Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Paragliding thrills tourists in Manali

Himchal Vacation Travel News
MANALI: The urge to fly over the snow-covered Deodar trees has resulted in a beeline of adventure lovers to picturesque Solang Valley near Manali for paragliding. Four-feet snow is greeting visitors to the valley for other adventure sports, too, but skiing, sledging and paragliding is attracting most of them.
Manali saw a bright sunny day on Monday after a long overcast spell of two weeks. As the day temperature increased slightly, tourists flocked to Solang Valley to enjoy adventure activities. Apart from skiing, the flying cribs were out to thrill the sports enthusiasts as more than 50 trained pilots paraglided in Solangnala.
                                                 Photo: Paragliding at Solang Valley near Manali

Following the HP tourism guidelines, all the trained pilots had formed an association to prevent tourists from being duped by outsiders and commission agents. They were conducting three types, low, medium and high flight at the fixed charges of Rs 500, Rs 1,000 and Rs 1,500 per round, respectively.
"The inclement weather had forced us to wrap our gliders this month but now we are hoping for a good business. Tourists reached Solang Valley after a long period on Monday and we are getting good bookings on the first day," said Vijay Kumar, a local adventure sports organizer.
Fascinated by their first flight, tourists asked for high flight to experience more thrill and joy. "Usually, this happens that after a low-cost flight tourists go for another high flight. We never let them fly alone but still they enjoy the scenic ride over the snow peaks of Himalayas," Vijay added.
Landing and take-off on the four to six feet snow were the interesting phase of paragliding which was quite difficult here. But the soft snow had its own benefits that both pilot and rider could avoid serious injuries in case of crash-landing.
Rohtang Pass, Marhi, Gulaba, Kothi and all other snow points of Manali had been blocked with heavy snowfall, so, all the tourists were heading towards Solang Valley. Whoever watched these flying birds hovering over the valley could not resist to try fly at least once. Paragliding had also doubled the business of ropeway leading to Fatru which was the takeoff base at 10,500 feet because there was no other option to reach here since trekking routes had been blocked by heavy snow. Mostly honeymooners were visiting Manali these days. But tourists from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Punjab, Chandigarh and Haryana were also coming in scores. Tourists from abroad, too, are visiting Manali, Kasol, Shimla and Dharamshala in scores.

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