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Bir neither has major banks nor any automated teller machines (ATM) for instant cash. However, Kangra Co-operative Bank has a branch in Upper Bir and Tibetan Colony, Lower Bir. A branch of HP Gramin Bank (P.N.B.) is in Upper Bir.
Punjab National Bank (P.N.B.) and State Bank of India (S.B.I.) have one automated teller machine (ATM) each on national highway (NH) 21 between Chauntra Chowk and Baijnath. The Chauntra Chowk is easily accessible on foot from Chowgan Chowk, Bir.
A few money changers, such as Friends Network, a franchisee of Paul Merchants Ltd., run shops in Tibetan Colony.
No business accepts plastic money i.e. credit and debit cards. Carry enough cash to meet your needs.
Since Billing has no settlements, there are neither banks nor ATMs.
What to wear
In early morning and late evening, you may need light woolens. During day time, cotton clothes are sufficient.
The Indian travelers do not need a permit to stay in Bir and Billing. However, foreign visitors require a free Protected Area Permit (PAP) for a night stay in the Tibetan Colony, because as per the Indian laws all the Tibetan settlements within the country are Restricted / Protected Areas.
In first instance, PAP is issued for thirty days and with an option for extending it for thirty more days. The District Commissioner, Lower Dharamshala, Kangra issues the permit from Monday to Saturday between 10 AM and 5 PM excluding lunch break from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM. A passport size photograph and original and photocopies of visa and passport are required for the permit. PAP can also be obtained from Delhi but it takes longer.
Note: If a foreign traveler does not intend to stay overnight in Tibetan Colony or any other Tibetan Settlement, PAP is not required.
Download PAP form from http://www.tibetbureau.in/download/papform.pdf.
Bir-Billing in other seasons
Winter dresses Billing in virgin white costume. The Bir-Billing road is deprived of the traffic so the smoke and vehicle pollution are negligible. Walk the road and play in snow at Billing. Breathe the fresh, clean air.
Downpour soaks the village and the tea gardens during monsoon. The village empties. Tourists are a rare sight. The rain and the clouds prohibit action in the sky. However, the lush landscape is good for walking and hiking. Wild flowers blossom and stick out of an array of green hues. Be watchful of rock falls, landslides, and slippery ground.