Be it ballooning, hang gliding or para gliding, India offers excellent locations and facilities at Kangra, Dasauli, Dharamasala, Shimla, Pune, Mhow, Indore, Mysore, Udhagamandalam and Shillong. Float over the mountains ... soar higher on every current of air ... hang-glide in the mountains and valleys of Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh, the Nilgiri hills of Tamil Nadu, the Chamudni hills of Karnataka and the hills in Shillong in Meghalaya. Except for the monsoon season, para gliding and hang gliding are safe throughout the year.
About 50,000 cubic feet of hot air fills a giant nylon balloon to which your basket is attached. Hot air ballooning is becoming a great adventure option in India . To learn to pilot a hot-air balloon you need to be at least 16 years of age and physically fit. Depending on how quickly you master it, training takes three to six months.
Facilities for ballooning are available for amateurs and professionals across the country. A festival balloon mela is organized in Delhi every year and anyone can take a joy ride. The Ballooning Club in India organizes numerous international balloon festivals and demonstration flights annually. There are clubs in Guwahati, Dehradun, Bangalore and Jaipur too.
The Balloon Club of India ,
8 - B Bahadurshah Zafar Marg
New Delhi - 110 002
Tel: 91 - 11- 371 6665
Fax: 91 - 11 - 371 7947
For more ballooning rides
M-51,52 Palika Bhawan,
Opposite Hyatt Regency,
New Delhi - 110066
Tel : 91 - 11- 4102180, 4679059, 6883397, 6111889, 6881206
Fax : 91 - 11 - 6885188,
The climatic and physiographic conditions in Himachal are ideal for paragliding. Due to the varying altitude, the low-lying valleys get intensely heated during summer; as a result, hot air begins to rise from the valley floor in vertical columns. These thermal currents are a delight to paragliding enthusiasts. Once airborne, a great deal of manoeuverability can be achieved with the paraglider. The glider can be steered by pulling suspension lines, which, cause gliding motion, thus enabling the pilot fly at any course at will.
A helmet and a reserve parachute are for the pilot's safety and a variometer to gauge the ascent or descent of the glider. For those who cannot afford the equipment cost or do not have the time to learn flying, there is an alternative. One can sit alongwith an experienced pilot in a Tandem Glider (two-seater) and while the pilot manoeuvers the glider, one can sit back and enjoy the thrill of nonpowered flying.
Paragliding locations: Billing in the Kangra valley, Lahaul, Spiti, Bijli Mahadev, Solang in the Kulu valley, Bandla ridge.
Elementary Courses are training programmes which are for about 3 days, the Intermediate Course is for 10 days, a Basic course is for 5 days and the Advance Course is for 10 days.
Himachal Tourism sponsors training programmes and events at various times of the year. There is an Adventure Sports Hostel at Dharamsala and an Aero Sports Complex at Bir. For details of training facilities, contact sports associations, or the Divisional Tourism Development Officers of Himachal Tourism.
For courses in para gliding
2-A, Takshashila Apts
Tagore Rd , Santacruz (West)
Tel: 91-22-6493110, 91-22-6053724
A hang glider is a flexible wing aircraft that is piloted by shifting one's weight. Flight is dependent on the existence of rising columns of warm air called thermals. Take off involves running off moderate slopes till the glider inflates. Tandem flights use a wing large enough to hold two people, the pilot and a passenger. Though a relatively recent entrant in adventure sports, hang gliding has really caught on with clubs coming up in cities such as Pune, Delhi , Chandigarh , Shimla, Mumbai, Devlali, Bangalore and Kalaheti.
According to experts, while India has good thermal soaring effects during the summer months, and offers hill soaring almost round the year, the soaring in the winter months-although too static-is also good for hang-gliding. Like many other sports hang gliding and para-gliding are dependent on the weather so don't be too disappointed if you land up on a cloudy day and you have to return later.
Himalayan Institute of Adventure SportsVillage Barua
P.O. Bahang, Manali
The Mall (near State Bank of India )
North Face Adventure
The Mall (near Mount View restaurant)