Saturday, 31 December 2011

Institutions and Attractions

       There are several institutions in Bir that attract students, tourists, volunteers and other visitors from around India and from abroad: 
       The Deer Park Institute is a 'centre for the study of classical Indian wisdom traditions' established by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche in March 2006 under the patronage of the Dalai Lama. The Institute hosts frequent guest lectures and workshops with reputed scholars and meditation teachers.

           The Dharmalaya Institute is an eco-campus for service-learning and contemplative practice. Dharmalaya is an Indian charitable society (NGO) 'devoted to education, service, and compassionate living, with a practical focus on sustainable village development, contemplative service-learning, and immersive ecotourism'. Dharmalaya hosts work retreats and meditation retreats, providing opportunities for long-term volunteers and meditation students to do karma yoga for various charitable projects to benefit the local community and the natural environment. Programmes include gree building, green job skills training for local villagers, organic farming, and a tree-planting project.

     The Bir Tea Factory is a longstanding Bir cooperative, which offers tours for those interested in the process of tea production.

    The Bir-Billing area is a popular destination for ecotourism and adventure travel, offering paragliding, hang-gliding, trecking and camping.


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