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Bir Tourism And Travel Guide
11.4° C / 52.5° F
March to June
3 to 4 Days
Kangra Airport (68 kms)
Pathankot Railway Station (143 kms)
Tucked in the arms of nature is a beautiful little town called Bir, in the foothills of the Dhauladhar Range in Himachal Pradesh. This quaint town is known for its unique Tibetan culture, natural beauty and meditation studies. The place is not too populated and consists of a Tibetan community that influences every part of the land; from their cuisine to the beautiful architecture of the monasteries that make Bir so very serene. Bir is known as the paragliding capital of India, making tourism in Bir very popular; especially amongst adventure enthusiasts who love the sport of paragliding. You can reach this wonderful destination very easily via different modes of transport, keeping the different kinds of seasons in mind. The best time to visit Bir depends on the kind of vacation and environment you are looking for.
We have put together a travel guide to Bir, so that you can plan your trip in a more efficient way.
How to Reach
Since there is no direct flight to Bir, one has to travel to Kangra Airport in Dharamshala which is at a distance of 68 km from Bir. Prime airlines frequently ply to and fro from this airport to major cities in India, making it easy for people to reach this small hamlet. You can also take a flight to the Delhi Airport and reach Bir by hiring a cab.
Bir boasts of picturesque sceneries with the beautiful Dhauladhar ranges standing tall, hence going to this serene town by road is a treat for nature lovers. Several national highways connect Bir to adjacent cities, which make it easy to drive up to this beautiful place from anywhere in India. Luxury overnight busses are also available from Dharamshala, Palampur and Delhi to Bir.
The nearest railway station is the Ahju Railway station, located at a distance of 3 km from Bir. Due to the frequency of trains to this station being low, the nearest fully operational station is the Pathankot Railway Station, situated at a distance of 143 km from this hill station. This train station is frequented by many trains from different parts of the country.
You can get private cabs near the Upper Bir Bus stand that will take you around the hamlet in a very comfortable manner. But if you would like to save on a few bucks, try getting around the place on foot or explore the nooks and crannies of this hill station on horseback.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
In Bir, the temperatures in summer range from 11°C- 25°C on an average. Mornings are moderately warm and pleasant with nights being cool. Due to the favourable climatic conditions, the summers are the best time to go paragliding in Bir. Since the land is dry, you can enjoy the sport of trekking and get a glimpse of the natural beauty in the region.
Although this is the off season and accommodation is cheap and easy to find, the land is wet during this time and it may be dangerous to venture out on any adventure. But, if you want to go on a relaxing vacation to Bir during the monsoon season, you will enjoy the cold weather, the drizzling rain and the greenery all around.
Winter (October –February):
Winters in Bir are cold and temperatures drop down to a drastic -10°C in the night time. This is the perfect time to ski, go sledging or simply just have fun in the snow with your family and friends. The months from December to February are the coldest, so if you are travelling around this time, make sure you carry appropriate clothing and bundle up!
Things to Do
Paragliding in Bir Billing:
Paragliding is the most fun and the most famous adventure sports in Bir. You can start paragliding from Billing amidst flying birds and tall mountains, through the white clouds all the way to the landing site in Bir, which is a huge ground that is filled with green fresh grass and vibrant flowers. Summers are the best season to enjoy this sport.
Visit stunning Monasteries:
The serene monasteries that have been established all over Bir, are some of the most popular places to visit. The Sherab Ling Monastery and the Chokling Monastery are amongst the most famous ones that teach Buddhist studies to locals as well as visitors. The Tsering Jong Monastery and the Nyingyang Monastery are other monasteries that have stunning Tibetan architecture.
Volunteer at the Dharmalaya Institute:
The Dharmalaya Institute gives its visitors a chance to volunteer and help out the local community in Bir. You can help out in organic farms and help the locals live a sustainable life with the help of various resources. Depending on how long you plan to stay in Bir, you may volunteer for a short term or a long term project.
Learn Meditation in the Deer Park Institute:
The Deer Park Institute is home to some of the most sought after monks who are ready to teach you about varied topics like Buddhist culture, yoga and meditation techniques amongst many others. Take a day or two off and visit the Deer Park Institute to find your inner self and attain peace through meditation techniques, tailored to your temperament.
Witness the Process of Making Tea:
Bir is surrounded by tea plantations and there is a tea processing unit called the Bir Tea Factory, located near the main market. If you have a keen interest in knowing how tea leaves are grown, harvested, plucked and then packaged, The Bir Tea Factory is a good place to visit.
Bir has some of the most delicious dishes and is famous for its authentic Tibetan cuisine. If you are looking for a cool spot to eat breakfast in, Garden Café and Restaurant is perfect with its outdoor table setup and amazing ambience. Try some authentic Tibetan food at the Nyingma Kitchen, which is situated right opposite to Nyingma Monastery. Dip steaming hot momos in a tangy soy sauce and take a sip of the thukpa and enjoy the unique taste of the Tibetan cuisine. Don’t miss the mouth watering mutton momos at the Ram Bahadur Fast Food stall along with other Tibetan and Chinese dishes.
Wherever we travel, we love to bring back gifts and souvenirs, hence shopping is always in the to do list while travelling. The Tibetan Colony is full of shops that manufacture as well as sell Tibetan handicrafts, artwork and handmade accessories that are made locally. The Bir road has local stalls that sell beautiful traditional clothing with intricate detailing done on it. They also sell antiques that belonged to a different era. Take the essence of this beautiful land back with you by picking up a gift for a loved one or a souvenir to remember your trip.