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.Ever year hundreds of participants from all over the world take part in this particular competition. Thousands of tourist and viewers from distant places come to join this Cup. Billing is well connected with road where competitors land off to win this great Cup.
They fly over the mountains of Baijnath and Jogindernagar for selected distance. This Cup is started by Hon’ able Chief Minister of the State. Some important world records have been made by foreigner Para gliders here.From Billing, the range runs all the way to Dharamsala, separating the Kangra valley from Champa. 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.