All you need to know about Paragliding in Bir-Billing! Special Experience Share by Kunal K Kapoor & Cyrus Sahukar.
So, a new section on the blog starts with this post – Travel 🙂
All of us travel everyday – be it from home to office or office to home or to even a friend’s place. In this section, we will try to cover most of our travel stories to other places (be it cities or countries or even a coffee shop). If we find anything exciting about a travel story worth sharing with all of you, we will 🙂
This section actually was supposed to start with our honeymoon travel tales which will get published post this one.
So now, you’d already have read the title & would be making *ok-please-take-me-to-the-paragliding-part-already* face 😛
For those who don’t know 🙂
What is Paragliding?
Paragliding is a sport in which a wide canopy resembling a parachute is attached to a person’s body by a harness in order to allow them to glide through the air after jumping from or being lifted to a height. (Source: Google)
Few weeks back, we went on to experience one of the adventurous activities – Paragliding. There is a very famous place in Northern India for paragliding which has even been host to The Paragliding World Cup (2015). It’s called Bir-Billing together. Bir & Billing are actually two different villages approximately 15 km away from each other. One has to reach Bir & book the paragliding package with one of the manyyyyyyy agencies, which you’d be able to spot easily. Billing is the take-off point & Bir has the landing site (named by the locals: Tibetan Colony) hence it’s colloquially called as “Bir-Billing”. After the package is booked, the agency takes you to the take-off point in Billing which takes almost 40-45 minutes from your landing site in Bir (by road).
Now after you reach the take-off point which seems like almost the highest point there (well, it’s 2400 m above the sea level).
It’s not that you reach & immediately your pilot will take you through a ride. No!
The take-off depends majorly on two parameters: weather, & direction of wind. As soon as we reached there, we were done ready with our safety gears by our respective pilots. However, as soon as we got ready – the wind ditched us & hence we had to wait for almost 45 minutes. The pilot told us – if there’s even a slightest possibility of rain or bad wind, we’d take you back. Safety first! Since the weather forecast mentioned a bit of drizzling, I got a little sad 😦 but God was gracious. After the unending wait, there was finally a spark of excitement among all the pilots & take-offs started to happen.
Then came my turn & off I went.
I originally thought that as soon as we jump down the valley, we’ll go down but, no. (This sounds silly now that how could I think so 😛 ) Technically, the canopy will inflate & instead we’d go up, first. That’s also done in order to balance oneself in air. Damn, Science! I had my “Oh-no” face, literally. *Grinning-now-while-thinking*. I told my pilot – bhaiya – please let me settle down & then do your twirls or swirls or any adventure etc. Being kind to my request, he gave me time to settle. By the time he felt – I was being good, he took couple of unannounced swirls. *Sigh* The feeling that I had was as if I was weightless with a blood rush in my head & everything revolving around me 😀 My feeling after the ride was to go for paragliding once more! Check out the following video & then you’ll know what I am talking about 😀 😀
When I could see big big trees like cotton balls & houses & cars as if I was playing a live game from up-top.
For me, the canopy trip took 30-35 minutes however, it’s up to you to have more fun, more adventure & accordingly the price will vary. Just a tip: Check with your pilot on the following keywords for more adventure 😉
- Long Flying
- Wingover (Similar to a pendulum’s motion)
- Zig-zag Flight
- 360 Degrees Flight
- Cross-country Flight
For a standard paragliding trip – the package would cost INR 2,500 (+ 500 for the camera) which would include:
- Ride towards the top
- Safety Gears
- The paragliding trip, of course
The agency will also make you sign a disclaimer about being responsible for one’s own life if not adhered to their rules. Actually, they’d know better than a layman – with respect to paragliding.
Here’s the video! 😀
Now, comes the part which made our trip even more wonderful & memorable. We bumped into Kunal K Kapoor & Cyrus Sahukar there 😀 😀 Yes, they were shooting for the Great Escape’s next season to be premiered in June on Fox Life🙂
I was so hesitant initially to talk to them (at the take-off point) assuming it won’t be nice to disturb them; though I could see all the people around screaming their names & getting selfies clicked.
But then, even at the landing site, there was merely 10 minutes of difference after my landing & both of them landed. I couldn’t resist myself requesting for their experiences. They seemed thrilled as I could see from their expressions 😀
So finally, I introduced Anubhav & myself and they were kind enough to share their respective experiences with us – for the blog 🙂 🙂
Here are the excerpts from our chat, after the greetings & introductions – of course:
Himanshi: How was your experience? Were you scared? Had you done it earlier? 🙂
Kunal: It was absolutely amazing & beautiful 🙂 Scared – of course – when you’re jumping off the cliff – but just for few seconds. Once you fly, it was just absolutely stunning & beautiful. <<*making wings with hands* see picture!>> 😀 No, I had done skydiving earlier but not paragliding.
H: Paragliding would be cakewalk for you then 😀
K: No, it’s completely different than this one. Have you guys gone up here?
H: Yes Yes 😀 😀
& then Cyrus comes & cheers “Lets do it again! Let’s do it again!” We thanked Kunal for his time & experience share.
We then requested Cyrus for his bits about the trip 🙂
Cyrus: It was my first ever & I’ve had a blast! 😀 I didn’t realize that I had a huge fear of heights.
H: So, you’re like a completely changed person now?! *Grins*
C: Yeah – for sure, I think I’ve become a person of faith – now 😀 😀 They did that spiral which was my moment of faith.
H: *Grinning ear-to-ear* Oh My God! That happened with me as well.
We then laughed about how the pilot didn’t even tell before taking that swirl 😀
I got so much super pumped after while talking to them that I even forgot to look into the camera for pictures 😀 ! Nevertheless, yayyyyie! 😀
Look forward for Great Escape to premiere soon!
Yes, that’s my canopy 🙂
What to & not to wear ?
Okay, so few tips about what to wear for such trips 🙂
Trust me – it’s important to know.
Try to opt for a pair of full length bottom & top (preferably with a good fit). The loose ones can really put you in some not-so-good situations considering it’s adventure & things are mostly out-of-your-control.
Do not forget to choose a pair of comfortable sneakers. Though you don’t have to run a lot but the pair really plays a role when you’d land on to the ground.
And please, DO NOT – I repeat – DO NOT forget your pair of shades. At such height, even though the Sun would be either setting or rising; for the perfect view, wear shades. Trust me – I told Anubhav to wear shades before our trip. He couldn’t thank me enough later. 🙂
We did a mini-outfit shoot after the landing. Here it goes. 😀 Please comment/email in case you’d have any questions about the trip. We’ll be happy to help 🙂
Top: Ginger; Bottom: Forever 21; Bag: Charles & Keith; Shades: Globus Stores; Shoes: Vero Moda
Cheers & lots of love,
PS: Ignore the usage of multiple pronouns at places *Hehe* while sharing the experiences, Anubhav’s thoughts have also been included & hence use of we/us.