Himachal Pradesh is gifted with breathtaking landscapes and its impressive views. It has some beautiful temples and architecture, lush greenery, flowing rivers and peaceful hill stations. Bir Billing simply takes it to another level. If you enjoy thrilling recreational activities with a spectacular view, then handgliding and paragliding might be just your sort of thing. Moreover, Bir is the second best place in the world for paragliding! These activities will enable you to enjoy stunning views of the Bir Billing stretch and the mountainous ranges of the Dhauladhar region as you soar above and through its stretch.
There’s Always Room for a Cuppa
Other than Bir Billing’s famous adventure sports, it’s also known for its tea and its tea plantations cover some of its regions for miles. If you’re a tea lover, definitely pay a visit over to Bir’s tea factory. An early morning walk through its plantations will even have you see it’s diligent tea pluckers in action. If you’re keen to know a bit more about how your daily tea is produced, this will be the ideal opportunity to tour the tea factory to get an insight into the whole process of how its leaves end up in your tea bags.
People and Culture
Bir’s population is mainly Tibetan who were mainly refugees from Tibet. After building their settlements in India, they set up monasteries to carry on with their culture and faith. Bir has a number of monasteries. A must-see is the Chokling Monastery, which houses a huge stupa of Bir and has a huge statue of Padmasambhava. Most of the monasteries are different and all worth visiting for their serenity and colourful design intricacies, some of which tell a story. The Palpung Sherabling Monastery is another monastery located in the forests outside of Bir. ‘Palpung’ means the union of study and practice. The Palpung Sharbaling monastery houses 1000 monks and has a monastic university curriculum on its premises.
Apart from monasteries, there is also a Hindu temple that might be worth a visit and is called the Bajinth temple, which is also located within the Kangra district.
Retreats and Therapy
Many visitors to Bir are known to take a weekend retreat and even homoeopathy. Bir is good for both of these. If you’re planning on a meditation retreat, consider the Deer Park Institute here. This institute regularly organises meditation and personal development workshops and has reasonably priced stays. It also has a huge Buddha hall that is ideal for meditation if you plan on a short visit.
Food in Bir Billing will be light on your pocket. Some monasteries have messes that serve a large variety of vegetarian options that are so worth trying. Being a major Tibetan settlement, much of the cuisines here have a Tibetan influence to it. Momos are one of the staple foods around. Bir is not short of tasteful Indian food either. It carries typical Himachali foods such as dahl, chappati, pickles and curd.
There’s all this and more to do in Bir Billing so ponder no more and embark in the adventure!
Featured Photo by fredibach