9th April 2021


A 2021 Guide to paragliding and parasailing in Bir Billing.

Parasailing in Bir Billing is an extremely fun and adventurous activity for tourists and adventure junkies alike. Bir Billing is proudly known as the 'Paragliding capital of India'. This small town in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh is considered to be the best location in the country to enjoy the sport of paragliding or parasailing. It has been ranked as the second-highest takeoff location in the world for paragliding and parasailing. A typical tour of paragliding or parasailing in Bir Billing takes you to a camping and paragliding adventure, with world-class services at your disposal, so you get to enjoy that lifelong dream of soaring above the beautiful and pristine Himalayan landscapes. In a short yet highly adventurous flight of about 15 to 30 minutes depending on the weather conditions, you will be seeing some of the most brilliant sights of the valley without having to worry about steering the parachute as you will be accompanied by a trained pilot on the flight. A typical tour also includes camping in Bir Billing in clean and comfortable conditions with all the necessary amenities. Our resort in Himachal Pradesh also has camping and adventure sports. Take the road less travelled and visit our resort in Himachal Pradesh, where you can experience the best of Himachal Pradesh, its culture, the people and the adventure at Rakkh Resort Palampur.

Paragliding or Parasailing guide 2021 -
The paragliding session consists of 15 to 30 minutes and the cost per flight is 2000 INR per person. The paragliding landing area which is Bir to Billing which is the paragliding takeoff point is at a distance of 18 kilometers from each other and this 18 kilometer flight is aided by an experienced pilot.

Exclusions to paragliding or parasailing flight 2021 -

The weight limit for paragliding or parasailing at Bir Billing is between 15 kg to 90 kg between the months of October to February and between 30 kg to 90 kg in the months of April to June. But, if a tourist’s weight is between 90 kg and 115 kg, the paragliding team charges an extra fee of 500 INR per person, and also they decide to fly depending upon the fitness of that particular person. 
Travel insurance is not included on the paragliding or parasailing flight, which covers medical evacuation, hospitalization, trip cancellation and baggage insurance. Any additional videography or photography expenses for the parasailing or paragliding trip are 500 INR for a GoPro video of the trip which does not include disturbances in the footage caused by natural weather conditions, sickness, bad weather, storms etc.
There is no insurance provided for loss of goods, life, injury or accidents.

History of Paragliding or Parasailing in Bir Billing - 
In the 1980’s some French Pilots recognized “Bir Billing” as the best favorable condition for flying and introduced Hang Gliding in Bir Billing. Hang gliding was very difficult at that time as pilots needed to carry heavy metal frames and canopy to the Paragliding take-off point which was 14 km uphill and was a really strenuous task. The road to Billing did not exist at all at that time, so a tourist or hang glider needed porters and mules to carry the heavy metal frames and canopy, which was not possible for all the pilots.
Paragliding or parasailing in Bir Billing was introduced in the early years of the 1990’s by ‘Bruce Mills’ who was a pilot from New Zealand and very well known in the Bir Billing valley which started attracting many pilots to try their hands at paragliding here. Later it became popular among locals of Bir and they started learning paragliding or parasailing. Now after the year 2000, Bir Billing started tandem paragliding which meant a paragliding flight of two people in which one person is the pilot and the other is a tourist which introduced commercial activity and employment to the local inhabitants of Bir Billing.
Now Bir Billing has more than 200 trained paragliding pilots, out of which nearly a hundred pilots are licensed officially by the Himachal Pradesh Tourism. Bir Billing hosted the paragliding world cup in 2015 in which pilots of over 130 countries from across the globe participated. The paragliding world cup made the sport extremely popular in India and commercial flying increased significantly and Bir Billing became a favorite paragliding destination in India and across the globe for many paragliders and parasailers looking for adventure.

When to visit Bir Billing for paragliding or parasailing - 
The best time to visit Bir Billing for parasailing or paragliding is throughout the year except for the monsoon season. The monsoon season or the rainy season here which is from early July to late September comes with very heavy rain from July to September, which is the time when paragliding is completely closed in Bir Billing. Bir Billing is located in the foothills of the Dhauladhar mountain range of the Himalayan mountains in Himachal Pradesh, which provide amazing weather conditions throughout the year apart from the rainy season. Our resort in Himachal Pradesh is also located in the Dhauladhar mountain range of Himachal Pradesh and our resort in Himachal Pradesh which is the Rakkh Resort in Palampur also has many adventure sports and activities that take place at our resort in Himachal Pradesh.
But the best period for paragliding or parasailing in Bir Billing is divided into two parts and they are firstly from October to June which is the main season for paragliding and October to November and March to June are also the best time for longer flights.
The paragliding or parasailing experience during the months of December and January is different as all the mountains around Bir Billing are covered with snow, and even Billing experiences a lot of snowfall during this period. Most of the travelers still choose this period for camping and paragliding in Bir Billing valley for the thrill and solemn adventure of parasailing and paragliding under tougher conditions.

Itinerary for paragliding or parasailing in Bir Billing - 

The adventure sport of Paragliding at Bir Billing in Himachal Pradesh


The starting point or the meeting point for the paragliding flight is Chougan Chowk which is located 2 kilometres away from the national highway and the paragliding landing area diversion point. Here, you would have to fill up the registration form and procedures. Then you will meet the paragliding team along with the other guests and tourists and you will also be introduced to your pilot. All your luggage, or unnecessary baggage must be left in your car or at the reception of your hotel in Bir. The guests or tourists are only allowed to carry their wallets and their mobile phones which they must keep in zipped pockets or give them to the pilot to keep in his bag of essentials.
The clothing or attire must be full pants and a jacket. Gloves and a cap are essential in the winter season and sun screen is essential during the summer season. Laced shoes are also highly essential and don’t forget to tie your shoe laces or they may fall off during the parasailing flight.
It would then take about forty five minutes of driving to reach Billing which is at the top of a mountain cliff and is at a distance of 16 kilometres from the starting point. At Billing, the pilot of your flight checks the wind direction and other weather measures which might affect the parasailing flight, and after some thinking and consideration he or she would decide the launch point or takeoff point as the wind is sometimes East side or sometimes West side depending upon the weather conditions.
At Billing, when you are all geared up and ready to go, with your helmet, harness and connect glider with carabiner, your paragliding or parasailing flight starts at an incredible height of 8020 feet above sea level which would give you a spectacular bird’s eye view of the stunning Bir Billing valley below. A pilot briefing also takes place before takeoff where you can ask the pilot to connect your GoPro camera if videography or filming the paragliding or parasailing flight is required.
Enjoy flying like an eagle through the winds of time in the immensely spectacular air of the Bir Billing Valley. The tourists’ hands are hand free during the flight and they can sit on their chair with a harness and calmly enjoy the views, scream and enjoy the vivid joy of this thrilling adventure. Once the fifteen to thirty minute parasailing flight is nearing an end, listen to the pilot’s instructions for a safe and secure landing at Bir. The paragliding or parasailing landing area is at Chougan Chowk at open ground in Bir. The landing area is also at an incredible height of 4650 feet above sea level and once you land safely, you can open your safety helmet and gears and GoPro camera. You can collect your video footage too from the GoPro camera of the beautiful flight that you just experienced.

Paragliding adventure junkie flying through the skies


The landing area is technically about one and a half kilometers away from Chougan Chowk and is a Tibetan Colony Area and has a lot of eateries and cafes where you can chill and relax after your thrilling adventure and just let the experience sink in while you splurge your taste buds to an sumptuous plate of Tibetan momos. There are also many handloom shops, monasteries, dhabas and local shops where you can spend some time exploring the culture of Tibetans living in Himachal Pradesh.  
You can then head on to Chougan Chowk and head on to your hotel in Bir with your friends, loved ones and family. Our resort in Himachal Pradesh is the Rakkh Resort in Palampur which is an abode of local Himachal Pradesh treasures where you can enjoy the local culture of Himachal Pradesh in its very roots and also relax in a very safe weekend getaway with your friends, family and loved ones. Our resort in Himachal Pradesh offers adventure sports, thrilling treks, rejuvenating yoga and spiritual retreats and much more that will make your vacation all the more thrilling yet safe from the crowd and the rush of the cities.

Bir Billing paragliding flight takeoff


How to drive and reach Bir Billing -

The various routes to Bir Billing from various cities and towns in Northern India are given below.
Route 1 - Delhi – Chandigarh – Kiratpur – Una – Mubarakpur/ Paragpur – Dehra – Kangra – Palampur – Bir Billing is 530 kilometers long.
Route 2 - Delhi – Chandigarh – Kiratpur – Bilaspur – Mandi – Jogindernagar – Bir Billing is 520 kilometers long.
Route 3 - Manali – Mandi – Jogindernagar – Bir Billing is 180 kilometers long.
Route 4 - Dharamshala – Palampur – Bir Billing is 70 kilometers long.
Route 5 - Pathankot – Palampur – Bir Billing is 140 kilometers long.
These are the various routes to reach the paragliding heaven town of Bir Billing. If you are driving your car then the best route to reach Bir Billing is the first route although this is a bit long but is safe and smooth. Other routes can be used if you are driving from nearby destinations like Manali and Dharamshala however the route from Pathankot can be followed if you are traveling by Train till Pathankot or visiting the Vaishno Devi temple and then planning to visit Bir Billing.
Buses to reach the incredible parasailing and paragliding destination of Bir Billing -
The nearest bus stand is at Baijnath which is 12 kilometers from the town of Bir. Baijnath is well connected with daily buses going up and down from New Delhi and Chandigarh. There are Volvo buses traveling daily to Baijnath which also commence at 21:45 hrs. and 22:45 hrs. From the ISBT Kashmiri gate New Delhi Bus Stand respectively. One can book buses from Delhi to Baijnath from HRTC online portal by clicking directly on the link at the website. Other deluxe, semi-deluxe and ordinary buses also provide their travel services to Baijnath. If you want more options, you can also take a bus to Dharamshala, where many Red bus operators run their buses daily and then get aboard a local bus to Baijnath which is a two hour journey from there. Another option to travel by bus is taking a bus to Chandigarh from New Delhi, and then hiring a cab to Bir from Chandigarh as it would definitely make your travel easy, safe, comfortable and convenient, but is a slightly more expensive traveling option to Bir Billing.
Written by Sayam Raj Sagar

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