“I wondered why it was that places are so much lovelier when one is alone.” Daphne Du Maurier
Going to Himachal Pradesh, India for a trip is like a treat to yourself. You’re sure to make memories that’ll be forever. Sometimes it is necessary to clear out the mundane things to fill it with nature and positive energy. And there’s no better place than Himachal to fulfil this need. And the best way to do that is to go to Himachal on a lone trip.
Bir-Billing is in Himachal Pradesh and is known as the second highest take-off spot for Paragliding in the world.
Travelling overnight from Delhi, I finally reached Bir on Saturday morning where the bus stopped at the Tibetan Colony. As I stepped out of the bus, my soul immediately began to create a connection with a beautiful place.
We reached our hostel after a 10-minute walk. I started exploring the place once I was done with the check-in formalities, as the place really fascinated me with Its amazing sitting area outside. While I was having breakfast, the sight of colourful parachutes soaring high in the sky caught my attention and I started feeling butterflies in my stomach wondering- there I am going to be too in the next few hours.
After a while, we drove straight to the take-off site. The moment to glide over the snow- capped peaks of the Himalayas arrived. While my pilot was setting up the parachute, I rested there for a while being a bit nervous, scared and sceptical. But above all, I was ready for another level of adventure. My pilot was ready and so was I. This was the time when I wasn’t feeling nervous anymore but the thought of being airborne for the next 30 minutes got me super excited.
Up Up Up in the air!
From a scenic Billing, I jumped off the cliff. With not a very smooth take off, I was in the air in no time. It is another world from the top.
The ride was about 15-30 minutes long, and it was more thrilling than I had expected, as I got to fly up high above the beautiful mountains, soaring through the cool wind, making my way freely like a bird. Bir-Billing was the perfect place for me to experience the joys of paragliding, and it is no surprise that it is among the top ten paragliding spots in the world.
Trek to Billing
After the glide, I came back to our hostel, I joined other two travellers who were heading on a trek to Billing
It’s amazing how the weather switches when you are in the mountains, in the blink of an eye. Suddenly, I felt the cold air welcoming me as we got down and prepped to begin the trek.
It’s just going to be 7 km,’ said our captain beaming a smile and trying his best not to intimidate us with the distance or the terrain. And we walked through the trail that hung to the mountains, with the valley that began getting steep on one side.
We made it to billing in 4 hours just as the sun was calling it a day, setting behind the gorgeous snow-capped mountains. I was able to get a glimpse of the trail sprinkled with snow. Not just that, it was a landscape dotted with powdery snow. The mountains topped with sheets of snow towered over the valley that stretched for miles. The clouds above these peaks tried to kiss adieu for the day with their colours changing by vibrant rays of the setting sun.
The serene valley witnessed the riot of colours in the sky. The backdrop changed like a slideshow from a bright yellow that turned pinkish, then becoming red and slightly purple, before turning grey and blending perfectly with the night sky.
The Sky Village – Camping site (Billing)
We were offered Maggi and Chai as soon as we arrived at our campsite– the best things to cherish after a hike! We sat by the bonfire as the passing night became colder. A delicious and wholesome meal was followed soon. The night sky was embedded with as many stars as you can imagine.
The next day I woke up to some amazing views of the valley and went for a short walk in the quiet woods nearby. We all joined for a scrumptious breakfast that included hot paranthas and Masala Chai. Later in the day, we took a cab back to our hostel.
The trek was truly an escape into the wilderness. It was especially the best experience for a traveller like me, who got a chance to meet amazing people and enjoy the experience without having to be concerned about safety or doubts about escaping to the wild!
The other best thing about visiting Bir is its sprawling peaceful and welcoming monasteries. The monasteries are so welcoming that with your camera they barely deny you access to any place or click anything. They even allowed visitors to be part of their prayers and let them sit next to the monks. If you’re in luck, you might be able to share a cup of hot Tibetan tea or some of the snacks they make.
Your visit to Bir Billing is not accomplished fully until you visit & shop from the famous Bir road. Its local stalls have traditional clothing and ethnic food is someplace you will surely appreciate.
It was a short trip, but I came back with so much
When you travel solo but find ‘friends’ to drop you to the bus to bid you goodbye: you had an excellent trip!