McleodGanj.Dharamsala.Kangra valley

"Close to Heaven"

 

  
 
 
 


 


Bir Billing Paragliding [ ParaGliding Pre World Cup 2008 ]

Photos Paragliding Pre World Cup Bir Billing-Kangra Valley 2008

Sheltered by the mountains and surrounded by tea gardens, Bir a small village with a Tibetan Colony and monasteries in Kangra district, Himachal Pradesh; serves as a landing ground and a base for Hang and Para gliders. Their launching (take-off) destination 'Billing', is a little meadow at 2,400m (8500 ft) on the Dhauladhar ranges, 14-km up from Bir. This meadow one of the wonders of nature, perfectly designed as a launch pad, has become a legend on the international paragliding circuits and a destination for World Champion Paraglider pilots. The meadow directly above the villages of Bir and Chaugan, is one of the best gliding sites in the world.

From Billing, the range runs all the way to Dharamsala, separating the Kangra valley from Chamba. To the north of the meadow is the high peaks and to the south the plains. The fall from the meadow is about one kilometre and an average straight TTB ( top to bottom) flight to the Chaughan landing area lasts for about 25-30 minutes. If the conditions (like weather, wind speed and direction, cloud base of 4000-5000m etc) are right, one can make a 'Cross Country' distance flight from Billing to Manali or Billing to Dharamsala (90km). The flying is generally 'ridge-hopping' ie. getting lift from the ridges or cliff edges running down from the main spine of the range. 'Ridge lifts' caused by wind hitting a hillside and 'Thermals' (columns of hot air) are used by the glider to rise higher. Thermalling is an essential skill for flying in Billing. In Billing, thermals are found on a regular basis over a temple hence called the 'Thermal Devta', halfway down the eastern spur running down to Bir. The temple can be identified from the air by a red ribbon tied to a tree top. In the Billing - Dharamsala flight route there are 15 or so ridges. You can have the company of the Huge Himalayan Griffin Vultures during flight. Billing is also easily top- landable.

Billing is renowned the world over for having the distinction of organizing the very first Paragliding competition according to the rules of Federation Aeronautique International. The Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Government of Himachal Pradesh will be organising the 'Para Gliding Pre world Cup' at Billing- Bir in the month of October 2003. It is also 'the place' for Hang gliding and Para Sailing. Every May, an annual Himalayan Hang Gliding Rally is organised at Billing. Aero sports club at Bir and Himachal Pradesh Tourism Department ( Phone: 91-177-223959, Email: tourism@hp.nic.in ) gives assistance.

In Himachal, a small town near Palampur is one of the centers.
Called Billing, this small adventure village is one of the centers of hang-gliding in India, and has become extremely famous in the recent past. The bald peak of Billing, above the Buddhist monastery of Bir in Kangra, has been the venue for five national and three international hang-gliding rallies since 1984. The site is perfect for para-gliding too. Its topography makes it the most suited venue for future world paragliding championships. Billing in Himachal Pradesh is located at 8,500 feet in the Kangra valley. The massive Dhauladar mountain range and the Kangra valley below with its panoramic views offer opportunities for high altitude 'up and down' and 'cross-country' flying for more than 200-km.
Billing is by far and away Himachal’s most prominent site for hang gliding and parasailing. It offers nearly a 100 km of clear, beautiful countryside where gliding is possible, and the Aero Sports Club at nearby Bir is a good place to go for assistance of any kind. Up to Bir town you can travel by any vehicle. The 14 km distance from Bir to billing is actually a rock road, whose rock cutting was done way back in 1962. It is advisable that this distance be covered either by foot or if by a vehicle then Gypsy or the Mahindra which are suitable for this terrain.

The best time for paragliding in Bir is from March till early June before the monsoons start and from September till November. This is the ideal time for paragliding with fair winds assisting your endeavor.

Bir has Buddhist Monasteries that are worth visiting. Fine Tibetan handi craft are also produced here. Bir, surrounded by tea gardens and an amphitheater of low hills, is an ideal landing around for para-gliders. Bir is famous for an annual fair, which is related to Holi festival. During the festival, locals come dressed in their best clothes and dance and sing joyously.

Para Gliding Spot

Billing, Bir Village, Kangra district (Himchal Pradesh , India)
Billing height: 8,500 feet

Best time for gliding

March to May before the monsoon & September to November

Best Suitable for

TTB and 'cross country' flights

Facilities

Tandem Flights (accompanied Flights) or Joy rides available

What to Carry , Clothing

Warm clothing and a windcheater are a must, as the higher you rise, the lower the temperature falls, and it can get quite cold. Make sure you’re wearing sturdy ankle-support shoes, long trousers, and gloves. A pair of sunglasses and a liberal splash of suntan lotion are highly recommended too. You should also carry your own bedding, medicines, mineral water, etc. Smaller and more inaccessible sites such as Billing need not have the comfort of even small towns. It is advisable to bring warm flight clothing, wind proof jackets, winter flight suits, rough trousers, ankle support shoes since the weather tends to be chilly when one is air borne. Thick gloves/socks are also recommended.

Prerequisite – Should be More than 15 years and should weigh between 45 to 85 kgs.

Guest House in  Bir Billing

  • Dzongsar Guesthouse, ☎ +91 (1894) 1908-251-665; 251-787. An eight room guest house. Big, cold rooms - sometimes solar heated water for showers. No restaurant Rs.150 for double bed room, Rs.100 for single bed room.  
  • Chokling Guesthouse, ☎ +91 (1894) 268-334; 94180 17934. Pleasant rooms. Sometimes solar heated showers. Many guests have had complaints about the noise from disco-music and motorbike-roaring by. Restaurant facilities, but very slow Rs.250 for double bed room, Rs.200 for single bed room.  edit
  • Emaho Guesthouse, ☎ +91 (1894) 268-197; 9816212678 (TseringGyaltsen@rediffmail.com). Very simple but cheap. Laundry service, also for non-guests, Cold water showers. Best restaurant facilities in town Rs.160 for double bed room, Rs.80 for single bed room.
  • Palden Guesthouse, ☎ +91 (1894) 268-544; 9418088251 (Norlingartgallery@yahoo.com). Electric heated showers. Nice hostess and husband. Very clean. Rs.250 for double bed room, Rs.200 for single bed room.
  • Bir Resort Hotel, ☎ +91 (1894) 268-367; 9810685753 (birhotel@rediffmail.com). Electric heated showers.Restaurant facilities,12 bedrooms,www.birresorthotel.com. Rs.400 for double bedrooms.

Stay healthy , Medical Facilities at Bir Billing

  • Tibetan government clinic (regular medicine)(low-price vaccinations, e.g. Hepatitis B).
  • Tibetan Men-Tse Kang (traditional Tibetan medicine).
  • Homeopathic clinic, veterinary clinic (extremely cheap), Western medical clinic (low-price vaccinations, e.g. rabies, tetanus), Upper Bir.
  • Government doctor cross-roads to Chowntra.

Get around, Places to See Around Bir

Sherab Ling is a one-and-a-half hour walk from the town.
Upper Bir (or Indian Bir as it is often referred) is within walking distance of the Tibetan community.

  • Dzongsar Institute. A Buddhist college with several thousand monks.
  • Sherab Ling. A Kagyu Monastery headed by Tai Situpa Rinpoche, located in woodland.
  • River pools in Upper Bir.
  • Teagardens.

Reach Bir Billing ( How to Reach Bir) , Getting there:
By Bus : Bir is two-and-a-half to three hours from Dharamsala and also two-and-a-half hours from Kangra Town.
There are ordinary, semi deluxe or deluxe buses available from Delhi and other major towns of Himachal Pradesh to Dharamsala,Kangra, Palampur, Baijnath, Jogindernagar or Mandi (all of them relatively close to Bir)
Either take a direct bus from lower Dharamsala bus station or Kangra Bus Station, at the same station, take a bus to Palampur, then to Baijnath, then to Bir-road. From there, take a bus or taxi to "Bir Tibetan Colony" or to the Main Paragliding spot.

Air: Kangra has its own domestic airport at Guggal, which is 7km away from Kangra town and about 40 km from Palampur. Kangra airport is connected to Pathankot and Delhi.
Rail : Pathankot is the nearest railhead. There is an overnight train from Delhi to Pathankot. From Pathankot Palampur is connected by narrow guage railway. One can also take a bus or taxi to Bir from Pathankot.

Paragliding Pre world Cup 2008
in Bir Billing


14th to 20th Oct. with  only 14th oct being practice days.(changed..we have 15th as task day now)

Organising team:    A five pilot technical team approved by PWCA with administrative organization and support from Himachal Tourism, who are also the sponsor for this event
Event status:             
Approved ' Pre world Cup'pwca and FAI Category 2 FAI
                                 (PWCA observer Torsten Siegel)

Contact :                    info@himalayanpwc.com

Registration open till:   pre registration is closed now

Registration Fee:        100 USD or 70euros,(4500INR) covering welcome pack,transport to take off, lunch pack and retrieve.

Prizes:            Cash Prizes in INR as follows (Increased recently)

          Overall        Indian        Women       Serial Class        Team
               
1st     1,00,000/-    50,000/-     25,000/-     50,000/-           50,000/-+winner team gets gear worth 20,000 from www.adventure18.com
2nd       50,000/-    25,000/-     15,000/-     25,000/-           25,000/-
3rd       25,000/-    10,000/-       8,000/-     10,000/-           10,000/-


Program:
14th oct: registration cum practice day, welcome diiner in evening.
15th to 19th task days. Closing party on 19th  evening
20th reserve day and prize giving.

Local regulations: Event will conform to PWCA Guidelines for such events but there are few local rules to bear in mind

  • Maximum number of pilots : 70 + 5 (wild card entries) pre registration till 31st Aug, then selection on basis of PWC letters for ranked pilots(wprs ranking will be converted to letters for ppl who dont have PWCA letters) and first come to first serve for rest of seasts for certified pilots(submit your FAI ID we will use latest rankings at time of selection). Registration fee to be transfered between 3rd sept and 18th sep 2008. 

10 more seats have been added to balance the selection list a bit. These will be distributed as follows: 4 seats for female pilots and 2 more for indian pilots.

Para Gliding Pre World Cup 2008 Event Details
14th to 20th Oct. with  only 14th oct being practice days.(changed..we have 15th as task day now)

Organising team:    A five pilot technical team approved by PWCA with administrative organization and support from Himachal Tourism, who are also the sponsor for this event
  • Vijay Soni (meet Director) Ph: +91 9923922277
  • Debu chaudhary (Asst. meet Director)  Ph: +43 650563177
  • Dilip Kotecha ( coordinator) Ph: +91 9822456951
  • Sanjay Pendulkar (Media and PR) +91 9869083838
  • Gurpreet Dhindsa (safety and web/registration) +91 9816525205 (available after 18th aug on this)

We will be needing support from whole flying community and other experienced fliers from Bir and other sites in India to make this event success.



Event status:              Approved ' Pre world Cup'pwca and FAI Category 2 FAI
                                 (PWCA observer Torsten Siegel)

Contact :
                   info@himalayanpwc.com

Registration open till:   pre registration is closed now

Registration Fee:        100 USD or 70euros,(4500INR) covering welcome pack,transport to take off, lunch pack and retrieve.

Prizes:            Cash Prizes in INR as follows (Increased recently)

          Overall        Indian        Women       Serial Class        Team
               
1st     1,00,000/-    50,000/-     25,000/-     50,000/-           50,000/-+winner team gets gear worth 20,000 from www.adventure18.com
2nd       50,000/-    25,000/-     15,000/-     25,000/-           25,000/-
3rd       25,000/-    10,000/-       8,000/-     10,000/-           10,000/-


Program:

14th oct: registration cum practice day, welcome diiner in evening.
15th to 19th task days. Closing party on 19th  evening
20th reserve day and prize giving.

Local regulations: Event will conform to PWCA Guidelines for such events but there are few local rules to bear in mind

  • Maximum number of pilots : 70 + 5 (wild card entries) pre registration till 31st Aug, then selection on basis of PWC letters for ranked pilots(wprs ranking will be converted to letters for ppl who dont have PWCA letters) and first come to first serve for rest of seasts for certified pilots(submit your FAI ID we will use latest rankings at time of selection). Registration fee to be transfered between 3rd sept and 18th sep 2008. 
  • 10 more seats habe been added to balance the selection list a bit. These will be distributed as follows: 4 seats for male foreign pilots 4 seats for female pilots and 2 more for indian pilots.
  • Indian pilots without wprs rating, prior competition exp or skill level certification will have to go through a selection process to be organised before competition between 5th and 13th Oct 08. Basically this is to assure that they safe for themselves and for other pilots to fly with. Trial distance will be 35km appx. Its applicants resposebility to spare enough days to get good weather for qualifying distance.
  • Seats reserved for Indian Pilots: 25
  • Pilots with IPPI4 or previous cat2/ pre world cup experience qualify automatically other pilots need to qualfiy by doing a given task in Bir any time between 1st oct to 13th oct. GPS track log will be required to be verefied by any one of the organising team member. 
  • FAI sporting license required only for FAI cat 2 ranking, (For new Indian pilots, FAI sporting license is issued by Aero Club of India, located at Safdarjung Air Port in new Delhi)
  • minimum equipment: Canopy, harness, reserve, GPS(see list of suitable GPS at PWCA website), Radio (2m). Pilots flying uncertified wings need furnish certificate from manufacturer .
  • All complaints will have to be made in writting to meet director by 9am next morning or within 2 hrs of posting of provisional result whichever is later.
  • Failure to report back at earliest and cloud flying will be strictly penalised (upto disqualification). All pilots will be assumed to be signed in for flying and anyone deciding not to takeoff shall assume he has to report back. pilots flying for the day shall assume resposebility to report back at the earliest or max 30minutes. In principle land, mushroom your wing, dig out your phone and report back.

Insurance:       

  • Please make sure your insurance cover helicopter rescue, evacuation from site and medical cover of  10,00,000/- INR or more. 
  • India still doesnt have a nationlised rule regarding third party liability cover for paragliding but its recommended that you  cover your self for this upto your own national norm.

Location and how how to get there:
        Bir is located in north west of india in state of himachal pradesh. nearest popular town is Dharamshalla well know for being choosen residence of Dalai lama in exile. Nearest International airports are Delhi and Amritsar. For reaching Bir from these aiport you have following options:

  1. Train to pathankot and taxi/bus from pathankot to bir. An AC sleeper seat in train (its overnight journey 11-13 hrs) cost about 1100INR and taxi from pathankot to bir is about 2000INR. Trains can be booked online on http://irctc.co.in
  2. Over night delux bus from delhi to Kangra (just short of dharamshalla) and taxi from there. Bus is 830INR and taxi from there 700INR.
  3. Overnight simpler bus from delhi to Baijnath and taxi from there bus is 300-600INR and taxi from there to bir is 150INR.

First method is most comfortable and last is cheapest. Buses leave from ISBT (inter state bus terminal) in delhi. Do not get trapped my private oprators outside bus terminal. only buy ticket inside terminal from ticket window.

 

 Registration page

Registration closed , selected and waiting list will be published on 2nd Sep evening.

Event was open for Pre registration till 31st Aug 2008. On 2nd sept evening we will make selections based on PWCA  selection letters (we have letters for all pilots who ever participated in PWCA event or applied for it. other pilots please send details of events participated in) and WPRS ranking and any seats if not filled will be Filled on first come basis . For female pilots a proportionate amount of seats(to proportion of female pilots in pre registered list out of total) will be taken out from open places and their selection made reletive to other female pilots.

For any further information please emils follwing information to info@himalayanpwc.com

Registration Fee:        100 USD covering welcome pack,transport to take off, lunch pack and retrieve. this will need to be transfered between 3rd to 18th sept 2008. Account details will be published prior to that date.

 

 

Bir and Billing are the twin positions where the event will be hosted. This
site is regarded as among the best in the world for Paragliding. The bald
rise of Billing (2600 m) is the take-off site and Bir (2080 m) is the landing
site. The road distance between the two is 14 km. Bir is sheltered by the
Dhauladhar mountains and surrounded by tea gardens whereas Billing
offers opportunities for high altitude and cross country flying for more than
200 km. The world record for out and return paragliding was set at Bir
Billing by a French Man Xavier Redmond when he flew 132.5 km. The
small towns of Taragarh, Baijnath and Jogindernagar are close to Bir-
Billing and large town of Palampur is 38 km from Bir. Himachal Pradesh is
conducting Paragliding Pre World Cup of international level since 2002 at
Bir-Billing every year with the support of Aero Club of India.

Contact Agencies:
Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Himachal Pradesh, Block No.
28, SDA Complex, Kasumpti, Shimla-171009
Phone No: 0177-2625864 (Telefax), 2623959, 2625511 (Telefax)
E. mail: tourismmin-hp@nic.in
Website: http://himachaltourism.nic.in
Aero Club of India, Aurobindo Marg,
Safdarjung Airport, New Delhi-110003
Phone No: 011-24621341, 24620191
Fax: 011-24628727
E. mail: aeroclubofindia@rediffmail.com

Website: www.aeroclubofindia.org

 

For more information on Bir Billing Paragliding email at : info@mcllo.com [ www.mcllo.com ]



 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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