Bir Billing


Bir-billing is a small village in the state of Himachal in India. It is located in the west of joginder nagar valley in Kangra district in the Baijnath region, surrounded by the majestic Himalayas. Bir is said to be the world’s second highest paragliding site and highest in Asia. This little heaven is home to many long and small divine treks and Tibetan monasteries. It is indeed a traveller’s paradise. If you want to stay a few days out of the crowded tourist places into a calm paradise, this place shall be your go to. Bir has everything to be a perfect vacation spot, the beauty of the gigantic Himalayas, the greenery of the fields, the horizon, each and everything is so beautiful as it was specially made for treating your eyes.


Bir is located 65 km southeast to Dharamshala ,  71km from Mandi and 177.5 from Manali. Bir and billing are two different places located just 16 km apart on different altitudes. One side Bir is located at the height of 1350 mts from sea level and billing is located at 2430 mts from sea level. If you are travelling from Dehradun to Bir, it is 447 km and it can be covered in 10 hours by car. 

Camping and Paragliding season-

You can camp at Bir during any season as there isn’t much snowfall in Birr and the valley remains as serene as it could in all the seasons. Every season has its own beauty to be experienced. In winter time, you can experience making a snowman, play snow-fight with your friends or it might even be your first snow. The valley remains snow covered in winters making it look like a winter wonderland. In summers, the valley remains green and the majestic Himalayas put a contrast in the green paddy fields of Birr making it look more relaxing. So, camping here in both the seasons is a good choice.

Even for paragliding, snowfall doesn’t affect much of it. Adventurers take paragliding flights all year round, but during winters when the roads are snow jammed, it is not a big problem. The post snowfall team fly with the pilot, gliders and guests till the point of road blockage and then proceed on foot by hiking for a few kilometres to reach Billing which is said to be the take-off site for paragliding and take off from there. The paragliding season is said to be between October to June as it is a bit risky to take a flight during monsoon season but you will able to see the sky with colourful parachutes all year round irrespective of any season.

Main attractions in Birr-

  • Paragliding

  • Landing site

  • Baijnath temple

  • Gunehar waterfall

  • Palpung sherabling monastery

  • Choukling monastery

  • Sherab ling monastery

  • Kangra valley view point

  • Shri balmukhi Devi temple

  • Avva’s café

  • Musafir café

  • Bir road

  • Deer park institute

  • Dharmalaya institute

  • Bir tea factory

  • Chowgan tea garden

  • Himalayan film school

    Information Shared by-

    Zoha Khan

    (Content Creator, Go4Explore)

What to do when in Bir-

  1. Paragliding- This has to be on the top of the list. For the longest time paragliding not has been so popular in India but in the recent years paragliding has emerged so gracefully that is has become one of the main attractions of Himachal. For feeding the thirst of new adventures, Bir has visitors from all over the world as it is said to be the world's second highest paragliding site and the largest one in Asia. When you are in Bir, the sky will no longer be ordinary. The sky looks painted with different colours of gliders flying all over the sky, travellers from different places come to experience the thrill of flying like a bird.

Paragliding in Bir-billing is not a complicated one, no matter what season you visit. It is not advisable to take a flight around monsoon season but it is accessible all the 365 days. The take-off point is from billing to where you will have to take a cab or trek up till there. There is no problem with going up with cab except for when it is full of snow, but even then you can hike on foot and reach the take-off point and take your flight easily as snow doesn’t affect paragliding that much. The landing site is in Bir where your pilot will help you land and you will be able to leave without much hurdle.

If you are an adventure lover and looking for some fun activities to do in India then this has to be on the list. The experience of flying like a bird is unique and thrilling in itself. It cannot be compared by plane flights or anything else. This is a must do when there.

Visit the  beautiful Tibetan monasteries –

Tibetan culture is one of the most sacred and beautiful cultures to learn about. Be it their institution, believes or architecture, everything is unique and beautiful. If you want to experience the local taste of the Tibetan culture then you must head to one of the monasteries in Birr and just wander around appreciating the architecture and grasping as much as you can. You can easily spot monk in Birr doing his daily chores. 

The monasteries that you can visit are-

  • Palpung sherabling monastery- This Tibetan Monastery is said to be the largest and most serene one in Birr. It is located in a village named Bhattu, which is 5km from Birr. If you are coming from Palampur road side, you’d be able to catch a glimpse of this one from a distance giving you major travel goals. The beautiful architecture of the monastery in the lush greenery of the oak trees, guarded by the mighty Dhauladhars. It creates a divine aura for the visitors leaving calm and relaxed vibes all around. You can sit here and relax amidst the mountains puffing in fresh air and soothing the eyes with the view of the Great Himalayas.

  • Choukling monastery- Puma Edam Chogar Gyurme Ling Monastery, Commonly called Choukling monastery was later named so due to its founder. It was built by the Choukling Rinpoche. It was built in the 1960’s by Chokling Rinpoche after being driven out of Tibet by the Chinese invasion. It is said to have a deep story behind building of this monastery. When Chokling Rinpoche was driven out of Tibet he headed towards India finding his place to establish his teachings. It is said that he died in a sudden accident which made the Tibetans even more determined to complete the construction and hence, it finally got ready by late 1980’s. This may not be as big as other monasteries but it is indeed the most beautiful monastery in Birr. The colourful flags flutter in the wind as if calling out for peace, the colourful architecture will make you find happiness in the things you least expected. Overall, this is the most beautiful monastery in Birr without any doubt.

  • Palyul chokhorling Monastery is also called nyingma monastery lies near the landing site adding more value to the place. Watching the sky full of colourful gliders, the ever changing hues of the sky with the backdrop of Dhauladhars is one of the must have experience.

  • More monasteries to visit in Bir- Tsering dzong monastery, Sakya dirru monastery, dzongsar khyetense chokyi lodro monastery near Birr.

  1. Deer park institute-The deer park institute is one of the most visited places in Bir. It is not just a park as its name might suggest. It is an institute which is visited by thousands of student from multiple countries to attain non-academic knowledge .The teachings are mainly focussed on Classical Indian wisdom. The classes vary from two days to 2 month offering courses on Buddhist and Indian philosophy, photography, writing, literature, film making and many more. They also conduct workshops for those who are travelling only for a few days. The classes are very inexpensive for its students. Not only this but it also has a zero waste campus and an organic garden of their own.

  2. Gunehar pool and waterfall- What can be more refreshing than taking a dip into the well talked about holy freshwater of the Himalayas and that too after a hike. Situated 6kms from the landing site in Bir in the Gunehar village, this little getaway is going to be as filmy as it may sound. Waterfall amidst the Himalayas, the lush greenery making you at peace, you have so many options to take here. You can sit back and relax listening to 80’s songs or you can pull out some rock music (keep in mind not to keep it too loud) and take a dip in the waterfall and play around or even just hike nearby appreciating the beautiful picturesque Birr that it is. This place has something or the other for all kinds of travellers.

  3. Baijnath Temple- This is the place from where your journey to Bir will start. You will cross the great Baijnath temple on your way if you’re coming from Dharamshala, Pathankot, and Palampur side. The holy temple of Baijnath is located in a small town near Bir called Baijnath (named after the temple as it seems) and is of great importance in Hinduism. The temple is widely known and praised for its shilling .The Baijnath temple is believed to be one among the 12 jyotirlingas. There are many stories regarding this temple, not knowing which one to believe but it leaves quite an impression of it being very close to lord Shiva. Lord Shiva is said to be the god of healing here and praised as the one who saves on from sufferings.

Talking about its beautiful structure and location, It is quite understood that being located with the Dauladhar be in the backdrop it couldn’t be more appealing. The temple has stone carvings all over which will make you question the creativity of that time period making you think if it is for real! The art on the walls and carving are best of its time, It is clean, the statement banyan tree outside the temple. It is surely a must visit temple as it is declared the temple of national heritage.

  1. Dharmalaya institute-

Dharmalaya institute is one of its kinds. It is not just an institute for educational learning but it encourages compassionate learning, making one more responsible towards its village, culture and life as a whole. The goal of this institute is basically upon sustainable development and making people aware of their duties and service as a social animal. It is going to be a very unique experience being here as people go all touristy but you will be doing something different helpful for society ,if not doing at least learn how to mix and blend the old tradition with the latest innovations to get the perfect recipe for better health and joy. The campus is extended to 6 acres for study and practise, just above Bir. Can you think of going to your classes in the hills and getting soaked into the positivity . Well, even if not everyday! ,You should visit it at least once in your life.

  1. Tea factory and garden- high alert for all the chai lovers out there! We have been sipping tea for all our lives but ever wondered how is it actually made? Well, good news for you all then, you can take a tour around the tea garden and touch the delicate baby tea leaves with your hands, smell the fresh aroma around you and feel alive in the tea paradise of Bir. You can actually see tea being plucked and taken into the factory and the whole procedure of it being manufactured. It is situated in the main city of Bir bazar towards the bottom of the Bir bazar. You can even buy a box for you and it is a good option for buying as a souvenir for your friends and family.

  2. Hike around- How can you be in Himachal and not hop around on your own. A place cannot be explored better than how it can be explored on foot. Take a hike around the town to unknown places, not knowing where to head and you will end up loving the experience ,making memories along the way and exploring the unknown but also keep in mind not to go beyond the restricted areas and be back at your camp or wherever you are planning to stay before it gets dark as it is not safe at night. Take a walk at the Bir road looking at the stalls selling pretty junk jewels and colourful woollen clothes, chase the sunset at the landing point of paragliding or may be at a hideout that you discovered yourself, watch the adventurers fly high up in the sky, decorating it with vibrant shades of the gliders. This is going to be an amazing experience full of new lessons and memories to cherish forever.   

  3. Take a walk at the Bir market- The local taste and culture of a place can be properly experienced only in the local markets. There is only one such market in Bir, situated at the Bir road very near to the paragliding landing site. This is authentic Himachali-Tibetan market where everything is mixed with traditional stories and tons of hard-work and art. From colourful handmade Himachali sweaters to traditional Himachali and Tibetan dresses, from self-made junk jewellery to beautiful handicrafts .The market is a small one consisting of only one road but it is full of life and culture. If you are lucky enough, you could get your hands on the Himachali dham and if not the delicious momos and other Tibetan food are always there to satisfy your belly.

  4. 10)Take a ride in the toy train- Everybody talks about the famous Darjeeling or Shimla-Kalka toy train but ,today, we will be talking about a lesser known toy train ride which is in Himachal itself. This toy-train starts from Pathankot and goes till Jogindernagar which is a small town near Bir .The nearest station from Bir is Ahju, so If you plan to take off at Bir drop down at the Ahju station. The time taken from Pathankot to Joginder nagar is approximately 10 hours. This toy-train gives a perfect steady view from the beautiful Kangra valley to Baijnath temple along with Mcleodganj and Dharamshala and many more points too. The train has a slow pace so don’t panic, just keep yourself engaged by the serene views that Himachal has to offer you, soaking yourself in the fresh air and giving your body the natural medication that it needs. This is going to be a very pleasant experience if you like travelling  slow, whereas I wouldn’t recommend it to people who have less time to spare or who like fast travelling.

    Information Shared by-

    Zoha Khan

    (Content Creator, Go4Explore)

Weather – 

Bir has lower cold weather as compared to billing.  Billing receives snowfall whereas, Bir remains cold but receives no snowfall. The weather remains pleasant all year round in Bir whereas, billing  gets a bit cold in winter when it snows. You can stay without any hustle in Bir all year round but it is not advisable to stay in Billing as it gets very windy during night time and also receives heavy rainfall (in rainy season) and snowfall in winters. The roads get jammed due to landslide or heavy snowfall during monsoon or winters respectively.

Information Shared by-

Zoha Khan

(Content Creator, Go4Explore)

How to reach-

If you want to reach Bir from Delhi by bus, You have two options, 1) From Delhi to Baijnath-you can take a bus from Delhi to Baijnath and then from Baijnath to Bir or 2) Delhi to Dharamshala then Dharamshala to Baijnath and then from there to Bir (This might sound like a long route but trust me this is way more appealing one, the journey from Dharamshala to Bir is very scenic to keep you happily engaged. It is situated 65 km southeast of Dharamshala and this distance can be covered in 2 hours by car and if you tend to take a bus, it will take approx. 3 hours as you will have to take a bus from Dharamshala to Baijnath then take another one from Baijnath  to Bir. The same path has to be taken, you will have to reach Delhi from Dehradun and take a bus to Baijnath or Dharamshala and then take a cab directly to bir or a bus to baijnath and then from baijnath to bir. If you are travelling to Bir from manali then you can take a bus towards baijnath or dharamshala and tell the conductor to stop the bus for you at bir.

Another option is by train –You can take a train from Delhi to Pathankot , then from Pathankot to Baijnath you will have to take a bus eventually to Baijnath and then from Baijnath to Bir.

The last option and the easiest one is to travel from Delhi to Dharamshala by air and then from Dharamshala to Baijnath by bus and from Baijnath to Bir by taking a local bus. Taking a flight will save you time and will be easier .This is a good option if you are not running very low on budget. The flight ticket will cost around 6000 INR. 

Information Shared by-

Zoha Khan

(Content Creator, Go4Explore)

Where to stay-

There are many options for you to stay in Bir, hostels, hotels, camps. You name it, they have it. There are not a lot of them but are indeed in a range of options. If you are travelling in budget then hostels and camps are a better option for you. If you are on an average budget then hotels are a good option for you and if there is nothing like a tight budget in your case then I have an option for you too. We have a recommendation for everyone out there, be it a solo traveller, family, couple or an adventure seeker. There is a list of places to stay mentioned below in an order of low to high budget. Keep scrolling and decide accordingly.

  1. The bunker hostel, Bir- Starting with the best service at the lowest price, it has to be on the list. The bunker hostel is located very close to the Bir bus stand so, it makes it easier for you to reach and it falls near the centre of Bir so, again most of the things are easily accessible from here and are connected by road. They have a terrace with a stunning view of Bir and Dhauladhars of course. You can sit here and watch people fly like birds or watch sunsets with your loved one. Everything seems magical in Himachal anyway. Another thing is that the place is in absolute budget for backpackers. It costs around 500INR per person for a night for the bunker beds with colourful bunks and memories to make with other roommates. If you are looking for a separate room, bunker has that for you too. The cost of these rooms is around 1900 INR and may vary upon dates. Overall it is a good option to stay here if you have a tight budget.

  2. Connect - I'd recommend you to stay at Connect hostel which will offer you to stay  and experience the nature to its fullest. It is located away from the hustle-bustle into the hills. From waking up to the scenic view of the landing site surrounded by hills to the peaceful nights in woods.
    Connect has so much to offer, along with the  natural beauty, the minimal but unique decoration leaves another great soothing impact  on the visitors.
    You'll always be welcomed with a broad smile and fresh tea.
    Connect has a whole "Homelike" feel to it. Stay in cozy camps. Hike around the camp site for amazing view of sunset, You get to eat homemade food in the hills which is super delicious and super pocket friendly, also, you'll be asked to wash the utensils on your own. Relax back, play guitar if you want or play games with fellow visitors. Even the host there is an amazing guitarist, request him to sing a song. The beds are 600 INR per night which is quite in budget.
    The bathroom /toilet is clean and spacious enough. Please, do not spill around if you're there.
    And how can I forget Jeeva?
    This little pup will cheer you up and hop around you until you leave. It will never make you feel left out.
    Your experience at Connect is going to be different and you're going to love it.

  3. Zostel- Well, a lot of you must be familiar with Zostel as it is a leading chain of backpacker’s hostel in India. Zostels have the best facilities, be it the room, staff, service, fascinating décor each and everything to give you a perfect assistance. They even have an open kitchen where you can cook your own food. It is located in Chogan and is a quaint- activity led backpacker’s chain, perfect for travellers. They have packages for treks and other thrilling activities organised with them too. So, you can enjoy playing games in the common area indoors or outdoors as well. The rooms cost around 600INR per dorm bed.

  4. Bir hotel- Now, coming onto hotels, for people who are coming with families or spouse and would like to have a more secluded time by themselves. The Bir hotel is located in a very accessible location and has cafes and restaurants on walking distance. All the rooms have an attached balcony and bathroom for your convenience. Having a separate balcony in your room on your vacation is such a bonus. You get to be in touch with the place a little more. The rooms cost around 1500INR to 2000INR per night, which is good for the services they provide. You have fun options to dive in while your stay here, such as, cyclying, fishing and you could also get a massage to get relaxed after an exhausting trip.

  5. Parvatah- The name itself indicates that it is nestled in the mountains and gives a hilly feel to the hotel. It is a bit costly and will cost you around 5000INR but if you want a luxury stay in Birr then you have to stay here because everthing starting from the room to the view, food to service, each and everything falls into perfect place. You will have a garden by your own, which is indeed refreshing and offers more time for activities. The serve continental breakfast daily. Just one thing to keep a note of is that you will have to deposit amount of 4000INR at the time of your arrival as security which will be returned at the time of checkout. 

    Information Shared by-

    Zoha Khan

    (Content Creator, Go4Explore)

Treks around Bir that are a must visit-

If you want to have the best of Himachal, It would not come served on a plate to you, you will have to put some effort to see the best of it and this is where trekking comes in. The treks of Himachal are on every traveller’s list and are one of the most stunning treks not only in India but all over the world. Himachal serves as home to more than 1000000 tourists every year, just for these glorious treks. Some of these beautiful treks are famous and known but others remain underrated which are really stunning and worth your visit at least once. Bir has some precious trekking points near where you can head to quench your thirst of adventure .Let us have a look at few of them which you should definitely hike up.

1)Rajgundha valley- Rajgundha got a bit highlighted lately but still a lot of people are unaware of its beauty. There are different trails that one can take for Rajgundha. The easiest one being by taking a hike up to billing and then hiking towards Rajgundha village. If you don’t want to trek till billing then you can take ride up there and then proceed with your trek.

Another option is taking a ride from Bir to a village nearby called Badagran or Badagram and then trek towards Rajgundha valley for two hours approximately to reach your destination.

Another fun to add in this trek: There is one more way to do this trek in a more adventurous way.One can hike or ride whatever suits you to billing, enjoy your time in the divine place and when you are planning to descend back to billing, after you reach billing you can take a flight on the Paraglider and directly land at the landing site of Bir. It would be a two in one fun activity to do and it sounds super fun to me!

2) Badagran or Badagram- In the last paragraph you already read that Badagran is a small village near Bir where the trek of Rajgundha starts ( There are two trails actually, one of them goes from here). This village comes under the Chota nangal region. The roads end here and the trek for bara nangal also starts from this point. This little place has heavy snowfall in winters making it look like a winter wonderland, blessed with the Himalayas as backdrop, it looks like heaven. The lush green meadows, the small roofed houses, lovely people, eye-catching sunsets and there are so much more to catch here.

3)Phuladhar- Phuladhar is a trek that only avid travellers and trekkers know about. It is one of those beautiful treks which will leave you with a big question marks in your head that why isn’t it much talked about when it is so beautiful .It is located almost wholly on the ridge between two beautiful valleys of Himachal ( barot valley and Joginder nagar valley).Doesn’t it sound exciting to be at a place from where you can catch glimpse of two different valleys at the same time?

4) Barot valley- Barot is a part of Uhl river valley, situated in the Mandi district. It was initially built for a hydel project over Uhl river but now have become an attractive spot for travellers Barot is to be a diamond among the rough terrains. The most famous trek in this region is the barot-kothi trek. It is a 13km trek in which one has to pass through all kinds of landscapes, the melting glacier in the form of Uhl river to dark dense forests full of cedar and pine trees, leading to the high mountains witnessing nature in all forms. It is one of the best kept secrets of Himachal. Find yourself lost on this trek into the mighty Shivaliks.

 More treks around Bir-

1)Triund trek- Triund trek is no more a hidden gem but have been discovered by lot of travellers and nature lovers lately and almost 100000+ trekkers catch its trail every year to experience a well known trek. Do you want to see what is called a magic view valley by your own eyes? Do you want to see the sun rise as magical as a painting? Then you should definitely go on this one. The triund trek starts from Dharamkot, Mcleodganj but you can take a cab or bike till Gallu devi temple and start your trek from there. The trek is of 7 km and easy to moderate climb but it gets steep in the end. It can take you 4 to 6 hours to complete the trek. To reach Dharamkot from Birr it can take you approx. 3 to 4 hours.

The sunset and sunrise is the best thing about this trek, obviously after the heart throbbing view of Dauladhars and Kangra city at night. The sunrise makes the sky look like a painting filled with different shades and hues and the Himalayas making it look more surreal. If you are a true nature lover, you cannot let this trek go off your hands.

2) Kareri lake trek- Another mind blowing trek to do near Birr is the Kareri lake trek. The untouched beauty of this glacier lake of Himachal is indeed charming and worthy of all the talk. The trek starts from Kareri village. The village can be reached easily from Dharamshala or Mcleodganj as it is a motorable road. After reaching Kareri you will have to start the trek and ascend towards Rioti village .The trail taking you to Rioti is of easy to moderate intensity bringing you to waterfalls, grasslands, natural springs, oak tree forests and so many more incredible places .You will have to stay here overnight to get prepared for the trek of the next day. Set out early in the morning for kareri lake, enjoy your time there but don’t forget to get back to the kareri village by sunset after having a wonderful time in the Himalayas.

3)Prashar lake- In the Kullu valley, a small blue water lake called Prashar is beautifully nestled in the Mandi district. The trek starts from Kantlu, which is a two hour drive from Mandi. After reaching Kantlu, start your trek. The trek is altogether a very delightful one. Starting with an open land to crossing several rivulets, forests and finally reaching Prashar lake , the trail is indeed a charming one. You will cross places that you must have only read in story books, places like apple orchards, enchanting green grasslands with a view of hills all over, the moon shaped blue coloured lake. Everything is so dreamy that you will end up questioning if it is for real. 

Information Shared by-

Zoha Khan

(Content Creator, Go4Explore)

Few places you can visit near Bir.

  1. Dharamshala

  2. Mcleodganj

  3. Mandi

  4. Manali

  5. Kullu

  6. Kasol

  7. Palampur

  8. Baijnath

  9. Barot

  10. Kangra

    Information Shared by-

    Zoha Khan

    (Content Creator, Go4Explore)

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