Here, you’ll find listings of most of the shops in the greater Bir area. They are grouped by type and within each type they are sorted by their proximity to the center of Bir proper.
There are many small shops in Bir Proper and the Tibetan Colony selling fresh produce and dry food items. (For a list of restaurants, see this page.) The general rule is that the further you go uphill toward Bir proper, the smaller the selection of produce. Here’s an overview by location:
- Bir Bazaar — Several shops selling plenty of dry goods (including pulses, flours, nuts, raisins, etc.) and a small selection of fruits and vegetables, but usually not much in the way of fresh greens.
- Kotli — Jaswant Paul’s shop in Kotli (just around the bend downhill from Bir Bazaar) has a selection of dry goods, including a few seasonal organic food items (e.g. kidney beans and potatoes).
- Tibetan Colony —The focus for most of these vendors is fresh produce. Baby bok choy is often available here, thanks to the Tibetan presence.
- Bir Road — A slightly better selection, sometimes including mushrooms, is available from the shops right at the intersection of Bir Road and the NH20 highway.
- Baijnath — The produce shops in the centre of Baijnath bazaar have the best selection in the area, often including (seasonally) such items as broccoli and tropical fruits.
- Bir Bazaar — There are a handful of general stores in Bir Bazaar (in the centre of Bir proper) selling a variety of dry goods and sundries.
- Kotli — Mr. Jaswant Paul’s shop in Kotli (just around the bend downhill from Bir Bazaar) has a good selection of basics, plus a few seasonal organic food items (e.g. kidney beans and potatoes).
- Tibetan Colony — There are nearly a dozen general stores in the Tibetan Colony, each with a slightly different selection of products. Friend’s Shop, in the centre of the Colony, distinguishes itself by carrying a few organic and natural products.
- Elsewhere — If you can’t find what you’re looking for in Bir or the Tibetan Colony, you can try the shops in Bir Road market, Chauntra, Baijnath, Palampur, or Dharamshala.
Hardware & Home
- Bir Bazaar Hardware Stores (Bir Bazaar) — Two shops just below the main Bir Bazaar offering basic hardware and home products and supplies.
- Om Hardware (Tibetan Colony) — Basic selection of hardware and electrical supplies. In the centre of the Tibetan Colony, on a small street just south of the main square. Tel: +91 (1894) 268616
- Paul Hardware (Bir Road) — Large selection, including custom paints, glass, metals, roofing, etc.. Bir Road
- General Sales Agency (Palampur) — Specializes in tools and garden products, including many not available in Bir. Tel: +91 94181.30173
- Clothing & Shoes — A basic selection can be found in a small shop at the west end of the Tibetan colony. Otherwise, try Baijnath, Paprola, and Palampur.
- Cushions — There’s a cooperative in the Tibetan Colony (near the road to Deer Park) that makes cushions, ranging from small meditation cushions to larger ones and custom orders.
- Jewelry — Norling has a small but interesting selection, including Tibetan designs and beads. On Chowgan/Colony Road, midway between Chowgan Chowk and the centre of the Tibetan Colony.
- Ritual items — A couple of shops in the centre of the Tibetan Colony offer incense and other Buddhist ritual items.
- Stationary — There’s a shop selling stationary and basic art supplies right in the heart of the central market of the Tibetan Colony, next to the bank.
- Videos — There are shops selling DVDs (especially related to Tibetan and Buddhist themes, but also a small selection of other films) toward the west end of the Tibetan Colony, just east of the road to Deer Park.