From Icarus in Greek mythology, trying to fly with artificial wings to the invention of the aircrafts, flying has always captured the imagination of the human mind. In this edition Crank brings to you the information about Paragliding, an active sport that not only helps you soar high and fly like a bird but also provides a vantage view of some of the most spectacular landscapes from the top!

The sport requires minimal training and one can start with experiencing it on a tandem with an experienced pilot. The equipment used is often referred to as paraglider wing or canopy and the pilot is supported underneath the wing by a network of suspension lines. The pilot is buckled into a harness, beneath the lines. The paraglider is maneuvered using two lines known as the brake lines, which are pulled for turning and also breaking for landing.Variometers, radios, and, increasingly, GPS units are some of the instruments the pilots use during flying. These paragliders are lightweight (around 12-15 kgs), portable and can be carried on the pilots back as a rucksack

One can enroll for a preliminary course and learn about launching, turning and landing and in most cases one can make the first flight within 2 days of training. A few supervised solo flights and then an opportunity to fly solo makes this an interesting sport. Post the completion of the preliminary course, one can enroll for the advanced pilot course to learn advanced techniques of paragliding

However, before selecting the institution make sure that the institution has a valid certification and also check the rating of the certification. It is imperative to make sure the school is safety complaint and certified

Paragliding happens throughout the year except in the monsoon season and India boosts of some spectacular sites. Bir-Billing in Himachal is the home to Paragliding with the distinction of hosting the first ever world cup for paragliding in India. It’s not only scenic but is revered as a great site to fly by professional paragliders across the world. With the Himalayan ranges peeping through the landscape it makes for a great adventure holiday destination. Kamshet in Pune is the second most popular destination in India for paragliding. Apart from this you can experience Paragliding in Manali, Masoorie, Ranikhet, Nainitaal, Panchgani& Bangalore.

Keeping with the Valentine theme we have a special couple Meenu Yadav and Amit Kakade based in Bir, Himachal. They left their cushy corporate job of 20 years, travelled across the country to settle here, learn paragliding and participate in paragliding competitions. They now paraglide extensively and Amit also teaches there as well. The couple started cycling in the para-off season to just explore the place and keep themselves fit but they soon got addicted to it and rode across SouthEast Asia on their bikes from Singapore-Malaysia-Thailand in 2015 and then Cambodia-Vietnam-Laos,up to China in 2016. They love riding & flying with each other,supporting and  competing with each other and having a lot of fun in the process!!. They also help travelers to explore trails on a bicycle and fly on tandem Paraglide in Bir!!! Connect up with them at  next time you are in the vicinity.

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