Overview of Hostel
Zostel Bir is a quaint, activity-led backpacker hostel in the middle of a scenic Himalayan village which doubles up as a hub for adventure activities too. Our paragliding hostel, Zostel Bir, is also best to explore a few mountain biking trails in and around Bir, which would cater perfectly to your n
Getting to Bir:
Travel to Bir can involve planes, trains, buses, and/or taxi.
Bir is about 11 hours from Delhi by a Volvo bus. From the Inter-state Bus Terminal (ISBT) Himachal Roadways has started Volvo Bus Service directly to Bir Bus Stand which is only a short distance away from Zostel Bir. - Please find more info in the mentioned link - hrtc.gov.in or redbus.in
Buses start from Delhi between 6:50 PM and 8:15 PM
If the tickets to BIR are sold out, you may buy tickets on the bus to Joginder Nagar as it passes through BIR road.
Alternatively, take a bus from Delhi to either Baijnath or Bir Road (the latter is closer, but most buses from Delhi only go as far as Baijnath). There are two overnight buses from Delhi to Baijnath, both of which depart mid-evening and arrive early morning. (Note: If your bus terminates at Baijnath, see the ‘From Baijnath’ section below for notes on how to reach your final destination in Bir from Baijnath.)
The closest airport to Bir is Dharamshala airport, which is actually in Gaggal, about 30-45 minutes south of Dharamshala. Flights between Delhi and Dharamshala (Gaggal Airport in Kangra) have been suspended, but may be resumed at some point so check with your travel agent or travel websites.
You can make the onward journey from there to Bir by bus or taxi (see the relevant sections below for details).
• Option 1 — Train to Pathankot bus/taxi onward to Bir: The most common way to travel to Bir by train is to take a train from Delhi (or wherever your origin may be) to Pathankot/Chakki Bank (two neighbouring train stations in the Punjab, either of which is fine) and then make the rest of the journey to Bir by bus (6-8 hours) or taxi (4-5 hours).
• Option 2 — Train to Pathankot toy train onward to Bir: It is also possible to go almost all the way to Bir by train if one has considerable patience and/or a profound love for trains. There is a charming little toy train(Narrow Gauge) that leaves every morning from Pathankot to Ahju, just 3km from Bir (below the Bir Road intersection). Most overnight trains from Delhi (when running on time) reach Pathankot approximately an hour before the toy train leaves, so the connection is doable unless your train from Delhi is quite late (which, of course, is always a possibility, though less likely on Rajdhani and Shatabdi express trains).
Which option should I choose? The toy train is great for some but not for everyone. The toy train ride is long (around seven hours), as slow as a glacier, and often crowded. Some people find the long and somewhat bumpy journey tiring. For others, the beautiful Himalayan scenery more than compensates for any inconveniences. If a seven-hour train ride with inspiring views sounds like a great meditation to you, don’t miss it. Otherwise, consider bus or taxi. If you do take the toy train, bring a something soft (e.g. a cushion or a thick jacket) to sit on to make the rattly ride more comfortable… and maybe a good book.
From Pathankot/Chakki Bank: Jump on any bus heading for Dharamshala, Kangra, Palampur, Baijnath, Mandi, Manali, or Shimla, and then refer to the notes for Dharamshala and Baijnath below.
From Dharamshala: Bir is about four or five hours from Dharamshala by bus, depending on the timing of buses and number of connections. There are three ways to travel from Dharamshala to Bir by bus, listed here starting with the most convenient:
There are two daily direct buses to Bir Road/Upper Bir leaving at 6:00 am & 2:00 pm from the bus station in (lower) Dharamshala. (About four hours)
Alternatively, you can take a direct bus from Dharamshala to Baijnath, and from there continue onward to Bir either by local bus or by taxi (see ‘From Baijnath’ section immediately below).
If the timing of direct buses to Bir or Baijnath doesn’t work of you, the last-resort options are these: either take a bus to Palampur and change there for any other bus onward to Baijnath or further east, or just hop on any bus heading east from Dharamshala, including those to Jogindernagar, Mandi, Manali, or Shimla, and ask the driver or conductor to drop you off at Bir Road (note: if you get to Chauntra or Jogindernagar, you’ve gone too far). This can take anywhere from three to five hours.
From Baijnath: If your bus terminates at Baijnath, you then have the option of traveling the last leg to Bir (20-30 minutes) either by bus or by taxi (about Rs 250). If you choose to go by bus, there are two options. The most convenient is to take one of the direct buses from Baijnath to Bir (which leave about every half hour or so and go all the way to Upper Bir). Alternatively, you can take any bus heading east from Baijnath (e.g. Jogindernagar, Mandi, Manali, or Shimla) and ask the driver or conductor to drop you off at Bir Road.
Note that none of the regular buses go to the Tibetan Colony, so if your destination is in the Colony, you can either take a taxi from wherever your bus drops you or take the bus to Upper Bir and ask the driver or conductor to drop you off at Chowgan Chowk (the intersection where Bir Road meets Chowgan Road), and then walk west on Chowgan Road about 1km until you reach the Tibetan Colony (about 10 minutes on foot).
Taxi is the fastest and most convenient way of getting to Bir from Pathankot or Dharamshala, but it is also by far the most expensive and the least eco-friendly, so if you come by car, please consider sharing the ride with others.
• Taxi from Pathankot to Bir: 4-5 hours, Rs 2500-2800
• Taxi from Dharamshala to Bir: 2 hours, Rs 1500 - 1800 (McLeod)
• Taxi from Baijnath to Bir: 20 minutes, Rs 250
• Taxi from Bir Taxi Stand (the closest stop for most long-distance buses) 5 minutes, Rs 100
National Highway to Zostel Bir
Walk north-west on NH154 towards Bir-Billing Rd and continue uphill for about 1.2 KMs and arrive at Chowgan Chowk(four-way crossing). Turn left onto Paragliding Landing Site Rd and continue walking 450 meters and get to the Taxi Stand of Tibetan Colony Bir. This is the point where most Volvos drop/pickup.
Bus Stand to Zostel Bir
Walk for another 300 meters and as soon as you get past the flag factory of Bir Tibetan Society, you need to take a right turn on the Deer Park road, to get to Zostel, Bir..
Bir is a small, hidden village in the Kangra Valley - just a couple of hours away from the famous hill station of Dharamsala. Not yet popular as a mainstream tourist destination, Bir is home to the most beautiful Tibetan monasteries and Tibetan learning centres. However, this is the second most famous thing about Bir. Bir-Billing is India?s best destination to paraglide.
Conditions & Policy
1. Cancellation policy: 3 days before arrival. 2. Check in from 12:00 to 23:00. 3. Check out before 10:00 am. 4. Payment upon arrival by cash and credit card. 5. Reception working hours 24 hours. 6. Age Restriction. Guests must be 18 years or more, regardless of whether they are accompanied with adults or not. We do not recommend our hostels to families. 7. No pets. 8. In case of a group of 3 or 4 or more, you would be purposefully allotted different dorm rooms. - We strictly DO NOT allow a group stay of more than 4 people at any of our hostels. - If the group behavior is deemed unfit at the property, the Zostel Property Manager, upon subjective evaluation, retains the full right to take required action which may also result in an on-spot cancellation without refunds. 9. Please carry a valid Govt Photo ID card for verifying the reservation. (PAN Card is not accepted as a valid ID) 10. Local residents/guests carrying a local ID would not be allowed to check in. 11. You are required to make a 100% pre-payment at the time of your check-in. 12. Lockers for your valuables are available in each dorm room, however the hostel will not be held responsible for any lost/stolen/damaged luggage. 13. Non-resident guests are not allowed inside the property. 14. Alcohol or substance abuse is strictly prohibited in the hostel premises.