So let me begin as all great stories do.
Once upon a time, a man with a brilliant mind decided to jump off a cliff near the town of Bir and he had the wisdom to do so with a parachute and so it was, that the paragliding came to be. The financial prowess of Indians soon caught on and the art was commercialised to spread joy to any and all.
Although the best part of visiting Bir Biling is the beauty that awaits you on that flight, the serenity and peace in the place is in itself quite mesmerising. Away from the pollution and the traffic of our ‘comfortable’ urban lives and away from the over-crowded and over-enthused travellers on the popular hill stations, lies the town of Bir. The town is full of amazing eateries to eat and treks to trek, full of monasteries monks and Czechs & brunettes.
Talking about the flight, the main attraction of this trip. The take off is much easier than I thought. Just a few steps running down the hill (if you can call it that) and you are in the air. And so I started flying up in the air, a bird, a flight, not a superman though - just another man with a parachute for a cape. Driven by the wind and the thermals, following the eagle and admiring the mountains around me and the village beneath. Its a feeling that is explained with experience and vocabulary beyond my verbiage. A piece of advice - Let go of those GoPro's (not literally though) and soak in the view.
The food takes you into another paradise, with local tibetan food making you give up your life in the mountains of work in the cities and wonder a life in the amazement that is Himalayas. The Apple Ciders and the Rhododendron & Apple Wines offered by the local shop ( Near Paul's Hotel) are affordable to the backpackers pocket and to the Sommelier's taste, and a must try!
- Travel from Delhi to Bir Road (that is your destination) can take anywhere between 9 to 13 hours
The Himachal Tourism Bus starts at 8pm from ISBT and drops you at Bir Road at 6am
- A not-so-usual morning walk to Chougan, takes half an hour and fills you with the freshest of air
- Breakfast at Zostel ( they can offer the same without any reservation to stay at the place)
- The much anticipated paragliding. Cost: INR 2300
The drive to Biling takes about half an hour where you are dropped off with your pilots and your gear.
The best time for paragliding is either in the morning or in the evening (sunset time). Although the evening time offers the view of the sunset, but can be cancelled due to weather conditions.
- A morning trek to the river above Bir. It takes an hour to trek from Chougan to the Ashram above Bir.
The water is so pure that you can see the shadow of the ripples and the surroundings so peaceful that you won't have a worry in the world.
- Travel from Bir Road to Delhi in the HimSuta Volvo
Starts at 5 in the evening and drops you off at Kashmere Gate at 6 in the morning
Many people opt to Trek to Biling to camp there and then paraglide to Bir in the morning. It can be an interesting choice as well.
The stay options are many and usually the home-stays cost INR 500 for a room. For people who would want to explore the area, this is as good an option as any.