Tourists take wings in snow-covered Solang valley
MANALI: The urge to take wings and fly over the snow-covered
pine and deodar forests is drawing hundreds of tourists to Solang valley for
paragliding. A beeline of adventure enthusiasts is being witnessed to Solang which
is deep under two-foot snow.
The complete
white valley is welcoming visitors for paragliding and skiing. The season is
for winter sports but paragliding above the snow-covered valley is thrilling
tourists the most. Entire valley experienced 30cm of fresh overnight snowfall.
A pleasant day on Thursday, with sun playing hide and seek with clouds, offered
a good time for adventure lovers who thronged here since early morning.
Tourists enjoy paragliding in Solang Valley
Nearly 40
trained pilots are offering tandem flights to hundreds of tourists who are
standing on queues for their turn. Most of the tourists are taking off with
their wings on the shoulders for the first time but those who are not new to
this game are also flying on snow for the first time. Aneek Gupta from
Maharashtra who had already tried hands on paragliding in Kamshet said, “I had
never expected that paragliding can be done on snow covered mountains and
valleys too. My experience was unforgettable. The only complain is the pilot
didn’t allow me to fly at my own saying that he cannot take risk.”
Not only men,
but women and children are also enjoying the scenic beauty of Himalayas from
the sky. Some paragliders have special arrangements to take photographs by
specially designed cameras to make this moment unforgettable. Ridhvi Jain from
Delhi adds, “It was icy cold when I was flying. I felt like my tears had turned
ice. Mountains, valleys, rivers and snow look completely different from the
sky. It’s one of the best things I ever did in my life.”
Roshan Lal, a
young paragliding pilot, said among couples paragliding is most desired by
women. “Time has changed. Now women are more adventurous than the men. Many
time men avoid flying but their female partners insist on jumping off from a
mountain face as fast as we can do,” he said. According to him, flying
paraglider is totally dependent on the air and their union is taking special
care of safety. “Taking off from the icy mountain face is sometime difficult
but landing on snow is totally safe. To add to the thrill of the tourists, we
land on snow in a way so that both pilot and tourists keep on skidding on it
for a while.”
The road towards
Rohtang pass has blocked permanently with snow for few months and the entire
tourist flow is diverting towards Solang valley. Hovering of the paragliders
over the valley is forcing almost all the tourist to try hand for just Rs 700
at least once.

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