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Bir Billing Paragliding

About Bir Billing

 Hidden in the foothills of the Indian Himalayas, the largely agricultural village of Bir is better known to visitors by its nickname -- the "paragliding capital of India."
Located in the state of Himachal Pradesh in northern India, this small village has witnessed a boom in popularity among international paragliders after it hosted the Paragliding World Cup in 2015.
"Paragliding has made this village famous. Otherwise, very few people knew about it," says Arvind Paul, a paragliding instructor.
"The local community has benefited a lot from it. 100% of the locals are farmers, but this is a good side-business for us, because during the rainy season there is no work here."
 
 

Fly Bir Billing offers paragliding experiences from tandem rides to professional courses. A tandem joyride starts at INR2,500 ($38) for 15-20 minutes.

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Bir's appeal? The hilly landscape makes it an ideal place to glide. It also offers plenty of safe landing options.
There are around 140 local paragliders in the village now. Among them is 16-year-old Aditi Tharkur.
"I'm India's youngest female paraglider," she says.
"I used to see paragliders from my house. They looked so small, I really liked them. Then I told my father that I want to learn. I wanted to fly with all my heart."
Learn more about this high-flying destination in the video above and, for India travel inspiration, take a look at the below photo gallery featuring some of the country's most beautiful places.
 
What all can we do?

If you go to Bir and do not paraglide, then it is like going to Agra and not visiting Taj Mahal.If there is one place in India where you actually Paraglide and not just be in air for a couple of minutes, it is Bir. Not just it is an extreme adventure, but also one of the MUST DO things in your life. Do not die before you paraglide at Bir! To do a solo paraglide, one must have  certification which you can get on successful completion of Paragliding course, various levels of which are offered at Bir. However, for a vast majority who just want to Paraglide and not spend days learning it, tandem ride, also called joy ride, is the thing. Here the glider is maneuvered by a pilot and you just sit and enjoy and click pictures. There are multiple Paragliding operators in the area and the rates depend on the duration of the ride and how hard you bargain.

Suggestion

if you are a first timer, I suggest you got for a 25 minute ride since one hour gets too long and you might want to come down after 30 minutes. Also, it would be double the fun to have two 25-minute rides than to have one long one in same price! In case you decide to go for the one-hour ride, do tell your pilot that you want it to last for one hour by the clock and make sure you time it.

Tip

Make sure you eat light when you go to paraglide and try spending some time (an hour maybe) at Billing (the launching site) before you start your glide as so as to acclimatize to the height. Do wear a jacket, even if it is a warm day, as it is cold up in the air.

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