THE LOVE OF FLYING
TOUCHING THE CLOUD BASE
Standing in a swaying but secure gondola,
many meters above the earth, suspended below a colorful canopy
filled with heated air, slowly drifting, surveying the panorama
of plains, farms, forests, rivers, deserts and cities - this
is the ultimate fantasy! Despite its apparent fragility, a
balloon is a very safe and secure adventure experience. Tethered
ballooning or full-fledged expeditions are available in India.
Hang gliding and Para sailing are the newer adventure experience.
Man has always longed to fly: dipping and wheeling at will:
soaring over hills and valleys and rising slowly, silently
with thermals like the birds. Except during the monsoons,
hang gliding is safe throughout the year; so is Para gliding,
which is safer and easier to learn. Training programs for
tourists is available, among other places, in the Don valley.
India is fast emerging as a major aero sports destination.
The long Himalayan range contrasted with the vast desert landscape
offer opportunities for activities like Para Sailing, Para
Gliding, Hot Air Ballooning, and Para Jumping.
Apart from Billing in Himachal, there are numerous other excellent
locations and facilities for gliding at Kangra, Dasauli, Dharamshala,
Satra, Sinhgarh, Shimla, Pune, Kamshet, Mhow, Indore, Mysore,
Ooty and Shillong.
For those who want the thrills nearer home, Para sailing is
the name of the game. Available at Safdarjang airport, the
enthusiast can, without any risk, under an open parachute
swing in the air through the aid of a special rope hooking
it to a jeep. As the jeep moves, the parachute opens up taking
the flier high up in the air.
They also offer a view of the Taj Mahal from a balloon. Imagine
treetop flying near the Samode Palace or the Shekhawati region
in Rajasthan with lovely overviews of the colorful desert
landscape dotted with small villages and camels.
At Water banks, the lakeside Swiss camp near Delhi, have interesting
activities like rafting, ballooning, Para gliding etc. in
their package. Solang valley near Manali is one of the most
popular sites for PARA GLIDING.
The Solang slopes offer one of the best Para Gliding flights.
PARA SAILING has been a regular sport at Billing in the Kangra
valley. Other areas coming up for this sport are the Nilgiri
hills in the South and the Eastern Himalayas in Darjeeling/Gangtok
Wanderlust has also launched a BUNGY JUMPING project, the
first ever in India. INFORMATION General Costs: Approx. Rs.
Ballooning: Rs. 900/-for Tethered flight (12 minutes). Para
Gliding: Rs. 3000/- for Free Flight (01 hour). For more details
and information On all the above activities you May contact:
Wanderlust Travels Pvt. Ltd. M 51-52 Palika Bhawan, Opposite
Hotel Hyatt Regency, New Delhi - 110 066.
India, with its vast Himalayan ramps complemented by ten months
of clean blue skies, is an ideal paragliding country with
the advantage of offering gliding for nearly the whole year
at different sites.
Para - gliding is the latest aerosport to take the world by
storm. The origin of the sport dates back to 1940 when an
aviation pioneer, Dr. Francis Rogallo filed for a patent for
his flexible Delta Kite. But it was not until the early 1980s
that parachutes were foot-launched regularly from hills. Since
then this sport has been rapidly expanding. Thousands of people
all over the world have found this sport convenient, sheer
fun and a safe medium of soaring in the air.
A Para-glider is a simple aircraft, but in common with all
other aircraft it is, in fact, the result of complex and painstaking
design. It is a specially designed square parachute along
with a harness attached by lines and is made of ripstop nylon
which is specially coated with polyurethane to ensure zero
porosity. The canopy is constructed of a top and bottom surface
joined by number of vertical segments - the resulting chambers
being called the cells. The opening at the front is called
the leading edge. When the canopy is fully inflated, the cells
take up an aerofoil shape with a fattish lower surface and
a curved top surface. The rear of the wing is usually called
the trailing edge.
The other important section of a Para-gliderís canopy is its
lines. These are made of a very strong material called Kevlar
and are usually encased in an outer sheath of nylon or similar
material. These risers connect the canopy lines to the harness.
The riser connecting the trailing edge are called the control
lines and is the most important segment of a Para-glider.
The control lines lets the pilot manoeuvre the movements.
A Para-gliding canopy is different from that of a skydiving
canopy. A Para-gliding canopy is an inflatable wing. One of
the major factors that distinguishes a Para-glider canopy
from a free-fall canopy is the material from which it is made.
The para-gliding canopy is made of non-porous material (like
ripstop nylon or polyester) which lets no air pass through
it, whereas the skydiving canopy lets air pass through it.
The canopy of a para-glider is square in shape. On the other
hand skydiving canopies have different shapes.
The para-glider weighs only 6-7 kilometers and folds into
a back pack and so can be packed and unpacked in about 8-10
minutes. The para-glider a portable aircraft, is easy to learn
and is safer to fly. The entire training programme for para-gliding
consists of theory lessons in safety rules and precautions,
lessons in aerodynamics with the special emphasis on theory
of flight, air safety, maintenance of the para-glider canopy
and meteorology. Exhaustive ground training is the most important
part of the course.
With a vision to make India the leader in para-gliding, there
is a need to train and have more and good pilots. Over the
past three to four years - to put India on the world map of
para-gliding-many training courses were organized. Several
organizations like Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering,
Himchal Pradesh Tourism Corporation and a few other private
clubs have pitched in their efforts to train a number of people.
A sizeable number of people are now capable of flying solo
and have taken up the sport regularly.
Thanks to the efforts of these organizers
the dreams of the Indian para-gliding pilots of walking
on air and soaring like a bird are beginning to be realized.
Visitors at places like Auli in Uttar Pradesh, Sansar
in Jammu and Kashmir, Bilaspur, Solang Nalla (Manali)
and Bir-Billing in Himachal can regularly enjoy the
sight of para-gliders flying in the sky. It is like
a bag full of wonders when the pilots take off for the
flights. The skies turn into a painted canvas. Never
before has such a scene been created in the Indian skies