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It’s more than flying this weekend in Himachal’s Dhauladhars

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Shimla: Nestled amidst quaint mountains with the mighty Dhauladhars range in its backdrop adding to its glory, the Bir-Billing area in Himachal Pradesh this weekend will have more to offer than just India’s first AAI Paragliding World Cup 2015.

Tourists and adventure lovers to the picturesque towns of Bir and Billing, where 130 paragliders from 35 countries will converge during October 23-31, will also savour a taste of Tibetan culture and get a chance to angle for fish, camp, trek and, of course, paraglide as a free-flyer.

“After seeing the inaugural flights, we will devote time for searching out Tibetan spiritual sustenance,” Abhishek Nayyar, a Chandigarh-based senior executive with a multinational company, told IANS.

He said after the opening day of the World Cup, he and his friends would spend time in nearby Tibetan monasteries and shop for handicrafts.

Mona Dhingra, a Delhi-based entrepreneur whose husband is a free-flyer, said it’s more than flying this weekend.

“We are planning to mix the long Dussehra weekend with leisure, flying and spiritualism,” she said.

Bir, the landing site that is also home to Tibetan refugees and Buddhist monasteries, and the take-off point of Billing are separated by 14 km in Kangra district, some 275 km from Chandigarh.

A French contingent with 13 pilots, including many who have won World Cups and Super Cups and have been ranked World No 1, will figure in the event, Sudhir Sharma, president of the Billing Paragliding Association, the club organising the event, told IANS. The French team also includes the current World No 1.

The paragliders also include about 12 women, including former World No 1 Klaudia Bulgakow of Poland, who also won the 2013 Pre-World Cup at Bir and Billing.

While the state government and the Billing Paragliding Association would jointly organise the event, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) would be the title sponsors.

Members of the hospitality industry are expecting record footfalls during the long weekend coinciding with the Paragliding World Cup.

But they admit that the spectators might face problems in getting suitable accommodation.

An extended weekend – Thursday (Dussehra), Saturday (Muharram) and Sunday of course – should see thousands of the tourists coming to watch the event and holiday in the nearby hills.

“Most of the guests coming for the paragliding event are showing interest in nearby tourist destinations like tea estates and temples, Buddhist monasteries and Tibetan establishments,” Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC) officiating general manager Vijay Sharma told IANS.

Besides, tea estates of Palampur town, Kangra, Baijnath and Jwalaji are known for the prominent Hindu shrines. Most of these towns are within a 40-km radius of the World Cup.

McLeodganj, the uphill quaint town, has already gained prominence for attracting a steady stream of Tibet enthusiasts, Buddhist scholars, back-packers and even Hollywood stars like Richard Gere.

Also known as Little Lhasa, located just 50 kilometres from the World Cup spot, McLeodganj is known for its Tibetan artifacts and traditional recipes like Tibetan dumplings.

“We are expecting a good rush of tourists this weekend after T-20 between India and South Africa in Dharamsala on October 2,” said Pankaj Chadha, owner of the McLio restaurant in McLeodganj.

Organiser Sudhir Sharma said over 20,000 spectators and adventure lovers are expected to witness the World Cup.

According to him, accommodation for the pilots and visitors is at Bir and at Chowgan village, where there are hotels, besides which special luxury tents have also been put up.

Bir is a noted centre for ecotourism, spiritual studies and meditation.

Sharma said the visitors could also opt for home stay units.

FAQs:

How to travel to Bir-Billing: One of the best ways to reach Kangra is by a flight to the Gaggal airport. There are daily flights to Kangra, which is 40 km from Bir.

Other modes to reach the venue are by road and train. The nearest broad gauge railway station is at Pathankot, about 90 km from Kangra town.

Barot in Mandi district is a two-hour drive from Bir. It’s known for trout angling.

Palampur is 29 km from Bir and Baijnath is 13 km from Bir.

Bir-Billing is 499 km from Delhi.

Where to stay: Small hotels, guest houses, and even home stays with local people.

(By Vishal Gulati, IANS)

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Copyright 2015 NewsGram

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How To Plan Your Finances Better, This Dussehra

With these 3 tips, you can conquer and rid yourself of financial demons holding you back this Dussehra

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Financial Plans
So, read, research, understand, and then invest to reap substantial returns.

At some point of time in life, you may have created a budget, followed or earmarked investments and tried to take control of your finances. Often, even the most stringent of financial plans, fall flat because of several reasons, such as:

  • Lack of prioritizing financial security
  • Overwhelming amounts of advice
  • Unforeseen circumstances and sudden expenses

In order to streamline your finances, it is important to delve deep and understand what financial mistakes hold you back.

This Dussehra, take a look at the financial shortfalls you need to overcome, and pledge to walk the righteous path. Here’s a brief lowdown on the same.

Bid Adieu To Procrastination
Just sitting and thinking of ways to execute a financial plan is not enough. You need to stop day dreaming in order to act when the time is ripe. Experts believe that in order to reap great returns from the market you need to keep an eye on your investments and keep rebalancing and diversifying your portfolio.

Volatile markets, for instance, are a signal that you need to increase your investments in safe options like FD, commodities, gold, and real estate. On the other hand, you can invest for short-term gains in assets like shares when the market is highly bullish. The trick is to be aware and informed so that you can take the right action at the right time.

Overcome Ignorance And Financial Fear


Ignorance or a bad experience are the main reasons why you may be afraid of doing anything other than storing your money in a savings account. Well, now is the time to conquer this fear. Financial planning starts from the moment you outline your goals and pick and choose assets for your portfolio to achieve them.

Detail out your financial goals and plans like retirement, a world tour with your family, your child’s marriage, and more. Then start putting in money in different instruments corresponding to each goal.

However, in order to decide what assets permit growth, you will have to read about them. The right research will help you gain more knowledge about the varied options, which in turn will ease the decision-making process for you. So, read, research, understand, and then invest to reap substantial returns.

finanancial plans
Choose high interest assured return investments

Lay The Bricks For Your Financial Wellbeing Today
Instead of waiting any further, start your financial journey right now. To begin with, include both short and long-term options in your portfolio. Introduce investments that guarantee earnings to boost your confidence and enjoy your gains.

Choose high interest assured return investments like recurring deposits, pension plans and fixed deposits on the one hand. On the other hand, you can pick riskier high return investments like shares.

Out of all these investments, FDs bring a lot on the table. So, you can choose to invest in varied cumulative and non-cumulative FDs from trusted issuers like Bajaj Finance. These FDs are lucrative in terms of the benefits and the interest rate they offer on your investment. Awarded ICRA’s MAAA (stable) rating and CRISIL’s FAAA/Stable rating, Bajaj Finance FDs are credible and assure you up to 8.85% interest on your investment. As you can start investing with a mere sum of Rs.25,000, you have no excuse not to begin.

Financial plans
In order to streamline your finances, it is important to delve deep and understand what financial mistakes hold you back. pixabay

Since applying online is easy and convenient, it’s time to get started now! Choose between a cumulative FD in case you want to enjoy the benefits of compounding or a non-cumulative FD to access the interest as a regular payout.

With these 3 tips, you can conquer and rid yourself of financial demons holding you back this Dussehra and celebrate your financial triumphs for years to come.