Sheltered by the mountains and surrounded by tea gardens. Bir (35 Km), serves as a playground for hang / para gliders and is well known for its Buddhist monasteries and tibetian handcrafts. One of the best aero sport sites in the world. Billing is 14 Kms away from Bir. With the mountain ranges serving as an amphitheatre. Bir-Billing offer great opportunities for high altitude and cross-country flying for a stretch that extends to 200 Kilometers. Bir has Tibetan Monastery and tea gardens. Billing gained its importance as it came to be known as the best paragliding site in the state. On the top of Hill, it presents a panoramaic view of the the valley below.
BIR : Bir village is famous for its Tibetian Colony & Buddhist monasteries. Hang gliding pilots use it as their landing site. Bir, surrounded by tea gardens and an amphitheater of low hills, is an ideal landing around for para-gliders. Bir has Buddhist Monasteries that are worth visiting. Fine Tibetan handi craft are also produced here. Palampur is 29 km and Baijnath is 13 km from Bir.
BILLING : Billing up in the hills, 14 km from Bir. Himachal Pradesh came in the news in 1984 when an international Hang Gliding rally was organized at Billing, a place 20 km from Palampur where some expert hang gliders of the world participated. They rated this place as one of best in the world. In the month of May / June a tented colony is set up by H.P. Tourism to facilitate Hang gliders. At this time all the roads lead to Billing.
This is one of the most beautiful jeep able routes in the Kangra valley situated at a height of about 9500 ft from the MSL. Upto Bir town you can travel by any vehicle. The 14 km distance from bir to billing is actually a rock road, whose rock cutting was done way back in 1962. It is advisable that this distance be covered either by foot or if by a vehicle it should be any Solid 4x4 vehicle like the Gypsy or the Mahindra. At billing there is only a Guest house of the Forest Dept. being looked after by a caretaker named "Thakur". This guest house can be booked from bir in advance for over night stays. With food stock being a scarcity in this part of the Kangra valley your only link to the outside world is the care taker of the Guest House "Thakur". This place is the originating point for hang and para gliders. You can fly upto chamba from here. The ariel view of the chamba and kangra valleys are really breathtaking.
This site is regarded as among the best in the world for Paragliding. Billing (2290 m) is the take-off site and Bir (1400 m) is the village at the landing site. The road distance between the two is 14 km. Bir is sheltered by the Dhauladhar mountains and the ridges behind keep rising to 3000 m, 4000 m, 5000 m and one after the other so as pilot can fly at 4000 m and still watch the mountains tower above. Bir is a beautiful village surrounded by tea gardens and spectacular scenery, whereas Billing offers unique opportunities for high altitude and cross country flying and flights of 180 kms have been achieved from here.
All along the bottom of the ridges runs a parallel road from Mandi to Dharamshala and beyond which assures easy recovery for pilots after landing. The most important feature of this region is its weather. On bad weather days one can still fly 20-30 kms and on good days 100 kms is not difficult. October & November are the ideal months for flying in autumn and March to May i.e spring is also flyable but conditions are very strong in spring with thermals of 6-12 mtrs/sec and cloudbase of 4000 to 6000 m.
The massive Dhauladar mountain range and the Kangra valley below with its panoramic views offer opportunities for high altitude 'up and down' and 'cross-country' flying for more than 200-km. The Dhauladar range runs from Dalhousie in the North West of the state, in a curving arc south-east to Mandi. Billing lies roughly midway between Dharamsala and Mandi and to the south west of Manali and Kulu valley.