Tag Archives: Bir

Family Trip: Delhi-McLeodGanj-Dharamshala-Palampur-Barot-Parashar Lake-Bir-Delhi

It had been a while since me & my family had gone on a summer break, so came end of May’16 when my adventure spirit, which was overloaded by office routines and ultimate boredom, took charge and forced by my Kid’s summer holidays and my wife’s constant push to move out of the city’s heat for a while, I decided to break free from office atrocities for a while, and traveled to a trip to Palampur-Barot – Parashar Lake, thanks to the expert advice given by my friend and colleague, Vijay Chauhan from PBC (Palampur Bikers Club) who did the honor of planning our trip and helping us in every way possible, all the way from UK. Using his expert advice, we planned a week trip to Delhi-McLeodGanj-Dharamshala-Palampur-Barot-Parashar Lake-Bir-Delhi. Before the start of the trip, all the arrangements were done by PBC and I was handed over all the travel tickets, hotel reservations and Taxi contact details which made our trip an effortless wonderful trip.

VD_1

 

Yes, it looks like a long trip but where the 7 days went, nobody knew. Now back in the city, I thought of writing this blog, as I promised to Vijay I will do after I come back from the trip, and also to refresh my memories and relive the moments once again, I am sharing the details of my wonderful trip with you:

Day 1: Packed all the bags, checked food items and DSLR, we started from Delhi on Saturday evening to board Delhi-McLeodganj bus from ISBT. Bus started at 7:30pm from Delhi and 2 hours later, stopped at Haveli for dinner. The sudden realization of the cold breezes flowing gently brought us to the reality that we are going away from Delhi’s scorching 48 degrees heat. After dinner, the bus started for McLeodganj once again. After watching movie in the bus, we quickly fell asleep in the bus.

Day 2: Early morning next day, our sleep was broken by the narrow roads & sharp turns of the bus. We had already entered Himachal Pradesh (HP) and was about to reach our first destination McLeodganj when the early showers welcomed us to HP. We reached McLeodganj around 5:30am and took a taxi to Dharamkot where our hotel, Dev Cottages, was. We were warmly welcomed by the hotel members and was given an excellent room with fabulous outside view. After tea, we decided to sleep a little, only to wake up at 11am. After having breakfast, it was time to visit local attractions like Bhagsu Temple, waterfall and the Dalai Lama temple and buy local mementos. It was a really hot day in Dharamshala and by the time we were back to hotel, we were so very exhausted. But nature mother did a favor on us. The moment we reached back hotel, it started raining heavily with hailstorms and suddenly the temperature dropped to near 20 degrees. We ordered Pakodas with tea from hotels kitchen and enjoyed our tea sitting in balcony enjoying our first rain of the summer. It was a exhausting day but the rain brought much relief. After having dinner we quickly fall asleep.

VD_2 VD_3 VD_4 VD_5 VD_6 VD_7 VD_8 VD_9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3: We woke up early to continue our trip the next day and after breakfast, started to Palampur for Maa Chamunda Temple where the rain again followed us. After a quick visit to the temple, we visited tea Gardens in Palampur. All the way, my kid enjoyed to the fullest. After lunch break, we started for our next destination JJH (Jungle Jerry Huts) in Palampur. JJH is around 200 meters from the main road and you have to cross a river stream or go around 1/2 km to the hotel premises. It was quite a distance, but the hotel staff met us at the main road and carried our luggage. We trekked along and took a 20min trek to reach the hotel. To our surprise, the JJH was setup in a very beautiful environment with all rooms beautifully made of wood. This was definitely a jungle hut and was our one of the best stay in this entire trip. All natural and setup on a hillside near a constantly flowing river stream, what else can you ask for? You can easily hear the sound of river flowing in your hut. Being close to nature, there were lots of lizards & chameleons outside the hut, and my wife is big scared of lizards (which I enjoy), but to our surprise, the inside of the hut was very clean without even a fly or any insects. We settled down and ordered tea. The staff was very cordial and brought us tea and asked us what we want for the dinner. They have an indoor garden where they grow their own vegetables and the lady owner herself prepared a fantastic & tasty dinner for us. We were really glad to come to JJH and would recommend it to anyone coming this way. After dinner, we roam a bit, took some snaps and went to bed. In night it again started raining and made the climate chilly, but thanks to JJH we already had everything we needed in place.

VD_10 VD_11 VD_12 VD_13 VD_14

 

Day 4: Early morning we were greeted by the lady owner with a wonderful breakfast and we bid farewell to her. We trekked back to the main road again but again the hotel staff helped us. We would have stayed there for couple of more days if we would have known JJH earlier. But having a plan already in place, we started to our next destination Barot. On the way, we visited Saurav Van vihar where we did boating & spent around 2 hours. Barot was a long ride from Palampur, we started in our taxi, took lunch at Joginder Nagar, and continued to Barot. For reaching Barot, we kept on travelling on the hillsides with narrow roads and mountain ranges in our range, moving up & down on the hillside for around 2 hours and ultimately reached Barot at around 4pm. The route was long but also very scenic with long trees and waterfalls on the way and we hardly felt exhausted on our way up. Barot is a very small town with very less population but the moment we reached there we were greeted with the river Dam and the white daisies all along the way. The white daisies on both sides of the road was such a lovely view to see. We checked in to our hotel Roshan and rested a while. Then in evening, we made a quick tour of the town and were glad that we chose Barot.

VD_15 VD_16 VD_17 VD_18 VD_19

 

Day 5: Today our roadmap was just to explore Barot and stay there in the night. We went to the Dam, took photos (though restricted by govt officials), but then you can’t resist yourself because Barot is such a beautiful place to be at. We took pics with the daisies, visited the local temple, had wonderful breakfast at a nearby restaurant and then started to nearby village Lohardy, which is famous for its tea gardens and is a very beautiful hillside village. On our way back, we visited few waterfalls and went to the end of rail line (also known as Khooni Ghaat). This rail line is very famous as it’s very steep and it goes upto 45degree. Due to a misfortunate event in the past, this rail line is now closed, but a rail line at 45 degree steep is worth a see. In the evening, we walked around the local dam and spent some more picturesque moment. Glad that Barot was on our trip.

VD_20 VD_21 VD_22 VD_23 VD_24

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 6: Next morning after breakfast, we bid farewell to Barot and started our journey towards Parashar lake.  Parashar lake is a lake on top of a mountain, and known to be the ashram for Rishi Parasher. In the lake, there is a large patch of land which floats and keep on changing its position in the lake. The road to parashar was difficult with steep roads passing through forest area and the roads were rocky and very difficult to drive. We stopped for lunch at a local restaurant and reached Parasher around 4pm. First thing we checked into the government guest house that we booked (not very good with very little facilities. Also there was no power in our room due to some short-circut, but there is no other option of stay in parasher, the nearest village is around 15kms, passing through the forest area, which is not advisable in evening). Anyway, we settled down and trekked to Parashar lake walking. To our relief, we found Parasher lake very beautiful and soothing. It is a perfect setup for a lake – a lake in between with temple on it’s side, and all surrounded with mountains. and the best part – the floating land in the lake. We visited Rishi Parashar temple and did another round of photoshoots near the lake. Being on the top of the mountain, it was really cold there, around 15 deg). After spending around 2 hours there, we took our dinner at a nearby shop (a well-deserved Rajma-chawal at that place), only to come back to our guest house where we just dropped down on the bed and slept.

VD_25 VD_26 VD_27 VD_28 VD_29 VD_30 VD_31 VD_32 VD_33

 

Day 7: Got up early, we did a quick revisit to Parashar lake and came back to Guest house. Since Parashar was the farthest point on our trip, we started from Parashar soon and begin our way down to Palampur. Long drive on the way back, it took around 4-5 hours to reach Palampur. On our way back we visited Bhatu monastery, Bijnath temple, the Bir Paragliding site and the beautiful Bir Monastery. Checked into Palampur Hotel Suryadev, a good hotel and spent the day resting.

VD_34 VD_35 VD_36 VD_37 VD_38 VD_40 VD_41 VD_42 VD_44

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 8: Our last day on the trip, we checked out of the hotel at 12pm and visited Jakhani mata temple and planned to revisit Saurav Van vihar(SVV). But being our last day, rain suddenly came to give us a farewell. With heavy downpours and hailstorms for more than a hour, we discarded the thought of SVV, and had lunch at Neugal Cafe. It was 3pm and our bus to way back was at 5pm, so we spent our one hour at CCD in Palampur, with awesome cold coffees. Bus was late due to heavy rains but it was a very comfortable ride back to home.

VD_45 VD_46 VD_47 VD_48 VD_49 VD_50 VD_51 VD_52

 

I’m attaching pictures of my fantastic trip, perfectly planned by PBC, and I am really glad that we took some time off and came on this trip. My wife had great relief from Delhi heat and household work, my kid had a great time and also that he can tell his teacher all the places he visited and activities he did but I’m just happy that I kept my adventure spirit alive, only to go on another trip perfectly planned by PBC.

Thanks PBC for making our trip a roaring awesome trip and helping us all the way. Cheers!!

Vijay Dhania

Trip to Triund Palampur Bir Billing

Palampur Bikers Club hosted a corporate trip to Triund/Palampur/Bir Billing for NTT Data Employees from June 3-7, 2015. The journey began with 12 NTT employees boarding the train to Pathankot from Old Delhi railway station and from Pathankot the group took taxis to reach McLeod Ganj. At McLeod Ganj everyone headed out for a city tour which included visiting places like Kalachakra Temple, Bhagsunag Temple, Bhagsu waterfall, Mall road and the day ended with some local shopping.

Breakfast at hotel in Dharamkot Mcleod Ganj
Breakfast at hotel in Dharamkot Mcleod Ganj

 

Picture with locals
Picture with locals

 

Trekking to Bhagsu Nag Water Falls
Trekking to Bhagsu Nag Water Falls

 

Playing with water at Bhagsu Nag Water Fall
Playing with water at Bhagsu Nag Water Fall

 

Group picture in front of Bhagsu Nag water fall
Group picture in front of Bhagsu Nag water fall

 

On the second day a beautiful and scenic trek to Triund was planned. The track was really rocky and narrow. So helping each other the group continued their journey and reached their first stoppage the place called “Magic point”. Everyone rested there for some time, regained the energy and started the journey again.

Walked out of the hotel at Dharamkot to start the Triund Trek
Walked out of the hotel at Dharamkot to start the Triund Trek
Started the Triund Trek from Dharamkot
Started the Triund Trek from Dharamkot

Taking a small break in the trek

Was not easy to carry the children over shoulder. Dad and daughter taking small nap in the trek
Was not easy to carry the children over shoulder. Dad and daughter taking small nap in the trek

 

Group Photo at Magic View cafe
Group Photo at Magic View cafe

 

Sign of victory. Saw the destination Triund Hill
Sign of victory. Saw the destination Triund Hill

 

Meditation break :)
Meditation break 🙂

 

Reaching the top of the mountain after the trek was an experience in itself and everyone was mesmerized with the beautiful snow covered peaks that surrounded them.  The group stayed at the hill top that night, in tents and to add to the fun a bonfire was arranged as well. Everyone enjoyed their dinner, with some singing under the starry skies. Next morning, seeing the sun rise from top of the hill was a breath taking view. The group headed back to McLeod Ganj after breakfast.

Joy of accomplishment
Joy of accomplishment

 

Bone Fire in evening at Triund
Bone Fire in evening at Triund

 

Picture at the top of the hill
Picture at the top of the hill

 

Tents where we spent out night
Tents where we spent out night

On the third day the group headed to Palampur by road which was about an hour from McLeod Ganj. En route to Palampur seeing the tea gardens spread across both the sides of the road was a delight to the eyes. The group got dropped off to a point from where everyone walked to the resort. It was a thrilling experience to reach the resort as it required to cross a large stream with slight water currents and rocks. The night was well spent in the resort with everyone relaxing and playing some fun games.

Tea gardens on the way to Palampur from Mcleod Ganj
Tea gardens on the way to Palampur from Mcleod Ganj

 

Water crossing at Palampur
Water crossing at Palampur

 

Evening gossips at Jerry's Jungle huts Palampur
Evening gossips at Jerry’s Jungle huts Palampur

 

Relaxing in a wooden hut at Jerry's Jungle Huts Palampur
Relaxing in a wooden hut at Jerry’s Jungle Huts Palampur

 

Enjoying the morning tea at Jerry's Jungle Huts
Enjoying the morning tea at Jerry’s Jungle Huts

The excitement continued the next day. The day started with each participant planting a tree at Palampur. After planting trees some of the group members decided to go to Billing for Paragliding, while others stayed back at the resort. The point of take-off was a comfortable flat meadow. Once the group experienced paragliding, some of them described it as “life’s best moment, to be in the air 27000 feet from ground level much above the mountains”. The sail was for about 20 minutes and landed in Bir. Everyone then returned to their resort to start the journey back to Delhi.

Planting a tree
Planting a tree

 

Planting a tree
Planting a tree

 

Planting a tree
Planting a tree

 

Getting ready for para gliding takeoff at Billing
Getting ready for para gliding takeoff at Billing

Post all the thrilling experiences the trip came to an end with a taxi ride from Palampur to Pathankot and then boarding the train back to Delhi. The group reached Delhi early morning and parted with all the wonderful memories to be cherished forever.

We would like to thank all the participants for making this trip a wonderful experience for all.

Bir Billing – Kangra (Himachal Pradesh , India)

Bir: Bir is a village located in the west of the state of Himachal Pradesh in northern India. Bir is a noted center for ecotourism, spiritual studies and meditation. Bir is also home to a Tibetan refugee settlement with several Buddhist monasteries and a large stupa. It is situated approximately 50 km of Dharamshala on Pathankot – Mandi National Highway 20.It would take you approx 3 hrs to reach Bir by road.

Billing: Billing is noted as a popular site for paragliding approx 14 kms from Bir. A narrow but fairly good road can take you to Billing site at approx. 2540 mtrs above sea level in an hour. The paragliding launch site is in the meadow at Billing while the landing site and most tourist accommodations are in the village of Chowgan at Bir.

Location Map

Bir - Billing (Kangra , Himachal)
Bir – Billing (Kangra , Himachal)

What to do?

Meditation: Periodic classes seminars on a variety of topics including philosophy, meditation, health, ecology, spiritual retreats for stress release and holistic living. There are institutes who offer variety of these courses.

Paragliding: This is probably the biggest attraction to adventure seekers. Bir is regarded by international paragliding groups as the second best site in the world for paragliding. The launch site is located at Billing (14 kms) motor-able road. While experienced pilots bring their own gliders and fly solo, beginners can take flights, in which a skilled instructor takes you up in a two-seated glider. This allows the beginner to have the experience with minimal risk.The Paragliding World Cup 2015 will be organized from October 24-31 under the aegis of Para-gliding World Cup Association, France. India bid to host the World Cup and won because of the sound infrastructure that was set up at Bir-Billing for the paragliding pre-World Cup-2013. 2 years after successfully hosting the paragliding pre-World Cup amidst the mountains of Himachal Pradesh, the mega tournament will now be held in the country for the first time. India will host the Paragliding World Cup 2015 in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, which is considered one of the finest aero sports sites in the world.

Monastery: Chokling Monastery , Palyul Chokhorling Monastery , Sherab Ling Monastery.

Weather:

Avg. summer temperature

34 °C (93 °F)
Avg. winter temperature −4 °C (25 °F)

For current weather conditions you can also refer to www.meoweather.com/weather/India/na/32.05/76.7/Bir.html?units=c#

How to get there:

By Air: The closest airport to Bir is Dharamshala airport(known as Gaggal) aprox 30-45 minutes from Dharamshala and there are direct flights from Delhi to Gaggal. Please be advised that due to weather and other issues Delhi – Gaggal flights are often canceled at the last minute. It will be better to have an alternative plan ready just in case this happens.

By Train:
There are 2 options if you prefer trains:
1-Train from Delhi to Pathankot/ Chakki Bank and then bus/taxi to Bir (5-6 hrs)
2-Train from Delhi to Pathankot/ Chakki Bank and then narrow gauge train onwards to Ahju (3 kms from Bir) – Delhi – Pathankot (550 kms , 10 hrs) + Pathankot – Ahju (245 kms , 8-9 hrs)

By Bus: Delhi to Bir is about 12-14 hours journey. Daily Volvo bus service by Himachal Roadways is available from ISBT Kashmiri Gate till Baijnath (15 kms from Bir).Alternatively you can also get a direct bus (Non-Volvo) till Bir Road (3 kms from Bir) , Look for Delhi – Jogindernagar bus.

From Dharamshala: Although regular buses ply on this route but a direct bus will be less frequent. You can hop on to any bus bound for Palampur and continue from Palampur to Bir. Since Dharamshala is not on National Highway 20 route (Pathankot – Mandi) hence long route buses which pass thru Bir are less frequent from Dharamshala.

Want to visit Bir-Billing? We can prepare your personalized travel plan for FREE based on your requirements and suggest you the hidden gems of Bir-Billing.  Click here to start the process