My Magical Paragliding experience At Bir-Billing

How to reach Bir billing? What is the cost and all the other queries will be answered in this article. The famous site where Paragliding World Cup 2015 took place was Bir-Billing. Bir is the landing site while Billing is the launching site. Therefore, the name Bir-billing. This surreal place is in the beautiful state, Himachal Pradesh and is a major tourist destination because it is home to major adventure sports like Paragliding, mountain biking, trekking, etc. Billing is located at an altitude of 2400-2500 meters and at a distance of 15 km from Bir. Billing is considered as one of the best Paragliding sites in the world because of the climatic conditions this place offers. On a good day for paragliding, a pilot can elevate even up to 3500 meters.

The paraglider pilot is ready for the launch from billing towards bir in Kangra district of himachal pradesh
Paraglider ready for the launch

 


What an experience!  The experience for me was out of this world. I could hear my heart beating because I was so scared and happy at the same time. I thought of quitting before we were going to takeoff but the money was not refundable. So I did it for the money. *Kidding*. No, seriously I could see my life so clearly at that moment of time. The adrenaline rush was so strong.  It was one of those moments for me when one cannot decide what to do, you are excited on the one hand while you are scared of the result on the other but in this case the threat was to my life. Also I heard from someone that two paraglider pilots died the day before. And people do die as it is a very risky adventure sport. So I am not going to lie to you guys, I was scared to death. But I did it anyway. And it turned out to be the greatest experience of my life. I was so high on life because of the most beautiful sky and how everything seemed to be so little from up above. One should know about the risks and precautions before planning on trying this recreational activity and this should be done under supervision of a professional trainer. There are two kinds of rides, solo as well as tandem rides. For solo rides you need to have proper training. Also, our only option was of tandem ride. But believe me, it is FUN.


I never thought I could capture my whole experience while being in the sky experiencing what life is and to experience it over and over again but thanks to the technology of 2016. I have many pictures as well videos for me to see whenever I want to live through that moment. Also I have shared some of those with you guys to see.

the road to billing starts from place name chauntra in Jogindernagar
Road to Billing


How that day started when my dream came true!


It was like any other day. I was in my college and one of my friends invited me and some of my other friends to his sister’s wedding. And he told us that we have to leave on the same day. But it was high time for our studies also as the semester was going to end and we had our vivas and practical files to complete and for that matter it was almost impossible for us to skip through the hectic schedule. But as it is said, where there is a will, there is a way, our determination was so strong that we thought of requesting our teacher and as a matter of fact, he did give us permission and extended the deadline for submission of files and everything and that was like one in a million chance, maybe he was in a good mood and he was very kind too.  We couldn’t thank him enough though. I am sorry that I didn’t mention earlier that I am an engineering student, that too, mechanical engineering and you know how mechanical engineering teachers can be sometimes. 

The paraglider is swinging to the left and is ready to land in bir
Tandem Paragliding



So we started this wonderful journey on our bikes from Sundernagar at 6 in the evening and we reached by 9pm at Jogindernagar. (The road from Sundernagar to Mandi is absolutely amazing but I really don’t like the road after that, from Mandi to Jogindernagar. It is very loopy and a little narrow and it will make you want to throw up. I am comfortable with the mountainous areas but those of you who are not, I wish you good luck on this road.) And yes, my friend whose sister was getting married is from Jogindernagar.  What a great coincidence! Right? Bir is a village which is located in the Jogindernagar valley of Himachal Pradesh and is only at a mere distance of 14kms from Jogindernagar. For those of you who don’t know much about Jogindernagar might be thinking why am I talking about Bir all of a sudden. Bir is a popular destination for paragliders all over the world. Paragliding World Cup 2015 was also held at this surreal location. Bir is the landing site while Billing is the launching site. Hence, the name Bir-Billing. It was my dream from a long time to try this adventure sport and now this time I couldn’t let the opportunity pass as I was so close to the amazing paragliding site. Also I was not alone, one of my friends agreed to do it too. So as my friend was a localite, whose house we had come to, knew one of the pilots who offered tandem flights at reasonable prices and so we closed the deal at Rs2100 per person including the videos and pictures clicked by DSLR. So we started moving towards Billing on our bikes by the Bir-Billing road. Billing top is the highest peak of the Jogindernagar valley and has great scenic views with lush green forests and mountains. You can also trek your way up to Billing top or you can try mountain biking on the Bir-Billing road. On the way up I witnessed the panoramic beauty of the place which cannot be described in words, it was absolutely amazeballs.  We reached the launching site, the temperature was adorable and it was a view with many paragliders in the sky showing off their paragliding skills. There were solo paragliders as well as many tandem paragliders and the sight made my heart pound out of my chest. Next is the story I have told already and you can watch the video of my paragliding experience using the link below.

The paragliding is a very risky sport hence many accessories are required for paragliding
Paragliding accessories



Bir-Billing


Billingis the launch site.


Biris the landing site.


Hence, the name.

Paragliders in billing are world class pilots and every day they try to make new records
Touching the sky

Reaching Bir-billing


By air


You can reach at any of the three airports mentioned and make your way to jogindernagar either by catching hold of a bus or hiring a taxi.


Gaggal Airport>Jogindernagar is about 75kms.


Kullu Manali airport>Jogindernagar 115kms


Shimla>Jogindernagar 200kms


Airports


Shimla airport, Jubbarhatti


Gaggal Airport or Dharamsala-Kangra airport, Kangra


Kullu Manali airport, Bhuntar


When you reach Jogindernagar you need to make your way to bir-billing launching site, you can do that by hiring a taxi or choose the other options as per your convenience.


By railway

The toy train starts from Pathankot railway station in Punjab and reaches Jogindernagar railway station at a very slow speed. The reason why it is called as the toy train. You can use this option too.

By road

You need to get to Chandigarh first and then you can catch a bus or hire a taxi to Jogindernagar.

The shortest route is:

Chandigarh>Dharamshala>Jogindernagar.


 

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