Bir is an out and out beauty. Tea gardens, golden wheat fields, monasteries, temples, stupas and paragliding - all in a single village. The thicketed mountains in the periphery have narrow dirt roads that are great for some mountain biking and small peaceful hikes to the beat of the chirping birds. Talking about hikes, the tea plantation around Bir are also a great place for some romantic strolling. Owing to the presence of a large flat land and high mountains, Bir is considered to be one of the best places in the world for paragliding. Infact the 2015 Paragliding World Cup was held in Bir-Billing and it was a sight to behold. On a clear day, one can witness numerous coloured gliders criss-crossing the sky. The monasteries here receive fewer visitors as compared to their counterparts in more populous areas.
Reach Bir; Monastry Walk
Take an overnight bus or a taxi from Delhi or Chandigarh to reach Bir.
Along with Mcleodganj, Bir is a very important Buddhist circuit in Himachal Pradesh. Having being settled in 1966, Bir is home to quite a few monasteries and stupas. Our local expert will arrive at your hotel and walk you towards the Nyingma Monastery. Pass the door and you are greeted by a big statue of Buddha adorning the garden around it. The white monastery is in perfect contrast with the orange draped housing block. A kilometre downhill down the street is the Sakya Monastery. Pass by the wheat fields and enter the 'Colony'. Small houses, cafes and shops line up both sides of the road. In the middle of this quaint hustle-bustle lies the Sakya Monastery. Beautiful murals adorn the walls of the monastery. Our expert guide will let you in on the stories behind the murals and paintings inside the monastery. There's also a souvenir shop in the premises from where you can pick up singing bowls, prayer flags, incense and other small takeaways. Stroll down the market and take a small detour in one of its bylanes to leave the bustle behind. White stupas adorn the foreyard of the Chokling Monastery. Adorned by colourful prayer stones, you will find people counting the beads, chanting prayers and encircling them. A large statue of Padmasambhava is placed in the premises of the monastery and truly personifies the calm and peace that is the cornerstone of Buddhism. After spending some quiet and soul searching moments here, head back to your hotel.
The trek from Bir(2000 meters) to Billing(2600 meters) is a 13.6 kilometer rock road, which can be covered on foot.The trek is moderate and does require some amount of physical fitness. You leave the meadows of Billing and walk in the shades of tall Deodar trees. The ascents are moderately steep and wouldn't prove much difficult to surpass. The lovely views will definitely compensate for all the hard work. You will reach Rajgunda at the end of 5 hours of trekking through beautiful landscapes. Rest for a while, take a look around, munch on your packed food and trek down towards Billing.
Enjoy your stay in camps instead the traditional hotel choices. Re-energize with the beautiful view this landscape offers you and enjoy the wonderful climate and the treks you can make at your convinience in close proximity of these camps.
Bir is considered to be the second best site for paragliding in the world. We pick you up from your hotel and drive you uphill around 12 kilometres to reach the take-off site at Billing. If you are camping the night before in Billing, the paragliding take-off point will be a short walk away. The lush meadows and the amazing sight of the fields below are sure to make you explore the area a bit before being strapped up for the tandem flight. Our expert instructor will guide you on safety and the wild run you have to make before the take-off. As you take off, you feet dangle and for a brief moment, you just can't believe that you are actually flying. Over the pine trees and the valley below, you soar like an eagle. While on the flight, you actually understand what is a 'bird's eye view'. The wind feels strong and you glide smoothly with the flow. The monasteries, houses and the fields below make for a pretty sight. After 15-20 minutes of flying time, you slowly descend into the landing site at Bir. An exhilarating experience comes to an end and we drive you back to your hotel.
Tea Garden Walk
Bir proximity to Palampur means that it shares some of its exquisite tea gardens. Head down to the tea garden after breakfast at your hotel where our guide will tell you all about what it takes to get that perfect cup of tea every morning. Walk through field roads, making your way through tea bushes that are much older than you. Watch tea-pluckers at work as they nip 'two leaves and a bud' with unmatchable dexterity and speed - try your hand at one if you must, before you understand how these are processed. Enjoy the picturesque view of the surrounding mountains before heading back to your hotel.
Bir-Billing would be an adventure you remember for a lifetime, and would hope to come back to as soon as you can. Depart back homewards with thrilling memories forever etched with you.