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Bucket List: Paragliding At Bir Billing, Himachal Pradesh


    Perched at a height of 2,400 meters, Billing promises an unbelievable paragliding experience, scenic views and a safe landing.

    Greetings From Billing

    Aero-sport enthusiasts have been making a beeline for Billing, a beautiful meadow that is 14 km north of the quaint Himachali village Bir, for the flight of their lives. Paragliding at Billing is hailed an unforgettable experience and we’re happy to report that we weren’t disappointed.

    On the winding drive to Billing, roughly two-and-a-half-hours from Dharamshala, the skies are usually dotted with paragliders. Once you get to the top, you’re greeted with a cool breeze, snow-capped mountains and views like you’ve never seen before. Take a minute {or 10} to let it all sink in.

    Take Flight

    Then wade through throngs of people, waiting for their turn, and find an instructor {they’re not hard to spot}. We didn’t pre-register and, honestly, you don’t need to. A surprisingly organised system is in place and we watched half a dozen take-offs before it was our turn to get harnessed.

    Nothing can prepare you for what comes next. There are no elaborate demonstrations or long safety drills. Just run off a cliff, they said. Okay, it wasn’t quite as dramatic and you will be accompanied by a trained pilot who has landed many a paraglider {this is known as tandem paragliding}. If you’d like to document your flight, ask for a mini cam {chargeable at an additional INR 500}.

    Floating Through Clouds

    Everything that leads up to the actual flight is forgotten the minute your feet leave the ground. Once your tummy settles, sit back and savour the birds-eye view of Kangra valley and the Dhauladhar mountain range. The pilot maneuvers the glider, taking it higher and higher, till you’re flitting in and out of clouds.

    An average flight lasts anywhere between 15-35 minutes, depending on weather conditions. In fact, we recommend checking the forecast to make sure your paragliding plans are safe from rain. Early morning take-offs are highly recommended.

    Professional photographers wait at the landing site of Chowgan and take some stunning shots of your paragliding experience. They usually come find you after and, if you like the pictures they’ve taken, you can buy them for INR 200. Follow up your paragliding experience with a hearty meal and exuberant, adrenaline-fuelled conversation.

    Where: Bir-Billing, Himachal Pradesh

    Best Time To Visit: October-June but paragliding is possible throughout the year, except during the monsoons.

    Price: INR 2,500 per head

    Find out more here.