Bir is a small village in the Tehsil of Baijnath, district Kangra, Himachal Pradesh. It is 50 km from Dharamshala. From Delhi it takes 10 hours (approximately 500 kms) to reach Baijanath by bus or taxi and another half an hour to reach Bir (12 kms).The neareast train station is in Pathankot that is 100 km from Bir. A lot of Tibetans have taken refuge in Bir so there are many monasteries in the area. Bir Billing came into the spotlight after the first World Cup for paragliding was held here. The paragliding launch site is in Billing (14 kms North of Bir) and is 2400 metres high. It is the second highest site in the world and the highest in Asia.
The best time for paragliding is from March to May and October to November. There are plenty of hotels, guest houses and resorts available in Bir at prices to suit every pocket. Bookings for paragliding can be made online or after reaching Bir as all the hotels have arrangements for tourists. A tandem ride costs about 2500 INR. This includes the ride from Bir to Billing and an experienced paraglider who will take photographs and make a video.
There is a lot to do around Bir apart from paragliding. If you have some extra time, a day trip can be planned to Barot valley. The drive from Bir to Barot is picturesque as the area is filled with Himalayan oak and deodar trees. Barot is famous for trout fishing, Uhl Barrage and Shanan Power House. Baijnath temple was built in the 9th century and is 12 km from Bir. A mountain bike can be rented and you can cycle to the Palpung Sherabling Monastery in Baijnath. You could engage a local guide for a trek to explore the villages and beautiful forests around Bir.
In the evening take a stroll in Bir and visit the local cafes and restaurants. Good tibetan food is available at many places. Lastly, do not miss tasting the famous fruit beer.