A lot of our paragliding happens in the state of Himachal Pradesh. It located in North West of India and forms the heart of Western Himalayas. It is bordered by Jammu and Kashmir in the North, Punjab in the West, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh in the South and Tibet in the East. Literally meaning, “Land of Snow”. The elevation varies from 350m to 6975m. The people are friendly and welcoming, especially in the more remote areas, where tourists are still a novelty. Himachal has a great variety of landscapes, from the Shivalik hills, to lush alpine valleys and numerous peaks of over 6000m to the spectacular high altitude deserts of Spiti and Ladakh.
The Kullu and Kangra Valleys have a lot of similarities to the Alps but on a higher and bigger scale. There is unlimited potential for XC and out and returns. Cloud base can range from 2500m to 6000m, with the tree-line at 3200m. Thermals tend to range from 2-10 m/s. There are many spectacular peaks over 5000m.
Flying in the “Valley of the Gods”, the Kullu Valley, offers some superb sites for flying, including Marhi (3200m), Gulaba (3100m), Halan (2700m) and Dyar (2000m). These sites offer great potential for XC and getting to high altitudes. 50 km to the south west there is Billing (2350m), the legendary Himalayan flying site, it is undoubtedly one of the best paragliding sites in the world, with the Dhauladhar range stretching up to 100km either side, with superb flying conditions and reliable weather, it is a dream site
The town of Manali lies deep in the majestic Kullu valley, which is cradled by the Pir Panjal range to the north, the Parvati range to the east, and the Dhauladhar range to the west. This is the Himalayas at its most idyllic; roaring rivers, pretty mountain villages, orchards and terraced fields rising to give way to deep green Deodar and oak forests, snow flecked ridges and an beautiful climate. Manali is good not just for paraglidng but also is ideal for Mountaineering, trekking, rafting and kayaking etc. To know more about how to explore these other adventures you should check out http://www.above14000ft.com
Billing Indias legendary flying site, named after Lord Billing, an English officer who during the British raj built the road that goes over into the Barot valley behind takeoff. Billing seems to be made for flying, conveniently placed at 2300m on one of the numerous spurs of the Dhaula Dhar range that extend towards the plains. The views are impressive with a backdrop of 5500m peaks on one side, and the plains of India stretching out on the other. It has a road right up to the take off, enough space to topland, a tea shop which serves great lunch, and the possibility to do big cross country flights
The village of Bir is an easygoing and relaxed place, the lower part consists of the colourfull Tibetan colony, with several beautiful monasterys and a friendly and relaxed Tibetan lifestyle.The higher part of the village consists of the local population, many decedents of the mountain tribe, the Gaddis.The landing field is at five minutes’ walk from the Tibetan colony, and is at 1300mt. Surrounded by beautiful tea plantations and a relaxed atmosphere Bir is a great place to come down to at the end of your flight.
Bir – Billing is probably one of the best sites in the world to do your Club Pilot course and flying here will do your paragliding skills a ton of good.
Dharamsala (6000 ft) has been the centre of a vibrant Tibetan community since the 1950’s and is home to the Dalai Lama, who received the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize. There are many temples and monasteries in Dharamsala to explore, often called “little Lhasa in India” with a giant prayer wheel in the centre of this colourful town and many strings of multi-coloured Tibetan prayer flags fluttering in the wind. There is a rich cultural heritage, both Buddhist and Hindu with the remnants of faded touches of the Raj.
Naukuchiatal or ‘lake of nine corners’ is a small hill station in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. It forms the starting point of the Shivalik hills that is a mountain range of the outer Himalayas. Naukuchiatal Borders the famous Corbett National Park and flying with the lake as your backdrop is phenomenal. The lake is situated 4 km from Bhimtal, and 26 km from Nainital, 320 km from Delhi.