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Hang Gliding

All of us have fantasized about flying since we were kids. There have been many trials and though travelling in an airplane is like flying, it is an altogether different case when you actually feel the wind through your hair, race with the birds and land on your feet. Back in time, there was a very obvious lack of flying machines and money to make them or use them, for that matter. But now that is not the case. Para-gliders and Hang-gliders have made the reality of flight accessible to common man. Visit Himachal Pradesh and you can experience your own flying adventure.

What is Hang Gliding?

In Layman terms, it is being suspended from a flying kite, a large flying kite. Technically, the person is suspended from the large glider by using a harness. A hang glider consists of an Aluminum frame that fits inside a sail that is V-shaped and has a pointed nose.  It requires a lot of skill and agility to operate the Hang Glider and it is heavier than the para glider.

What is Para Gliding?

Para Gliding is easier than Hang Gliding; it does not require as much training to operate a Para Glider. A para Glider is almost like a parachute wing. It does not consist of a frame unlike the V-shaped Aluminum Hang Glider. A para glider looks elliptical when seen from above.
It is suggested that a person well versed in the basics of flying can undertake Para Gliding and once the person has improved and learnt tactics, can try a hand at Hang Gliding, too.

Kangra Valley

Full of perennial Streams and home to the Dhauladhar range, Bir and Billing, villages located in the wester part of himachal Pradesh, are what make Kangra Valley so important.  It is situated in the Joginder Nagar Valley and is 50 km from Dharamshala.  Indians and Visitors from abroad enjoy para gliding in the Bir-Billing area.

Best Time for Para Gliding: The flying season is considered to be from September to November, but some flying is also done in October. Many international events and competitions are hosted in this area. The launch of a flight is done at an elevation of 3890 m, in a meadow that is 14 km north of Bir and the landing of the flight is in the village of Chowgan, which is situated in the southern part of Bir. Chowgan is where most of the tourist accommodations and facilities are located.

Bandla, Bilaspur

RoshanLal Thakur from Manali was among the first few people who were hang gliding pilots in Himachal Pradesh. R.P.Gautam, Commandant, was the person who had the vision to foresee the latent potential  ofBandla mountain and got in touch with the Director, Tourism who approved of Bandla as a para gliding site, set up an Himachal Aero Adventure Institue, Bilaspur and under Bruce Milla and Alexi Garisimov trained the pilot. Bilaspur’sspeciality is that you can para glide for a continuous 8 hours contrary to a maximum of four hours in Billing and Manali.

Intkali,Pabbar Valley

Located 131 kms from Shimla, Pabbar Valley is accessible from Theog and Rohru.  Nestled in the lap of Chanshal Mountain Range, Pabbar Valley is perfect for para gliding with peaks of 4220 m / 13926 feet.  Though Billing is known as the para gliding capital of India, Shimla is charming and picturesquely set in its own way.

Best Time for Para Gliding and Hang Gliding

Though the various courses in the Aero Adventure Institutes are carried out almost throughout the year, actual flying is not advisable at all times. March to June and Mid-August to Novermber are considered the ideal periods for para gliding and hang gliding.

Precautions to be followed

  • Age should be above fifteen and should be of ideal weight.
  • Should not have high/low blood pressure problems.
  • Should not be physically disabled.
  • Be physically and mentally strong and fit to fly.
  • Follow the guide’s instructions

Equipment Required

  • Glider
  • A harness [ Only in case of Hang Glider]
  • A safety helmet
  • A reserve Parachute
  • A life Jacket
  • A variometer [ Variometer is an instrument that measures your ascent and descent]

A Check List for the Trip

  • Warm clothes
  • Sturdy shoes
  • Long Trousers and Gloves
  • Sunglasses and Sunscreen [ To prevent sunburns]
  • Medicines
  • First Aid
  • Water

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