Thursday, 9 January 2014

Tourists take wings in snow-covered Solang valley



Himachal Vacation Travel News
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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