Bir is a village located in the west of Joginder Nagar Valley in the state of Himachal Pradesh in northern India. Mostly referred to as the “Paragliding Capital of India”, Bir is also a noted center for ecotourism, spiritual studies, and meditation.

Kangra Himachal Pradesh

Bir is also home to a Tibetan refugee settlement with several Buddhist monasteries and a large stupa. While Billing is the takeoff site for paragliding and Bir for landing; collectively it is known as “Bir Billing” Bir & Billing Kangra. Bir was ruled by the Pal dynasty of the Chandarvanshi lineage.

The last Raja or Rai was Raizada Prithi Pal, who was a descendant of the Rajas of Bhangahal, and who appear to have maintained their rights until the time of Raja Prithi Pal in the early part of the eighteenth century. Raja Prithi Pal fell victim to his father-in-law, Raja Sidh Sen, who in 1728 invited him to Mandi on the pretext of seeking his assistance against the Raja of Suket.

How to Reach Bir and Billing

He was kindly received, but within a month of his arrival, he was beguiled into the Damdama Fort and there murdered. It is said his body was duly burnt, but his head was buried in a tank facing the Mandi Raja’s palace. A pillar was erected on the spot, and the light kept burning on it for years. Sidh Sen’s object in murdering Raja Prithi Pal was to seize his territory, but in this, he only partially succeeded. The forts at Jagapur, Tika Thana, and the Patgana of Nir, with eighteen villages of Ilaga Chuhar (all of them until then forming part of the Bhangahal kingdom), were annexed to Mandi.

Subsequently, Sidh Sen sttempted to seize Karanpur, which also belonged to Bhangahal, but he was repulsed by Raja Raghunath Pal who had succeeded his father Raja Prithi Pal. In a second invasion, he penetrated as far as Kotharli Gulu, then in Bhangahal, but Raghunath Pal was able, with the assistance of Raja Thedi Singh of Kulu, not only to check his advance but also to beat him back with considerable loss.