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Paragliding in Kullu Valley

Paragliding in Kullu Valley, IndiaKullu valley, described as one of the finest launch sites in the world, is a heaven for aerosport enthusiasts. Imagine yourself soaring like an eagle on top of the beautiful Himalayan ranges.

Paragliding is a sport which has taken the world by storm. The pilots are able to fulfil one of humanity's oldest human dreams, namely flying. The origin of this sport goes back to the 1940's but only recently became more popular due to the increase in safety in the gliders. Aerosport enthusiasts are delighted with the local wind conditions, the spectacular scenery as well as launch sites like Solang, Bijli Mahadev and Bhaikhali.

Tandem Glider
If you are inexperienced and would like to give paragliding a try, you may fly in a double seater (tandem glider) at Solang Nala with an experienced instructor. As a passanger you are strapped on a seat in front of the pilot. The launch involves that you run down a few steps of a slope in coordination with the pilot. Your air experience is thrilling as you have full surround view and can leave all the maneuvring of the glider to the pilot.

A typical "tourist" training program for your "own" first flight consists of some theory lessons, aerodynamics and air safety precautions. Ground training is integral part of every course.

A simple course pattern for a first solo flight might include the following:

Day 1 Familiarisation 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.

Description of a Paraglider

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.

Paragliding and Hanggliding

Paragliding has a number of advantages compared to hanggliding (delta flying). First, the glider weighs only 6 to 7 kg and easily fits into a backpack. Second it's easy to maneuver and can be packed in 8 to 10 minutes, thus making it a happy combination of sky diving and hanggliding.

February to June and September to November.

Rough trousers, shoes with ankle support, warm shirt and jacket, (the weather tends to be very cold 'up here').

You should be physically fit and not suffer from epilepsy, heart disease or other serious ailments. Consult a doctor in case of doubts.

"It's a blue sky day and the view from this lofty perch is stunning. I am a preparation freak when I'm not flying, an eternal optimist with lust for life, not some psycho with an urge to die."

"The enchanting bird view of the Himalayas, distracted by the sight of eagles wheeling up from below, this hits me. How amazing the paraglider is, how we're "sitting" above such a beautiful scenery, actively involved in it, yet physically free. Only the lightest grip on the steering togglers and you 'think' your way through the sky".

- Khem (view of a parasailor)

Himalayan Mountaineering Institute at Aleo, Manali

Make sure that you are insured. Most organisations decline liability in case of any mishap or accident.

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