Himachal Pradesh, India, Travels

Paragliding Experience at Bir-Billing

Paragiding in Bir BillingEvery time I saw a bird flying up high in the sky, I always pondered how amazing would it be if one could fly freely with them. I wanted to experience the joy of gliding across the sky, with an opportunity to enjoy an uninterrupted view of the beautiful earth below. So, when I read about the paragliding site at Bir-Billing, it was too good of an opportunity to ignore during my trip to Himachal Pradesh in Northern India.

Bir-Billing

Bir and Billing are two quaint villages located in the beautiful Kangra Valley in Himachal Pradesh. The area is often referred to as the “Paragliding Capital of India” as it is considered to be one of the best paragliding sites India. Over the years, it has been a favorite destination for professional paragliding pilots, adventure enthusiasts and curious souls like me to experience the joys of flying. The twin villages, tucked in the scenic hills of the Dhauladhar Range, hosted the World Paragliding Championship in 2016 and also hosts many National Championships between October and November. While Billing, which is at a height of 2400 meters, is the take-off site, Bir is the landing site, located about 14 km from Billing.

As I was visiting Himachal Pradesh to celebrate my birthday, I decided to kick-start my first day of being older by trying tandem paragliding at one of India’s highest sites. I pre-booked my adventure with Travel Bir Billing for a midday ride, along with my husband and two other friends. We drove from Dharamshala early in the morning to Bir, which is a good 2-hour drive. Our pilot Aravind, met us at the base office in Bir and drove us to the takeoff site in Billing. I must say, along with the pressure of doing the jump, I was scared for my life during the drive to the top, as it was one of the scariest drives I have ever encountered in my life. With every turn, the vehicle swooped across the narrow mud road with barely any space between the tires and the cliff edge. As we looked down our car window, we were excited and scared about what lay ahead of us.

Paragliding at Bir Billing
Billing – The takeoff site

As we reached the top of the hill, we were greeted with the beautiful sight of colorful gliders floating in the sky and people preparing for their rides. We were briefed about safety instructions and also the dos and don’ts during the ride by our pilot before providing us with harnesses. We were quickly brought to the takeoff position as the sky was getting darker, in turn affecting the wind speed. Within a few seconds, my pilot informed me to brace myself for the ride, asking me to start walking along with him towards the edge of the mountain. Sadly for me, the first attempt was not successful, as the glider started moving sideways, making me more anxious.

I braced myself for the second attempt as we walked once more towards the edge and, with a just blink of an eye, I was floating up in the air. I just couldn’t contain my excitement of finally being able to fly like a bird. Once airborne, the pilot quickly adjusted our glider and asked me to enjoy the next 15-20 minutes without any fear. My initial nervousness already forgotten, I happily enjoyed the view from 2500 meters above ground, taking in every minute detail visible from the sky. I was totally enthralled by the beauty of the hills, rolling gorgeously far away. The dense deodar trees from the top looked completely different, with only lush landscape covering the land for several miles.

Paragliding at Bir Billing
Up Up Up in the air!

Paragliding at Bir BillingParagliding at Bir BillingParagliding at Bir BillingAfter a while, we started descending downwards and I could catch a glimpse of the beautiful Bir village as we got closer. The pilot showed me around various spots in the village before preparing me for landing. Within a few minutes, we were flying down closer to the open area and I could spot my husband’s glider just about to touch the land. As I landed, I was disappointed it was all over, mentally considering if I could go back to the top and fly again. Sadly, we were one of the last few fliers that day as the wind direction and speed had changed, making me cancel my plans.Paragliding at Bir Billing

Paragliding at Bir BillingParagliding at Bir BillingParagliding at Bir BillingParagliding at Bir Billing

Paragliding at Bir Billing
Bir – The landing site

The ride was about 15-30 minutes long, and it was more thrilling than I had expected, as I got an opportunity to fly up high above the beautiful mountains, soaring through the cool wind, making my way freely like a bird. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to celebrate my birthday than this amazing adventure. Bir-Billing was the perfect place for me to experience the joys of paragliding, and it is no surprise that it is among the top ten paragliding spots in the world.

I hope you guys enjoyed my paragliding experience at Bir Billing. Do share your thoughts and experiences of paragliding if you have tried the adventure before in the comment box below. Also please do share the post and subscribe for future updates!

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54 thoughts on “Paragliding Experience at Bir-Billing

  1. What an adventurous way to celebrate your birthday! I never knew Bir Billing was the paragliding capital of India. Your experience reminds me of a friend who first paraglided over the Remarkables in NZ. It was amazing just watching her do it! 🙂

  2. I remember when I did paragliding in Solan valley.. Aahh.. I was like -” You are actually telling me to jump off the hilltop….” But then I did it and yes it was quite thrilling for me as well.

  3. That paragliding experience looked like a lot of fun! I haven’t tried it before but I don’t know if I can go with it knowing that I have a crippling fear of heights. Let’s see though if I am presented with the opportunity to try it. It looks so amazing to pass up!

  4. This paragliding experience sounds amazing. The setting off sounds nerve racking but once your up there it must be rewarding. You got some wonderful images of your day!

  5. I have been to Dharamshala once before. Little did I know, Bir Billling was so close! I liked your idea of celebrating birthday – doing something new, experiencing adventure and travelling. All my favourite. 15-20 mins is a good time to enjoy the views and fly. I am sure you must have had a lot of fun. Lovely photographs. Wish you a belated happy birthday.

  6. It must be a heady feeling to see the world from up there. Glad you were able to do that right here in India in Bir Billing. Your pictures show how thrilled you are with the experience and that itself is an encouragement for a lot of people to try it out. Cheers

    1. Thanks for the love words Ami! It was indeed very thrilling to see the land from the up high. I’m really glad I could enjoy this experience in one of India’s best paragliding sites.

  7. Paragliding is such an amazing experience! I’ve done it multiple times around the world and what I love more is the different perspective of the city you get to observe while flying in the air 🙂

    1. I totally agree with you Mariella :). Paragliding gives you an opportunity to enjoy the ariel view of the entire city along with the joys of flying.

  8. Such a great way to celebrate birthday! I’m afraid of height, so I never tried it in my life. However, I bet that the view is totally amazing from up there 🙂

  9. Wow, you are so good at describing!

    I never tried paragliding and I have to admit the idea scares me a little – but I guess it must be a great experience, especially when travelling 🙂

  10. I always thought Bir and Biling is one single place. Thanks for doing away with my wrong perception. I just had a virtual experience of paragliding through your blog. Wonderfully written, I almost felt the tensed moment!

    1. Thank you so much a Tania for your sweet words :). I had a similar confusion of the name (Bir-Billing) till I planned my paragliding trip, hahaha.

  11. Paragliding in Kangra Valley must be so beautiful, due to stunning views of mountains, valleys and nature. I have never done paragliding due height of fears, but for this view I can take the risk.

    1. It is defintely worth it! One gets to witness the gorgeous hills and valleys from up high and the experience is really out of the world.

  12. Wow! Looks awesome and lots of fun. I’m not sure if I would be brave enough to try paragliding. But I do envy the people who do crazy things like that an get to enjoy the beautiful views. Maybe someday I will follow… Thanks for sharing your experience.

  13. Wow, you’re so brave to try this! I’ve never heard of this area, but it looks stunning, and perfect for paragliding! Your photos are pretty awesome too!

  14. I have heard of Kangra Valley as well as Bir Billing but never actually read about anyone’s experience. It’s so cool to know that you can do paragliding here. My family lives in Delhi and whenever we visit, we are always searching for exciting activities and places to visit during the weekend. How far do you think Bir Billing will be by road from Delhi? Good idea for a weekend getaway?

    1. I haven’t got a clear idea about the distance but I’m pretty sure you can do a weekend visit to Bir-Billing from Delhi.

  15. Can’t believe you could still smile for photos!!!!! If I had to float mid-air for 15-30 minutes, I think I’d cry hahaaa. Definitely sounds like an exhilarating and unique way to celebrate your birthday tho! Happy belated!

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