Paragliding over India is a great way to escape crowds andappreciate the scenery from another angle all together.

Manali and Bir are great spots for paragliding, offering hugethermals. You don’t need to trek to the top of a pass or hitch an (expensive) ride on a ski helicopter to enjoy high-altitude vistas of this area. Paragliding has taken off big time in the Manali area, although it’s still relatively new so local knowledge and infrastructure is limited. However, a couple of operators in town offer short tandem rides for novices.

Solang Nullah is once again the main venue, and the paragliding season runs from May to October — although the months before and after the monsoon (May­June and September­October) offer the safest flying times. High summer flying is only for extremists, as monster winds produce difficult conditions. South of Manali at the junction of the Kulu and Parvati valleys is Bizli Mehedev, another top spot for catching the massive thermals.

Basic Courses

Day – 1 – Familiarization with the equipment, inflation technique and ground run.

Day – 2 – Practice ground runs and hopping techniques.

Day – 3 – Alpine launch (take off techniques).

Day – 4 – Supervised solo flight including practice turns.

Day – 5 – Practice spot landing and solo flight.

What is paragliding
A paraglider is a mixture of parachute and hangglider (delta). The shoot is made of a rectangular peace of rip stop nylon which is specially coated with polyurethane to avoid porosity. The shape is attached to a reed by lines. The canopy is constructed of a top and a bottom surface joined by a number of vertical segments, resulting in chambers known as “the cells”. The opening at the front is called the leading edge. After inflation the canopy takes up an airfoil shape with a fattish lower surface and a curved top. The rear edge of the wing is called the trailing edge. The lines are made of very strong Kevlar and are usually encased in an outer sheath of nylon. The risers connect the canopy lines to the reed. The trailing edge is connected by risers called control lines and constitute the most important part of the glider. The control risers let the pilot maneuver the paraglider.

Some frequently asked questions on flying

What is a Paraglider?
A paraglider is a foot-launched, ram-air, aerofoil canopy, designed to be flown and landed with no other energy requirements other than the wind, gravity and the pilot’s musclepower. A Paraglider descends at about 3 minutes per 1000′ of altitude. However, if the air is rising faster than the glider is descending (as often happens) the glider will gain height, Flights of 1-3 hours are not uncommon and easily possible around the coastline of Jersey. Paragliders are designed for soaring flight u

Is Paragliding Safe? 
Paragliding, like any other adventure sport, has its associated risks and to operate safely in any kind of aviation environment one must strive at all times to minimize those risks. The most important pre-requisites to learning to fly safely are: pilot attitude, competent instruction, and safe equipment. If these conditions are met the slow speeds and inherent stability of paragliders can provide a safe and easy way to experience Flying with the Birds! nlike Parachutes which are designed to descend.

Do you jump off a Cliff?
Definatly not! I don’t jump off anything. Paragliders are usually launched by running off of moderate slopes (could be above a cliff) with the glider inflated above your head untill you are lifted off your feet and thus flying!

What is the difference between a Paraglider and a Hang Glider? 
A Hang Glider has a rigid frame maintaining the shape of the wing, with the pilot usually flying in a prone position. The Paraglider canopy shape is maintained only by air pressure and the pilot is suspended in a sitting or supine position. The Hang-glider has a “cleaner” aerodynamic profile and generally is capable of flying at much higher speeds than a Paraglider. A Paraglider folds down into a package the size of a largish knapsack and can be carried easily in any form of transport. Conversely, a Hang-glider needs a vehicle with a roof-rack (usually with extensions) for transportation to and from the flying site, as well as appreciable time to set-up and strip-down. It’s also great deal easier to learn to fly a Paraglider than a Hang Glider. What can compare to hiking to the site with your aircraft strapped to your back!

How high can you fly?
When training you will start out just skimming the ground. As you progress and become more skilled and confident you will gradually go higher. (Under your instructors directions) Using ridge lift as is the case in Jersey you may be able to get up to about 800ft above sea level but by thermalling in other countries Paragliders have been able to reach over 18,000′ above sea level.