Thursday, 27 September 2012

Two months after ban, paragliding picks up pace in Manali

MANALI: Crystal clear sky on the top, deodar trees below the legs, snowcapped mountains all around and colourful paragliders flying with light blows of air, tourists, getting huge wings, are enjoying each moment in Solang valley near Manali.
Paragliding at Solang Valley of Manali
Paragliding at Solang after two months of ban is picking up pace with adventure enthusiasts making beeline to the valley. The day temperature being quite good for aero sports, paragliding is thrilling tourists as pilots are getting good elevation with warm air. Over 100 trained pilots are conducting paragliding at Solang valley. Tourists are being charged Rs 500, 900 and 1,500 for low, medium and high flies respectively.
A paraglider, Ganga Ram Thakur, said the government had imposed ban of paragliding in monsoon season and they suffered big losses in two months. He adds, “We are having good start in September. Very few tourists dare to fly in winters after December, so we’ll have to compensate the losses of monsoon and earn for winters before it snows here.”
Many enthusiasts are reaching here for short term paragliding learning courses. According to instructors, this is the best time for parasailing as combination of hot and cold air helps pilot in achieving the good elevation. Vijay Kumar, an instructor, said tourists are reaching here for three to 10 days paragliding learning courses while many have booked the courses in advance. “Most of the people want to learn all techniques of paragliding in a single day which is not possible. They don’t have much time in hand. So, three to five days courses are most popular among them,” he added.
Most of the tourists go for low fly which hardly lasts for five minutes but its fascination force them to experience the high fly too. Local pilots say many fascinated tourists go for multi flies in a single day and few of them visit them even on the second day. Paragliding has become an important part of the tourism of Manali that a large part of tourists ask for the status of this game before planning their visit to Manali.

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