When you are in the sky, you feel wonderful and at the top of this world! Nirvana adventures showed me the best of this world by offering finest para-gliding experience.
I have always been fascinated by the sporty adventures and activities, be it anywhere in the world. Paragliding has always been on the top of my list, maybe because it feels like a bird when flying in the skies and that feeling intrigues me. But again, with paragliding comes a lot of safety queries that are required to be assured. I was more than excited to find out that there is a paragliding site near Mumbai. Once I knew that part, I didn’t waste any time in figuring out the details.
What is Para-gliding?
Para-gliding is an adventure sport where a person glides through the air using a wide canopy, a fabric wing that’s made up of a large number of interconnected cells. In para-gliding, the pilot “takes off” from an elevated position, usually the top of a hill or mountain, then uses wind forces to help him maintain flight – sometimes even for gaining altitudes! Throughout the flight, the pilot sits in a harness suspended below the wing.
While skydiving only lasts for a few minutes since you’re free-falling (and slowing your descent with a parachute towards the end), a skilled para-glider – relying solely on wind forces and thermals – can stay in flight for hours and can cover hundreds of kilometers!
NIRVANA ADVENTURES – A SNEAK PEAK
Established in 1997, as a pioneering adventure sport company, Nirvana Adventures has been in operation in Kamshet (2.5 hours from Mumbai) since its inception. They have discovered and christened a number of sites within a few kilometers of their base suitable for training, learning intermediate skills and advanced flying and have acquired an impressive range of para-gliding and adventure equipment to facilitate safe training operations.
Their activities include initiating newcomers into the wonders of para-gliding and having fun in the sky, offering people tandem para-glide joyrides, site guiding and infrastructure to pilots traveling with their own equipment, procuring quality equipment for our students and conducting explorations and free flying trips to sites around the area and the world.
They have run Paragliding camps in Sri Lanka, Bangalore and Goa and have earned a name as a premier adventure company in the press and among adventure enthusiasts and clubs across the country and the world.
They say that if you want something, you need to earn it! Well, that’s true in this case; before you can launch from the mountain top, you need to climb up the mountain first…and FAST, because you need to catch the wind conditions while it’s favorable for flying!
It was a three hour drive from my place to the Nirvana resort. We left in the morning and made it there by the afternoon. Our journey was a little delayed due to some major construction work on the roads which for one second convinced me that we will have to return back home without the para-gliding experience this time.
Fortunately, we got the way cleared in sometime and then was this beautiful scenery in front me. It felt like another world, a beautiful one. There was this very beautiful lake known as the Uksan Lake which had these mountains and trees around; I had never seen a lake prettier than this in my life ever. I was feeling the serenity about the trip ahead by the view I was traveling along with.
Once I reached the resort, we were offered lunch which by the way was delicious and much needed as we were very hungry. We were told that we could come by the site after having lunch and we followed the instruction.
I was really tired and didn’t want to hike at all but I knew I had to. To my surprise, there was a four wheeler waiting for us that was going to drop us on to the site. I was extremely happy about that part and once I landed on the site, I couldn’t really wait for the adventure to begin.
Unfortunately, there was no wind that day. We waited a couple of hours but then had to go back to the resort. We were told that we will be flying next morning. I was disappointed but then the resort and the peaceful ambiance made my evening.
When I say trekking, I mean a small distance that we had to cover after we got down by the four wheeler. This wasn’t a lot of walking but at the same time it was amusing as it is no fun flying without the climb. During the drive up to the jump zone I got nervous and excited, I couldn’t believe that I was about to run off the edge of a mountain and glide back down to earth.This was my favorite part of the entire trip. It was the Para-gliding day!
While trekking, I could see para-gliders launching off from the mountain top; that really got me excited, as it hit me that I was going to be flying in a few minutes!!!
After about 15 minutes, we finally reached the launched spot!!!
Since para-gliding is an extreme sport filled with many risks (you can get injured or die in case it’s not obvious), I had to sigh an indemnity for before proceeding. It’s standard protocol. Up the mountain at the jump zone we got a short briefing and explanation, after this we geared up and were strapped to the parachute and the instructor. And then it was time to run. When we were being taken to one of the highest hills to para-glide, I felt a bit of fright. But once I was ready with all the helmet and belts on and was pushed to fly, trust me, there was no other feeling better than to be high in the air without any fear, worry or thought.
Our first trial was successful and I had to keep running towards the edge. Then we were over the edge and soaring through the sky. It was amazing; you could see everything from up there. As I glided through the air I could see everything around me, the beautiful landscape,the lake and all the towns around the mountain. It was a magnificent view and a very exciting experience to be so high up in the sky. The sheer force behind the wind in combination with the parachute is amazing.
Those 15-20 minutes of my life were one of the best and most relaxed times I could have ever spent. The view from up there was magnificent. I was flying with the eagles. It is definitely an unforgettable experience.
While landing, it felt like being on a roller-coaster, but better! We did a downward spiral which was a lot of fun. The landing is similar to taking off, you have to run again to make sure the parachute does not land on you. Unfortunately, I fell down and it was quite funny!
I took all this excitement along with me with so much contentment while leaving the para-gliding site. It is a memory that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
Para-gliding Course Options
Elementary Pilot Course: INR 20000/- (4 Days / 3 Nights)
Taster Course: INR 16000/- (3 Days / 2 Nights)
Intro Course: INR 12000/- (2 Days / 1 Night)
- Complimentary Food & Stay in Dorms/Tents
- Daily Transport from guest house to flying site and back every day
- Equipment Usage
- Radio Supervision
- Simulator Session
- Course Material Kit
- Audio Visual Classroom Sessions
You can also purchase Nirvana T-shirts to make it a little more interesting!
These Bluetooth speakers by Landmark have been a good source of entertainment for me throughout the trip as you will find no network in the area. Be sure to grab your speakers too from the nearest landmark stores!
Now as for the flight itself, it’s best to show it to you in video-form. Are you ready? Well, buckle your seat belt, and then click “Play” on the video! Let’s get flying.
PHOTOGRAPHY CREDITS – VARSHA RAMNANI
How has your Para-gliding experience been? Have you been to Kamshet before? Please let me know if you have any queries about Nirvana Adventures.