Paragliding in Bir-Billing in Himachal Pradesh, India, is deemed as one of the best in the world. Rated as world’s second best paragliding site and best in Asia, Bir Billing paragliding has garnered a lot of attention lately among travelers.
During my recent press trip with Panasonic India (In an endeavor to experiment with the new Lumix range of cameras), I had the opportunity to spend a spectacular weekend in the pristine valley of Bir, where fellow journalists and photographers tried a variety of activities.
Lush greenery all around makes for the perfect aerial views when you take off from a height of 8000 ft at Billing. The paragliding take off point in Billing (18 km from the landing site at Bir), also offers spectacular sunsets. Hence, sunset paragliding sprees are also extremely popular here.
Table of Content
- Bir Billing Paragliding – An Unforgettable Experience
- Tips for Paragliding in Bir Billing , Himachal
- Bir Billing Paragliding Take off Point Map
- Map of Paragliding landing site Bir
Bir Billing Paragliding – An Unforgettable Experience
Even though this wasn’t my first paragliding experience, it was surely THE BEST.
Prior to this, I tried gliding near Sweet lake in Arambol beach, Goa and in the epic valley of Selangor, Malaysia. Both experiences were amazing. Goa was great just because it was my first gliding experience and I was anxious and excited; Selangor was great for the views.
However, Bir-billing is the one of the highest take off points in the world and was also the base for paragliding world cup in 2015, gaining global recognition.
No doubt my experience matched its credentials 🙂
We woke up at 0700 hrs to be the first ones to glide. Little did we know that the wind will play spoilt sport though no one complained about the extra nap time.
After two hours, we were asked to rush to the gliding site. Luckily, the billing paragliding take off point was simply 10 mins walk from our love sky village camp.
We made it and saw several tourists and pilots scurrying around with their paragliding equipment, waiting for the winds to change, to start their 15 mins decent to the Bir landing site.
As we were strapped in and waiting for the flight, we had fair bit of time to take some selfies.
Third times a charm they say – so true.
This time, I wasn’t nervous or anxious at all (unlike my first two times) – In fact I was super excited and looking forward to my flight.
Suddenly, my pilot came and ushered me to start running (After checking my harness and strapping his on). It was very abrupt and fast, in less than 60 seconds we were in the air, gliding smoothly over the pristine Bir valley.
The views were simply mind-blowing.
After around 10 mins of taking selfies and making videos at 8000 feet, I started feeling motion sickness (it’s not the glide – its just me!).
Apart from this slight discomfort, I had a spectacular gliding experience and I would not hesitate to try it for the 4th time.
Everything from my take off to landing to my videos and pictures were excellent 🙂
No wonder I thoroughly enjoyed tandem paragliding in Bir and would highly recommend it to everyone.
Bir Billing Paragliding Video
I got several minutes of GoPro footage while gliding but this is my favorite 15 seconds clip because it showcases the height as well as the lovely lush green Bir valley. Don’t you agree?
Tips for Paragliding in Bir Billing , Himachal
Okay well as for all adventure sports, be sure to follow some basic tips for an enjoyable experience.
Carry a wind breaker
Imagine gliding at 8000 feet? Yes, it gets chilly and the windy. I was thoughtful enough to carry my wind breaker but careless enough to leave it behind in the car. It wasn’t too bad without it but definitely would’ve been more comfortable with one.
Get your own GoPro
Each pilot has their own GoPro and you can get your video footage for free when you land at Bir. Its’ fast and easy and they can transfer it to any android phone.
However, in rare cases, the footage might get erased by mistake. For example, one person in our group had a broken file somehow and by the time he reported it, the paragliding team had already erased the original footage. Too bad to have your memories wiped away especially in this digital / social networking era where we want to share our “accomplishments”.
So, to be 100% sure, just carry your own GoPro so that if something goes wrong – You are to blame. During my Selangor gliding experience, I held my GoPro upwards and it would only show the sky for most of the footage so it was a big blunder. This time, I kept checking footage mid-flight to ensure I had the shots I wanted.
Also, ensure to carry a selfie stick with a thread to wrap around your wrist, just in case your pilot decides to flaunt a 360 degree or some mid-air swooning stunts.
Eat light if you have motion sickness
Maybe not light but eat right? Try fruits and almonds in the morning before you take off to avoid motion sickness. Sadly, even eating light didn’t help me with mine – Popping an Avomine could be another viable option.
Listen to your pilot
Bir billing paragliding accidents are very common. Most owe to the fact that we don’t really adhere to the rules or understand that it’s all about the wind. Listen to the instructions carefully and follow them to the T.
Bir Billing Paragliding Take off Point Map
Here’s a map to the take off point, you might have to climb up around 2 mins from the road, up the mountain.
Map of Paragliding landing site Bir
The landing site is also the perfect place to have a picnic or sleep on the grass. Believe me, I slept on the grass after a decade maybe and I absolutely loved it! You can get here by road or heck just glide down in style 🙂
So, what are you waiting for? Book your tandem paragliding in Bir now.
When to Visit for Tandem Paragliding in Bir
The months of October to June are best for paragliding. The three months of July to September are closed due to monsoons.
Billing Paragliding Cost and Contact
Tandem Paragliding in Bir-Billing costs Rs 3000 (USD 44 approx) per person.
This cost includes pick-up from your hotel in Bir to the take off point in Billing (Which is 18 kms further up), a video with their GoPro transferred for free to your phone or via disc and an experienced pilot for your smooth flight.
For any queries or bookings, contact – Mr Vikrant – 0091 9459760837
Disclaimer – My awesome Bir Billing paragliding experience and entire trip was sponsored by the wonderful team behind Panasonic India.