Bir at a glance:
Coordinates:32.0456° N, 76.7236° E
State: Himachal Pradesh
Things to do in Bir
Bir is a popular destination for adventures sports such as paragliding, treks close to nature and also as the town for meditation. This small town also houses a Tibetan refugee settlement and is gradually becoming a hot weekend destination in Himachal Pradesh. The distance from Chandigarh to Bir is 290 km and is a perfect place to visit with a lot of things to do over a weekend trip.
How to Reach Bir:
By Air: Kangra airport in Gaggal, Dharamshala is the nearest at a distance of 67.6 km away from Bir. This aiport is connected to Delhi and Kullu.
By Rail: Pathankot railway station is the nearest connecting major cities of the country.
By Road: Frequent buses run from Pathankot to Bir also one can hire a cab too.
Places to visit in and around Bir
There is a modest yet colourful culture of shopping in Bir, with a handful of local markets with much of the everyday hustle-bustle. This road is filled with many stalls and shops which offer a variety of local textiles, artefacts etc. Bir road is quite famous among the nearby villages and towns and is a popular tourist zone.
Bir Tea Factory
This cooperative located near the Bir Bazaar is another tourist spot in the area. With many tea gardens and plantations located in and around Br, this factory is very important for the export market in Himachal. Visitors can have a tour of the factory as a unique place to visit.
Pic.Credit: Pin img
This is one of the most popular monasteries in Bir and houses a grand and huge stupa as well as an enthralling statue of Padmasambhava. This monastery is located in the Bir Tibetan colony.
Deer Park Institute
The Deer Park Institute is a centre for the study of classical Indian wisdom traditions where you can enroll in programs on meditation, philosophy, art and culture, Yoga and healing arts, Buddhism and more. Deer Park’s programs encompass the disciplines of listening, contemplating and meditating, leading to genuine understanding and realization.
The institute is an eco-campus where one can volunteer for a number of environmental programmes such as organic farming, sustainable village development, green building etc as well as a number of recreational things to do with activities like meditation and yoga. This institute is similar to Deer park in ideals and practice.
Another adventure sport which majorly attracts adventure seekers from all over the country, hand gliding is a popular thing to do sport which requires training for participation. Billing(14 kms) is the launch pad for the hand gliders and Bir is the landing site.
Nature Walks and meditation at Sherab Ling Monastery
The natural beauty of this little town, with a colorful Tibetan influence can be taken in and truly experienced by talking walks around the place. Early morning or evening strolls especially during winter truly is a wonderful experience which is hard to describe.
The Tibetan colony is famous for a number of handicrafts sold here as well as local Tibetan food. Established in 1960s, this colony is filled with a small population of Tibetan refugees and is a major attraction in Bir. The deer park, Dharmalaya etc. are important parts of the colony.
What to Eat in Bir
Local Food and Cuisine
Bir, being the popular tourist destination that it is, offers a number of choices to its visitors, with delicacies from across cuisines. You can find both Indian and Continental food here, at a price which is light on your pockets. At the same time the area is also a major Tibetan settlement. Hence, the food here is also influenced by Tibetan cuisine and popular items like Momos are almost staple.Other than these influences, the typical Himachali cuisine is very simple as it mainly centers on Chapati, Dals, Vegetable gravy and Curd. A teasing variety of pickles almost always compliments the meals here. One might also find some local delicacies here, which are more or less exclusive to the state. These include Sidu (a preparation of wheat), Patande (a local version of pancakes), Chouk, Baggery, Chutney of ‘Til’, Aloo palda, Auraiya Kadoo (a preparation of pumpkin) and more.