Paragliding not just offers an experience akin to a free bird, but leaves one stunned, overwhelmed and with one less item on the bucket list.
Bir Billing, Himachal Pradesh
One of the top destinations for tandem paragliding in India, Bir Billing is a hotspot for Indians and foreigners alike.
Bir village lies in the southeast of Dharamsala and at a distance of about 60 km (approx.). Connected by NH-20, Pathankot-Manali Highway, Bir is situated in the Joginder Nagar Valley of Dhauladhar Mountain Range in the Himalayas. Billing, at an altitude of 2,400 m (approx.), is 14 km from Bir. Billing is the launch pad while Bir serves as the landing site.
Over the years, foreigners, alerted mainly by word of mouth, started visiting this region known for its terrain that largely supported the activity.The Paragliding World Cup 2015 was held here in October last year. Bir is a noted centre for ecotourism, spiritual studies and meditation with a Buddhist monastery in the vicinity.
Best time to visit: Throughout the year, depending on day-to-day weather conditions, but March to early June are perfect for paragliding.
GoAir Connect: Bir Billing is 289 km from Chandigarh. GoAir operates direct flights to Chandigarh from Mumbai, and convenient connections from Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Goa, Kochi and Nagpur. Log on to www.goair.in for details.
What better spot to leap off the edge of a cliff than across the mighty Himalayan range. Sikkim is the perfect sport to enjoy the vast mountain-scape, wrinkled snowy peaks, peering over shrubs and trees, at a spectacular height that is bound to take your breath away.
Three hours from Gangtok/Siliguri, Chakung is a serene hill top village with spectacular views of the mountains. From the Rangeet valley, the road quickly climbs to alpine forests towards the take off point Aanganay hill. The dawn and dusk
are splendid at this point with
Mt. Khangchendzonga in the backdrop, overlooking the town of Jorethang and the Rangeet valley.
During the flight, one gets a bird’s eye view of the lush vegetation surrounding the Rangeet river and the town of Jorethang. The landing base is on the banks of the river.
Best time to visit: Throughout the year, but depending on daily weather conditions.
GoAir Connect: Gangtok is 123 km from Bagdogra. GoAir operates direct flights to Bagdogra from Delhi, and further convenient connections from Mumbai, Bengaluru and Srinagar. Log on to www.goair.in for more details.
Yelagiri, Tamil Nadu
One of the state’s lesser known hill stations after Ootacamund and Kodaikanal, Yelagiri Hills offer quite a scenic destination for adventure tourism. It is considered as the best gliding site in South India. Spread across 30 sq km, there are a series of four hills at various elevations. Kottur, Muthanoor and Raneri are three spots in Yelagiri that offer optimum conditions for take off and landing. At a height of around 2,000 meters above ground level, take off on a nice gradual slope and explore the Yelagiri Hills just like how a bird would.
Best time to visit: June to August.
GoAir Connect: Closest GoAir destination to Yelagiri is Bengaluru, which is at a distance of 166 km. GoAir operates direct flights to Bengaluru from Delhi, Goa, Mumbai, Ranchi, Port Blair and Pune, and further convenient connections across its vast network.