Of the numerous ways in which you could get high in Himachal Pradesh, 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 km away is another mountain hamlet called Billing. At Bir-Billing, the fun begins at a height of about 2,300 meters amidst a stunning background. Here’s all you need to know about experiencing a paragliding flight in Bir Billing.
There are not a lot of restrictions when it comes to experiencing the activity. But understand that the paragliding weight limit in Bir Billing is between 30 to 90 kg. If you weigh between 90-115 kg, you’ll be charged an additional INR 500. 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 paragliding activity 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.
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’s not only an experienced and licensed pilot but 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 paragliding gear 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 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 paragliding flight. The best part is that they’re a fun and likable bunch so you’ll definitely feel comfortable during tandem paragliding.
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If you’re a licensed pilot and have your own gear, 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 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 them.
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 a trained pilot, you’re all set to go solo paragliding anywhere in India.
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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 Ranges. This is when you get extremely smooth winds that are warm and the air currents are pretty favorable. But even the winter months of January and February are great, especially with gorgeous views of snow-capped mountains all around.
Summer season, i.e. the months from 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 a longer paragliding session. However, you have to keep one thing in mind. The weather does tend to get bad sometimes, so paragliding flights can be canceled as it’s unsafe to fly.
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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. The place is also known for its great cloud base, which means that the clouds here are higher. And that’s great to fly high or flying in general.
Apart from that, Bir Billing has a reputation for having great thermal and air currents. In fact, it’s 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 6,000 meters, making the place 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 Billing is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that lets you see life from a whole different perspective. Quite literally, actually. So we highly recommend that you visit Bir Billing and take to the skies!
What Is The Cost Of Paragliding In Bir Billing?
A tandem paragliding tour cost in Bir Billing can cost you anywhere from INR 1,600-2,500. The price may also include an action camera that you can use for selfies or videos before reaching the landing site in Bir!
Is Paragliding Safe In Bir Billing?
While taking to the skies can be an overwhelming experience for some, Bir Billing is considered among the safest places for paragliding. Don’t forget to dress appropriately for this adventure: wear comfortable shoes, long-sleeved shirts and pants. And of course, you’ll be on tandem flights with professionals. Just follow their safety instructions and you’ll be fine!
How Do I Book Paragliding In Bir Billing?
You can visit the websites of the many paragliding clubs in Bir Billing to book your slots. Or you could book offline at the site by providing all the necessary details.
Is There Snowfall In Bir Billing?
Of course! Bir Billing is about 1,500 meters above sea level, and the area does experience heavy snowfall in the winter months.
How Long Can A Paraglider Stay In The Air?
If the weather conditions are perfect, a paraglider can stay up in the air for as long as three hours! Generally speaking, a paragliding session lasts between 15 minutes to one hour.
What Is The Height Of Bir Billing?
Bir Billing is at an altitude of 1,525 meters (about 5,000 feet) above sea level.
How Can I Go To Bir Billing From Delhi?
Kangra is the nearest bus stand to Bir (about 50 km away), which is connected to Delhi. You then take a local bus to Bir. If you’re traveling by train, Pathankot Junction (140 km away), is the nearest major railway station.
Considering how not-so-well-connected Bir Billing is, we recommend you book a cab directly from Delhi to Bir Billing. The journey is about 516 km long and will take you about 10 hours.
Why Is Palampur Famous?
Palampur in Himachal Pradesh is best known for its verdant tea estates surrounded by alpine forests with trekking trails, making for a perfect place for those seeking a leisurely and adventurous holiday.
How Far Is Bir Billing From Dharamshala?
Bir Billing is about 67 km away from Dharamshala. The trip would take you about 2 hours.
Is Paragliding Safe In India?
Being an adventure sport, paragliding has its share of risks. But generally speaking, paragliding in India is as safe as it is around the world.
Is Bir Billing Paragliding Open?
Apart from the monsoon months of July and August, you can enjoy paragliding in Bir Billing the rest of the year!