All you need to know about Paragliding in Bir-Billing! Special Experience Share by Kunal K Kapoor & Cyrus Sahukar.

Heya Everyone!

So, a new section on the blog starts with this post – Travel πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

This section actually was supposed to start with our honeymoon travel tales whichΒ 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 πŸ˜›

For those who don’t know πŸ™‚

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)

My experience:

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 landingΒ 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 BillingΒ 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 πŸ˜› ) 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 πŸ˜€ 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 πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

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 πŸ˜‰

  • 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! πŸ˜€

Special Feature:

Now, comes the part which made our trip even more wonderful & memorable. We bumped into Kunal K Kapoor & Cyrus Sahukar there πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ Yes, they were shooting for the Great Escape’s next season to be premiered in June on Fox LifeπŸ™‚

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 πŸ˜€

So finally, I introduced Anubhav & myself and they were kind enough to share their respective experiences with us – for the blog πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

Here are the excerpts from our chat, after the greetings & introductions – of course:

Himanshi:Β  How was your experience? Were you scared? Had you done it earlier? πŸ™‚

Kunal:Β  It was absolutely amazing & beautiful πŸ™‚ 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!>> πŸ˜€ No, I had done skydiving earlier but not paragliding.

H:Β Paragliding would be cakewalk for you then πŸ˜€

K:Β No, it’s completely different than this one. Have you guys gone up here?

H: Yes Yes πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

& 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 πŸ™‚

Cyrus:Β It was my first ever & I’ve had a blast! πŸ˜€ I didn’t realize that I had a huge fear of heights.

H: So, you’re like a completely changed person now?! *Grins*

C:Β Yeah – for sure, I think I’ve become a person of faith – now πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ 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 πŸ˜€

I got so much super pumped after while talking to them that I even forgot toΒ look into the camera for pictures πŸ˜€ ! Nevertheless, yayyyyie! πŸ˜€

Look forward for Great Escape to premiere soon!

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Yes, that’s my canopy πŸ™‚

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With my pilot, Manish πŸ™‚

What to & not to wear ?

Okay, so few tips about what to wear for such trips πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

We did a mini-outfit shoot after the landing. Here it goes. πŸ˜€ Please comment/email in case you’dΒ have any questions about the trip. We’ll be happy to help πŸ™‚

Outfit Details:

Top: Ginger; Bottom: Forever 21; Bag: Charles & Keith; Shades: Globus Stores; Shoes: Vero Moda

Cheers & lots of love,

Himanshi

 

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Getting-Lost-worthy view

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Love this picture!

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Us! *Love* *Love*

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Focus on what is that he’s trying to snatch πŸ˜›

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Always ready for poses! πŸ˜€

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.

 

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