Bir-Billing Take-off, Biling, Kangra
On a recent trip to Nepal, I had been looking forward to undertaking paragliding in Pokhara but the price was quite exorbitant and I certainly didn't want to spend half my allotted trip-budget on a single activity; therefore, I decided to wait a little more to check off paragliding from my bucket list. During a subsequent road-trip to Himachal, a friend familiar with the area mentioned about Bir-Billing and it being the only government-approved site for paragliding in India; Google enlightened me more about how Bir-Billing's geographically-unique location makes it the best place in India for indulging in such exhilarating activities. Tandem paragliding is done at many other locations in India but the flight doesn't last for more than 5-10 minutes while in Bir-Billing, the pilots are quite experienced and one can expect to be up in the air for up to an hour and experience flying like a bird in all one's glory. So even though me and my travel buddy were exploring the area around Dalhousie, on a whim, we decided to travel 300 km to Bir-Billing just to satiate our craving for some thrill and make our excursion more exciting than it'd originally have been. A package itinerary which included a 10 km trek, paragliding, meals and an overnight camp stay with bonfire cost us only 1/3rd of what I'd have paid just for paragliding in Nepal, making the price of the package indeed the icing on the cake. Undoubtedly paragliding became the highlight of our journey and hence, what was supposed to be a relaxing getaway to the hills turned out to be quiet a roller-coaster discovery.