Bir-Biling : An Unforgettable Adventure

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving". - Lao Tzu

The lines quoted above by "Lao Tzu" were evident with our planning. We planned the trip at the very last moment. And this was possible because of continual efforts by Varun. He keeps poking every hour "Let's go somewhere, why to waste such a beautiful weekend". Okay, We agreed. Then started the quest for finding weekend getaways. After few hours of search, Bir-Biling seemed very promising. It's a one shot weekend destination for trekking, Camping, and Paragliding. Since we had to do everything quickly, we decided to get a package and it was one of the best decisions on the whole trip.

About the place: Bir-Biling is a Trekking, Camping and Paragliding destination in the heart of Himalaya's around 70 Kms from Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh. Biling is situated north of Bir at a distance of 14 Kms on the way to Thamsar Pass trek, which is leading to Bada Bhangal tribal region of Himachal preadesh. Biling is famous for Paragliding and Bir is famous as a Buddhist town and a Tibetan handicraft center.

Day 1: Delhi to Bir (The Traveling Night)

We took a Cab from office around 6 PM in the evening to "Majnu Ka Tila", a well know place for all travlers traveling from Delhi. After reaching, we coordinated with our trip guide for the boarding details. The bus left Majnu Ka Tila around 8:30 PM.
We were very excited about the trip, so we kept talking about all the random stuff that we would be going to do on the trip.

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Picture: Delhi to Bir Volvo | March 3, 2017 | 9:00 pm | L To R : Abhinav, Ashutosh, and Varun

Day 2: Bir/Biling (Lost in the mountains)

At 6AM in the morning, we woke up to a mesmerising view in Palampur Village. The view seemed so fascinating that I kept glazing to it for sometime.

P.S : I never forget to capture such things.
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Picture: Delhi to Bir Volvo | March 4, 2017 | 6:30 AM | Palampur Village

We reached Hotel Paul's Manor around 8 AM in the morning. The trip guide escorted us to our rooms and told us to get ready as we had to leave for the trek at 11 AM.

Picture: Hotel Paul's Manor | March 4, 2017 | 9:30 AM | Bir

At 10:30 AM, the guide called us for the breakfast and to collect packed lunch for the trek. We came downstairs, did breakfast and packed necessary items for the trek.

It was a group of 21 energetic young people including 2 trek guides, a group of 6 from NIT Jalandhar(Kamal, Gitesh, Rachit, Sayli, Ekta and Harshita), a group of 6 from Delhi, a group of 2 girls from Delhi, another group of 2 boys from Gurgaon and a recently married couple(both were doctor by profession).

By 11:30, All of us were ready for the trek. Before heading, we bought us enough Snickers and energy drinks for the trek.

Picture: Trek starting point | March 4, 2017 | 12 PM 

The trek was around 11 Kms (4-5 hours, Level: Easy-Moderate). We kept moving embracing the magnificent view in between.

Picture: Midst trek | March 4, 2017 | 1 PM 

After 4 Kms of trek, we decided to get some rest. Despite of having Sneakers and energy drinks, nobody can travel 11 Kms nonstop :P

Picture: Midst trek | March 4, 2017 | 1:30 PM

In the middle of trek, we had our lunch. Everyone was almost out of water, soon we encountered a waterfall and got it refilled. Two things I like most about the mountains: the pollution free air and purest form of water. Even if you drink water from tap, it is more pure than the Filtered water bottles available in cities.

The trek was almost 60% complete and everyone was feeling tired. As it was a sunny day, so tiredness became ultra tiredness. We stopped every 10-15 minutes, embracing the view and getting clicked.

Pictures: On the way to trek | March 4, 2017 | ~2:30 PM

After some moments, the trek seemed infinite. We repeatedly kept asking the guides "How far to go now ?" and they were like "Almost there man !"
It continued for sometime, until we saw a vehicle passing by uphills. Everyone was like "Go, warrior Go ! Almost there :P".
In the end, the trek was so steep that for a moment we thought to stay back and rest for hours to climb.  But, the guides keep pushing and motivating us. After trekking for 10 Kms, the steep climb was like another 10 Kms to go. We somehow gathered courage and climbed it in sometime.
The victory needed to be celebrated with a click :D !!

Picture: End of Trek | March 4, 2017 | 4 PM

Someone asked the guide "Where's Paragliding point ?". The guide replied "Another 1 Km to go !". The cup of victory has been faded with dirt. We gathered courage and kept moving towards the point citing "Biling, Here we come !" :P

Finally, at 4:30 we were at Biling Paragliding Point. The feeling of achievement could have been seen on each and every face.

Picture: Biling Paragliding Point | March 4, 2017 | 4:30 PM

The view was so breathtaking and refreshing that in spite of having some rest we kept roaming around and capturing the view.
Picture: Biling Hill Top | March 4, 2017 | 5:30 PM

We were thankful that we didn't sleep or we could have missed the beautiful sunset.

Video: Biling Sunset | March 4, 2017 | 6 PM

Later in the evening, the trek guides arranged a beautiful bonfire and foldable chairs near the Dom tents. At 8 PM, everyone was refreshed with ultimate potential to enjoy the night again. It never felt that we trekked 11 Km the same day.
The temperature started degraded exponentially, so everyone settled down on their seats around the bonfire. The conversation started with a formal introduction and dinner soon turned into a musical night and everyone started singing in the same rhythm. The journey of entertainment kept going, and soon it turned into an open dance club. Nobody was feeling like tired, everyone started dancing on the beats.
Not to mention, DJ boy was under a lot of pressure :P

After 11 PM, everyone started settling up in their tents. Some people (We three and folks from NIT Jalandhar) were still sitting around bonfire. The night never felt so beautiful.

Day 3: Biling/Bir (The Adrenaline Rush)

It was around 12:30 AM in the night, I asked Varun, Ashutosh and folks from NIT Jalandhar to join me for a walk to the peak of another mountain. They scolded me and said it's a very dangerous and silly idea. But i wanted to go and said "If nobody wants to go, I'll go alone" and started walking. They said "We'll be waiting here for you. Come back soon !".

I started walking towards the place with a sense of both courage and fear. Thought not to look back and moved ahead, it was so dark that I couldn't see anything. I slipped my hand into the right pocket of my track pant and brought out my phone which also decided to betray with 4% battery. I turned on the flashlight and moved forward. As soon as I reached the peak my phone left me alone.
There was a Dom tent installed and 3 Local people from Dharamshala were enjoying their drinks. The current of fear hit me as I never expected anyone on that peak. But still I moved ahead and talked to them with a confidence. After few minutes, I waved them a bye and settled down on the earth, few meters away from their tent to look out for the view (the reason I came here).

I wanted to sit there for the whole night but everyone was waiting at the tents. Around 1:30 AM, I stood up and started moving in the direction where I came from. The night was so dark that i couldn't see anything and phone was already dead. I wasn't sure if I was walking in the right direction. But kept moving. After sometime, I saw a group of people sitting. Yes, It was them. Everyone was still waiting there and they said "Thank god you came back, we only have waited 5 more minutes and then we were about to go to search you !".

We talked for few more minutes and left for sleep. The night was so cold (around 3°C) with icy wind around. The Sleeping bag and tent was a relief.

Around 8 AM in the morning, we woke up to this amazing view.

Picture: Biling Hill Top | March 4, 2017 | 8:30 AM

After sometime, the guide served Tea and told us to get ready for paragliding. We were still afraid of the idea of jumping off the mountain. Weird thoughts keep coming to our mind, "What if there will be some technical problem in paraglide equipment ?", "What if I couldn't make it to the end ?" and so on.

Wise man once said "You didn't come this far to only come this far.", Yes, the wise man was right. Do we come this far to only come this far ? "No", the inner soul answered.

And yes, we were ready to fly. The flight was like this !!

Video: Biling-Bir Paragliding | March 4, 2017 | 11 AM

Initially, No doubt the flight was thrilling and the adrenaline rush was raised to its peak. But once it settled down, the moment of enjoyment had overtook the fear.

Everyone in their childhood dreamt of flying like a bird, the moment during the flight fulfilled that dream and the view was so amazing that it couldn't be expressed in words.

After landing, happy faces recites the story itself :)

 Picture: Bir Landing Site | March 4, 2017 | 12 PM

After paragliding, the guide dropped us back to hotel. We had plenty of time to visit local places. So, we booked a cab and headed to Palpung Sherabling monastery.

It was such a peaceful place. The Monks are practicing here for centuries. As soon as we visited, one of monk guided us to roam around and gave an overview of the culture that they were studying there.


Pictures: Palpung Sherabling monastery | March 4, 2017 | 4 PM

I still wonder, in the fast moving aggressive world how the Monks are so silent, loving and Calm. Sometime in life, I would surely get some months to study their culture.

We roamed around there for 2 Hours. While heading back to Bir, we asked driver to drop us in Tibetan market which falls on the way to hotel. We explored the market for sometime and walked back to the hotel around 6 PM. We had our bus at 7 PM from the hotel, so we decided not to take risk of roaming more places. we stayed back at the hotel.

At 7 PM, With the bus, there came a time to end such an wonderful trip.

Day 4: Bir to Delhi (Back to The Base)

The bus dropped us at "Majnu ka Tila" 4:30 AM in the morning. With refreshed mind and lifetime memories, all of us headed back of our lives :)

No experience is worth without a suggestion to future travelers:
  • The place is best for weekend travelers. You can cover almost everything over the weekend.
  • The place is still offbeat and not very commercialised, especially the trek. 
  • We were not sure if the package was a good idea, but it seemed a great one. 
  • The temperature drops and rises very frequently. So, take sufficient clothes with you.
  • Don't forget to visit local places and monastery.
  • Do enquire about the group you're traveling with. Fortunately, we had a great one :)
  • Have fun !


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