Being born in a family with roots in the Indian Air Force, I always had an innate wish to fly. I always wished to have wings and fly like a bird. By the time I grew up to a teen I got obsessed with Paragliding but.. but.. but.. for one reason or the other, it’s still a dream…sob sob. Also, with India hosting the Paragliding World Championship for the first time, I have already started to pack my bags!
For the first time in Indian history, Paragliding World Championship 2015 will be hosted in Kangra Valley, Himachal. It is going to be a sight to watch hundreds of pilots sailing smoothly through the blue sky of Paraglider’s paradise Bir Billing Valley of Himachal. This event is set to be a game changer for people with this niche passion.
We have rounded up 10 things you must know about this Paragliding Championship:
1. For the first time India will host this World Championship being organized between 23rd to 30th October 2015.
2. This event will consist of almost 130 paragliders from over forty countries.
3. World’s finest paragliders – Maxime Pinot, Clement Latour and Julien Wirtz (all from France), Andreas Malecki (Germany) and Jurij Vidic (Slovenia) have confirmed their participation in this memorable event.
4. The top five paragliding pilots from across the globe are also expected to participate in this championship.
5. Due to the extreme nature of the sport, a pre-world cup event was held in 2013 which was received very positively.
6. Bir Billing Valley in Himachal is considered to be the second best aero sports sites across the globe.
7. This one of its kind event is being organised by The Billing Paragliding Association (BPA) and sponsored by Airports Authority of India (AAI).
8. To increase the fun-factor in this event, other activities such as hot air balloon ride, acro shows and special themed programmes are also being organised.
9. For the very first time in the history of sports 22 carat Gold Medals, 99.9% Silver Medals as well as Pure Bronze Medals (sponsored by Vishal Chain & Jewellery Pvt. Ltd.) will be presented to the winners.
10. The take-off site at Billing (situated at an altitude of 2,325 metres) and landing site at Bir (1,360 metres) have been refurbished to match the international standards of championship.
11. This first-ever aero sport World Cup in the country is expected to boost adventure sports as well as tourism in the state of Himachal Pradesh.
12. It was at Bir Billing, that the World Record for an out and return flight of remarkable 132.5 km was set in the year 1992.
Well you are all pepped up to participate or may be just cheering the participants; it won’t hurt if you could find out some time to explore this mesmerizing place. Tea gardens, deodar trees, mountains, valley and scrumptious food… what better way to relax your mind and soul?
If you are travelling from Delhi, you can reach Bir Billing Valley in almost 12 to 14 hours. In case you plan t travel by air, Dharamshala is the closest airport. During your stay in the valley you must not miss on an opportunity to visit War Memorial, Kunal Pathri, St. John’s Church and Kangra Art Museum. Also, indulging in some local food and markets will make this holiday an unforgettable affair.
So, mark 23rd October 2015 on your calendar and brace yourself for the mega sporting happening of the season. Just pull the string and with the world miles below you, glide away into the sunset!