If the heli-paragliding of Chamunda doesn’t grab you but you’d still like to escape the crowds on take-off at Bir/Billing then head east to 360.
This idyllic farming village is about an hour from Bir – take a taxi to Jhatingri and then hire the 4-x-4 jeep for the 20-minute ride up the rough track before hiking for a couple of kilometres.
A top-landing spot and occasional bivvy site for intrepid overnighting pilots, the launch is exactly 15km east of Billing. It’s on Google Maps as ‘360 Paragliding Camp Ground’. Flying from here early in the day can be stable, but it works and offers a 45-minute ridge-running XC flight back to Bir where you’ll glide in above the crowds in the house thermal. A great alternative start to the classic Billing-Dharamsala run.
When to go: Oct to Nov and Mar to Apr
Photo: John Coutts
This appeared in the 2016 Travel Guide as a Himalayan Getaway, one of six alternative sites to Pokhara and Bir for pilots visiting the Himalaya.