Ever thought of flying like a free bird in the endless sky, feeling the adrenaline rush in your veins? Well, if yes, then we must tell you that you can fulfil this fantasy of yours and turn it into reality. Introduced in India in the 1990s, Paragliding is one such adventure sport that allows you to soar high in the sky and feel the wind slipping beneath you as you go higher. Unlike people assume it, paragliding does not need specifically a hilly area rather it can be done at a place located on higher altitude. There are several places in India that are suitable for paragliding.
Some of the paragliding destinations in India are –
Bir Billing in Himachal Pradesh
Bir Billing, which is located in the Kangra Valley, is one of the best destinations for paragliding in Asia. Bir, a small village, is popularly known as the paragliding capital of India. It even hosted the first ever world cup for paragliding in 2015. Situated at an altitude of 2600m, the Bir Billing has 11 best paragliding spots. There are best takeoff and landing sites with suitable air currents and also the ideal cloud base. The place has picturesque natural surroundings which are suitable for all types of adventure sports. Other than Bir Billing one can visit Rohtang, Bakhli, Devidhar and Parvati Valley for paragliding.
Cost: INR 2,500 or above
How to reach: The nearest place to access Bir Billing is Dharamshala which can be accessed via train or flight
Best time to visit: October to June (when there is no rain)
Popular operators: Camp Oak View, Blue Umbrella, Skywalk Flying Club, Friends adventures
Panchgani in Maharashtra
Located in the Satara district of Maharashtra, Panchgani is the largest plateau region of the hills in Asia after Tibetan Plateau. Panchgani is the hotspot of paragliding industry because it has favourable conditions like clear skies, calm and composed winds, pleasant weather, and perfect altitude. The beauty of Panchgani will leave you flabbergasted. There are several take-off points in Panchgani including Tapola, Bhilar, and Khinger which also facilitate solo jump upon training.
Cost: INR 3,000 or above
How to reach: Pune is the nearest railway station which is located 96 km from Panchgani. As the place is well connected by roads, railways and airport one can easily reach there.
Best time to visit: September to February
Popular operators: Eco camps, Joy Riding
Nandi Hills in Karnataka
Situated at a distance of 68 kilometres from the silicon valley of India, Bangalore, the Nandi hills is a popular paragliding destination in the South. Apart from paragliding one can take part in several aero sports there. Nandi Hills, located at a height of 1478 m above the sea level, has perfect climate, plateaued terrain, and hill canopies. Also, it has many flat surfaces which serve as a perfect platform for smooth landing.
Cost: INR 1,500 or above
How to reach: As the place is close to Bangalore, one can easily reach there by road, rail or flight. Cabs and taxis are also available to Nandi Hills from Bangalore.
Best time to visit: One can visit the place throughout the year, except for the monsoon season. (July to September).
Popular operators: Fly Nandi, Karnataka State Tourism Development Center
Arambol Beach in Goa
Goa is one of the favourite spot of people for paragliding in the world because of the perks the place has to offer. Arambol Beach serves as the best launching point for beginners. The headland above the Kalacha Lake is the most amazing place for launch because of the smooth and calm breeze which prevents any hindrance and allows the person for a no-break flight.
Cost: INR 2,000 or above
How to reach: Arambol
Best time to visit: October to June
Popular operators: Xtacee Paragliding Club, Goa Extreme
Gangtok in Sikkim
Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, is a famous tourist attraction in North-East India. Adventure junkies from around the world come to this place to seek thrill. Home to excellent launching ridges and sites, Sikkim provides a great paragliding experience within the country. The city holds a lot of tourist attractions to show, apart from paragliding.
Cost: INR 1,800 and above
How to reach: A person can reach Gangtok by road, rail or by flight. The nearest airport is Bagdogra located about 124 km away. The nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri.
Best time to visit: The best time to visit this place is in summers
Popular operators: Fly Sikkim Adventure
Mussoorie in Uttarakhand
Mussoorie is a well-thronged destination which hosts paragliding. There are a few take off points there, one of them being Mussoorie Lake. Situated at the height of 2300 metres above the sea level, the place offers breathtaking views of the Himalayan Mountain. It serves as an ideal place for high flyers. You can also visit the famous places in Dehradun like Paltan Bazaar and Robber’s case.
Cost: INR 1,800 or above
How to reach: One can reach Mussoorie via Dehradun which has an airport and also a railway station situated at a distance of 33 km.
Best time to visit: September to July
Popular operators: Paragliding Mussorie, Sky Riders Adventure
Unleash the bird caged within you and go for a paragliding trip.