Lake city of Pokhara is famous for lots of things, beautiful landscapes, cultural sites and various fun activities one of which is paragliding. Paragliding is an adventure sport famous in various parts of Nepal, Bandipur, Sirkot, Pokhara, and Kathmandu. Pokhara is one of the best places for paragliding because of the factors like perfect thermal conditions, safe take-off and landing places. Flying like a bird in the sky is something people dream about as a child.
Paragliding is closest to flying among other activities that take you to the sky including getting in a hot air balloon and skydiving. It gives you an opportunity to get beautiful views of the landscape and some outstanding views of the mountains. There are any paragliding destinations but not every place can amaze you with the same scenic beauty as Pokhara does. It can be one of the most memorable experiences in your life. Soaring above the sky enjoying a bird’s view of the landscape covered in green fields and hills, rivers, waterfalls, temples, snow-peaked mountains in Annapurna range, scenic villages, lakes fill anyone’s heart with joy.
If you are planning to go paragliding for the first time, you will go for a tandem paragliding which means you will fly with an expert/pilot. Both the pilot and the passenger will have separate seats. A harness attaches the both and the wings securing everything. The pilot will make sure you are comfortable during the take off, flight and landing. Your pilot will navigate for you while you enjoy the scenery without worrying about a thing.
Anyone with a paragliding license can paraglide on their own. You will have to get a permit from civil aviation office in Pokhara which lasts for 15 days.
Many first-timers can’t let go of the feelings one gets during this adventure and want to take this further. There are various paragliding schools which train you to become a pilot. After your training and buying your equipment, you can fly on your own.
Price for paragliding in Pokhara varies depending on the duration of flights and your nationality. Usually, short flight will last for 25-30 minutes while long flight lasts for about an hour, there may be a slight variation. Book a flight at least one day prior just to be sure.
Short Flight: Rs 8,000 per person
Long Flight: Rs 11,000 per person
Short Flight: Rs 10,000 per person
Long Flight: Rs 15,000 per person
Hotel pickup/drop, video, and photographs are usually included within that price. The price may vary a bit but not too much depending upon the company you choose.
For Solo Pilots:
Solo pilots need to get a permit from the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) which costs $50 + 13% VAT for 15 days & and it gets cheaper as the duration gets longer. Paragliding in Pokhara also requires you to be a member of the Nepal Airsports Association (NAA) which costs $16.
Though paragliding can be done in Pokhara throughout the year, September, October and November are considered the best months. Autumn is the peak season when people all around the world visit the lake city for paragliding and many other fun activities. The sky is clear and the thermals can develop quickly which makes flying to 3000 meters possible.
Another famous season is spring (March, April, May). You can also choose a flight in Monsoon offering the views of green fields if you keep looking at the weather and find a clear day. Basically, paragliding can be done at any time of the year as long as the weather is nice.
Flights are usually operated 3 times a day, at around 10 in the morning, at noon and at 2 in the evening. Early flights are calm and stable and those who love thrills should choose the flight in the noon when the thermal has formed properly offering a turbulent flight.
Is it Safe?
Paragliding is just as safe as any other sport. Though you won’t have to worry about anything during a tandem paragliding, there are certain rules one has to follow while paragliding solo or while learning. These rules are mostly there to make paragliding a safe sport with certain disciplines. If you are skilled and know how far you can go without hurting yourself, you will be safe. For tandem paragliding, just be sure that you listen to the instructions carefully and enjoy a comfortable ride. Pokhara is also believed to be one of the safest paragliding destinations.
No matter how safe you play, there is always the risk of unknown accidents. Therefore it is highly advised that you get travel insurance before traveling anywhere especially before taking part in adventurous activities. It may come handy in unexpected situations.