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How to reach
There are no direct buses, flights, and trains to Bir and Billing from any part of India. Reaching Bir involves at least one stopover at Gaggal, Baijnath, Dharamshala, Palampur, or Joginder Nagar. Direct buses ply between Delhi, the capital of India and these stopovers, from where taxis and public and private buses start for Bir.
Facilities at the bus stands in the stopovers are very limited, but Maharana Pratap Inter State Bus Terminus (I.S.B.T.) at Delhi is bigger and better equipped to meet the travelers’ needs. I.S.B.T. has a food court, Wi-Fi zone, snack shops, modern public conveniences, public call offices (P.C.Os), and air conditioned waiting areas, to name but a few. Baijnath Bus Stand, however, just has an enquiry counter, a pay and use-toilet, a bus ticket reservation office, and a small newspaper shop.
Only taxis, private cars, and motorbikes ply the Bir-Billing road.
Delhi to Baijnath: approximately 600 kilometers, about 12 hours drive
Baijnath to Bir: about 30 kilometers, a 20 minutes drive
Delhi to Dharamshala: 540 kilometers
Dharamshala to Bir: 82 kilometers
Delhi to Palampur: about 590 kilometers,
Palampur to Bir: about 38 kilometers, one hour drive
Taragarh Palace, Palampur to Bir: approximately 17 kilometers
Taragarh to Billing: 30 kilometers, about an hour’s drive
Delhi to Joginder Nagar: about 625 kilometers,
Joginder Nagar to Bir: about 14 kilometers
Delhi to Gaggal: about 550 kilometers
Gaggal Airport, Kangra to Bir: about 70 kilometres
Distances may slightly vary depending on the route a bus, taxi, or car takes. The total journey time may increase or decrease, considering the road conditions, driving speed, and time of travel (day or night and peak or non-peak hours).
Delhi to Gaggal Airport (Gaggal, Kangra), the nearest airport
The small airport in mountains operates only if the weather permits. Flight delay and cancellation are, therefore, common.
Air India, the national carrier of India, offers flights to Gaggal on most of the days of every month. The air fare starts from INR 4,892 per passenger inclusive of taxes at the time of writing. .
Spice Jet, a private low cost domestic and international airline, has flights from Delhi to Gaggal Airport on all days of the week. The fare starts from INR 4,774 per passenger inclusive of tax and fee at the time of writing.
Delhi to Bir via Baijnath
Himachal Road Transport Corporation (H.R.T.C.) runs three types of buses between Maharana Pratap I.S.B.T. Kashmiri Gate, Delhi and Baijnath daily in the evening. Fare for the journey starts from INR 835 per passenger for an air conditioned (AC) bus, INR 700 for a deluxe bus, and INR 492 for an ordinary bus.
No advance booking is required for about 20-minute journey from Baijnath to Bir. The bus fare is INR 15 per passenger. The bus frequency is reasonably good.
Delhi to Bir via Palampur
H.R.T.C. plies Delhi-Palampur route in the morning and evening daily. The fare starts from INR 800 per passenger for an AC bus, INR 670 for a deluxe bus, and INR 475 for an ordinary bus.
The price for one-hour taxi ride from Palampur to Bir is INR 600 for two passengers (as of October 2012).
Delhi to Bir via Chauntra & Joginder Nagar
AC and deluxe buses of H.R.T.C. start from Delhi everyday in the evening. The bus ticket costs INR 855 per passenger (AC) and INR 735 (deluxe). Get down at Bir Junction or Chauntra, from where take a shared taxi for Bir, costing INR 100 for 1-4 passengers (rate of October 2012). From Chauntra, Chowgan Chowk in Lower Bir is a pleasant walk of about forty-five minutes.
Delhi to Bir via Gaggal / Gagal
The fare of an ordinary H.R.T.C. bus starts from INR 440 per passenger for Delhi-Gaggal journey. A taxi ride from Gaggal Airport to Bir starts from INR 1,500.
Delhi to Bir via Dharamshala
H.R.T.C. offers AC, deluxe, Volvo, ordinary, and semi deluxe bus service between Delhi and Dharamshala in the evening and / or morning. The bus fare ranges from INR 450 to INR 1,050 per passenger.
A number of private bus operators and travel agents also ply Delhi-Dharamshala route. Online booking is available for these services. Try the following online bus booking websites offering mTicket option, which means show M (obile)Ticket SMS and board the bus:
The taxi tariff for about two hours journey from Upper Dharamshala (McLeod Ganj) to Bir starts from INR 1,500. A limited number of buses also ply the route during afternoon. Buses, however, take up to four hours.
Bir to Billing
A jeepable road links Lower Bir to Billing. The fare for a Dzire taxi was INR 800 for two passengers for the eight-hour trip in October 2012. The fare included two-hour-long return journey and 5-6 hours waiting time at Billing.
Walking or hiking is possible between Bir and Billing.
Note: Since diesel and petrol prices go up every now and then, the bus fare, taxi tariff, and other rates may be more than the mentioned here. According to the Indian Labor Bureau statistics, all India consumer prices for rural laborers have on an average increased by 19.90% between October 2012 and July 2013.
Delhi to Pathankot
Depending on the type of train, the journey between Delhi and Pathankot requires 7 to15 hours and advance reservation for convenience and comfort. A list of the direct trains starting from Delhi and / or New Delhi follows:
|Train||Departure||Arrival||Days||Fare range in INR|
|Jammu Rajdhani||12425||New Delhi||Chakki Bank||All 7 days||780||1824|
|Uttar S Kranti||12445||New Delhi||Chakki Bank||All 7 days||236||1474|
|Jammu Mail||14033||Delhi||Pathankot||All 7 days||216||1424|
|Dauladhar Express||14035||Delhi||Pathankot||Mon, Wed, Fri||222||1470|
|Dli Ptk Express||14037||Delhi||Pathankot||Tue, Fri, Sun||143||514|
|Shalimar Express||14645||Delhi||Chakki Bank||All 7 days||242||1599|
Book the train ticket online.
Chakki (Pathankot) – Kangra, Palampur, Paprola (Baijnath), Ahju, and Joginder Nagar
During good weather, Kangra Valley Railway / Kangra Toy Train / Hill Train, a narrow-gauge train, links Chakki (Pathankot, Punjab) to Kangra, Maranda (Palampur), Paprola (Baijnath), Ahju, and Joginder Nagar. This long journey (because of slow speed) is an attraction in itself. Advance booking service for individuals is not available for the train, but a big group can charter the whole train.