Himachal Pradesh on the northern side of India. It is about 65 km from Dharamshala and close to many other travel destinations like Palampur, Mcleodganj, Rajgundha, Baijnath, etc.
Bir is the right spot for ecotourism, spiritual studies, and meditation activities as it is home to many Tibetans with several Buddhist monasteries. The valley offers a wide range of adventure activities such as trekking, paragliding, bungee-jumping, hiking, hand gliding, and many more.
At Bir, you can enjoy an amazing scenic tour of the surrounding Dhauladhar Mountain Range. Along with you can discover a number of peaceful places, watch beautiful sunsets, or trek and camp at some beautiful locations.
But the one thing for which the Bir Billing is most famous is its Paragliding activities. Bir Billing is said to be one of the best paragliding destinations in Asia and ranked as the second-best in the World.
Bir Billing Paragliding History
The Bir Billing is not always popular as it is today. It was in the 1980s when the aero sports activities started here. Bir Billing history can be traced back to Navin Sarin. Navin Sarin was a Palampur(Hill Station) resident credited for bringing aero-sport activities to Bir Billing. Navin in his 30s worked for a company in Kolkata.
In 1975, Navin left his company job to discover tourism scope in his hometown. He starting researching two things – angling and flying activities. Sarin connected with two other paragliding experts – John Bowman from London and Pankaj Mahajan from Maharashtra.
All three of them surveyed various other spots within the state such as Bilaspur, Triund(Dharamshala), Yol, Bijli Mahadev, Shimla, Manali, and Kinnaur area. The survey concluded that the Bir Billing was the best among all of them.
Then in 1984, the first hand gliding competition was organized here by Western Himalayan Hand-Gliding Association. A grand reward of $10,000 was announced for this championship. A total of 43 hang glider pilots from various countries participated in the event.
Another major step came in 1990, a New-Zealand pilot Bruce Mills attracted many pilots from other countries to experience paragliding here. Bruce was a well-known pilot of that time who was popular among other pilots from Billing and the rest part of the world.
Since the 1980s, several aero sports competitions took place at Bir Billing. The biggest event after which Bir Billing gained massive popularity is the Paragliding World Cup of 2015.
In October 2015, India’s first-ever World Cup had been organized here and a total of 140 flyers from other countries had participated.
Why Bir Billing for paragliding?
There are several paragliding spots in India such as Manali, Goa, Yelagiri, Nandi Hills, etc. All of these locations provide a decent gliding environment for gliding. Paragliding at these locations offers a unique and wonderful experience to travelers. So why there is so much hype about Bir Billing, Let’s discover.
Bir Billing is an internationally recognized paragliding site, where every year many paragliding enthusiasts visit from all around the world. There are a lot of reasons to enjoy paragliding at Bir Billing. Some of the best reasons are listed below:
Major Paragliding Hub:
Bir Billing is a major paragliding hub in India. As being the best paragliding site in India, it offers many facilities to the tourists. In fact, if you want to learn Paragliding, there are many learning options available here for you.
There are numerous learning schools in the area where licensed pilots will teach you paragliding. These experienced pilots will make you a pro within a short interval of time. Many trained pilots here have experience of more than 5 years.
Even some popular pilots here have an experience of more than 10years. Almost all the pilots and training schools here have appropriate licenses and certifications, so there is no issue about your safety as well.
Good Cloud Base:
For flying high in the sky, a high and good cloud base is required. Cloud Base is one of the main factors for flying. Cloud base simply refers to the base of the cloud and is measured in meters/feet above sea level.
Higher the cloud base, the higher the heights attained by the paragliding pilots. Billing has approximately 4000-6000 meters of cloud base. The cloud base makes it easier for pilots to attain more height while flying.
Suitable Air Currents:
The whole sport of paragliding is based on lifting air currents(thermals). A thermal basically is a rising air column produced by uneven heating of the ground from solar radiations. The better the thermals, the better will be the flight time.
Bir Billing region receives adequate thermals providing a perfect uplift to the paraglider pilots. At Bir Billing, better air currents(thermals) allow you to easily enjoy a paragliding session of 15-20 minutes.
Bir Billing gets an average thermal of 5 m per second. The basic tandem flight here takes time around 15-20 minutes. Depending on proper air currents(thermals), one may cover larger distances flying for about 1-3 hours.
Awesome views nearby:
Bir Billing is surrounded by huge tea gardens and pine forests, along the snow-covered Dhauladhar Mountains. Lots of small and big water streams flow through this lush green valley. The adorable beauty of the valley makes it charming and pleasant at the same time.
Paragliding here provides the most spectacular views of the valley’s beauty. It provides a pleasuring experience enriching you with peace and charm. Paragliding here during sunset time appears to be more charming and appealing.
Best Takeoff & Landing Sites:
The site(location) where you take-off needs extremely smooth wind. The Bir Billing’s Take off-site has a decent airflow fulfilling the conditions for a better flight. The whole thrill and adventure of paragliding start from the Take-off site.
The Landing site requires a zone where the accident threat is minimum. And in any emergency quick help is provided. The landing site in Bir Billing(at Chougan) fulfills all the conditions and is perfect for proper landings.
Paragliding is an extremely adventurous and fun rewarding sport. Paragliding at Bir Billing offers great opportunities such as experiencing the world through a different eye view, making new friends, and overcoming new challenges.
There are numerous health benefits too as the activity involves a large amount of adrenaline rushing through the body. Paragliding in Bir Billing helps you build confidence, burns some calories, and relieves your day-to-day stress.
Paragliding options at Bir Billing:
As a major paragliding hub, this tranquil location has a wide range of flight options available. Flight time depends on the flight option you selected. Some of the major flight types provided here are:
In Solo Paragliding, only a single person flies the paraglider in the air. Solo Paragliding is not for first-time flyers. You should have proper certificates and an approved paragliding license to enjoy Solo Paragliding.
So what about the certificates? To get certificates, you have to involve in a paragliding course of about 12-15 days. There are various training schools at Bir Billing that offers paragliding courses for beginners.
If you are a beginner, then at the starting of the training you should fly under the supervision of a trained pilot. With extensive pilot training, you should be able to fly without any supervision. A beginner pilot should avoid flying over hazardous weather.
So get fully trained in paragliding after learning to operate a paraglider properly. Bir Billing is famous for Solo Paragliding as well, a lot of people from all over the world come here to learn and experience Solo Paragliding.
Unlike Solo Paragliding, in Tandem Paragliding you need not deal with paragliding license and certificates. Tandem Paragliding is the best option for beginners who want to experience paragliding at Bir Billing.
This flying type is basically for those who are inexperienced and don’t know how to control a paraglider. If you used to enjoy the thrill of flying without learning any paragliding skills, this is the option.
Nowadays Tandem Paragliding has become a famous choice and a lot of tourists worldwide visit here to enjoy tandem flights. In this flight type, 2 persons fly together with a single paraglider. One of them is an experienced pilot and the other a tourist.
In this flight type, the pilot usually sits behind you and is fully responsible for handling the paraglider. He handles all the Paraglider controls while you enjoy the ride. An average Tandem Flight will last over 15-20 minutes depending upon the wind conditions.
Depending upon the proper wind conditions, a paragliding flight can cover several hundred kilometers. Such type of flying is referred to as Cross-Country or XC flying. At Bir Billing, you can also enjoy thrilling Cross-Country flights.
At Bir Billing, you can enjoy these flights while spending more time in the sky. If you are a complete beginner then it is advised to perform long flights under the supervision of a well-experienced pilot.
Here at Billing, the best option to enjoy cross-country rides is flying along with a skilled pilot rather than trying it alone. An XC flight here usually lasts between 40-60 minutes and is the most thrilling type of flying.
For Long flying, pilots need proper knowledge and skill of paragliding. If you are willing for an XC flight here alone(solo), then you should inform someone and should take necessary precautions already in case of an emergency
Best Time for Paragliding in Bir Billing
Paragliding in Bir Billing is open throughout the year, except for the monsoon season. As located in the foothills of the Dhauladhar Mountain Range of the Himalayas, this valley provides amazing weather conditions throughout the year. Here, every season comes in its full natural form.
The paragliding remains open in Bir Billing from September to the first week of July. The best timing for paragliding here starts from October’s first week till mid-December. The other best season for paragliding here is from March till June.
So, here is a detailed description below of everything that you can expect here in different seasons.
At Bir Billing, the summer season starts from the month of March and ends till June. This season is suitable for long flights and a better paragliding experience. The summer season here is regarded as the peak season and Bir gets a huge tourists rush during this season.
This season is one of the best seasons for paragliding here. Due to better air thermals, the summer season is best suited for Cross-Country flyings. Regardless of paragliding, summertime is best for trekking activities as well.
During Summer, the winds are quite strong or thunderstorms and rains may be frequent during this time period. Paragliding may get occasionally closed here due to bad weather but it’s only a mere chance. If you have a couple of days to spend here, then you can explore a variety of things during the summer season.
From the mid of July up to September, Bir Billing experience the monsoon season. Monsoon here comes with a hefty amount of rain and thunderstorms. There is a danger of landslides too due to heavy rains. So, this season is regarded as the off-season in Bir Billing.
During this time period, due to safety concerns paragliding activity remains closed in Bir Billing. Paragliding becomes extremely dangerous during such a harsh season. There is no exact date for the closing and reopening of paragliding activities for the year.
It doesn’t mean you can enjoy nothing here during this season. But rather you can go for short hikes nearby and experience the positive vibes of the valley. If you have any doubts regarding paragliding at Bir Billing, then you can always contact himalayanfever for your queries.
The winter season here marks its presence from the month of October till February. In all honesty, wintertime is the best season to enjoy the beauty of this valley. You have clear skies, good air currents, and a pleasant and chilling environment.
This is an ideal time period for both solo and tandem flights. The time period from October till November is the best one for paragliding. This time interval is best for normal flights and several paragliding competitions used to happen during this time.
December to February here are the coldest months of the winter season. Bir Billing gets frequent snowfalls between these months and the Billing top looks white covered with snow. The view in these peak winter months is fantastic, with mountains covered with white snow and beautiful sceneries.
Bir Billing Paragliding Price
The average cost for basic tandem paragliding at Bir Billing is 2500 INR for a 15 to 30 min flight. The transportation charges are included within this cost. At Bir Billing, an extra 500 INR is charged for go-pro video shooting.
The cost for tandem paragliding here depends upon the paraglider operator and the flight time. We at himalayanfever charge an affordable price of 2,000 INR for a 15-30 minutes flying session. Extra charges will be included if you want to fly more than the specified time.
For long flights, the flight time increases from about 45-60 minutes. The long flights here are more thrilling than the ordinary ones and you can discover many more places while flying. Our pilots will provide you the best you can make out of the flight.
A 45-60 minutes session will cost you around 5000-7500 INR. Even if you want to fly more, we have Cross-Country flights for you. A cross-country flight will exceed more than an hour and will nearly cost around 10000-15000 INR depending on the flight time.
One can go as far as Chamba, Palampur, Manali, and Dharamshala in an XC flight. The flight timing can vary as per the client’s demand. We also offer paragliding stunts while flying depending on the client’s request.
Kindly remember, the price will vary from package to package, flight duration, and stunts performed while flying. In these mentioned prices, your transportation and video shooting charges have been included. We don’t ask you anything extra, no service tax, and no hidden charges.
Bir Billing Paragliding Courses
Bir Billing is a popular paragliding destination and offers several paragliding courses. A number of training schools here that will teach you paragliding at an affordable price. Bir Billing has the one of best pilots across the country.
The pilots here have an ample amount of experience and skills and will teach you everything from scratch. Even some of the well-known pilots here have experience of more than 10 years. Pilots here are quite friendly and will clear all your queries.
Even it is a wonderful experience of learning paragliding at India’s best paragliding destination. After the completion of the course, you will get a Course Completion Certificate from the institute that means you are now eligible for solo flying.
These certificates are valid for flying within India and some other countries. Yet there is no recognized licensing authority in India, so these course certificates will work for you. As a hobby flyer, these certificates are enough for you to enjoy solo paragliding.
Remember if you want to take part in international competitions and visit other countries for flying, then you will need a license approved by an organization such as Fédération Aéronautique Internationale.
The several paragliding courses available at Bir Billing are listed below:
P1+P2 Paragliding Course:
This course is the basic course for beginners and is the building block of a pro flyer. You have to complete this course to become eligible for your first solo flight. This course will introduce you to basic flight physics, or gears and equipment used for paragliding.
You will learn basic ground handling, and other safety techniques. The course will cover the paragliding basics like canopy(wing) handling, inflation, detecting perfect thermals, speed control, canopy stabilization, take-off and landing practices, equipment maintenance, and many more.
Cost: The average cost for this course will be 20000-25000 INR.
Availability: This course remains available throughout the year except for the months of January, February, June, July, August, and September.
P3 Paragliding Advanced Course:
Only after you completed your basic P1+P2 course, you become eligible for this advanced P3 course. This course is not for a beginner flyer, rather this course is for an intermediate seeking to gain more advanced paragliding skills.
This course will cover the advanced launch and landing techniques, proper canopy handling, ridge soaring, safety and ridge rules, emergency management, shift turns, and advanced flight theories. Once you completed your P3 course, you can enjoy Solo Flying anywhere within India.
Cost: The average cost for this course will be 16000-20000 INR.
Availability: This course also remains available throughout the year except for the months of January, February, June, July, August, and September.
For these paragliding courses, the equipment will be provided by the instructor. You have to carry your own clothes, gloves, an air-proof jacket, proper footwear, and sunglasses. Even any type of accommodation is not included in these courses.
How safe is Paragliding at Bir Billing?
Paragliding is an extreme adventure sport like all other extreme sports. Such extreme sports always attract adventure enthusiasts and people who want to test their limits. As in the case with most adventure sports, there is always some risk even after you have done all preparations.
Paragliding is safe as long as you maintain safety measures. If you are a first-time flyer, then it is always best to have a tandem flight with an experienced pilot. This is the safest solution as the instructor will ensure your safety.
It does not mean that only beginners have risks while flying. Even well-experienced pilots sometimes make big mistakes. While flying you should always focus on the present moment and take quick actions during an emergency.
Even after taking all safety precautions, still there may be a chance of accidents. The cause of the accident may be bad climatic conditions and a mid-air collision with another pilot or a large bird. A pilot should know to act during an emergency.
At himalayanfever safety of our client is a major concern. Team himalayanfever always ensures to minimize the flight risk using approved safety equipment such as safety helmet, best quality paraglider, and a reserve(emergency para-glider).
We believe that the best way to prevent accidents is to fly only under favorable weather conditions, supporting air currents along with experienced pilots. Before any flight, we always double-check the equipment to ensure it are working.
We operate only if the conditions are completely favorable, without taking any risks for the client and the pilot. Just to remember all our pilots are highly trained and do their job well. So, let the pilot handle the paraglider and you just enjoy the flying.
Tips for Paragliding in Bir Billing
Down below is the list of important tips you should know before your paragliding session:
Watch out for weather condition:
Always check out the weather condition before your paragliding flight as bad weather may put your life in danger. At himalayanfever, we believe that your life is precious than any adventure. Bright sunny weather is the best time for a paragliding session.
Check your gears:
Before any paragliding ride always check whether you have proper cushion space in a paraglider harness where you can sit comfortably. Double-check all the gears and equipment before your flight, whether they are loose or broken. A damaged piece of equipment or loosely attached harness can cause serious problems.
Wear Proper Clothes:
This is one of the main tips that you should follow. Always remember to wear proper clothes, footwear, durable helmet, gloves, air-tight jacket, etc. during your flight. When you are flying above at such a high altitude, you can feel the large gush of air exerting force on your body.
One of the important things to remember is don’t panic and always stay calm. You may feel certain turbulence while flying and other sorts of disturbances may come during flight. In fact, you should feel confident as you are flying with a well-experienced pilot.
Avoid Carrying Things:
During your paragliding session, don’t carry any expensive things or stuff that is not necessary while flying. If you still want to carry them, then put your electronic device, wallet, or any other expensive stuff in a proper zipped pocket.
Always be friendly with your pilot as he is the only one who will accompany you during the flight. Listen to your pilot’s instructions properly and do what he says. Before the flight, you should ask your pilot to show his license to make sure he is authorized.
One thing to keep in mind is that you should be mentally prepared for your flight. It is not always easy for someone to feel comfortable while flying a few hundred feet above sea level. So the mental preparation is important as there is no option to land quickly once you are in the air.
During the whole flight, try to think and act intellectually. Don’t try acting to be too adventurous and even during an emergency do not panic and shout. This may put your pilot under stress and he can take wrong decisions under pressure. If you are not feeling well ask your pilot to land you asap.
Relax and Enjoy:
This is the main thing for which you are paying money for. You may feel nervous before your flight, but once you fly-off, your fear and concerns will automatically vanish. Try to focus on the present moment while flying.
Once you are flying in the sky all your stress, worries, disappointments will disappear and you feel calm and relaxed. Enjoying a bird’s eye view of such a beautiful valley makes you stunned for a moment.
How to reach Bir Billing
Bir Billing is a popular tourist destination among tourists. It is close to many other tourist destinations such as Barot, Dharamshala, Mcleodganj, Barot, Palampur, Manali, and many more. It is easily accessible from Delhi, Chandigarh, Pathankot, Dehradun.
The nearest interstate bus terminal to Bir Billing is Baijnath Bus Station. Baijnath Station is well connected with frequent buses from Delhi, Chandigarh, Pathankot, and various routes. There are various Himachal Pradesh Government(HRTC) and private buses operating at different routes.
The nearest airport terminal to Bir is Gaggal Airport, near Dharamshala. You can book several domestic and economic flights here. The frequency of flights here is limited and will cost you a lot more.
There is no direct railway connectivity to Bir, the nearest local narrow gauge railway station is Ahju Railway Station. The Ahju station is only 5 km from Bir and has a limited frequency of trains coming here. Ahju station does not have connectivity to major cities such as Delhi, Chandigarh.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the cost of paragliding in Bir Billing?
The average cost for basic tandem paragliding at Bir Billing is 2500 INR for a 15 to 30 min flight. The transportation charges are included within this cost. At Bir Billing, an extra 500 INR are charged for go-pro video shooting.
Is Paragliding Open in Bir Billing?
The paragliding remains open in Bir Billing from the September to the first week of July. It is only during the monsoon that the paragliding activity gets closed.
Is paragliding safe in Bir Billing?
Bir Billing is considered to be the best paragliding destination in India. At Bir Billing, all the pilots are well experienced and thus ensure the proper safety of your paragliding flight.
Is there any weight limit for paragliding?
Actually the weight limit depends on the paraglider and may vary from one to another. The average weight limit for paragliding in Bir Billing is 30-90 kgs. If your weight is between 90-120 kgs, then you should be charged INR 500 extra.
Is there any age limit for paragliding?
No, there is no age limit for paragliding at Bir Billing. If you are under 18 years of age, then you can only fly after approval from your parents. Even a 5-year-old can fly but remember it is best if the weight should be above 30 kgs.
How can I go to Bir Billing from Delhi?
Bir Billing is around 530 km approx. from Delhi and the best option is to travel by a Volvo bus from the ISBT Kashmiri Gate or from Majnu Ka Tila. There are several Volvo buses to the Tibetan Colony that will cost near about 800-1600 INR.
How can I reach Bir from Dharamshala?
Dharamshala is about 65 km from Bir Billing. At Dharamshala bus station there are several buses operating frequently at Baijnath Route. You can travel by bus till Baijanth and after reaching Baijnath directly head towards Bir by bus. This whole bus journey will cost around 150 INR.
How do I book paragliding in Bir Billing?
To book paragliding in Bir Billing, you can contact a travel company like himalayanfever. We provide the best affordable paragliding packages at Bir Billing.
When should I visit Bir Billing?
Although Bir Billing can be visited throughout the year, the best timing for paragliding here starts from October’s first week till mid-December. The other best season for paragliding here is from March till June.
How long is a paragliding flight?
The flight duration depends on the lasts around 20 – 30 minutes, depending on the weather conditions. The flight duration depends on the wind strength and direction. The average flight duration here lasts around 15 – 30 minutes, depending on wind currents that allow us to stay longer.
Can you paraglide without training?
No, you aren’t eligible for solo flying directly. But after a proper training course, you can experience solo flying.