Kangra Valley in Himachal Pradesh is famous for it’s Himalayan brew, warm weaves, paragliding capital of the nation (the twin towns of Bir and Billing) and much more. The valley offers breathtaking views of snow clad mountains and small towns playing hosts to the offbeat travelers who chose to tread the road less traveled. While most head to Dharamshala and McLeodganj, one can still find a few stray ones who decide to stop and enjoy small town life in the Himalayan way at Kangra Valley.
When I decided to head to Kangra Valley, paragliding at Bir Billing was the agenda. But these twin town are more than just a paragliding hub. All thanks to bad weather, I could not put on wings and fly that day, but the blessing in disguise was that I got a chance to explore around. Walking around Bir, one can easily notice that the town is dotted with many a pretty monasteries. The town plays host to a lot of Tibetan settlements, which one is sure to miss if one doesn’t think beyond paragliding.
Walking around town, I realized that there is an inherent peace all around, one which I was longing for since many days now. A sense of calm engulfed me suddenly and all at once. Far from the chaos of cities, it is in these unknown Himalayan hamlets that life really catches up with me. Imagine the Himalayas for a beautiful background, prayer flags fluttering in distance, a nip in the air making you aware of the mighty mountains – life’s all about moments like this, not about the immaterial things we keep running after.
Following the prayer flags, I landed at yet another monastery. I could have easily done a Monastery-Hopping tour that day, though I don’t remember the names of each one of them. What I remember is each one was prettier than the others, with their own distinguishing factors. I was lucky to meet some child-monks, who were happy to pose for me. Toothless smiles and innocent faces won my heart in an instant and I could not stop myself from playing with them for a while. Their laughter and playfulness was the highlight of Bir Billing for me. Even the disappointment of not being able to indulge in a paragliding adventure was forgotten soon.
My prayers at these monasteries were answered and I was rewarded with a great weather the next day. Paragliding at Kangra Valley was super fun and the experience of a lifetime. All thanks to Himachal Tourism for encouraging adventure and making Bir-Billing the paragliding hub that it is. The weather is perfect these days, and you’re just a flight booking away from swaying above the lush green Himalayan valleys, admiring the terrace fields from up above! I am definitely planning yet another getaway to Bir Billing this summer.