A little adventure for the body and mind blended with some peace for the soul makes a perfect recipe for a great trip. That is why exactly you need to be here. To sense the rush of flying in the skies and to still the mind.
Two things particularly stand out in Bir – Monasteries and the Landing site.
It is not enough to just click pictures of the artistically built monasteries. The worship place of Buddhists demands that you spend some time here and connect with silence. Listen to the incredible chants followed by drums and bells. It sends a powerful yet soothing message, deep inside you. A message which can be decoded only in silence.
We sat inside the monastery listening to the shlokas being chanted by hundreds of monks in perfect rhythm and were even offered tea. The vibrations cannot be not felt.
A walk around Bir monastery will bring you to radiant faces of playful young monks, some of whom are studying, performing duties or cracking a joke or two. Simplicity and enthusiasm reflected on their faces.
Evenings can be best spent, admiring the colourful paragliders making their way from the hills, into the skies and landing into the charismatic sunsets at the landing site.
Other Monasteries – Tsering Jong and Choukling.
What else ?
- Visit the Deer Park Institute; Meditate.
- Go on nature walks and short treks around.
- Long hike – Trek to Rajgundha and camp over night.
- Some waterfall – ask the locals; we missed it.(I made it on my second visit-solo. It is a hike that starts from Gunehar)
- Rent a bike (cycle) and explore.
- Try Tibetan food.
- Explore cafes.
- Connect with nature and yourself- most important.
Explore- ‘Temples under Water’– 2 hours from Dharamshala.
PARAGLIDING – BILLING
This is for everybody. You do not have to be a daredevil for this. More than an adventure, it is just flying in the skies. A bird’s view is what you get; you become carefree and jubilant on a flight that lasts around 10 minutes.
Billing is the highest point for paragliding in India and if you want to fly, you should absolutely do it here. Period. After the 2015 Paragliding World cup that was held here, the place has gained immense popularity and remains the best in India.
About 40 minutes from Bir, this is the take-off site where you will find pilots harnessing people, fixing their paragliders, getting ready for the flight and eventually taking off.
So set your fears aside, give up that excuse; I have seen 10 year olds do it.
Palampur is a small town in Himachal known for it’s beautiful tea gardens. Now that you have reached Bir, there is no point missing Palampur which is within an hour’s distance. We reached Dharamshala and visited Palampur en-route Bir.
Places of interest: Tea gardens, Saurabh Van Vihar, Tashi Jong monastery and temple in Baijnath.
Must read: Guide on exploring Amritsar in 3 days
MORE FROM BIR
For it’s young and peaceful vibe, and a little adventure.
HOW TO REACH ?
Buses– From Delhi to Baijnath(30 minutes from Bir) or to Dharamshala(2 hours) if you want to visit that too. There are a few direct buses too.
Trains- Delhi to Pathankot. Bir is 4 hours from here.
I would recommend the first option.
Hostels for solo travellers, backpackers.
Guest houses available at reasonable prices too.
BEST TIME ?
March-June and October-November. Avoid monsoons.
Pondering will get you nowhere. Leave.
Just leave mate 🙂