If you have ever visited Rohtang Pass during the peak season you probably have a very different opinion of what paragliding in Himachal Pradesh stands for. Mine was no different , what with hordes of tourists lining up for a barely 20 meters drop by a glider over a bend in Manali Rohtang road? But by a lucky stroke I came to know about paragliding avenues at Bir near Jogindernagar in Kangra valley , Himachal. I was looking to add more adventure into my trip to Parvati Valley and so was identifying possible excursions nearby when my Himachali friend suggested Jogindernagar. A quick google search and the destination was settled – a professional looking paragliding experience, a relatively unknown place and a beautiful valley to boot, just what the doctor ordered.
Now, I am blessed to have friends who are yet to say no to any trip idea that I threw at them , without any notice. This was no different and plan was hastily drafted to travel all the way to Jogindernagar and then to Kasaul.
Paragliding facilities are not much publicised ( to my surprise) and even at Mandi we were struggling to find any leads as to where exactly do we go and if at all its open at that time of year. It turned out no one had any idea and they suggested us to go to Manali and Rohtang, like that idea never crossed my mind and had not been summarily rejected. Anyhow we got the no of the operator from the aforementioned Himachali friend and the trip resumed.
We went to a small place called Billing ( or was it Bir?) near Jogindernagar where the operator met us and quickly took us to the top most part of the hill with a scary vertical drop. All loaded with the shute, we were calmly asked to jump over the ledge at count of 10….excuse me? Jump over the ledge. Just like that. So calming my mind by thoughts that the “tandem guy” knows what he is talking about, I took the leap of faith. What followed are 30 mins of pure ecstasy!
Watch out the video below, it shows final few minutes and somersaults :