Bir – Billing, Himachal Pradesh : Away From The Maddening Crowds

After a hectic recce in Kullu, our shoot got postponed. Therefor, we had the option of going to Delhi and wait out for further information or explore somewhere in Himachal. Just then, a team member suggested Bir-Billing and we jumped on it.

Bir – Billing are two different but closely linked places. Bir is a tiny village town, which has scenic meadows, farms, forests and is also a Buddhist settlement. As such, it has many monasteries and a stupa as well. Bir is a quiet, sleepy little village, yet not big on the tourism map, which is what makes it all the more attractive. Once in Bir, we stayed at the Namlang Himal Resort, a beautiful tucked away resort amidst trees and meadows, made of tiny independent cottages, each named after a town/village of Himachal. The rooms are basic, there is no room service, which we didn’t mind at all, and the food served at their dining area is excellent. The only thing that made me sad about Namlang Himal was a poor imprisoned Alexandrine Parakeet. Upon asking I was told she had a damaged wing and was unable to fly. I tried to connect with some local wildlife groups to rehabilitate the parakeet, but haven’t heard more on the issue. If you do visit Namlang Himal, do check on the parakeet.

There isn’t much to do in Bir apart from long walks through the village and meadows, and visits to the monasteries. This makes Bir an excellent place to unwind. There are plenty of treks around as well.

Billing is the paragliding hotspot of the world!

Billing is a meadow in the forests, a 7km hike (or drive) away at an altitude of 2400 metres above sea level. It’s weather and wind makes it one of the best destinations in the world for paragliding. September to October are supposed to be the best times for flying, though when we visited in end May, lots of people were still flying.

The para-gliders land at the meadow of the village Chaugan, at a place conveniently named ‘Landing’. It’s a pretty little meadow with a lone tea-shop (tapri) under a tree, which sells chai, cigarettes, instant noodles etc to visitors. Every evening at Landing is like a little festival with gliders landing, local people out for a walk, and an excellent sunset in the cool Himachal breeze. Chaugan is the village which has the most number of tourist accomodations, bicycle rental and sale shops, and plenty of eateries. The food here is yet unspoilt and still tastes of home made fare.

This year in October (2015), Billing is set to host a World Championship of Paragliding. The tiny village town is gearing up with plenty of construction and new shops are opening almost every day.

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The path leading to Namlang Himal Resort.
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A cottage at Namlang Himal.
The dining area at Namlang Himal in Bir.
The dining area at Namlang Himal in Bir.
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The pretty walk from Namlang Himal to the main road.
Billing at some 2400 metres above mean sea level, is considered one of the world's best paragliding spots.
Billing at some 2400 metres above mean sea level, is considered one of the world’s best paragliding spots.
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Billing, from where paragliders take off, in evening light.
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The beautiful meadows of Billing.
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The forest rest house at Billing.
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Billing is supposed to be one of the best spots in the world for paragliding.
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The evening saw more than 50 gliders take off.
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Helping gliders take off.
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The tea shop (chai tapri) at Billing is an excellent place to sit and soak in the experience.
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A proud mountain goat at Billing.
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These beautiful meadows with winding roads, and the lovely weather, makes one want to stay back. Perhaps forever.
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Landing is the place where the Billing paragliders land.
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Landing also offers one of the best sunset spots in the region, along with good tea and instant noodles.
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The valley from Billing towards Landing. Much of the forest has been cut to create these terraced farms.
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Bir has plenty of Buddhist Monasteries.
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A walk through the village takes one through lovely roads and colourful monasteries.
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A typical village home in Bir.
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A monastery amongst the meadows at Bir.
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The walks take you past the tea gardens at Bir.
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At Billing, the take off spot.
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There are endless options for pretty walks in Bir.

[box type=”success” width=”100%” ]Bir doesn’t have an airport. The best way to reach would be via Chandigarh by road, takes about 8 hours.[/box]

14 thoughts on “Bir – Billing, Himachal Pradesh : Away From The Maddening Crowds”

  1. Wow… your done a recap too of what your writen about the Bir – Billing chapter… I think that bird parakett must be fine to fly away now… your a brilliant photographer, readers know that, also good information source because I would never have otherwise know the best place in the world for paragliding and para gliding championships coming on Oct… lovely greenery… I have learnt that there are some aspects of travel – water stuff, mountain stuff…and this is mountain stuff and it beckon the adventurists does it not?…water stuff mainly for chilling in beach doing nothing, here walks and veiws…awesome(:…good you visited this village in Himachal…where were you heading to?

    Reply
    • Hi Maria! We were waiting for some work to get started. We were already in Kullu, so Bir was nearby. It’s truly gorgeous!

      Reply
  2. really amazing,been in himachal last year discovered khajjiar now got some new destination with scenic beauty n soulful adventure

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  3. Amazing post. I have always assumed Bir-Billing as a base-site for paragliding. Never knew that it has such a serene nature. Great picture too. One more place on my list now. 😀

    Reply
  4. Never know, people use to write so much about this place. Its wonderful that people love this place. Thanks bro, you have explained everything beautifully about my place aka Bir Billing.

    Reply
  5. Hey man, that is really a great article about Bir Billing and you have shared your experience very well. This will definitely help those who have planned or planning their visit to Bir Billing. Thanks for giving your reviews about Bir Billing and sharing your thoughts with us.

    Reply

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