Sky is the limit

Features Issue 116 Jul, 2011
Text by Niraj Karki / Photo: ECS Media

The most beautiful dream that has haunted the heart of man since Icarus is today reality - Louis Bleriot. The most beautiful dream that has haunted the heart of man since Icarus is today reality — Louis Bleriot.

Its like.. flying’ – that’s people’s first hand accounts of paragliding. A dream that has actually come true for man – to be in the sky and soar with the creatures of flight. And here in Nepal people live that dream everyday.


Paragliding Sites
Pokhara, with fairly constant weather conditions is the centre for paragliding in Nepal although there are Kathmandu and Bandipur are now becoming very popular as well.

Paragliding in Kathmandu is operated by Kathmandu Paragliding ( from Chapakharka, Kot Danda, Godavari and Fulchowki which are all within a hour or twos drive away from the centre of Kathmandu.

The main area for flying in Nepal is the Annapurna region, more specifically the Pokhara valley from where 3 of the worlds 8000m peaks are visible while you fly.

Sites within Pokhara
The most accessible and popular site around Phewa Lake, Sarangkot is at 1500masl and 2000ft above the lake set in the backdrop of mountains with unlimited potential for XC and out and returns. Most pilots will only fly from this location but there are other locations around the valley all of which need to be walked up such as Dikie Danda, Devi Falls, Poomdi and Matepani, all of which can be connected by air from Sarangkot.

Learn to fly! (who wouldn’t?)

If the one time flying isn’t enough and you want to take control of your flight in the sky, there are courses for all levels from the beginner pilots licence to serious advanced courses available in Nepal run by highly certified professionals. Courses are run by different companies and will vary in structure.
Beginner courses after which a pilots licence can be obtained usually consist of 3 levels and cost from 950-1500. There are further courses for XC, SIV and Acro which cost from around 300-400 (usually around 100 a day). Besides these, refresher, pilot tandem and thermalling courses are also available.
Courses run on the same seasons as normal flying.

List of companies
In Kathmandu
Kathmandu Paragliding
( Pokhara and Bandipur
Blue Sky Paragliding (Thamel, Lakeside)(
Sunrise Paragliding
Frontiers Paragliding
(, Flying Fever Paragliding
( of courses/best seasons to go
The best times to go paragliding are from March-April or Oct-Nov. Within reason, there are no restrictions on age or weight and is open for anyone to try. Bookings can be made either directly at the company or at one of the many agencies around lakeside and in Thamel. While in Pokhara, a lot of hotels too offer booking services too Equipment
The cost of rentals are usually covered in the cost of the flight. For those that advance beyond the pilots level, buying their own equipment is a good option particularly if taking further courses. Equipment is best bought from the flying company Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return — Leonardo Da Vinci


Types of flights Discovery tandem flight (cloud buster)
The most basic flight where a pilot accompanies you. The pure thrill of being airborne and incredible views.
Flight duration: 30-45 minutes.
Cost: 70-80
Cross country (XC) tandem
For those who have already tried discovery tandem, this offers the chance to fly from one valley to another using thermals and clouds.
Flight duration: 1 hour
Cost: 100-120
Expedition tandem flight
Several Hours, 130
Acrobatic flying For the ultimate rush of adrenaline, and real showcase of skill – try manoeuvres like Helicopter, SAT, Back-fly, Tumble and Wingover” for some truly acrobatic flying.
Cost: - 70-80
Flight duration: 10-20 mins.