Thursday, 2 April 2015

Bir-Billing & Baijnath

This post is written as a part of April 2015 A to Z challenge. On the second Day the word is B and I would talk of two places - Bir - Billing an abode for adventure sport Paragliding and Baijnath the famous Pilgrim site.

Bir – Billing

Paragliders Soaring in open air

Take off Site - Billing

Landing Site - Bir

Bir – Billing is a world class paragliding site in the Dhauladhar range of Kangra district of HP. It is about 90 kms from Dharamshala en route to Mandi falling in Joginder Nagar Valley near Baijnath. Bir is the village on the main route especially populated by the Tibetan refugees and serves as the landing site for paragliding. Billing on the other hand is 14 km uphill where the take-off starts. It stands second only to the paragliding site of South Africa. In 2013 it hosted the Pre World Paragliding Championship where approx 150 Paragliders from across 28 countries took part. It is also learnt that it has won the bid to host 2015 Paragliding world cup scheduled for August 2015.

Flag off as opening of Paragliding Pre world cup in 2013 by Sudhir Sharma the Urban Minister of HP
How to reach:  The nearest rail head for lower Himachal is Pathankot in Punjab where all Jammu bound trains stop. From Pathankot one can take taxi to Bir which is approx. 180 km through Gaggal – Dharamshala – Palampur - Baijnath and takes around 4hrs. Alternatively one can take flight to Gaggal Airport in Kangra and then move by taxi to Bir.

The route from Gaggal to Bir offers spectacular view of Dhauladhar mountains, the tea gardens of Palampur and arrays of Pines all the way.

Activity : Paragliding at its best can be enjoyed in support with certified tour operators and guides present in plenty over here. Aside from Paragliding one can visit the famous Shiv temple at Baijnath and Tibetan monasteries at Bir.

A guide helping paragliding

Baijnath : The shiva temple at Baijnath, Kangra has the same mythology that runs behind the Baijanath Dham temple in Deoghar district of Jharkhand. Astonishingly both the places are commonly called Baijnath. 

The Baijnath Temple

The Main Entry

The story behind both temples is that once Ravana performed immense tapasya on Kailash Parvat. Lord Shiva got pleased and promised Ravana to fulfil his wish. Ravana expressed his desire to take Shiva to Lanka and establish him there. Shiva agreed to accompany him in the form of Linga on the condition that he would not stop on the way and would not put the linga on the ground. Where ever it is put on the ground, it would not move any further. Ravana agreed and moved with the Shiv Linga but on the way he felt natural call and he asked help from a passer-by to hold the shivling for time. Ravana natural call took a longer time than normal and so the passer-by put the Shiv Linga on the ground. On returning Ravana could not move the Shiv Linga so the temple got established around that Linga.

The Baijnath Temple Garbha Griha having Shiva Linga

Route to Baijnath is same as to Bir. It is about 9 kms before Bir.

That's for today. Tomorrow would be C. Do visit again to know more.

For other posts on Himachal written as part of Ato Z Challenge : List of post on Himachal Pradesh written as part of A to Z challenge.

Aditya Sinha

For other participants in the challenge visit : A to Z Challenge

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