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Things To Do In Bir
As the scorching Indian heat shadows over the subcontinent almost all year round, people living in some of the hottest places in India, want to travel to a place that is cooler to find some relief. The beautiful hamlet of Bir in Himachal Pradesh is one of those places that is visited by people to get away from the sweltering heat.
The small village is far away from huge crowds and has a number of things to do as well. There are various things to do in Bir that make it such a popular hill station and a favourite amongst people who are nature lovers. You can spend your days in Bir paragliding through fluffy clouds or simply going on a trek or mountains biking on an upward ascend. Also, don’t forget to visit the beautiful monasteries that give an authentic feel of the Tibetan culture. Here are some of the things we have collated for you to experience in Bir.
Paragliding and Hand gliding
Bir being the official paragliding capital of India is the most popular adventure sport in the region. The beautiful Himalayan range that surrounds the small hamlet makes it an apt location to paraglide. 13 km away from Bir is a place Billing, which is the point people start to paraglide from and fly all the way to the landing site in Bir. The entire journey from Billing to Bir is stunning, with views of tall fog clad mountains and lush green meadows. You might even find yourself flying with vultures and eagles that are native to that region. Some people also try the sport of hand gliding, which is a little more challenging than paragliding and may need some amount of training before engaging.
If you are in a mountainous zone, trekking is one of the first things to do that lets you explore the beauty of the region by foot. Bir is one of the best places to trek at in Himachal Pradesh with some of the most stunning sites that your eyes can see. You can even choose to climb steep hills, depending on the level of experience you have. A trail from Billing to Rajgundha is an easy one that runs through dense pine forests all the way to the top, giving trekkers beautiful views of the Dhauladhar Ranges. Alternatively the Chota Bangal and Bara Bangal treks are difficult, and for the ones who are more experienced.
Waiting to practice some of those biking skills? Well, mountain biking in Bir will definitely sharpen your biking skills while giving you an experience of a lifetime. Commence on an upward ascend on undulating terrain on your mountain bike while enjoying the serene beauty that this little town has to offer. A number of serene trails will lead the way to beautiful monasteries, temples, lakes, pine forests and mountains. Don’t forget to wear appropriate clothing which is comfortable and carry some snacks and a water bottle.
Other than paragliding, Bir is also famous for its soulful Tibetan Monasteries. The Tibetan communities living in the many small regions of Bir are avid followers of Buddha and Buddhist studies, making these monasteries a center to practice and learn Buddhism. The Sherab Ling Monastery is known for its natural aesthetics and influence of beautiful Tibetan architecture. This monastery also has almost 250 quarters that accommodate monks and students who learn and study at the monastery. There is also the Chokling Monastery known for its massive stupa at the entrance and the grand statue of Padmasambhava. Other monasteries that have beautiful structures include the Tsering Jong Monastery and Nyingyang Monastery amongst many other in the area.
The Dharmalaya Institute in Bir offers an opportunity to people who want to volunteer to help underprivileged locals as well as help in setting up and developing the area for the betterment of the people. The institute gives service learning opportunities through projects like organic farming, natural building and other sustainable ways of living. There are both short term and long term projects that can be taken up throughout the year; therefore you can volunteer any time of the year.
Visiting Tea Plantations
The small town of Bir is brimming with tea plantations all around. Having said that, there is also a tea processing factory in the main market of Bir known as the Bir Tea Factory. If you are interested in the process of tea making, visiting these plantations and seeing the process right from plucking of the leaves to packaging is something that will peak your interest. The tea that is produced here is also sold on a national as well as on an international basis. You can also indulge in a simple activity of plucking the leaves yourself and collecting them in a basket tied to your back.
Hungry for knowledge about the Buddhist culture, traditions, meditation techniques and spirituality? Visit the Deer Park Institute in the Tibetan Colony and learn about a wide variety of topics like ancient Tibetan Culture, art and history, why it is important and how one can implement and spread the values of this culture. The Deer Park Institute gives its visitors a chance to explore their inner selves and build some peace of mind.