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Paragliding in India

Paragliding in Solang Valley is a wonderful way of exploring the pristine scenery of the region.
Image courtesy: Pallavi Pasricha

Flying high: The most popular paragliding experience is the tandem flights. These allow one person to glide in the company of another person, an instructor if needed. Beginners need a briefing by the instructor and can go gliding.

Equipment: Choose a reputed gliding company by asking around and doing research as there are no standardised certification courses for paragliding in India apart from schools that are led by people with certification from abroad. Only imported gliders are available in India and all are popular brands. A trustworthy glider must not be more than five years old if it has been well-maintained with minimum wear and tear.

Tandem flights: These popular flights are usually for 20–40 min provided the weather is good and can go as high as the cloud base to 4000 metres or higher. People keen on adventure from ages 10–60 and in good health can enjoy this. Rates range from Rs 2000–5000 depending on the company and type of flight chosen.

Go on, launch yourself into this free-flying adventure.
Image courtesy: Pallavi Pasricha

Best sites: Himachal Pradesh leads in paragliding. Bir–Billing offers the best location for cross country para gliding and even professional gliders enjoy it. Around Manali, Solang is suited for short flights. Gulaba on way to Rohtang offer soaring flights. Bilaspur offers good wind stability and gliding across the Gobind Sagar Lake. Kamshet leading all the along the Western Ghats is popular for paragliding.

Best time: This depends on location where good weather and wind conditions prevail. Summer months are not conducive given the heat and turbulence. March–June, Oct–Dec are best times for gliding in north India and Nov–April in the Western Ghats.

For more on grab a copy of our Best Escapes Hills travel guide.

AUTHOR'S BIO: Gurpreet Dhindsa is a certified paragliding instructor from BHPA (British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association) with over a decade’s experience. He heads PG Gurukul, a paragliding outfit based in Bir, Himachal Pradesh.