Gliding in the Sky of Pokhara ; A paragliding experience

Posted on Jun 6, 2012 by arpankoirala under Paragliding

Tags: pokhara, paragliding, sarangkot, phewa lake, nepal

Flying has inspired people from the very beginning of the human-civilization. People were always inspired by the flying bird and had tried to fly in various form. Started in 1950s paragliding is one of the popular adventure game where the pilot drives the glide without any engine and supporting mechanisms from the cliff or hill-top. Pokhara offers a beautiful paragliding destinations, where take-off is done from the Sarangkot 1425m high and lands at the bank of Fewa Lake.

I had not even thought about doing paragliding before I was inspired by the bunch of people flying from the top of Sarangkot and slowly landing in the bank of Fewa Lake while we were doing boating in the Lake. After rowing the boat around the Barahai temple we searched for the paragliding agency. In this process we were little bit misguided by the middle man in the process. Finally we make a deal in Rs.4300, but it can be cheaper if you bargain well and go to the travel agency directly. There are many agencies like Sunrise Paragliding, Frontiers Paragliding and many more.

We were taken to the top in a pick-up van along with pilot. I had chance to fly with Swiss pilot, who was now citizen of Nepal. He shared that he started flying as a kid in the alps and he used to take foods and sleeping bag and used to travel from one hill to next for days. He was happy to have his passion as a means to earn money. It was an inspiring moment to see how happy he was to say these things. He gave a slight instructions abouts some DOs and DON’Ts and asked to run with him.Since the land of flight is not so smooth and air might sometime push in some random direction wearing shoes is the best option to prevent injury in the leg. Though one of my friend took off in jiffy, mine take off was difficult. We were pushed backward and I fell in the ditch so we had to restart the flying process. Second time we left the ground quite easily.

The experience of leaving ground with just the support of a canvas and wind was an wonderful moment which I cannot explain in words. It was pretty awesome flying above leaving everything below. Slowly we took an altitude of around 1900 m where wind was pretty strong and the bird eye view of fewa lake and the whole Pokhara valley was simply awesome. Eyes were teary due to the cold wind but still the desire to see the valley was not perished. We were unlucky that we couldn't have the mountain view due to the smog. So its better to travel around the month of September-October where sky is pretty clear and can have the great view of the Annapurna ranges and Macchapuchre. And after the flight of 10-15 minutes if your stomach is not yet reacting then you can ask for the stunts!! Don’t ask for it if you are already afraid!! The stunts were really great. The real adrenaline rush appears when the glide has a nearly freefall in spiral way with you nearly horizontal  and you see nothing but just the phewa lake below you. The acrobatics were really mind-blowing and awesome that I can never forget that.  Better don’t ask for acrobats if you have just taken heavy meal. I had read in the brochure of the tour agent about the stomach and really found it true after the acrobats. I still had desire to have some more acrobats but couldn’t do as we were in limited budget. Still the experience was awesome.

In a nutshell paragliding from Pokhara is an experience everyone should have at least once in lifetime!!   

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