What is it that comes to your mind when you are out in the open and you look
up and behold a large eagle soaring high above with its majestic wings
spread? "Wish I could fly!", right? Paragliding or
sailing-in-the-air is man's closest answer to that dream he nurtured since
ages. Thrilling, true, but not everybody can be a paraglider. They say, "There
are no old and bold pilots," which means only lucky ones live to grow
old. This isn't meant to scare you, but to say that it needs a lion's heart
to be able to fly high up in the sky - like a bird.
Fly To India
The sheer magnanimity of Himalayan mountain ranges engulfs in it a
pulsating world of adventure sports. Skiing, mountaineering, rock climbing,
trekking, paragliding - you name it.
Paragliders throng the following places most :
Sandwiched between the steep cliffs of the Himalayas and the plains of
Terai, is Garhwal - the Paraglider's 'paradise' - an appelletion linked to
its unique topography and the fact that the hot air from the Gangetic plains
and the cold from the hills create splendid flying conditions. September to
December and March to June is when you should be visiting.
The Doon Valley roosted between the Himalayas and the Shiwaliks and frilled
with the Ganga and the Yamuna is another posizione perfetta for Aero Sports.
There is the GMVN Aerosports Centre that also offers paragliding courses.
Professional and amateur para/ hang gliders flock to the Kangra Valley's
Billing (8,500 feet) for the annual paragliding competition. Dhauladhar
range at 20,000 feet and the Kangra Valley below create an ideal location
for high altitude and cross-country gliding. The season here is between
April to June and September to November, at the onset and tail end of the
southeast monsoons when winds are constant and hopefully not too wet.
India's coastline flanked on both sides by the rugged hill ranges of
Eastern and Western Ghats form a classic paragliding zone with smooth
laminar sea breeze that gently creep up the ghats creating magical lift
bands that get the pilot gliding for a long time. Gliders take off from the
cliffs at Goa, Ratnagiri and other seaside hamlets.
- Italian hang-glider Angelo d'Arrigo - committed to conserving
avifauna - glided over the Sahara and the Mediterranean in free flight
without using an engine by following the desert hawks, crossed Siberia
with Siberian cranes and, more recently, in May 2004 flew over Mount
Everest, the highest mountain in the world, with Himalayan eagles.
- The current paragliding world record, was set by Canadian William
Gadd who flew 263 miles in 10 ½ hours in the United States.
- If you do not weigh anything between 45 - 85 kgs, you are not
qualified for the flight. Hypsiphobics (those with a fear of height) are
- Nelly Furtado's, "I'm like a bird, I'll only fly away, I don't
know where my soul is, I don't know where my home is," - can be a
perfect humming number for the gliders.