The village of Bir, located in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh India, is internationally famous as the base for some of the best paragliding in the world. The take-off point at Billing, 14km up a winding road from Bir and 1000m higher, hosts major competitive flying events most years in October or November (including a round of the Paragliding World Cup in 2015). Experienced paragliders fly as far as Dharamshala, Mandi, and Manali from here.
Stretched along the lovely Parvati River with mountains rising all around, Kasol is the main traveler hang-out in the valley. It’s a small village but almost overrun with reggae bars, bakeries and cheap guesthouses catering to a large backpacker crowd, nowadays including growing numbers of Indians. It’s also a summertime venue for trance parties transplanted from Goa and at any time an easy base for exploring the forested valley or just chilling out.
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