Of the numerous ways in which you could get high in Himachal, experiencing Paragliding in Bir is hands down the most thrilling way. We can’t recommend this experience enough to anyone who is looking for an adrenaline rush. The village which has a reputation for attracting adventure lovers from across the globe is nestled away in the Joginder Nagar Valley. Just about 28 kms away is another mountain hamlet called Billing. At Bir-Billing, the fun begins at a height of about 2300m amidst a stunning background. Here’s all you need to know about this exhilarating experience.
Who all can experience Paragliding in Bir-Billing?
There’s not a lot of restrictions when it comes to experiencing the activity. But if you want to go Paragliding in Bir-Billing, your weight must be between 30 to 90 kgs. If you weigh between 90-115 kgs, you will be charged an additional 500 rs. However, a decision will be taken at the time of flight if the conditions are suitable for them to let you take flight.
There’s also an age limit for the activity so if you’re below 18 years of age, there’s not a lot for you on this page. Psych! You actually can still go for the experience but you’ll have to do it with your parents. Then again, it should be under the weight limit. But apart from these factors, anybody can do the activity, regardless of whether they’re first-timers or experts.
Is Paragliding in Bir-Billing safe?
The short answer is YES! Now for the longer one… Paragliding in Bir-Billing is led by Arvind Paul, who is the Chief Flying Instructor. He is not only an experienced and licensed pilot, but he is also registered with Himachal Tourism. You’ll definitely have nothing to worry about because you’ll be in the safe hands of India’s one of the most experienced and reputed pilots.
But that’s not all, the team also ensures that the equipment is well maintained and checked from time to time. In fact, after about 200 hours of flying, the Paraglider is also replaced with new ones to maintain the safety standards. Another fun fact for you to keep in mind is that Bir-Billing is actually considered as the safest take-off site for paragliding in the entire world.
Mr. Arvind’s entire team has experienced and licensed pilots who are well versed with factors such as wind conditions, weather conditions, airspeed and everything else. They’re even trained from time to time and they always perform safety drills before each flight. Best part is, they’re a fun and likeable bunch so you’ll definitely feel comfortable if flying in tandem.
Can you go Paragliding by yourself?
If you’re a licensed pilot and have your own gears, you can definitely do it on your own. You need to complete all the courses and also train for about 12-15 days before you can get a proper certification. The Paragliding courses are divided into three parts which are P1, P2 and P3, with a total duration of about 15-20 days to complete all of it.
The P1 and P2 are the basic level courses for flying solo, which involves mastering the ground training before you get to perform flight training. In this course you get to learn stuff like how to stabilize the wing, how to take off, make turns and land. You even get to learn inflation and canopy handling techniques. The course takes about 6-8 days to be completed.
Anybody who has completed the first two can also take the advanced level P3 course. This is where you get to learn the more advanced skill sets like 360 degree turns, top landings, soaring flights and advanced launch techniques, amongst other things. It will take you 5-7 days to complete this course. Once you’re done, you’re all set to fly solo anywhere in India.
What’s the best time to go Paragliding in Bir?
This is the best part. It’s not just one or two months across the year where you can go paragliding. Apart from monsoon seasons, the activity is accessible all year round. But again, the climatic conditions and thermals differ. So due to factors like these, it may or may not be available during certain months.
However, October till mid December is the best time to experience the activity. You get to enjoy clear skies and witness the magical Dhauladhar range of hills. This is when the winds are warm and the air currents are pretty favourable. But even the winter months of January and February are great, especially with gorgeous views of snow-capped mountains all around.
March till June is usually considered the second best season for paragliding here. The thermal you get during this period is phenomenal so it’s also a great time to enjoy longer flights. Although, you have to keep one thing in mind. The weather does tend to get bad sometimes, so flights can be cancelled as it’s not safe to fly when the weather gets bad.
What makes Paragliding in Bir Billing special?
To begin with, you could keep gliding here for hundreds of kilometers. That’s how amazing the skies here are for the activity. Also, the first ever Paragliding World Cup which was held in Asia in 2015, was hosted in Bir Billing. Bir-Billing is also known for its great cloud base. Which means that the clouds here are higher. And that’s great for flying higher or flying in general.
Apart from that, Bir-Billing has a reputation for having great thermal and air currents. In fact, it is considered one of the best in the world. And then, the cherry on the icing is that the mountains here can rise as high as 6000 meters. Which becomes all the more fantastic during winters.
We can keep talking about how amazing the view here is or how fun the activity is. But it won’t necessarily do justice to it all. Paragliding in Bir is a once in a lifetime experience that lets you see life from a whole different perspective. Quite literally actually. So it’s something that we definitely highly recommend.