Kathmandu. Commercial paragliding flights have now started from Chandragiri, a busy hill station in the Kathmandu Valley. Babu Adventures has started paragliding operations by flying from Chandragiri and landing at Chitlang in Makwanpur.
Pilot Sanobabu Sunuwar, Nepal’s first trainer for high-altitude paragliding, started commercial flights through this company. Sunuwar is the winner of the ‘Adventures of the Year-2012’ award from National Geography.
The paragliding flight starts from Chandragiri Hill, 20 minutes west of Bhaleshwar Temple; the upper station is designated. According to the company, the flight started from Chandragiri (2300 meters), and from there it will reach a height of 100 meters in the sky. Then the paragliding landing is done at Chitlang, which is 1700 meters high.
During the paragliding flight, one can observe the ‘aerial view’ of Bhaleshwar temple as well as most of the terrain of Kathmandu Valley, the company said. During the flight, the terrain of Rasuwa and Dhading can also be seen. It is said that one can have an attractive view of Makwanpur’s Tistung, Palung, and other man-made Indrasarovar lakes from the flight. When the weather clears, a wide range of snow can be seen towards the north.
Most of the flight time is spent in the forest. The company has obtained permission to fly 12 paragliders at a time. Manager Sunuwar said that up to 100 people can be served a day. Sunuwar, who is running a paragliding school at Swarek Maidan in Syangja, says that adventure air tourism is possible all over Nepal and that they have invested in Chandragiri to give valley dwellers the taste of flying in Kathmandu.
He said that one and a half crores have been invested to operate paragliding in Chandragiri, and there is a plan to increase the investment. He said that paragliding was started in Chandragiri after about 6 years of research, paperwork, and physical preparation.
How much is the fee? The company has set a fee of Rs 8,000 per person for paragliding in Chandragiri. This fee includes a 15- to 25-minute paragliding flight, photos and videos of that period, as well as transportation from Kathmandu to the paragliding site. Photo and video equipment is managed by the company itself. Sunuwar informed us that foreign nationals have to pay a fee of 12,000 rupees per person for the same package.
Nepali tourists who do not have the facility of going and coming in the company’s vehicle will be able to enjoy the paragliding flight by paying 7,200 rupees.