I spent about 7 weeks in Bir, traveling alone, exploring plenty of amazing things to do in Bir. This tiny hamlet in the Kangra Valley is an absolutely blissful place for a weekend getaway or a go-to destination for a long weekend. If you are wondering what to do in Bir Billing apart from paragliding, check out these best things to do in Bir.
Top Things To Do in Bir
1. Check Out Sherbaling Monastery
Bir Billing and the villages around are known for a lot of pretty monasteries, and the prayer flags adorn the valleys of Kangra. One of the best things to do in Bir is to visit one of them – Sherbaling Monastery.
Nestled amidst pine forests, surrounded by mountains, the serene location of the monastery os one of the reasons to visit. This ancient monastery is home to hundreds of monks and houses beautiful Tibetan Thangka paintings, sculptures and statues of large Buddha, at the main temple complex.
Be spellbound by the chants of the monks and get transported to the realm of peace in this monastery that evokes pure positive energy.
2. Hike to Gunehar River Pool
Gunehar is a quaint village tucked away in the hills of the Kangra Valley. A short day hike will lead you to a waterfall, which is at a height of 100ft. Walking amidst the lush terraced fields and getting a glimpse of the village life are the best parts of this hike, apart from the gorgeous waterfalls itself.
3. Witness the lives of the monks at Dzongsar Khyentse
Another institute to get to know everything about Buddhism is Dzongsar Khyentse monastery. Located at Chauntra, about 5km from Bir, this beautiful, big monastery is home to over 500 monks. You can enroll in various workshops and meditation sessions conducted periodically.
The quiet location and colourful temple complex rich in tradition and culture makes Dzongsar one of the best things to do in Bir.
4. Hike to Bangoru Waterfalls
Bangoru waterfalls, which was once an offbeat attraction and a secret, is now one of the most recommended things to do in Bir. A small trek from the Tibetan colony for about 4 km will lead you these huge, lovely waterfalls surrounded by gorgeous views of the mountains.
You can also reach by a taxi to some distance, and then walk to the foot of the waterfall from there. But if you are there around monsoon, note that roads can be slippery and dangerous, so take care if you plan a cab ride.
The best time to reach is early in the morning so you could enjoy a couple of hours at the waterfalls swimming and have a small picnic.
5. Meditate at Chokling Monastery, Chaugan
Chokling Monastery is one of those places that you should spend, looking at the stunning sunrise from the temple or quietly meditating to begin your day.
Whatever you choose to do, don’t miss checking out this lovely monastery.
6. Go on long walks & stumble upon quaint villages
Every time I got a chance, I took long walks in Bir and would stumble upon something new all the time. I had a chance to visit villages with as many as just 5 or 6 homes. I met people who gave a tour of their traditional home, and even learnt a few words of Pahari language!
So if you have time and feet feels itchy, then take walks. You wouldn’t be disappointed at all. You can just take up a street and start walking while views like these will keep you occupied.
Editor’s note – 25 solo travel tips for women traveling alone
7. Go mountain biking amidst dense forests in and around Bir
If you feel walking is too much or want to up your adventure, you can try mountain biking around the villages. The winding roads are in excellent condition, and so are the highways out of Bir.
You can go all the way up to the landing site too or get as far as neighbouring Palampur, passing through tiny hamlets.
There are plenty of shops for you to hire them, even on an hourly basis, and you’ll sweat as well as feel the fresh mountain breeze.
8. Spending an evening at Palpung Monastery
Located in Bhattu, Palpung is one of the lovely Tibetan monasteries worth visiting in Bir. The Buddhist chants of the monks, their positivity and an excellent location are unmissable.
You can either go in the evening or early in the morning for meditation.
9. Do Paragliding in Bir
Well, Paragliding in Bir needs no introduction as it is the number one activity for adventure seekers! Paragliding is one of the top things to do in Bir.
Bir paragliding is the number one in India, and no matter whether you are doing it for the first time or not, you can safely try. It doesn’t need any prior experience, and you will be with your guide. Just hold your breath and go flow with the flow!
You want to take it to next level? You can learn to paraglide solo at various heights and styles, which you can learn by enrolling with training centres.
This training lasts from 2 to 4 weeks and happens during spring, between April to early June.
Quick Tip: It’s best to take up paragliding around sunset, as the views are the best. However, this also depends on the weather as it is too unpredictable. But if you have time and are willing to risk it, you can get lucky.
10. It’s Adventure time – Try hang-gliding
One of the most adventurous things to do in Bir apart from paragliding is hang-gliding. If you have been dreaming of flying like a bird with wings spread wide, well, your dream can come true in Bir Billing.
This adventurous activity requires your time though, and prior training. This training can take months, so if you have a month or two and want to try this, check with one of the operators and start practicing.
More Awesome Things to do in Bir
11. Do the 360 degrees Raj Gundha Trek
If you want to get a feel of a snow trek but aren’t looking for something too tough, try out a trek to Raj Gundha, a 360-degree trek in the Thamas Valley. This trek is one of the best things to do in Bir!
This 2-day trek (with one overnight stay) was one of the best experiences that I had. You will get a glimpse of the magnificent views of the snow-capped Himalayan mountains throughout the trek. The trail passes through remote settlements amidst the valleys.
You can bring your own tents and camp once you arrive at Raj Gundha village. Some people try to do it quickly, but I’d highly recommend you to stay overnight in this beautiful village surrounded by mountains.
Editor’s note: Raj Gundha – A Snow Trek in the Wilderness
12. Do Camping at Upper Billing for panoramic views
The easiest treks in Bir that you can do is from Lower Bir to Upper Bir or Billing as it is popularly called.
You can do the half-day trek and come back paragliding too. One of the popular attractions in Bir is upper Billing, which is close to the take-off site.
You can camp at the top and enjoy a sunrise in the morning. Most people start hiking in the afternoon, watch a sunset from the top, camp overnight, enjoy a bonfire, wake up early for the sunrise and then come back to Bir paragliding. It sounds like an amazing plan, right? Trust me, it is!
13. Relax and watch a golden sunset from the landing site
Bir is one of the places where you get ample spots to watch some of the best sunsets in your life. One of the easiest and closest in Bir landing site or popularly called landing site.
One of the awesome things to do in Bir is to watch sunsets from here, as the canvas of the sky transitions from bright yellow to purple, red, and orange, as the sun begins to go down. Spend the golden hours here lying on the grass and watching this riot of colours.
14. Head to Keori village for best Sunsets
If you prefer watching sunsets from the top instead of right in front of you at landing site, take a hike to Keori village, which lies behind the terraced fields opposite to the landing site. You’ll get even better views.
Also, the other place is the road leading to the Palpung Monastery. This road amidst the mountains is great for a walk and a sunset.
15. Visit Bir Tea Factory
Close to Bir bus station is a tea factory, which organises tours for visitors, where you will get to see how tea is made from the scratch. It is one of the things to do in Bir where you will get a chance to visit tea gardens and a traditional tea factory.
There is no entrance fee, but tours are arranged upon prior request in the tea factory of Bir. So walk in and notify when you want a tour and they would arrange one for you at the earliest.
16. Admire the beautiful tea valleys at Chaugan
Speaking of tea, Chaugan village is the Darjeeling of Himachal, with mountain-tops carpeted with rows and rows of winding tea plants, which is a treat to watch.
One of the best things to do in Bir is to head to Chaugan and walk amidst these tea plantations, soaking in all the greenery and splendid views.
17. Try the delicious Local(Himachali) Food
How can you travel to Bir and not try the authentic Himachali food? Tasting various local delicacies should be one of your top things to do in Bir.
From cafes to Tibetan restaurants, there are many options to try in Bir, but the traditional Himachali Thali is the must-try dish. There are many small restaurants serving local food, which are totally cheap and delicious!
Also, local wines and beer are worth trying if you want to get a taste of local liquor!
18. Take a Tour of Tibetan Colony & Go shopping in Bir
One of the best experiences in Bir is exploring the Tibetan colony. The Tibetan colony in Chaugan looks serene and deserted from outside but is bustling with people involved in many crafts inside the buildings.
Take a walk in the colony and check out the shops where prayer flags are made, the local souvenir shops and oh, the noodles manufacturing factory – the most interesting of all!
19. Check out Tsering Jong Monastery
Close to the Tibetan colony is Tsering Jong monastery, which is known for ancient murals and lovely architecture.
It is not as popular as the others, so if you are looking for a quiet place to meditate or explore Tibetan Buddhism or monks, pay a visit to Tsering Jong.
20. Meditate & Attend Workshops at Deer Park
The Deer Park or the Deer institute is not a deer park as the name suggests, but an organization that has played an instrumental role in teaching ancient Indian wisdom traditions.
They conduct workshops and activities throughout the year ranging from Yoga to well-being, and there are also a few volunteering opportunities open for everyone.
Check their website here if you want to participate. The Institute has designated meditation halls, prayer rooms, a bookshop and a fabulous library, making it to the list of best things to do in Bir.
21. Visit Drukpa Kagyu Monastery
Another monastery worth checking out is Drupka Kagyu, which is home to several lovely murals and a lovely statue of the Buddha inside the temple complex.
22. Volunteer at Dharmalaya
The other organisation in Bir Billing which has been promoting a productive and positive living is Dharmalaya Institute, where they conduct workshops on sustainable living.
Here you learn to make use of natural resources to adopt minimalism. This is definitely one of the things to do in Bir, especially off the tourist track. They keep organizing a lot of short programs throughout the year, providing volunteering opportunities.
Check their website here for more information.
23. Unwind and relax in the cafes in Bir
There are a few very good cafes to grab your book, connect, or simply chill in Bir. The beautiful countryside surrounded by mountains make it an ideal place to unwind, so what’s better than cool cafes, right?
Head to Silver Linings to enjoy perfect views, excellent food and meet awesome people. Some of the other great cafes and restaurants that are worth trying out are Musafir cafe, Garden Cafe and restaurant, June 16 cafe and Northern cafe.
24. Take a ride on the toy train
Did you know? There is a heritage toy train that you can ride if you are looking for a unique experience on your Bir trip. This train starts at Joginder Nagar and ends at Pathankot, which is close to Bir. This 160km train ride passes through some of the epic landscapes of the countryside.
If you are looking for one of the memorable things to do in Bir, then hop on to this train. You will have an awesome train journey to cherish!
Frequently asked questions(FAQs)
How to reach Bir?
You can reach Bir Billing through any of the ways below. Most people travel from Delhi to Bir for weekends and also from Chandigarh to Bir, as it is very near.
By Bus: Bir can be easily reached by road from any part of Himachal. The distance from Delhi to Bir is over 520 km and it takes 10 to 11 hours depending on when you are traveling. There are public buses (AC and ordinary) as well as a few private buses. The best way to travel from Delhi to Bir is by these buses.
If you have time, try to travel during the day as the journey is very beautiful once the bus enters Himachal. You’ll be taken through the curvy roads that lead to many valleys and the snow-capped Himalayas. You can check the bus timings and book the tickets here.
By Train: There is no direct train to Bir.
Where to stay in Bir?
There is no shortage of hotels in the valley. The accommodation options in the hotels in Bir town suits all budget types. There are also many guesthouses that could give you a bed for under 500 INR if you call them up and reserve the bed.
Thanks to the boom in the paragliding or just the beauty of the place, people are visiting in large number thus creating many places to stay in Bir, started by the locals.
Here are some hotels that I’d recommend
Budget stays/Cheap accommodation options in Bir:
|The Bunker||9.4/10||Check prices and book here|
|Cafiyat||9.6/10||Check latest prices|
|High||10/10||Check prices here|
|The Hosteller||9.6/10||Check details to book|
|Zostel Bir 2.0||9.4/10||Click here to check prices|
Mid-range hotels/Homestays in Bir
|CBB – Camp||9.6/10||Click here for latest prices|
|AMY Yoga House||9.4/10||Check prices here|
|Parvathah||9.3/10||Click to check prices|
|Astitiva Camp||9.6/10||Check prices here|
|Pink Park Hotel||9.3/10||Check more details here|
|Flyers Paradise||9.2/10||Click here for prices|
What is the best time to visit Bir?
The best time to visit Bir is the summer when the snow subsides gradually and the weather becomes pleasant. This is when the paragliding season begins as the weather clears, and that’s also when people arrive.
The best time to travel to Bir is from March to June, before the monsoon begins. Most of the town activities remain closed during the rainy season in Himachal.
The weather gets better in winter but only until the upper regions begin to snow, and the town gets really cold during that time. If you just want to explore without paragliding being on your list, you can visit Bir in winter as well.
So these are the top things to do in Bir, each of which is unique and fun. Have you been to this beautiful town? Have you tried these? Let me know in the comments!
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