Pokhara Paragliding: Angling Aviation

Nepal possesses my stery treasure of tourism destinations. Three single mono-products of the world of Nepal, i.e., Mt. Everest, Lumbini, the birthplace of lord Buddha and Hindu salvation (tapobhumi), and coupling of ‘nature and culture’ (prakriti r sanskriti ko sangam) eternally allure the tourists of the globe. They are never exhausting products of Nepal.

Such destinations are rare in the world. Besides, eight highest peaks above 8 thousand meters, the third destination in the paraglide, within ten ranked Annapurna trekking circuit, etc, are known and noted products record of the world tourism. Panoramic land elevation- 60 meter to 8 thousand 8 hundred 48 meters range provides all possible weather and climate except marine water surfing, constitute adventurous enchantments in this country. This small piece of writing dares to probe out one of the adventurous tourism products (recreation aviation) in Nepal. After skydive paraglide is regarded as one of the funs flying on the air (aerial suspension).

Pokhara, Sarangkot (1590m plus Toripani 1600m) paraglide both take off pads, where more than 60 paraglide companies operate flights by two to 3 pilots each day in off and peak season respectively, fall within 3 top ranked world known recreation aviation destinations. The reasons behind that are identified when you do angling aviation in Pokhara.

Tourism (sector) is one of the best and potential means of economic viability of Nepal. It has privileges of richest natural and cultural products and the closest and biggest markets which are lying adjacent- China and India, the pivot of Asia. Now, after the settlement of political instability (issues), i.e., federal republic political set up, (parliamentary system), it is the time for accelerating economic development in Nepal.

The state and its statecraft men have to figure out and prioritize tourism for economic growth and prosperity of the nation. Tourism is the business of attractions of five sense organs of human being which are no scarcity in Nepal. Among varieties of tourism products, adventure tourism attracts the most guests in Nepal. Trekking, rafting, paraglide, skydive, ultra lights, taxi and helicopters for mountain sight scenes, zip-line, bungi jump, cannoning, rock climbing, hunting, elephant ride, and jungle safari are mostly in practices in Nepal. In spite of that, poor infrastructures, i.e., both hardware and software, have not been able to synergize the desired pace of achievements.

The concerned stakeholders have to do a lot in this regard. It is imperative to develop basic physical infrastructures and human capitals, i.e., manaw samsadhan or skill, knowledge, knowhow, experience and hospitality culture (affairs). Though aspirants hoteliers, home-stay communities and individuals entrepreneurs lack lot of preparation/managements and knowledge to manage this area, the newly elected  three levels-761 governments assumes to allure over 50 million tourists by 2023 annually. But such an ambitious plan and interest can not be succeeded sans well infrastructures and activities that help to cater the guests. Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) and concerned stakeholders/authorities have to do a lot for promotional activities.

Paraglide in Pokhara:

Sarankot plus Toripani take off pads and Fewa lakeside landing ground offers unique paraglide destination in Pokhara. The paraglide location of Sarankot provides wonderful natural requirements that create recreation aviation viable. Famous Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and Manaslu ranges to the north and blue Fewa and Begnas lakes with greenery surroundings jungle around them with beautiful Pokhara city and villages on and beyond the aviation descending: 8 hundred 30 meter elevation of Pokhara to 15 hundred 90 meter plus 16 hundred meter Sarankot plus Toripani hills with easy bow of wind facility effectively boons the recreation (paraglide) aviations. Recently (February 2018) Nepal Air Sport Association (NASA) had hosted an event (paraglide competition) bringing together all Asian Continent Paraglide Association members (20 countries and 74 persons) for the preparation of Paraglide World Cup in near future.

‘These days Pokhara has been the first choice destination of Chinese tourists. Pokhara tourism is blooming because of paragliding” says Tara Pahari, MD of Flying Buddha Company. The other tourism entrepreneurs including Sovit Baniya, chairman of NASA too asserts this statement. Chinese are more attracted in paraglide, elephant ride and rafting in Nepal. Therefore, entrepreneurs have to create network, linkages, and good market management in these three products bringing together Pokhara, Chitwan and Trishuli and Kaligandaki Rivers. A concerted plan of action is imperative to allure Indian and tourists from aboard countries as that takes place in recreation aviation of New York City with helicopter, taxi hoper and other services for aerial view/sight scenes.

Pokhara paraglide recreation is very easy and cheaper. For more than one hour fly hardly cost 500 $ to 600 $ (US dollar) including photos and movies plus vehicle transportation to and from city to landing and takeoff sites (up Sarankot and down Pame). On the take off and landing spots, hotels, lodges and cafes are rampant to feed whatever foods and snacks items you desired. All aviation pilots, about 207 (98% Nepali and rest foreigner) are well trained and experienced who brief and narrate the thrilling suspension before the take off. The passenger or guest can have his/her own camera or do selfi and movies with the camera provided and attached with the parachute and easily do records during the fly time. Otherwise the companies provide photos/images and videos later from the respective office.  Once in life no tourist can forget/miss the heavenly enchantment from the recreation aviation in Nepal. Young or old, male or female sans any discretion an board on the safe parachute and just take off with two to three steps jumps, then move down or up from Sarankot hill observing Annapurn-Machhapuxre Himalayan ranges and roam for a while on the air then descend down Sarankot beautiful village settlements along the greenery forest/jungle and look down blue Fewa lake with Peace Stupa on the top of lakeside dense jungle to the south. During the swing far from your glide one can see Mt. Dhaulagiri ranges: beyond Gurja, Putha and Churen Himalayans to the west and Manaslu, Lamjung himals to the east. Along those panoramic scenes of Pokhara valley, two airports and Begnas Lake to Hengja, Lumle, Panchase are sites to view from the parachute.

At large, tourism of Pokhara can be branded as paraglide and mountain sight scene. It has to operate regular mountain flight as from TIA Kathmandu. Conglomeration of natural and cultural beauties deserves Pokhara tourism hub and one of the best destinations. If one goes inside the heart of ethnic community, he or she will surprise the homely and eternal hospitality which is probably rare in the world tourism destination. The hospitality has no value in money or cash rather unlimited love and sacrifice. On of such typical samples is folk song with dance and siren of Gaine son or Panchebaza (band) or night stay in (Chilaunekhark, Kalabang or Henjakot) home-stay around or outskirt of Pokhara valley. Pokhara paraglide is well fed by the nature and culture of local hospitalities.  Acute things are still to improve and promote for further betterment and smooth tourism development in Pokhara.

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