“Which is one of the best places in the world to paraglide in?”
Put this question even to the most traveled and the probability that their answer points to some dainty city in Europe or America would be pretty high!
That may not be the correct answer! Do you know why?
Arguably, one of the most amazing places to paraglide in, and one which many experienced paragliders swear by, is located less than a few hundred kilometres away from New Delhi. It is Bir, a town tucked away in the eastern end of the Kangra District in Himachal Pradesh. The place is fast shooting up the list of best treks and mountain biking trails in India!
Come with GoMissing, as we take you on a Ride with Wings trip of Bir Billing region!
The first permanent settlement in Bir appears to by immigrants from Bengal around 1600 C.E. They settled in the foothills of what is now known as Bir proper. Beginning from early 20th century, small groups of other migrants moved in and settled in the lower regions of the Hill, and that area came to be known as Chowgan.
The Tibetan Colony
One of the lesser known facts about Bir is that it is a significant Tibetan colony in India, like Dharamshala. After setting the Government of Tibet in exile in 1960, another major exodus of Tibetean exiles came over the Himalayas and settled around Bir in 1966. They were led by the third Neten Chokling (1928-1973), an incarnate lama of the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, who brought his family and a small entourage to Bir and soon with the help of foreign aid he managed to purchase land and established a Tibetan settlement where around 300 Tibetan families built their houses.
Bir at Present
Bir, like many other towns and villages, is a quiet Indian village with most of its buildings clustered along the main Bir-Billing Road. The heart-line of the village is the Bir bazaar, a small market consisting of a few dozen shops , a bus stand that connects this town with rest of the world and a large tea processing factory that offers tours to people interested in a cup of traditional tea.
Bir is also home to Chökyi Lödro College of Dialectics – a center for higher Buddhist philosophical study; Palpung Sherab Ling-a Karma Kagyü Tibetan Buddhist Monastery and Dharmalaya Institute-an eco-campus for compassionate living.
GoMissing trails are all about experiences, learning and appreciation of amazing cultures and people. Be a part of our memorable and offbeat journeys.