Forget Red Bull, we have a list of places for you that will give you wings. Who wouldn’t like to fly like a bird? As a basic overview, in paragliding the pilot is supposed to sit in a harness which is suspended from a wing-like structure and then you have just got to run off a cliff and voila! You are up in the air like an actual bird. The intense adrenaline rush when you are high in the air is unreal. I think everyone should try it atleast once. Especially when there are so many picturesque destinations in India where paragliding can be enjoyed, there’s no reason you shouldn’t want to explore the fascinating sport.
Bir Billing, Himachal Pradesh
This small village in Himachal has been crowned as the “Paragliding capital of India”! The paragliding site in Bir Billing is considered the second highest in the entire world (8000 ft above sea level) and has become a frequented spot after it hosted the World Paragliding Championship a few years back. Through the year it is visited by adventure seekers from around the world, some professional pilots looking to take it up a notch and many beginners.
The beautiful mountains, the greenery, the weather, everything is just so perfect. And paragliding adds a dash of adventure to the tranquil atmosphere.
How to reach: You can either take an overnight bus from Delhi to Bir or board a flights to the nearest airport at Dharamshala.
Best Time to Visit: October to mid-June when there is no rains and weather is pleasant.
Cost: Rs 2000- 2500 (approx)
Not a lot of people know about the pretty laketown of Naukuchiatal that is located near Nainital. The place is named as the lake is said to have nine corners. Legend also states that if someone is able to see all nine corners, they can achieve Nirvana. And paragliding in such a place has its perks too. One can view the beautiful city from a bird’s level. The lake at a distance and green surroundings make paragliding here a beautiful experience.
How to reach: You can go there via bus (Nainital has excellent bus connectivity) or train, the nearest railway station being at a distance of 44 km at Kathgodam, or book a plane to the nearest airport at Pantnagar. There are regular buses from Nainital too.
Best Time to Visit: All seasons except rainy seasons. (i.e. July- August)
Cost: Rs 1500- 2000 (approx)
Located at a distance of about 45 km from the city of Pune in the state of Maharashtra, this beautiful retreat is a walk into the past. The place reminds of a rustic setting, the real India. The place is well suited for paragliding again due to the favourable weather conditions, amazing view and perfect wind conditions. It is well suited for beginners, in addition to being connected to the Pune- Mumbai expressway; this place is great for a weekend getaway.
How to Reach: The place is well connected to Mumbai and Pune.
Best Time to Visit: October to June
Cost: Rs 2500 (approx.)
Vagamon is a beautiful sleepy town surrounded by tea gardens and beautiful meadows. It is again a destination which is slowly gaining popularity among the tourist and for all the right reasons. Located in Kerala’s Idukki district, this place has a refreshing landscape spanning lush green hills and misty weather. This is undoubtedly one of the most thrilling gliding experiences you can have in South India, as you fly over the lush green tea estates and meadows, dams and misty hills that is sure to take your breath away.
How To Reach: Vagamon can be reached by road from any nearby region in Kerala. The nearest airport to this place is located 75 Km away in Cochin and the nearest railway station is lies 100 Km away in Kottayam.
Cost: Rs 3500 – 5000 (approx.)
One of the major tourist attractions of Himachal Pradesh, Manali is a beautiful valley located in the heart of the Himalayas. The town is located at an altitude of about 5500 ft to 6000 ft above the sea level which makes it ideal for paragliding trips. The scenic beauty is further aggravated by the thrill factor of paragliding in the area. The areas of Solang Valley, Fatru Mountain, Gulaba, and Nagger Road are the places where paragliding takes place. Apart from the monsoon season, during which paragliding is banned, one can practically enjoy the feel of the air from up above practically for the rest of the year. It is an ideal getaway for someone who loves adventure as much as the beautiful locales.
How to reach: The nearest airport being isBhuntar, a mere 50 km away. Manali also has a good connectivity of buses.
Best Time to Visit: Between October and May
Cost: Rs 1800 – 2000 (approx)