Call it adventure or a flight to fancy, Paragliding is a terrific mix of both. No threatening statutory warnings, no cumbersome gear, no fear factor, just pure fun. If one has ever dreamt of flying like a bird, this would make the dream come true. A leap from the hilltop is a giant step towards an ecstatic experience.
Naukuchiatal is part of Nainital, about 20 km downhill. The view is breathtaking and it’s away from the maddening rush of main Nainital where driving or walking is a task. On your drive towards Bhimtal, through the serpentine road, you come across many signboards announcing paragliding adventure. As you enter the quieter hamlet you would spot many bikers eager to find your interest in trying paragliding. You show slightest of interest and they are ready to escort you to the gliding site. Prices vary anywhere from 900 to 1500.
All your apprehensions regarding the safety vanish when you see people of all ages and sizes gearing up for the show (Although the maximum weight limit is 90 KG) You are taken to the hilltop from where the warm and friendly staff takes over to prepare you for the jump. Waiting can be annoying sometimes, especially when you were told you’d not have to wait. Once it’s your turn, you are given the gear which appears like a backpack. My tiny little niece, all of nine years, could load it on her frail back with ease. The tandem partner, called pilot, attaches a hook with your gear and you are good to go. Two steps forward and you are up in the air. It never appears like a free fall and you find yourself floating in the air.
Even a giant wheel causes more rumbling in the stomach, but this one is just ecstasy of flying. You take an eagle eye’s view of the ground below. The houses and cars look like toys; lake and mountains, pine trees, streams, meadows and nature’s plentiful bounty are all for your taking. You have the choice to enjoy that in solitude or if you are the chatty kinds, you can converse with your so called pilot who is more than willing to oblige. The landing is as smooth as an elegant bird’s. The airborne time is just 5-7 minutes but the experience is for a lifetime. Don’t miss it the next time you are in Nainital. It could be the beginning of your expedition to the world of adventure.