Top 5 Attractions in Bir Billing & Hiking Routes, Things to Do In Bir Billing, Best Time to Visit, Places to Stay and Eat (2021)
Bir Billing Travel Guide:
Bir is a village located in the west of Joginder Nagar Valley in the Kangra valley in the state of Himachal Pradesh. It is a quaint little town in northern India that is famous among tourists who want to spend a silent decent stay amidst the hills and enjoy their time. Bir is a noted center for ecotourism, spiritual studies, and meditation where a large number of the population visits spend some time doing yoga, recreational activities, and other soul-quenching activities.
Bir is also home to a Tibetan refugee settlement with a large Tibetan population in the town and has several Buddhist monasteries and a large stupa which is the center of attraction of the city. The town is covered in vast estates of tea gardens which you can buy as a gift for your home to bring back from your holiday. In addition to the local population of a few thousand Indians, Tibetan refugees many foreigners are finding and making Bir their home for the beauty of the hills and love of nature. You will also find many philosophy students and many adventure seekers living in this beautiful small quaint town. Bir is located 50 kilometers southeast to Dharamshala, McLeod Ganj, and is a four-hour ride from the Dharamshala.
Billing is a small valley just 14 km from Bir and is very popular for adventure activities like paragliding, rock climbing, etc. Bir and Billing are often referenced together since both are located very close to each other. Visiting Billing is quintessential if you are visiting Bir.
Bir Billing is a place where you can enjoy the adventure activities, relax in the lap of nature. There cannot be a perfect weekend getaway than Bir Billing if you want to enjoy nature in its purest form and enjoy adventure activities like Paragliding.
How To Reach Bir Billing?
Bir Billing is well connected to the plains and all the nearby major cities. There are several means of transport available to travel to Bir. You can choose from the planes, trains, buses, or taxis to reach this heavenly town in the lap of Himalayas.
- Air Travel: The closest airport to Bir is the Dharamshala airport, which is located at a distance of 35–40 kilometers away from Dharamshala. You will find many flights connecting Delhi to Dharamshala or Chandigarh to Dharamshala you can choose from depending upon your convenience. And you can book a taxi from the Dharamshala airport to Bir which is quite a scenic drive and not to be missed. You can also take a bus from the Dharamshala bus stand to reach Bir if you enjoy public transport. Image Source
- Trains: You can take a train to Pathankot/Chakki Bank in Punjab from Delhi. Delhi is used as a reference point here. You can take a train from Delhi if you are in the city or take a direct or connecting train from where ever you are and you can order a taxi from Pathankot to Bir which is 5 hours’ drive. Or if you choose to take public transport i.e. a Bus, it will take around 8 hours for you to reach Dharamshala from Pathankot. You will be able to enjoy the stunning views of the Himalayas on your journey all through.
- Bus: Take a bus preferably Himachal Pradesh tourism from Delhi to Baijnath. This is the most frequent route and you can easily find a bus from the Inter-State Bus Terminus. Two overnight buses leave for Baijnath from Delhi every evening. Bir is just 30 minutes from Baijnath. Once you reach Baijnath early morning, you can take a taxi or bus from Baijnath to Bir and enjoy the most scenic view on your way to Bir from Baijnath.
- Taxi: Taxi is by far the easiest and the fastest way to reach Bir Billing, but it certainly is a little expensive at the same time. The average cost of a taxi and the time taken from the nearby places are mentioned below for reference:
Delhi to Bir: 8 – 9 hours (INR 6500 – 8500)
Pathankot to Bir: 4–5 hours (INR 1700–2000)
Baijnath to Bir: 30 minutes (INR 250)
Dharamshala to Bir: 2–3 hours (INR 1200–1400)
Top 5 Attractions in Bir Billing:
Bir Billing is a hub of monasteries and adventure activities in the valley and between the hills in addition to being a famous picturesque spot. There are many places for you to see and enjoy in Bir Billing where you can enjoy your vacation in nature.
1. Paplung Sherabling Monastery in Bhattu
Paplung Sherabling Monastery is the largest monastery of Bir. This is a very famous monastery and is visited by thousands of tourists. It is a place developed, built, and maintained to display and maintain the culture and lineage of Tibetan Buddhism and a place to educate the masters of the next generation and to transform this pure land into the Wisdom Deities’ Mandala. You can choose to do mountain biking from Bir to this monastery which is the most fun and most adventurous way to reach here. This way you will enjoy the scenic view of the Himalayas and can see the majestic Dhauladhar mountain ranges from the monastery. It is not a place to be missed while you are in Bir.
2. Pema Ewam Chögar Gyurme Ling or Chokling Monastery
Pema Ewam Chögar Gyurme Ling Monastery is also called Chokling Monastery as it was built by the Chokling Rinpoche. It is named after his name. Neten Chokling is considered to be an incarnate lama of the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism who migrated to Bir from Tibet and established a Tibetan settlement. Chokling monastery is located in the central part of the Tibetan colony. It is considered to be the most beautiful monastery in Bir. You can visit the monastery from inside and can also choose to sit in the lawn outside the monastery and just look at monks performing their chores and other rituals which is soul calming. You will also be able to witness paragliders flying over the monastery while sitting here. Do not miss visiting this monastery during your next visit to Bir Billing.
3. Palyul Chökhorling Monastery or Nyingma Monastery
Palyul Chökhorling Monastery also commonly known as Nyingma Monastery is located on the main road just across the most famous landmark Hotel Surya Classic in Bir. The one thing you would not be able to miss is the sight of paragliders flying over the monastery on a day when you have a clear sky. It seems so beautiful to see the monastery in all its glory with multiple colors of paraglides adorning the sky. There is no site while will make you calm and relax better than this.
4. Deer Park Institute
Deer Park Institute is a center for the study of classical Indian wisdom traditions. Established in March 2006 on the campus of a former Buddhist monastic institute, it is a project under Siddhartha’s Intent Society. It offers meditation, philosophy, art, and culture under one roof and is a place not to be missed. You will feel like you are vising the glory of Nalanda during ancient times. You can also attend retreats the place offers. Many tourists enjoy the meditation and other cultural retreats offered here in Bir Billing to relax and unwind from the stress of daily life.
5. Bir Tea Factory
There are many tea plantations around the Bir Billing town which offer the best tea in the area. It is always a good idea to get the tea back from these beautiful tea estates for your home, your friends, and your family. Bir also has a tea factory which is another famous tourist spot. People come here to see and buy various varieties of tea and the processing of tea which is an interesting thing to see and observe. They will also help and guide you here to understand the various varieties of tea and the way tea plantations are used for tea productions.
Things To Do While You Are In Bir:
Bir and Billing are the hub of adventure activities in Kangra valley and famous all over India for many activities including Paragliding. Several tourists are visiting this place all around the year enjoying their vacation and all these quaint little towns have to offer.
- Para Gliding: This is one of the most famous things people visit Bir Billingfor. Paragliding is an adventure activity that is being offered at a few places in India and Bir is by far the most famous place in India offering this service. Tourists from all around the country and outside visit Bir to enjoy Paragliding. The take-off starts from Billing and the landing takes place in Bir. The gliders are well trained and after the take-off, you get to fly in the air for more than 20 minutes seeing the entire valley of Bir and enjoying the view of the lush greenery with your eyes. This is a sight to behold and a moment to behold your entire life. It is one of the most beautiful sites one can see while flying in the mid-air along. It is also fun to see other people flying along with you at a distance which makes it even more attractive There is no feeling like this when you can just open your arms mid-air and feel the fresh air in your lungs, feel alive and forget all the stress in life. Image Source
- Hiking: There are many famous hiking sports around Bir Billing which are famous for the views the valley has to offer. One can enjoy a solo hike or with friends and family. The hikes are easy to moderate and difficult hikes which can be taken easily if you have a decent fitness level and availability of time. Several trekking and hiking routes start from Bir which can be taken by the tourists.You can also hike from Bir to Billing which will give some of the best views of pine forests and mountaintops. You will be able to see the majestic and awe-inspiring Dhauladhar mountain ranges while you are hiking from Bir to Billing. Image Source
Some Of The Famous Hiking Routes Around Bir Are Mentioned Below For You To Plan Your Holiday:
- Billing to Rajgundha to Barot – Barot in recent times has become a tourist attraction in the state of Himachal Pradesh but is more of a hidden gem so far. You can choose to camp in this beautiful village overnight and return the next day to Bir. This is a moderate difficulty trek, but you will enjoy the most beautiful views during your travel to this place.
- Chota Bangal and Bada Bangal – This one is a hike with moderate to high difficulty but is also very adventurous. You will be walking on an untrodden path with a view of the beautiful and majestic Dhauladhar ranges while walking on this beautiful path. This is an unblemished trail that is untouched by most tourists and the adventure seekers will certainly enjoy this amazing trek in Bir.
- Parashar Lake – Parashar lake is a very famous trek in the state of Himachal Pradesh. The very famous grasslands with the lake make it more beautiful and interesting for most tourists who visit this place. Parashar lake is the magical lake lying in the middle of the Himalayan ranges is a sight to behold. The lake is said to be very mysterious as it is said to have never been frozen despite the snow all around and also has a small island right within the lake that floats. The trek will award tourists with some of the best views of Dhauladhar Himalayan Range.
- Trihund Trek Mcleodganj – You can also visit the town Mcleodganj while you are in Bir. The very famous Trihund trek is on everyone’s list of activities to do. Triund is a beautiful hill from where you can see the Kangra Valley, along with beautiful sunset and sunrise points. You can camp on the top of the hill and enjoy the views of the valley during the sunrise and a beautiful night under the stars. Make sure you visit this hill while you visit Bir.
- Mountain Biking in Bir: Another activity tourist enjoy in Bir is the mountain biking in addition to other adventure activities in the town. You can rent mountain bikes and do your sightseeing on your mountain bike. Go to monasteries mentioned under attractions in Bir and visit the places connected via road on this bike. You will be able to witness tall green pine and deodar trees, easy to difficult trails on your way to these places but the path is thrilling, exciting, and adventurous and will certainly give you an adrenaline rush. The best part of renting out a mountain bike is that you can see nature in its raw form and that you can stop and enjoy the beauty of nature in its raw form. Make sure you rent a mountain bike if you are an adrenaline junkie and enjoy adventure activities.
- Camping: It is always a good idea to camp in the middle of the hills while you are there. Camping allows you to enjoy nature in its best and raw form and you can enjoy the little things starting from the sounds of birds to trees and even the breeze from a close distance. If you want to experience the real Bir, you have to camp at various spots in nature. The tents are the perfect way to stargaze and promote eco-tourism as well. There are campsites in Bir that you can opt for or book a package that includes both the activities of Paragliding and camping.
- Shop at Bir Road: The small town of Bir has a famous small market where tourists can enjoy buying the local beautiful stuff in the city. Bir has a small market that looks like a small street market. There are local stalls as well as the shops that sell everything starting from street food to clothes, grocery, and whatnot. This is one of the places you should not miss while in Bir.
- Travel by Toy Train: You can enjoy the toy train ride to travel around nearby places. The best ride to take from Bir is to take the train from Bir to Pathankot and coming back from there. This ride is awe-inspiring and stunning as you will ride through some really beautiful views alongside the hills while enjoying a view of the valley below. It is one of the most peaceful and serene experience which will calm your soul and helps you get rid of all the negativity in the world. Make sure you do not miss this toy train ride while you are in Himachal Pradesh.
Best Time to Visit Bir Billing
The best time to visit Bir Billing is during summers from April to June which are pleasant. During the monsoons, Bir has light to heavy rainfall and there are chances of minor to major landslides during this time which makes it a dangerous place to visit. Winters in Bir Billing are harsh with temperatures falling to sub-zero levels. Then after the monsoons, October and November are the ideal months for flying/paragliding. Other good months to visit are in autumn and March to May as the months of spring are also flyable. At an altitude of 5000 feet, Bir Billing almost touches the clouds and is genuinely one of the most stunning places in the north. This makes Bir Billing one of the most loved and visited places with two seasonal times to visit i.e.: from March to May and from late September to November.
Places to Stay in Bir Billing
There are several hotels and resorts to stay in Bir and Billing. But what is best about this place is that Bir has several homestays which will give you a comfortable vibe and homely feeling. There are places for every budget at Bir and Billing and you can choose a place that fits your requirements. Bir also had a Zostel, where you can easily stay at an economical price and connect with likeminded people.
Make sure you book the place before visiting during the season because it gets really difficult to find accommodation if you land in the town without any arrangement to stay in the peak season.
Where to Eat in Bir?
There are many places you can enjoy food while you are staying at Bir. From nice restaurants to diners to street food, you will find everything at this tiny little place. They are many fancy multicuisine restaurants and fancy cafes like those we find in the modern cities which everyone will enjoy. You can explore several cafes here and try different cuisines. Some of the most famous cafes serving the best food in Bir Billing are the Garden café, The 4Tables café, and as well as the restaurant inside the Sherabling monastery. Make sure you visit these places and enjoy your time eating the best food while you are here and discover more beautiful and amazing cafes.