Rapidly developing into a new mini-Dharamsala for outdoors types, little Bir is an attractively compact base for mountain biking and walking but is best known for some of the world's best paragliding. It hosts major competitive flying events most years in October. Experienced solo fliers can reach as far as Dharamsala, Mandi and Manali, while novices can learn the art or make tandem jumps.
Bir is also an important centre of the Tibetan exile community, with several Buddhist monasteries and institutes, some offering courses and retreats.
Note that 'tourist Bir' is the area officially called Chowgan (aka Bir Tibetan Colony) while the original village of Bir (now generally called Upper Bir) is around 2km further uphill. It's on the road towards Billing (14km), the ridgetop launch point for paragliding.