Who doesn’t dream of flying high in the air? Like many others, I always wanted to experience the feeling of flying high in the clouds and looking at the world from a bird’s eye view. So, to make my dream of flying come true and take a break from the humdrums of everyday life, I chose to travel to Bir Billing in Himachal Pradesh on a weekend from Delhi and experience paragliding in the world’s second best paragliding spot. So, wrapping up all my work on friday I left to board the bus from Majnu Ka Tilla, Delhi around 7:30 p.m with my heart filled with excitement. I just couldn’t believe that I was heading to turn my wildest dream into reality. Here’s my account of what this amazing trip in Himachal Pradesh was like.
Travelling overnight, I finally reached Bir on Saturday morning where the bus stopped at the Tibetan Colony. As I stepped out of the bus, my soul immediately began to create a connection with the beautiful place. Heading to Zostel where I had booked my stay, I spoke to myself- “if I wouldn’t have planned a trip to Bir Billing I would have seriously missed out treating my eyes with such a heavenly place.” Meanwhile I crossed the monasteries, small cafes and tea gardens that were really enchanting.
Zostel, a Comfortable Stay in the Midst of Scenic Himalayan Village
After a walk of 10 minutes I reached Zostel and enquiring from the receptionist I came to know that they will provide me the pick-up and drop facility to the paragliding site. Once I was done with the check-in formalities, I started exploring Zostel as the place really fascinated me with its amazing outdoor sitting area where you can just chill or read book while enjoying your morning or evening tea. While I was having breakfast, the sight of colourful parachutes soaring high in the sky caught my attention and I started feeling butterflies in my stomach wondering- there I am going to be too in the next few hours.
Heading to the Paragliding Take Off Site
Okay, earlier I was told that we would drive straight to the take-off site i.e., Billing but since I visited in the month of February, the site was covered with snow which made it impossible for us to reach there by car. So, I had to trek in snow with my pilot for 7 km which took approx 2 hours, which was fun in itself and an experience that I will cherish for the lifetime. As we were walking, I engaged myself in a quick conversation with my pilot and came to know that at times the experienced paragliders also glide from Billing to Dalhousie. Isn’t that freaking cool?!! Even I would like to try it someday.
And Finally, The Much Awaited Moment Came
The moment to glide over the lofty snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas arrived. While my pilot was setting up the parachute, I rested there for a while being a bit nervous, scared and sceptical. But above all I was ready for another level of adventure. My pilot was ready and so was I. This was the time when I wasn’t feeling nervous anymore but the thought of being airbound for the next 30 minutes got me super excited.
“Don’t sit..but simply run.. just run” this was the only thing that my pilot commanded and I ran headlong off the cliff until I was in the air. Soaring high in the sky I started to relax and relish the miniature world from the bird’s eye view that dotted the beautiful landscape of Bir where I was trying to spot the Tibetan Monasteries, houses and cafes from the top. As I was floating down I was wondering about the landing but all thanks to my pilot, Ashok who made the landing as smooth and graceful as the take-off. Ah.. my experience of Paragliding in Bir Billing was magical and trust me it might appear to be scary but it is a wonderful experience that I can’t wait to have again.
After taking a quick nap and freshening-up I went out to take a stroll around Bir. I chose to have my refreshment in Moonshine Madness Cafe & Lounge and dinner at the Himalayan Pizza. With this, I came to the end of Day 1 in Bir.
DAY 2: A Rejuvenating Morning and a Visit to Monastery
In early morning, I stepped out of the Zostel to breathe in the fresh air while enjoying the scenic beauty all around. I reached the landing site where I spent a good time watching the paragliders manoeuvre their way down. Everything was so blissful that it made it hard for me to bid goodbye to Bir.
After having breakfast in a small cafe right at the landing site, I headed to explore one of the tourist attractions of Bir. As I was short on time this day, I could only manage to visit one monastery which is Palpung Sherabling Monastery which is amid the pine and oak forests. Entering the monastery, I was amazed by its beauty which is built in traditional Tibetan architectural style. I came across the art, science and cultural tradition of Tibetan Buddhism that has been preserved over the centuries. In a nutshell, I am happy that I chose to visit the Palpung Sherabling Monastery as the atmosphere has really filled my heart with peace and I would honestly recommend that one should visit it when holidaying in Bir.
I headed back to the Zostel for the check-out formalities as I had to board the bus back to Delhi at 5:30 pm. It was hard for me to leave Bir, but yes the admirable beauty of the small village has left an impression on my mind because of which I would love to visit it time and time again.
This was all about my experience of paragliding and a relaxing weekend trip to Bir Billing. If you too want to experience the same and looking for a complete guide that will cover you with best time to visit, how to reach, where to stay and other places to see and thing to do in Bir Billing then you can take a quick look at the Bir Billing Travel Guide that will help you plan a trip.
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Born and brought up in Assam- ‘The Land of Tea Gardens’, Swati is a Travel Writer who yearns to travel around the whole world someday. Coming from one of lush-green and peaceful states of India, her love for nature and rain is beyond imagination. She is an observant and is keen to explore more about the things that comes her way which could be clearly seen in her write ups. Other than this, she is a foodie and can do anything for food that is made out of cheese especially- The Alfredo Penne Pasta!