A flight above the clouds- Paragliding in Bir Billing
Adventure is an exciting, unusual and hazardous experience. Who wants to live their lives in the comfort zone? Maybe many.
But I want to live a life that exhilarates and excites me. A life where passion becomes my bread and excitement becomes my sweat. My bucketlist is full of adventurous adventures and I keep adding more to it. Just to put a tick to one on my list, I planned for paragliding in Bir Billing..
Me and my companion boarded a bus at night around 9 PM and reached Mandi early in morning. The valley of Joginder Nagar where Bir village is located, was about 80 kms away from Mandi. We boarded the bus from Mandi to Bir at 8 am, the bus dropped us at Bir road around 11 am. The place generally remains busy and crowded but fortunately we managed to ease past it. We started looking for homestays around the area which are not very difficult to find. suddenly between our hunt a kid with a pamphlet came running and asked us if we were there for the Paragliding. We acknowledged his query, and he started his pitch. The pitch was aggressive and compelling at the same moment. We were convinced, it was then when he picked my backpack and started walking. He took us to the one in charge, who apparently was also the flight coach/trainer. On initially pitched INR 5000/- we got a good discount and we settled in at INR 4400/- for two which also includes videography on GoPro. Paragliding in Bir Billing is for 15 to 30 mins which include take off from Billing at the altitude of 8020 feet. We left our bags in a shack shop and hopped on a car which took us to the summit point. We were absolutely pumped and ready to spread our wings. During the journey till the summit we started discussing the flight and how it is going to be, which scared my partner to bits. Somehow we managed to pull his pants up and reach the summit. We got down of our car, the guide started preparing us for the jump. We got our kits and gears, which made the moment more exciting. We started walking towards the starting cliff, it was a long green steep slope. Other aviators were discussing strategies on how to take off and land while some were busy checking their kits.
We finally reached the top and started waiting for our turn to make the jump. The guides started instructing us of the safety measures, after doing his basic chores of keeping the gliders and harness in position, checking for the damages, inspecting for holes and patches and checking the direction of the winds (which apparently should not be coming from the side we were facing).
At that the moment, I too got scared. My heart started pounding heavily. My partner was having serious doubts after he saw others making the jump. His heart was in his mouth. Somehow we managed to brave up and got all geared up. We were ready to run down the steep slope for the flight. There comes our turn to make the run, my partner started running like a bull and upon reaching the cliff he made the jump. For a moment I thought I will have to travel back to Delhi alone now as he is not going ti survive the fall but somehow the expert Paraglider took him up where was shouting like pigs. After 5 minutes it was my turn to make the jump, I ran with all the force I had in my thighs and upon reaching the cliff, wind pushed the wings and in few seconds the land swept from under my feet and I was flying. Mother Earth was beneath me, there was no fear, I kept quiet, spread my arms and let the wind take me wherever it wants me to be. I was shouting, it was not a shout out of fear but out of excitement. The whole mountain valley was visible. The guide made me do some random actions in the sky. Those stunts took my breath away. We were slowly going down and it was time to land now. The speed got faster as we were going down. The guide asked me to keep my legs and knees in a particular way so that we don’t land directly on our feet. While landing I could see my partner waving and cheering. It was a successful and safe landing. I got out of my gear and ran towards my partner.
The 15 minute paragliding in Bir Billing through the cloud was mesmerising and stunning. Those 15 minutes gave me lifetime worth of memories, and experience which I will cherish for the rest of my life.
After we were done with the main event we started looking for a place to stay. It was just 3 pm. We had our lunch and decided to leave the same day for Tosh. It took 6 hours to reach tosh. You can easily find accommodation in Tosh, where we lived for the next two days.
This unplanned short trip was worth putting into my bucket list. Paragliding in Bir Billing is absolutely safe and a worthwhile experience. The air there was so clean that you would never want to come down. Up there I realised one thing that we need to fill our lives with experiences and stories, not things. Have stories to tell, not things to show.
We dared to fly in the beautiful skies of Bir Biling. We would love to know about your experience and see your crazy videos as well.