Pokhara is one of the top 5 commercial tandem paragliding locations in the world, with all the right ingredients: stable thermals, convenient take-off and landing zones, the safety of a large lake and incredible mountain views.
Paragliding in Pokhara is the most popular as far as this adventure port is concerned. The take-off point is Sarangkot, which is at an altitude of 1592 meters and just 2.4 km due north of Lakeside in Pokhara (593 m). You can either hike to the site or go on a vehicle (20 minutes). Here’s how one enthusiast describes the adventure: “When they started gearing me up I almost backed out. The height made me really nervous but it has been one of my dreams to do this and somehow I had to do it. I really tried to hold my fear but my pilot could smell it from far and was smiling the whole time.” Undoubtedly, as with any activity involving risk of the unknown kind, paragliding too can set the adrenaline rushing even before you actually jump off. Anyway, he continues, “Finally it was time to take off. With butterflies in my stomach, I closed my eyes and I could literally feel my heart pounding. It was time for us to run and take-off the hill. I was so scared at the time of take-off that I didn’t even realize we had taken off!”
Once you take off, however, you’ll be surprised to realize that it’s like floating serenely, and there’s not much of fear involved, especially since you’ll be having a pilot with you who’s experienced in the sport. You will be generally be taken on a tandem flight; this means that a pilot will be attached with you on the glider in a special harness. Both you and the pilot will have separate harnesses that are attached to each other and the wing, and these harnesses are pretty comfortable too; it’s almost like sitting in an armchair. Your pilot does the flying, and all you do is hang on tight and feast your eyes on the wide and splendid vista below and all around you. For those having a license as a certified paraglider pilot, they can go solo. However, mostly, people go on tandem flights. Another thing, during your 20-30 minutes flight, you might even find yourself soaring in the company of some pretty exotic birds like the Himalayan Griffon Vulture, Egyptian Vulture, Golden Eagle, etc. It’s all a very thrilling experience, no doubt about it! How much is it going to cost you? Well, the rate as of today is around 100 U.S. dollars for a flight.
Safety is taken very seriously indeed; after all, you’ll be flying at pretty high altitudes. Equipment used by all the commercial operators is top-notch, and the pilots are certified and experienced.