There’s something about watching a paraglider weave through the air with a picturesque backdrop, legs dangling in the clouds like a human kite. Whether you’re an adrenalin junkie or a first-timer, there are a number of paragliding destinations in India. Give it a shot on a family holiday (don’t sign grandma up) or centre your solo trip on this adventure sport, here are the 5 most idyllic places to soar in the country:
1. Solang Valley, 14kms from Manali, is a natural haven for paragliding. The valley, with its lush, green hills attracts adventure sport lovers and has the perfect cliffs to jump off (with a chute, of course).
2. While most people associate this sport with mountains, the Aravali Hills in Rajasthan has a number of paragliding runaways. It promises a bird’s eye view of a completely different landscape, as beautiful as any other in India.
3. The smallest Indian state offers big thrills for those interested in a coastal setting to fly over. Arambol in Goa offers short flights over a picturesque lake and it’s completely different from what Manali has to offer.
4. The north-east has destinations that rival some of the best in Europe and the fact that paragliding has made its way there only adds to its charm. If in Shillong, Meghalaya, make sure you find a paragliding group to show you the place from the clouds.
5. Yelagiri in Tamil Nadu offers paragliding that goes up to a height of 600 metres. There’s a reason they call it an adventure sport and this hill station in Vellore is paragliding paradise. A festival that centres on the sport also takes place here.
While the sport reached India in the early nineties, it hasn’t taken long for it to catch on. Once you get over the initial nervousness, it is a strangely calming experience to be floating high above everything else.