The Himalayas are regarded as an ideal destination for paragliding in India. Paragliding in Dharamshala promises a memorable flying experience across the high altitude mountain landscape of the region. Densely flanked by quaint villages and aerial views of tea estates; paragliding here is unique thanks to spectacular locations like Bir Billing considered to be a world class paragliding destination.
While camping at Bhandardara, you get to explore the gorgeous landscape of the Western Ghats along with magnificent views. You also get to explore the flora and fauna that flourish near the village. But apart from these, there are many other places you can visit to make your Bhandardara camping trip even better.
For groups that intend to explore the region further, weekend adventures such as the trekking and tandem paragliding trip in Bir Billing would be a perfect choice. You can discover the surrounding hidden villages and soak in the warmth of the mountain village culture too.
With thrilling heights to uncover, paragliding in Dharamshala will welcome you to spectacular views of the river streams below as you fly across clear blue skies wanting to capture each moment. As an adventure sport, tandem paragliding is great for first-timers as it is a guided ride with an experienced instructor cum pilot, so you can just relax and enjoy the flying experience.
The favourable and pleasant weather in and around Dharamshala makes paragliding here accessible all year round, except during the monsoons. Paragliding in Dharamshala cost ranges between Rs. 2500-3500 per person and changes as per season and package details selected. Most activities require a minimum group of 15 people.
Other than Dharamshala, you can explore more options for paragliding in India here; and experience flying across different landscapes.
Bir Billing is a location synonymous with paragliding. Favoured by travellers for its magnanimous heights and sprawling views of the Himalayas, the upward winds make for a perfect flight coupled with views of the Dhauladhar range in the distance and lush green meadows across the clear skies.
Safely guided by the instructor/pilot, you’ll be seated in a paraglider and cover approximately 2.7 kms as you ascend to up to an altitude of 8500 feet. If you are a first-time paraglider, you might want to read up on the best time to go paragliding in Bir Billing and what to carry along for this trip
While in Bir Billing, you can choose to opt for a two-in-one trip that covers both trekking and paragliding. This is a great option if you’re looking to do more than paragliding in Dharamshala and are keen to explore the neighbouring area.
This two-day trip begins with an easy hike to Bari village where en route you will discover the quaint villages & monasteries nearby and interact with local shepherds. As you trek to Bari, you will be greeted with spectacular views of the approaching sunset.
The next morning you’ll embark on a paragliding session guided by an experienced instructor as you descend from the spot at Billing to experience a thrilling flight with stunning views of the snow-peaked mountains and valleys of the Himalayas.
Day 1: Go Paragliding in Bir Billing
All participants will have to report to the Tibetan Colony in Bir Village by about 6:30 hrs; however, this time may vary depending on the season and will be confirmed by the trip operator. Pick-up will be provided from Zim Zim restaurant and you will be driven to Billing where your tandem paragliding adventure begins.
Upon arrival you will be thoroughly briefed by a certified instructor who will help you get strapped in and ensure the necessary safety gear is worn. From here on your tandem paragliding adventure begins with a 20-minute flight accompanied by the instructor. Your adventure ends at Bir, where you will be helped out of your gear post landing.
All paragliding equipment and safety gear i.e. glider, helmet, safety harness etc. that will ensure a safe flight will be provided by the operator. Your tandem 20-minute trip is included. The cost of this package also covers the services of certified paragliding instructors who will accompany you throughout the trip as well as transport provisions from Bir to Billing. All applicable taxes are included.
This package does not cover the cost of getting to the starting point i.e. Billing. No meals, snacks or beverages will be provided as this is a short duration trip. Anything not mentioned in the inclusions shall be treated as an additional cost.
Day 1: Trekking Day in Bir Billing
Day 2: Paragliding Day in Bir Billing
Your two-day adventure begins as you arrive at Bir by noon, which is the basecamp for this trip. As you begin a short hike to Bari village, you will discover charming villages, stop at small monasteries on the way and arrive at the campsite by evening to enjoy a lovely sunset.
You’ll also get to meet the locals and spend some time winding down at your campsite. You’ll be camping overnight here in triple sharing tents and sleeping bags which will be provided to you. Evening snacks and tea, as well as dinner is served on this trip.
Today begins with an early breakfast at the campsite after which you will head to Billing to commence your paragliding adventure. You will meet your tandem pilot who will guide you on the safety procedures for the flight. Accompanied by the instructor you will take off from the hills of Billing for a 20-35 minute flight. Post this you will head back to Bir and your trip ends here.
Accommodation will be provided in tents on a sharing basis. All paragliding equipment and safety gear i.e. glider, helmet, safety harness etc. that will ensure a safe flight during this trip will be provided by the operator. The cost of this package also covers the services of certified paragliding instructors who will accompany you throughout the trip.
All the required camping equipment will be included. Meals and refreshments will be served based on the packages selected. All applicable service taxes are included.
Transportation to and from the starting point of the trip is not included. Insurance is not included. The cost neither includes any personal expenses like meals, beverages, tips, etc. nor does it include any kind of costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances like bad weather, landslides, etc. Lastly, anything that is not mentioned in the inclusions will be charged on an additional basis, if used.
Paragliding in Dharamshala can be done almost throughout the year, except during monsoons and peak winters. The ideal time for paragliding is from April to June, and from October to December.
During these months, the winds are stable and the temperatures are not too harsh, making it a fun and relaxing paragliding session. These conditions enable you to fly higher and for a longer duration.
There are two major paragliding sites near Dharamshala: the Solang Valley and Bir-Billing. You can reach either of these places by local transport like a bus or taxi. If you are going for paragliding in Bir Billing, then you have to arrive at Bir, from where the operator will take you to the take-off site at Billing. But for Solang Valley paragliding, you need to arrive at take-off site directly.
For paragliding, there’s no need to wear any specialized clothing, so you only have to wear basic clothes like a t-shirt and pants. But do make sure your clothes are comfortable and non-restrictive.
It is recommended that you wear a thick t-shirt or a sweatshirt as it can get a bit cold when you’re flying at higher altitudes. And lastly, remember to wear sturdy shoes that provide ankle support as sometimes the landing can be a bit rough.
For paragliding, the operator will provide you with all the paragliding equipment including a safety helmet. So you don’t have to carry any technical equipment. What you should carry, is a daypack containing all your personal essentials. And it is recommended that you also carry sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun.
Paragliding is an easy sport, especially if you are going for a tandem flight where the pilot controls the paraglider throughout the flight. All you have to do during these flights is hang back and enjoy the stunning views. So for paragliding in Dharamshala, you do not need any kind of prior experience or fitness levels. Anyone with basic fitness levels can go for paragliding trips.
Like any other adventure sport, paragliding has some risks involved with it as well. But with proper safety measures, these risks can be minimized to a great extent, making the activity quite safe. And to ensure that it is safe, the operators follow utmost safety guidelines.
First, the operators use good quality paragliding gear that are well maintained and regularly checked for wear and tear. If they deem the equipment unsafe, they will decommission it. On top of that, the pilots are highly trained and experienced with international certifications. These pilots make sure you are strapped in well, and they will double-check each harness before taking off.
Lastly, if the operator deems the wind conditions to be unfavourable, then they will cancel the flight. Under no circumstances will the operator risk taking off with unfavourable wind conditions. With such stringent safety guidelines, paragliding is safe in Dharamshala.
While paragliding, the shoes are not at all required when you are flying but are important when you are running for take-off and landing. This is because when you are taking off, you have to run for a few seconds with the pilot to gain uplift under the paraglider. And while landing, you have to run as well until you come to a complete stop - for a few seconds.
Most of the times, the landing is smooth and easy, but sometimes, it can be a bit rough or fast, this is when good quality shoes come in handy. So make sure you are wearing good sturdy shoes that, preferably, provide ankle support. Avoid wearing open footwear or anything that can come loose and fall off during the flight.
Yes. Paragliding tandem flights are designed with beginners in mind. For these tandem flights, you are accompanied by a pilot who handles the paraglider. So all you have to do is hang back and enjoy the flight. You can go paragliding even if you have no prior experience or know nothing about paragliding.
No, unless you are a certified paraglider, you are not allowed to fly the paraglider. For tandem paragliding, the pilot will handle the paraglider. However, there are many multi-day paragliding courses too that you can sign up for. These courses enable you to fly a paraglider once you finish it successfully.
Depending on the package that you choose, your trip can either last for 15 min or for over an hour. There are usually three types of packages for paragliding. The shortest one is the short tandem paragliding session that lasts for 15-20 min. Then there is the long tandem flight that lasts for about 45 min. And last is the cross-country flight that lasts for about 80-90 min, taking you to higher altitudes. Depending on your preferences and budget, you can choose any of these sessions.
No, unless you are a certified paraglider, you cannot fly alone. And for tandem paragliding flights, you will be accompanied by a pilot who will fly the paraglider, from take-off to landing.