I believe I can fly, I believe I can touch the sky,I think about it every night and day… Spread my wings and fly away. I believe I can fly. -R Kelly.
I read this poem and still humming is as I remember my first paragliding experience in Bir Billing, Himachal Pradesh. Asia’s largest Paragliding Site…
Taking to the memories.
It’s a long holiday in Himachal Pradesh, In may 2017, I planned “Special Womania Tour” and I took everyone to Bir billing Valley for Paragliding as everyone was unknown for this place. My tour planning began with exploring options in Himachal Pradesh…Bur somewhere it seemed banal, so to add spice to the trip. I wanted to add some tadka of adventure to the entire plan. I decided to add one night at Bir Billing ( to the jumping point for para gliders ). Yesss, Billing is the jumping point at altitude of 9000 Ft. Para Glider jumps from Billing to land at Bir. The group was nervous as the wind was strong and the height from which the jump was to be taken was quite an elevation ( 9000 Ft from sea level, and approx 5500 Ft from Bir). Though there was apparent excitement besides the fear. Every body was trying to overcome the fear of jump into an unknown deep valley. The Group said, “ what the Hell… How would we do it ??? “ … to make it simpler to everyone I said, “Let’s do it” …
Somehow with trembling feet and murmuring hearts all are agreed to take the plunge. Excitement began… woo… hoo… Here we go. Bir Billing Paragliding trip to began…
Bir is a small town amid mountains of Himalayas, India and Billing is the jumping point at altitude of 9000 Ft. Para Glider jumps from Billing to land at Bir. Bir- Billing have become quite popular among adventure sports enthusiast as it offers a beautiful natural paragliding spot, favorable weather and wind along with green meadows. The place offer natural jump point at Billing and a plain landing spot at Bir and Chaughan village.
Bir was inhabited by Tibetan refugee in the year 1960 following the exile of Dalai lama from Tibet. The area offers two beautiful monasteries and tea gardens to explore. Bir is situated in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh India in Baijnath region. It is 50 km drive from Dharamshala and is the next stop to Baijnath.Two to three hours drive from Dharmashala. It has Dharamshala towards the west and towards its North east is Manali. In summer it can be comfortable without woolen cloths.
We reached Billing by evening. The main day for Bir Billing paragliding had come.Finally, after a long travel from Manali we were good to go. As shared, Billing is world’s second highest natural Para Gliding spot. The flight takes 25 to 30 mins depending on the wind and weather conditions. The flight starts from meadows of Billing and finish at Bir plains.
The advertisement of Mountain Dew soft drink was going in my head saying DARR KE AAGE JEET HAI ( victory lies beyond fear).
We had arranged co pilots prior to jump.The person weighing the most was asked to take the first jump. We all were made wear helmets to our size and a briefing was done by the instructor. it was I me and vision of sky unlimited. I was second in queue. The take off has series of action. The parachute has to be played at the back fully spread and strings need to be checked for entanglement. Once done the occupant has run along with parachute at a certain speed raising the parachute to the air and once fully inflated parachute the air takes over the control taking the occupant into flight mode with gaining of altitude initially. The first attempt took me to sky and a gush of air took the parachute and myself to a reasonably good height. The experience was mind-boggling as you are suspended in air with no visual distraction towards the valley below. The moment you see down you realize there is nothing to stop you in case of fall. But the experience was so enthralling that soon you forget your fear and get enchanted to the view below and ahead. After few minutes in flight and getting accustomed to the new environment paragliders agent used their equipment along with a selfie stick and shot a video. I have shared the video below. The Air journey Billing to Bir while paragliding can be smooth or at times rough depending on wind conditions. One has to overcome self, fear and just enjoy the breath-taking view of Himalayas while in air suspended with strings to a parachute. Bir Billing paragliding is an experience to be a part of your Bucket List and as things to do before you die.
There are primary two types of Paragliding flights Solo flight and Tandem flight. Both are done in Bir Billing. In 2015 Bir Billing hosted Paragliding World cup and various Pilots from the world came to participate and show their Paragliding skills.
As the name suggests, It is done solo and the Pilots alone Paraglides with total control in his hands. It is a specialised format and needs a formal training before a Pilot take to solo flights. The knowledge of air dynamics and wind is neccessary. Solo pilots come to Bir Billing to experience the best Paragliding spot in India.
Tandem flight is the one in which two people hangs from the Parachutes together. The Trained Pilot is at the back and the second person/guest just sits along with him. The control of the parachute is totally with the trained Pilot at the back and the second person at the front can enjoy the flight and can take pictures. It is most recommended type of flight for guest or untrained people who like to experience Paragliding. Bir Billing has lots of Pilots conducting Tandem flight. The flight is totally safe and requires almost no effort by the guest. The guest just need to help Pilot run during take off along with the parachute nd Ofcourse he has to win over his fear of height as it says….Darrr Ke Aage Jeet Hai…
As we done Tandem Paragliding…
What happens……..when you reincarnate into an adventurous mode, wanting to reclaim your youthful spirit !!!! You start searching all the available sources of info, Lonely planet books, Internet, calling up mountaineering relatives, watching adventurous movies and finally you plan a trip for trekking and allied adventure activities. You go and ask your friends about the idea….and under the influence of intoxication of movie’ Zindagi milegi na doobara’ and couple of pints of beer, all become rearing to go.
THEY ALL SAY YESSSSS!
But the scene moves…..
On the top of the hill, harness tied to your body, landing in long distant sight….. your legs tremble! they just don’t lift up! One friend warnto paragliders agent, told him that how much she loves her husband and wants to live for him. ( heart in heart trying to overcome the fear).!
And then with only your heartbeat audible, you jump to rise in the air! you feel frightened, but no more…..a vastness takes you over…all around…..
You are born with wings…all You had to do was FLY !
FINAL WORDS ON BIR BILLING PARAGLIDING:
Bir billing is best place in India for paragliding. It offer 25-30 Min of Paragliding flight with good stay at Bir town. It has the laurel of second highest natural para jumping spot in the world. Its overnight weekend destination from New Delhi and other places from North India and must TO DO sport in your lifetime.
NOTE: If you have a query on Bir Billing Paragliding, do contact me or leave a comments. I will be more than happy to help you in all ways.
Group of more than 10 person can call me at my mobile and if required I can accompany you for the trip as Adventure Travelling is my Soul Searcher and I can go beyond the lines for it.
Contact Me at Nisha +91 9096512259 (Director, Neels holiday Pvt. Ltd.)