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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Adventure India : Reppelling and Paragliding - 8

Guys just take a look on some Indian adventurous sports.


Rappelling or abseiling (to rope down) is the process of descending a rope under control, used in rock climbing, mountaineering, caving and canyoneering; used to descend cliffs or slopes too steep to walk down.

A much safer adventure sport than mountain climbing. Anyone with normal fitness levels can participate in this activity. Though it sounds scary being a free fall where the rope hangs free not touching rocks or walls, the sport is not dangerous. It must, of course, be done under supervision. It is said, if you can walk, you can rappel too. Karnataka, HP and Uttaranchal offer some interesting sites.

Best Time : Mid May to Mid October


Paragliding is a recreational and competitive flying sport. A paraglider is a free-flying, foot-launched aircraft. The pilot sits in a harness suspended below a fabric wing, whose shape is formed by the pressure of air entering vents in the front of the wing.

Famous for glaciers and snowcapped mountains and winter festival, Solang Valley and Deori Ghat provide just the right kind of slopes for paragliding during summer.

A combination of hang gliding and parachuting, India has immense paragliding possibilities with the Himalayas in the north and the Sahayadri ranges on the west coast. These sites have conditions for both ridge, thermal soaring, and ideal cross country routes almost all the year round, except during the monsoons. Distance world records have been set at international competitions held in India.

The gigantic Dhauladhar range extending for about 160 kms and rising to a height of approximately 4000 metres from the Kangra valley, provides an excellent launching pad for the thrilling sports or para and hang gliding.

Best Time : June to August

Following are the most famous paragliding sites in India:

01. Towerl Hill

Site Name: Tower Hill, Kamshet
Site Location: Tower hill is near Kamshet on Mumbai Pune highway.
(Tower hill paragliding site on google earth)
Height From Ground Level: 750 feet
Height From Sea Level: 2900 feet
Facing Towards: East
Approx Slope: 60 degrees to 80 degrees
Take-Off Point: Huge flat and less-slopy takeoff area
Landing Area: Agriculture and non argiculture plain fields. Lookout for electricity cables at two places.
Flying Season: October to February

Description: One of the best sites for paragliding in India. Huge take-off area and hours of ridge soaring will make your day. Good for east, north-east-east, and south-east-east winds. Please remember that winds conditions at the bottom of the hill be little different than the top of the hill. You can gain heights of upto 2000 feet from ground level.

02. Shelar Hill

Site Name: Shelar Hill
Site Location: 8 kms from Kamshet on Mumbai Pune highway (Shelar hill paragliding site on google earth)
Height From Ground Level: 270 feet
Height From Sea Level: 2600 feet
Facing Towards: West
Approx Slope: Slope below the takeoff is around 45 degrees. Slope above takeoff is around 85 degrees.
Take-Off Point: Not very big, but comfortable. Watch for a big rock on your left, while launching.
Landing Area: Plain agriculture fields.
Flying Season: February to May

Description: Very good flight site. Takeoff is not from the top of the hill, its only from at the height of 270 feets. But after takeoff you can use the ridge at your backside which has a slope of around 85 degrees. Very good site for soaring in west or north-west wind conditions.

03. Kanifnath

Site Name: Kanifnath (Kaneefnaath)
Site Location: 22 kms from Pune on Sholapur road. Near Hadapsar. (Kanifnath paragliding site on google earth)
Height From Ground Level: 1,000 feet.
Facing Towards: East and North East (two ridges)
Approx Slope: 65 degrees to 80 degrees.
Take-Off Point: Good take-off area
Landing Area: Open agriculture and non-agriculture plain fields.
Flying Season: October to February

Description: Site is good for ridge and thermal soaring. It is good for east and north east wind conditions. Thermal starts at around 10:30 AM and lasts till late evening. Some people have attemplted cross country flights from here and were successful. Some people even do paramotoring from kanifnath to Hadapsar Flying Club.

04. Pavna

Site Name: Pavna, Near Pavna Dam
Site Location: Pavna dam, near Kamshet on Mumbai Pune highway. (Pavna lake paragliding site on google earth)
Height From Ground Level: 300 feet
Facing Towards: West
Approx Slope: 30 degrees to 60 degrees
Take-Off Point: Big and easy takeoffs
Landing Area: Landing area is little away from the hill. Don't try to land near the hill as it has some fencing. Also lookout for electric poles at the left most point.
Flying Season: February to May

Description: This site is recently discovered by Temple Pilots club. Take off is easy. Avoid a galli on your left while taking off. If you are sinking much, head straight for landing, don't try much or you may end up landing in some fences.

Related Links :

01. Adventure Sports : Active India - The Real Adventure - 1
02. Adventure India : Land of Snow - 2
03. Adventure India : Rock Climbing - 3
04. Adventure India : Mountaineering - 4
05. Adventure India : Climbing Precautions in India - 5
06. Adventure India : Hang Gliding - 6
07. Adventure India : Mountain Biking - 7
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