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  • Paragliding in India

    Paragliding as an adventure sport was introduced in India in 1991-92 when a team of foreign pilots decided to explore flying possibilities in the Kullu Valley. Since then, it has seen a tremendous rise in popularity. In the last few years, numerous places have mushroomed all over India.

    From the mountains in the north to soaring over the Rajasthan desert. From the hills of Karnataka to the coastal regions and hill stations of Maharashtra, there are plenty of great places in India for you to kit up and fly like a bird.

    What is paragliding?

    It is the recreational and competitive adventure sport of flying paragliders, using lightweight, free-flying, foot-launched glider aircraft with no rigid primary structure.

    It is the closest you can get to the feeling of flying like a bird. The pilot sits in a harness suspended below a fabric wing comprising a large number of interconnected baffled cells. Once in the air, a pilot is able to maintain and even gain altitude using lifting air currents and thermals. If you’re not trained or licensed, you can still go on tandem flights.

    What is tandem paragliding?

    For an unlicensed, inexperienced adventurer, a certified instructor will take you up. The paraglider is equipped with two harnesses, so the instructor is strapped in behind, and controls the aircraft. You’ll be seated in front, in your own harness, and have to do nothing except sit back and enjoy the ride.

    What is solo paragliding?

    If you want, you can even bring your own car via the Mumbai-Pune expressway. And if you're getting your own bike, then take the old Mumbai-Pune highway (NH4) as two-wheelers are not allowed on the expressway.

    A number of courses are available in the country. For instance, Indus Paragliding offers an elementary pilot course of four days which has you undertake 8-10 solo flights under complete guidance. You learn everything there is to know about taking-off, landing, handling the glider and a number of air and ground techniques.

    Courses for paragliding in India might be or might not be licensed. You can check with the tour operators about the same. In any case, all such courses grant you the eventual freedom to fly in the skies like a mighty bird, all on your own, upping the adventure quotient.

    Paragliding in India: The Himalayas

    The Himalayas are rife with ideal flying places, thanks to the high hills and mountains, and the long valleys that direct the winds upwards. The best and most popular place in India is Bir Billing in Manali, Himachal Pradesh.

    Bir Billing has an altitude of 8500 ft and is surrounded by beautiful tea gardens. Solang Valley and Marhi are two of the other most prominent spots in Manali. Here you can do tandem paragliding, expedition paragliding and trans-Himalayan paragliding flights. Flying is possible throughout the year except during the monsoon.

    Another great place is Nainital as paragliders take off from 6500 ft up and fly over Nainital’s famous lakes, Naukuchiatal and Bhimtal. You can soak in the crisp mountain air as it gently caresses you, and get views of the spectacular landscape below.

    Bedni Bugyal is a Himalayan Alpine meadow in Uttarakhand and is pretty as a postcard. From here, you’ll get breath-taking views of the Himalayan mountain ranges and meadows, which makes it a dream destination for high flyers.

    Paragliding in India: Maharashtra

    Taking flight over the rolling landscape of Kamshet is an unforgettable experience. The weather and wind conditions here are favourable almost all year round, and there’s plenty to look at below. The green landscape dotted with hills, lakes, and with railway tracks running across. Let the pilot do the work while you enjoy the ride, without a care in the world.

    Other places for paragliding in India

    Kerala, or God’s own country as it is better known, is legendary for its natural beauty. Criss-crossed with sparking rivulets, the land also features dense forests with high waterfalls and emerald green fields.

    At nearly 6,000 ft above sea level lies Vagamon, a hill station that is ideal for paragliders. The paragliding Grand Prix is held here during September and it brings together paragliders from across the world. Nandi Hills, 65 km outside Bangalore is the perfect terrain for flying. These hills attract a lot of adventure enthusiasts from Silicon Valley, especially those interested in light aviation.

  • Weekend Classic Tandem Flight Lonavala - 1 day

    Sketch Itinerary:

    Day 1: Paragliding in Lonavala

    • Start point: Rangoli Restaurant, Kamshet
    • Endpoint: Rangoli Restaurant, Kamshet
    • Day start time: 08:00 hrs
    • Maximum elevation: 2000 feet
    • Flight time: 10 minutes
    Detailed itinerary:

    You need to reach the start point i.e. Rangoli restaurant sharply at 08:00 hrs. You will be greeted by an operator who will then take you to the launch site.

    A quick briefing session will follow after which you will be weighed and prepped to fly. You might have to patiently await your turn depending on the number of fliers for the day but fret not because the wait will be worth it.

    You will be on the island by 10:00 hrs. Put on the equipment and dive into the marine world underneath. You can also have a go at fishing if you are so inclined.

    When your turn comes around, you will be strapped in and the instructor will guide you along with the other necessary steps. Once you are all set and ready to go, you will take to the skies and soar among the clouds in your tandem paragliding session. After an exhilarating flight, you will turn around and land. Once everyone is done, you will be dropped back to the restaurant, bringing the trip to an end.

    Inclusions:

    The cost covers the tandem flying session. All equipment necessary for the flight: safety harness, glider, helmet and the rest is also included. The expertise and services of the experienced pilots and crew is included in the expenses as well as all taxes are included

    Exclusions:

    Transportation to and from the starting point i.e Rangoli restaurant is not covered in the expenses. Also, the cost of travel from the restaurant to the launch site is not included in the itinerary. This cost of approximately Rs. 1200 per vehicle will have to be split evenly between the 5-6 travellers and paid directly to the operators.

    Another additional but optional expense is of Rs. 500 for the video of your flight. Should you wish to be recorded, you will have to bring along your own micro-SD card for the same. The video will be recorded by the crew, depending on the weather conditions.

    Expenses arising out of unexpected circumstances and all personal expenses such as meals, apparel etc. is excluded. The itinerary does not provide adventure or health insurance. Apart from this, anything not mentioned in the inclusions will be additional.

    Short tandem paragliding in Bir Billing - 1 day

    Elementary Pilot Paragliding Course (EP) - 4 days

  • Best time to go/Weather

    Paragliding in India is active throughout the entire year. The only exceptions are the monsoon months and the peak winter months in certain states of the country. At these times, the severe weather conditions make it difficult and dangerous to paraglide.

  • Paragliding in India - Route Map / Altitude Map

  • Paragliding in India - Frequently Asked Questions

    Is paragliding in India dangerous?

    All adventure sports carry with them some element of risk. That is what makes it an adventure after all. However, the risks are minimal because the operators choose the highest quality equipment and safety gear.

    Plus all pilots are well trained and experienced enough to handle incidents that arise during the flight. Considering this, it is quite a safe adventure sport to partake.

    What kind of shoes should I wear?

    Can beginners go paragliding in India?

    How long does a session last?

    What is the best time for such activities in India?

    Can I fly the paraglider myself?

  • Reviews

    • Rated :

      27-03-2020

  • Getting There

    Almost all the flights across the country take place at or near major tourist destinations like Mumbai, Pune, Dharamsala, Bir Billing, Solang etc. These places are well connected to all major Indian cities by airports, railways and roads including state and privately run bus services.

    What To Wear

    For paragliding in India, you do not need to wear any particular clothing. You should, however, cover yourself in warm layers with jackets or thick t-shirts as it can get cold when you fly high. Shoes are mandatory and you could opt for light gloves when flying during winters. Comfortable clothing is a must for any flight. As such, you can choose to wear comfy pants or jeans along with t-shirts for your adventure. A cap is optional.

    Keeping in mind that comfortable clothing is preferred, neither sarees nor skirts should be worn for your flights, tandem or solo. Sturdy shoes are the only acceptable footwear as sometimes the landing can be hard on the feet so floaters or slippers are not permitted.

    What To Carry

    All equipment necessary for paragliding in India is provided by the operators. To ensure you are secure, all safety gear is also handed to you for the flight.

    You can choose to carry sunglasses with you for the adventure but make sure it has a strap. Sunscreen is advisable for protection against the sun. Bring along your camera should you wish to click some pictures and cement the experience with photos. You can carry some snacks with you as well.

    Preparation/Fitness

    No expertise or prior skills are required for tandem paragliding in India. For tandem flights, you simply strap yourself in and enjoy as the instructor manages the glider for the entire duration of the flight. Relax and take in the gravity-defying experience while soaking in the gorgeous views of the mountains and valleys.

    Do note, however, that a basic level of fitness is necessary to be eligible for the flight. There is a minimum age as well as a weight limitation. Kindly consult with your operator regarding the same before you consider any flights. If you have any prevailing medical issues, it is best to ask your doctor before you decide to soar the skies.