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Pathankot Cantt. Station

Pathankot Cantonment station at Punjab is where you alight. You then take a cab or minibus to reach Bir which is in Himachal Pradesh.

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On the way, you will find streams, which will leave you spellbound.

Bir, located in Kangra District of Himachal Pradesh is a beautiful town renowned for meditation studies and ecotourism. One can wade through tea gardens into the forests and mountains in the north. The inhabitants are friendly, relaxed Indians and Tibetan (Khampa) community. Bir Tibetan Colony came into existence around 1960, following the exile of Dalai Lama and other refugees. There are many Tibetan monasteries, center of handicrafts, Children’s Village school, Medical clinic and Deer Park Institute.

Deer Park Institute Monastery

Deer Park Institute Monastery

Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche founded Deer Park Institute which is a centre for the study of classical Indian wisdom traditions. Rinpoche is a term used to honour or shows respect to the ‘precious one’-older, respected, spiritual teacher.

A centre for study of classical Indian wisdom traditions
Breath-taking view of surroundings

Breath-taking view of the surroundings.

Deer Park institute, Bir, Himachal Pradesh

Inside the premises of Deer Park institute, Bir

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Buddha hall inside the monastery

Within the monastery or Buddha Hall, in the presence of Buddha, it is peaceful for meditation. Meditation in the broader sense will include techniques for relaxation, building up internal energy and empathy, love, patience, generosity and forgiveness. Meditation has been practiced since ages in religious traditions and beliefs. It has health benefits too, easing blood pressure, depression and anxiety. It can be done in many ways, from sitting in the way Buddhist monks sit, to chanting mantras with prayer beads and closed eyes. It has a calming effect which creates inward awareness.

Roses in Deer Park institute

Roses in Deer Park Institute

a panaromic view of Deer Park institute and monastery

A panoramic view of Deer Park Institute and monastery

music concert at Deer Park institute

Inside Deer Park institute, you can see an Indian classical performance which stays true to what the centre’s aim is the study of classical Indian wisdom traditions. Not very far from this place is Billing.

The path leading to Billing, a Para glider's paradise.

The path leading to Billing, a Para glider’s paradise.

Bir Paragliding competition

An international Paragliding competition held by Paragliding World Cup Association from 24-30 October.

Billing from where paraglider's take-off.

Billing from where the paraglider’s would take-off. The launch point is approximately 2400 meters in the meadow on the top of a ridge at Billing and the landing area is in the fields near the tea garden of the Tibetan Colony in Chowgan.

a paraglider flying over the valley.

A paraglider, flying over the valley. It is among the top ten flying sites in the world. It is best to fly in good weather with strong thermals and no rain. You need to keep a watch on the clouds while flying. While nearing landing, need to watch out for power lines as it becomes difficult to see from a distance.

Lama's in Bir

Lama’s- Although, the term ‘Lama’, is used for a spiritual leader in Tibetan Buddhism but is now extended to respected monk or priest.

Chauntra monastery– Dzongasar Khyentse Rinpoche institute at Chauntra is a renowned educational institution. The institution is situated in Chauntra Town of Mandi district in Himachal Pradesh, India.

Chauntra monastery

The first view as you enter this monastery.

Beautiful paintings at the monastery
Beautiful paintings at the monastery

Beautiful paintings at the monastery- They are colourful and different.

Buddhist monks in training at the Chauntra monastery.

Buddhist monks in training at the Chauntra monastery – The student body comprises of more than 500 monks from various locales and monasteries. The students have a complete theoretical education in Buddhist philosophy. The institute produces highly qualified professionals with primary language being Tibetan. This institute also runs an exhaustive English language program for level 10 students who can then travel and teach across physical and cultural boundaries.

Truly, it has been an inspiring and rejuvenating experience with the environment, climate, people and their place of worship, giving peace and tranquillity.

Continued….. Part -2

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