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  • Man’s quest for conquering the skies led him to invent airplanes, gliders and other aircraft that would let him soar into the skies and gambol among the clouds like a free bird. Of all the air-sports in practice today, paragliding in India has won much popularity. Unlike other light aviation sports, paragliding allows the flier to be one with his surroundings and integrate himself with his carrier and soar into the sky like a free bird.

    Unlike parasailing at the beach, paragliding usually does not require an engine propeller. Despite this, the flight can last for several hours and if the pilot is deft at manoeuvring, he can gain altitude up to several thousands of feet. There are different variations of paragliding tours in India such as hang gliding, powered paragliding, speed riding or speed flying and kite skiing. Hang gliding is a close relative of standard paragliding and uses a lightweight hang glider for the flight. Powered paragliding uses an engine propeller to aid the movement of the glider. Speed riding or speed flying is the sport of flying paragliders of smaller size. These gliders offer greater speed but lesser altitude.

    This sport requires minimal training and can be enjoyed by people of any age group or gender. The best part about it is that, unlike other light aviation sports, the control lies completely in the hands of the individual flying the glider. He can stop and abort the take-off any moment he wants to and hence the sport gives you total freedom. Besides, paragliding gives you a wonderful opportunity to view the landscape from a different angle and enjoy the beauty of any region like never before. Soaring into the skies, you can relish a bird’s eye view of the region below you and soak in its natural grandeur.

    If paragliding has always fascinated you and you are weighing your options of undertaking this amazing adventure, here is some information that will serve as a paragliding guide and quell all your doubts and help to strengthen your resolve:

  • About Paragliding

  • 01Why Fly?

    Why Fly?

    Flying was once man’s greatest fantasy. Almost everyone knows the story of Icarus, the Greek mythological character, who attempted to fly with artificial wings but was unfortunately unsuccessful. The story has a number of moral and political connotations, but also reflects on the innate desire of man to fly like a bird.

    With the advancement of science and technology, man has built aircraft and even rockets that enable him to soar high in the skies. However, paragliding is a different kind of experience as it allows an individual to become one with his environment and surroundings and enjoy the flight just as a free bird would.

    If you have always wondered what it would be like to fly like a bird in the sky, here’s your chance to live your fantasy. Paragliding is safe and easy and is just the right sport to indulge in if you crave for some adventure and adrenaline rush.


  • 02What is Paragliding?

    What is Paragliding?

    Paragliding is a recreational sport and the closest way for humans to achieve their long cherished dream of free flight. Paragliding in India is performed using a light-weight, foot-launched aircraft that has no rigid structure. The pilot is secured to this structure using a harness and a fabric wing aids the flight of the individual.

    This wing is kept in shape and in place by the network of harnesses that keeps the pilot suspended. It is the easiest form of light aviation and all the pilot needs to do is jog down a slope and take flight. There is no free-falling or jumping off cliffs in paragliding and hence it is safe even for those who have no experience of flying whatsoever.

    Usually people get confused with terms such as parasailing and hang gliding. These are not the same as paragliding but are variants. Parasailing is what you do at the beach. A person is attached to a high speed boat with a harness. The speed boat moves ahead, dragging the person behind it who is suspended in the air with the help of a parachute. Hang gliding requires a light weight, non-motorised aircraft called a hang glider.

    Paragliding is much easier than all these light aviation sports and it depends on the driver on how adventurous or safe he wants to make his experience. However, preliminary training is a must for every pilot for safe flights.

    If the idea of paragliding scares you, it is important that you understand that there is no fear of heights in the sport as there is no need for you to jump off cliffs. Furthermore, in paragliding the control is absolutely yours. Unlike other light aviation games, you can abort the launch at any moment you feel uncomfortable. In addition, the equipment is light, easy to handle and easily portable.

    Nevertheless, your safety depends completely on your dedication and sincerity in learning your flying lessons. If you learn the basics well, you can paraglide till the age of ninety. However, keeping the weather conditions in mind is advisable before you set out for a paragliding session.




  • 03What is a Paraglider?

    What is a Paraglider?
    Image Credit : momo - flickr

    Paragliders are light-weight, foot-launched aircraft that are built on a non-rigid frame. Although these aircrafts are not fitted with a motor propeller, they can fly very long distances and gain impressive altitude, if manoeuvred in the right manner.

    Paragliders usually weigh around 12 to 15 kgs and can be easily packed into a backpack. The wing of the paraglider is made of rib stop nylon cloth and the wing of the paraglider is maintained by the flow of air across it. The wing forms the canopy and the pilot sits beneath it and is held in place by a harness. The aircraft is manoeuvred using two lines known as the brake lines, which are pulled for turning.

    Paragliders use the same principle of aerodynamics as Boeings. However, they are slower than Boeings and can be inflated even if there is very less wind. The procedure of using a paraglider is to run on a gentle slope till the paraglider lifts you off the ground.

    In case, the paraglider does not inflate completely, the launch is aborted. The best part about paragliding is that the control lies completely with the pilot. Unlike other aviation sports, the launch can be aborted any minute the pilot feels diffident or uncomfortable.


  • Paragliding Destinations in India

  • 04Manali

    Manali
    One of the most popular hill stations in the country, Manali is also known for the possibilities it offers to paragliding enthusiasts. Besides the breath-taking landscape, Manali has some great slopes such as those of the Solang Valley, which facilitate a perfect take-off. You can soar into the beautiful Kullu Valley and enjoy the beauty of Manali from giddying heights.
    Paragliding in Manali

    Paragliding in Manali

    NNNMM1 Reviews

    lManali

    O1,200

    Starting from

    O1,000

  • 05Bir Billing

    Bir Billing
    Bir Billing is located in the state of Himachal Pradesh and is one of those places where you can enjoy the paragliding in India. Bir Billing is surrounded by beautiful tea gardens and is located amidst the Dauladhar Ranges of mighty Himalayas. The village of Bir Billing is also known as the Tibetan Colony Chougan and has many beautiful Buddhist Monasteries.

    There are plethora of vendors in Bir Billing, which offer the paragliding activity. It can be short flight, medium flight or the long flight, which can vary depending up on your vendor's itinerary.

    Duration: The average duration of paragliding in Bir Billing ranges from 15 to 30 minutes

    Price: The average cost of short flight of paragliding in Bir Billing is around
    Paragliding in Bir-Billing

    Paragliding in Bir-Billing

    NNNNM1 Reviews

    h1 HourlBir - Billing

    O3,500

    Starting from

    O3,350

  • 06Kamshet

    Kamshet
    Image Credit : karthik c - flickr
    Kamshet is yet another beautiful place to experience the paragliding in India. Located in the Pune district of Maharashtra, it is approximately 100 km from Mumbai and 50 km from Pune city.

    Apart from enjoying the paragliding activity as a customer in Kamshet, you can even learn to paraglide, as there are various vendors, who offer plethora of courses in paragliding. From the elementary paragliding course to a weeklong workshops, you can find everything in Kamshet.

    Duration: The average duration of paragliding in Kamshet is around 20 to 30 minutes
    Paragliding in Kamshet

    Paragliding in Kamshet

    NNNNN32 Reviews

    lKamshet

    Starting from

    O3,000

  • 07Solang Valley, Manali

    Solang Valley, Manali
    Image Credit :  _Virdi_ flickr
    Solang valley in Manali is one of the most beautiful valleys in the country and offers umpteen number of adventure sports, paragliding being the most famous one. While you paraglide, you can have a mixed fun of skydiving and handgliding amidst the picturesque valley, surrounding the gigantic snow-clad Himalayas.

    Paragliding amidst the Solang Valley can be one unforgettable adrenaline filled experience for you.

    Duration: The approximate duration of flight is 20 to 30 minutes

    Price: The average cost for a short flight is Rs. 600 and for a long flight is Rs. 1500
    Paragliding in Manali

    Paragliding in Manali

    NNNMM1 Reviews

    lManali

    O1,200

    Starting from

    O1,000

  • 08Vagamon

    Vagamon
    Vagamon is a quaint hill station in Kerala surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery and offers various adventurous sports, paragliding being one of the most famous. Moreover, it is one of the most beautiful places where you can go for paragliding in India.

    While indulging in the paragliding activity, you get all the expert advice and safety briefing from the instructors and safety equipment. During the paragliding activity you can have the bird's eye view of the picturesque valley.

    Duration: The average duration of the flight of paragliding is 20 to 30 minutes

    Price: The approximate price for one flight of paragliding for 20 to 30 minutes is Rs. 3500 per person.
    Tandem Paragliding, Vagamon, Kerala

    Tandem Paragliding, Vagamon, Kerala

    NNNNN11 Reviews

    lIdukki

    O3,750

    Starting from

    O3,500

  • 09Panchgani

    Panchgani
    Image Credit :  aviisme - flickr
    Situated at a height of around 4500 feet above sea level, paragliding in Panchagani is one of the most loved and adventurous activities you can ever opt while visiting it. Moreover, Panchagani is extremely close to the metro cities like Pune and Mumbai, offering some of the greatest opportunities to the adventure seekers from these cities.

    The best time to go for paragliding in Panchagani is from November to February when the temperature ranges from 19 to 28 degree Celsius and the valley is so mesmerizing.

    Duration: The average duration of the flight of paragliding is 20 to 30 minutes

    Price: The approximate price for one flight of paragliding for 20 to 30 minutes is Rs. 1500 per person.
  • 10Rohtang La

    Rohtang La
    Image Credit :  njanam92 - flickr
    Located around 51 km north of Manali on the Manali-Keylong Highway at the height of 4111 m, the Rohtang La is one of the best places to experience paragliding in India. Its snow clad mountains offer a great opportunity to experience not only paragliding but also various other adventurous sports like skiing, snow boarding and many more.

    While you paraglide, you get the chance to have the birds eye view of the majestic Himalayas and the surrounding picturesque valley.

    Duration: The average duration of the flight of paragliding is 20 to 30 minutes

    Price: The approximate price for one flight of paragliding for 20 to 30 minutes is Rs. 1200 per person.
  • 11Nandi Hills

    Nandi Hills

    Nandi Hills, Bangalore is situated at a distance of 68 km from Bangalore, the capital city of Karnataka. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations and has the perfect terrain for paragliding. Nandi Hills attracts a lot of adventure enthusiasts, especially those interested in light aviation.

    A lot of adventure lovers also indulge in parasailing and micro-light flying at Nandi Hills.


  • 12Kunjapuri

    Kunjapuri
    Image Credit : Vvnataraj - wikicommons
    Located amidst the beautiful Shivalik ranges, the Kunjapuri is one of the most amazing destinations to experience paragliding in India. To get the best of paragliding, one must not miss the sunset or sunrise view during the paragliding activity. The total distance of paragliding in Kunjapuri is approximately 7 km, which passes through the beautiful Garhwal Himalayas and the route is so mesmerizing, giving the birds eye view of the picturesque valley.

    Duration: The average duration of the flight of paragliding is 20 to 30 minutes and the distance is approximately 5-7 km

    Price: The approximate price for one flight of paragliding for 20 to 30 minutes is Rs. 1200 per person.
  • 13Pawana

    Pawana
    Pawana is a dreamy location situated in Kamshet, Maharashtra. The take-off site overlooks the River Indrayani. As you take flight, you glide over the beautiful River Pavana and float into the horizon. Paragliding is the best way to enjoy the sunset and sunrise in Pavana.
  • 14Bedni Bugyal

    Bedni Bugyal
    Image Credit : Travelling Slacker- flickr
    The lush green valley and the magnificent mountain peaks are a treat to the eyes. Skilled gliders are also available at Bedni Bugyal. There are also several institutes in Bedni Bugyal that offer professional training courses for paragliding in India.
  • How do I get Started?

  • 15How do I get Started?

    How do I get Started?

    If you have your mind set on the activity, get yourself enrolled at an institute that offers courses in paragliding in India. You can enroll for a four-day elementary pilot course that will teach you the basics of paragliding and also give you about ten supervised solo flights. On completing the elementary course, you can take the Club Pilot course where you will learn about the advanced techniques of flying and longer flight durations.

    In case you do not have so much time to invest in the courses, there are also tailor-made courses that are available. These courses allow you to pick up tricks and techniques in two or three day workshops. You will be given ground training and information on low level flying in these workshops. In some institutes, you may also be given an opportunity to undertake a solo flight during these workshops.

    In case it is paramotoring you are looking for, you will require ten days of training before you take a solo flight. There are no examinations and the course and instructions are very easy to follow. During the course you will be taught the basics such as ground handling of the wing, gliding without a motor fitted wing, and the final lesson will be about flying a motored wing. If you have experience of paragliding and want to try paramotoring, you will require only two days of training.

    You may want to purchase your own equipment and gear, but it is important that you first learn the basics of paragliding. It is essential for every pilot to master the basic techniques of paragliding such as launching, turning and landing before setting out on a solo flight. So, if you are keen on taking up paragliding, get in touch with a flying institute that can train you in the nuances of paragliding.


  • 16Is Paragliding for me?

    Is Paragliding for me?
    Image Credit : Tobias - flickr

    Paragliding is quite easy and anyone can learn how to paraglide with a little effort and perseverance. Learning how to paraglide requires just as much effort and concentration as is required in learning how to drive or cycle. Men and women of reasonable a fitness level can learn paragliding without much problem.

    There are several reputed institutions that offer courses for paragliding in India. Though fitness is not a major requirement for those aspiring to learn paragliding, it is advisable to be reasonably fit to fly without discomfort. Learners will be required to run uphill or downhill before taking flight.


  • 17Is there a Season for Paragliding?

    Is there a Season for Paragliding?

    Weather plays an important role in enhancing the enjoyment level of paragliding. Paragliding sessions are held all year round in destinations such as Solang Bijli Mahadev, Marhi and Fatru. This is because the climate in Kullu and Manali is conducive to paragliding. When the weather is perfect, a person can stay up in the air for as long as three hours. This is why paragliding in India is so enjoyable and attracts so enthusiasts throughout the year.

    The best season for paragliding is from February to June, and then again from September to November. Although paragliding is an all-season sport, it is advisable that it be avoided during the monsoons.


  • 18What about Courses in Paragliding?

    What about Courses in Paragliding?
    Image Credit : Tambako The Jaguar - flickr

    For paragliding in India, there are several institutions that offer short term courses. You can enroll for a preliminary course and learn about launching, turning and landing. Most instructors allow you to take flight during the first day of learning, which is the greatest advantage of this sport. You will be taught the nuances of handling the wing on the ground, the technique of taking flight and other relevant details, and then after a few supervised solo flights, you will be given the opportunity to fly solo independently.

    Once you have completed the preliminary course, you can enroll for the advanced pilot course which will educate you about the advanced techniques of paragliding. The advantage of taking a course in paragliding is that you can later enroll for the paramotoring course and enjoy the advanced level of this sport.

    However, before selecting the institution, it is important that you keep a few points in mind. Ensure that the institution has a valid certification and also check the rating of the certification. The highest level of certification is the 'Advanced Tandem Instructor'.

    Also, check what the instructor to student ratio is. Also look out if the training flights are radio supervised. Do consider points such as the safety ratio of the school, how many students have received certification, and the schedule of operation of the school.


  • 19Safety Aspects to be Kept in Mind

    Safety Aspects to be Kept in Mind
    Image Credit : texaus1 - flickr
    Paragliding basically requires a good sense of judgement to harmonise the forces of nature. All sports have an element of risk, be it swimming or cycling, and it is the sincerity of the learner and the judgement ability of the student.

    The most important points to keep in mind during the training session in order to ensure safety are to obey all instructions with all sincerity, gain pilot attitude and use safe equipment and helmets. Although most institutions use the best of equipment for training purposes, make sure you get your equipment checked before taking flight.

    In case you are using your own equipment, make sure to keep it in the best condition. Check the wing and replace it before it becomes dangerously non-functional. The harness and reserve of the paraglider can last you a lifetime if you take proper care.

    The most advantageous aspect of paragliding is that the pilot has full control over the launch action. This increases the safety aspect of the sport. At any point of time the pilot can abort launch if he feels uncomfortable or any kind of technical snag in the equipment.


  • 20What Equipment is Needed for Paragliding?

    What Equipment is Needed for Paragliding?

    Paragliding equipment comprises a parachute-like wing, harness, reserve and radios. Usually, the training institutes provide all the equipment you will require for the sport. However, if you intend to buy one for yourself, look for good quality equipment.

    The cost of the entire equipment -- paraglider, reserve and harness will cost somewhere between Rs 80,000 to 1,25,000 for paragliding in India. The harness and reserve will last you indefinitely if you take good care of it. However, the wing may need replacement after a period of four years. This is because UV radiation and aging of the material can reduce the lifespan of the wing.

    These days, paragliders also buy a variometer and a two way radio in order to enhance their flying experience. The variometer tells you how much altitude you have gained at what speed. All this equipment is available at a combined price of Rs 15,000. You can also find second hand paragliders on sale for reasonable prices but the life span of such items will obviously be shorter.

    We hope this guide to paragliding in India has provided you enough information to allay your fears and motivate you to take up paragliding!



Paragliding in India

Attractions

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Pangong Lake

Rather, the most sought after tourist destination is Pangong Tso in Ladakh region. It is the highest among the high altitude lakes in India which is filled with saline water but provides some awe-struck moments to the visitors with the unbelievable phenomenon of changing colours quite a number of times a day.

The reflections of the towering Himalayan peaks in the water add more charm to the lake. Currently, Pangong Tso is the favorite location for tourists as the banks of the lake give soothing bed to relax and the nearby places are enhanced by the beauty of this particular lake. The quiet lake is 134 km in length and 5 km in width is situated at an altitude of 14270 meters. But the major share of the lake lies in the area of China. Now, its recognition is spread everywhere in the world because it is termed as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.

The highly saline water does not accommodate any water species not even micro-organisms. But the banks of the lake give space for several birds and animals very rarely seen in the other parts of India. It is an important breeding ground for many migratory birds as well.

Height: The lake is located at an altitude of 4250 meters above the sea level.

Location: Pangong Tso is easily accessible as it can be reached after a five hour drive from Leh and the travel would be on a rough and dramatic mountain road. You will cross the villages of Shey and Gya during the tour and go through Chang La as well.

Best time to visit: The months from May to September are the ideal time to visit the lake as the other seasons may cause challenges due to the heavy snowfall.

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Nubra Valley

Something divine makes Nubra Valley close to heart and it is not an exaggeration but a fact that experienced and shared by the countless tourists visited the paradisiacal location in Jammu and Kashmir. Without touching the spectacular roads of Nubra Valley, a Ladakh tour will not be complete. The tri armed valley has Diskit Village as its capital. Ldumra, a magnificent name is the original name of the valley as the local scholars insist. Ldumra means Valley of Flowers. The large valley is formed after the merging of Shyok River with Nubra or Siachen River causing the separation of the Ladakh and the Karakoram Ranges. The valley is located 10000 feet that is 3048 meters above mean sea level and those who cross the Khardung La Pass can easily come to Nubra Valley from Leh.

Except the river beds, every other place in the valley shows scant vegetation and low precipitation levels. Most of the villages in the valley are occupied by Nubra skat speakers and in the villages, one can find lush greenery and farming which happen through the regular irrigation. Diskit is the place where native people are seen in abundance and Diskit Monastery is the entre of attraction as well. The Shyok River flowing on one side of Diskit has a captivating effect on the visitors. Nubra Valley unwinds a lot of surprising sights when you visit it and an unbelievable fact is that the valley was open to the public till Hunder until 2010. Beyond Hunder, it was the greener region in the lower altitude where the Turtuk village exists. Till 2010, the Government did not allow tourists to mesmerize themselves in the magnificent beauty of Turtuk where numerous apricot trees and other vegetation along with the tribal community were preserved as a virgin.

Height: 3048 meters above the sea level

Location: The paradisiacal Nubra Valley is located at a distance of 140 km from Leh and the main road access to the valley is through Khardung La pass where you have to show the photocopies of your travel permit to the soldiers camping.

Best time to visit: The months from June to September is the perfect period to visit Nubra Valley

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Khardung La

Controversies regarding the proclamation that Khardung La is the highest motorable pass in the world is not yet diminished but Ladakh travelers still believe that it is the highest and most adventurous pass in the world. Despite the controversies, Khardung La keeps on attracting hundreds of adventure seekers every year, be it bikers, trekkers or visitors. Nestled amidst the most reverberating surrounding, the ‘Pass of Lower Castle’ is located at an altitude of 17582 feet. Near to the pass, the collection of awesome valleys will lure you and along with the natural extravaganzas, the Tibetan prayer flags are an additional charm.

The pass was constructed in the year of 1976 and later in 1988, it was opened to public and from then on, the pass was inviting uncountable bikers, trekkers and tourists. It is maintained by the Border roads Organization as the pass is highly significant and important to India because it was once used to carry supplies to the Siachen Glacier. Recently, Khardung La became the hot potato of the town with a happy news that a ten member team of visually impaired people is going to conquer the pass through cycling in 2017.

Height: Khardung La is located at an altitude of 5359 meters. But there is an incorrect proclamation on the signboards appear here saying that the height of the pass is 18379 feet.

Location: The highest motorable pass in Ladakh is lying about 39 kms away from Leh. By road, one can reach the pass. The first 24 kms of the road are paved and from there to the North Pullu check post, the 15 kms of the road are filled with loose rock, dirt and occasional rivulets formed after the melting of snow.

Best time to visit: The season between May to October is the best time to visit Khardung La.

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Tso Moriri Lake

It won’t be exceeding at all how much you describe the beauty of Tso Moriri in Ladakh, a highly protected lake in Changthang Region and a significant portion of Tso Moriri Wetland Conservation Reserve.  It is the largest of all high altitude lakes in India especially in Ladakh and is located at an altitude of 4522 meters above the sea level. The length comes to 26 km north to south and 3 to 5 km is the width and the water is wholly brackish. 

The water to feed the lake comes from the springs and melted snow from the nearby mountains. There are two major stream systems to lead the water to the lake. One in the north part of the lake and the other comes in the southwest part. Huge, extensive marshes are seen at both the entrances of the lake. Rupshu Valley, a breathtaking area is the guardian of Tso Moriri along with an array of the lofty Himalayan Mountains in the surrounding.

The number of people come to witness the beauty of this splendid lake is lesser when compared to that of Pangong Lake. It is because of the secluded location of the lake. Hence, it is a favorite home town for many migratory birds. They come to breed here especially birds like great- crested grebe, the brown-headed gull and the Brahmin duck. The rare Himalayan hares are also abundantly seen near the lake. Thus, the declaration of the lake as a reserved area is a right option to protect these species from extinction. Less human interference would keep their lives strong.

Height: The lake is situated at an altitude of 4522 meters.

Location: You can reach Tso Moriri via road from Leh. It is 150 kms away from Leh Airport. Kalka Railway station is the nearest one to the lake. You will get buses and taxis from the station as well.

Best time to visit: May, June, July and August are the peak season when tourists come to Tso Moriri in large numbers and other months will be filled with snow and have extreme cold conditions.

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Shanti Stupa

The white dome of Shanti Stupa is clearly visible from a far distance when you are on a tour of Leh. Peace Pagoda got its name like that because of many reasons mainly the silence persists in and around the pagoda always. This Buddhist prayer center is the most beloved attraction in Jammu and Kashmir. At a height of 4267 meters, the two storied stupa stands holding its head high and overlooks the bustling Leh town. The uneven mountain terrains in the surrounding gives the pagoda a remarkable shining. It is at a location which is 5 km away from Leh town and one who visits the stupa has to climb five hundred steps. The exotic view of the Himalayan peaks turns the beauty of the stupa also, a peace lover would dedicate his life to have such overjoying moments.

History

The stupa was constructed by both Japanese and Ladakh Buddhists. The construction was started in 1983, many Buddhists and Indian Government officials have supervised the procedures throughout.

Structure of the stupa

Among the two structures of the pagoda, the first level depicts the central relief of Dharmachakra which has deer on each side and the turning wheel of Dharma also has a golden image of Buddha at the center. The second level displays images which show the birth of Budhha and the death as well. In addition, both the level have smaller images of Buddha meditating. The stupa came into existence in order to spread the word of peace and harmony among people and it came into establishment as a commemoration of the valuable 2500 years of Buddhism.

Location: Any one can reach the stupa via road from Leh, only 5 kms from the town, a walk of fifteen minutes would require.

Timings: 05:00 am to 09:00 pm

Highlights: The sunset and sunrise views from the stupa are inevitably beautiful


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Magnetic Hill

Magnetic Hill is still a mystery yet a famed attraction that pulls the adventure lovers on a large scale toward it. A mystifying phenomenon which stunts the science and fiction together and exists as a magic to the normal people visiting here. Magnetic Hill is a trump card of every Ladakh tour because of the awe-struck moments it would promise the travelers. There is a sign board placed which says that the hill defies gravity completely and inviting everyone to experience the magical phenomenon.

 If you keep your vehicle in neutral at a position marked on the road and wait, you will be surprised to see the vehicle starts moving uphill at 10-20 km per hour. And this is the unexplainable feature of Magnetic Hill that confuses the world of science. It is located on Leh-Kargil-Baltic Highway and on the east, the beautiful Sindhu River is flowing calmly. Near the hill there is a Sikh Gurudwara maintained by the Indian Army. Due to the natural attraction as well as the human architectural brilliance, the hill has gained popularity in a short term. 

Not just the vehicles hitting the road but the aircrafts and helicopters crossing the radius which Magnetic Hill comes in would feel the same magnetic effect. If the aircrafts are going on a slow pace, then it starts jerking while they are in the circumference of the hill. So the only solution to escape from the clutches of this phenomenon is that the crafts should move at a greater speed.

Height: Magnetic Hill is located at an elevation of 14000 feet above the sea level.

Location: To reach the hill, you can hit the Leh-Kargil-Baltic National Highway and it is situated at a distance of just 30 kms from Leh town.

Best time to visit: The best time to visit the Magnetic Hill is from June to October.

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Havelock Island

Being one of the topnotch attractions in Andaman is the sublime Havelock Island brimming with silky beaches and exuberant greenery. A lot of tourist locations, resorts, hotels, attractions and much more are creating the perfect background to Havelock Island to host as many tourists as possible. This is the largest of all the islands in Andaman and comprises of a lot of small islands. The administration in Havelock promotes eco-tourism on a large scale.

 The lighthouse established in 2005 at the northern part of the island gives additional recognition for the island. The accommodation options on Havelock will let you be surprised. Ranging from high-end, luxurious resorts to camps with basic amenities, the stay arrangements done by the administrative people here are unbelievable.

Highlights: The long stretches of different types of beaches are the main highlight to be pointed out. Declared the best beaches in the world, almost all of them are blissfully located on Havelock Island, connected to closely to the main boat jetty on the island.  

Elephant Beach, Radhanagar Beach, Vijaynagar Beach, Kalapathar Beach which are known in numbers also are proclaimed to have the highest number of tourists every year. The green fringed shorelines, the clear sea water, the colourful marine animals, the long coral reefs, the wild fauna and flora bring forth the astounding picture of Havelock incomparably beautiful.

Activities: Snorkeling and diving are the favourite activities done on the islands though other major water based activities like boating and kayaking are frequently done.

Distance from Port Blair: Havelock Island is lying 42 kms northeast of the capital city, Port Blair. There are regular boat services by the Directorate of Shipping Services which connect Phoenix Bay jetty in Port Blair to Havelock daily.

 

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Chidiya Tapu

As the name suggests, Chidiya Tapu is the perfect haven for unseen migratory birds and common native birds found in Andaman Islands. Recognized as the most enchanting beach in Andaman and tourists arrive here on a large scale as the beach extends the best ever sights for them including the eye catching sunrise and sunset views. This is a silent yet crowded beach encircled by evergreen forests on one side and the short hills on the other side. 

As it is considered to be the presenter of the most finishing touch of sunset and sunrise views, it is the main hub in Andaman Islands. The beach is filled with 46 varieties of endangered species of birds, and white spotted deer. There are a lot of seasonal orchids and other varieties of plants.

Highlights: The major attractions of Chidiya Tapu are the Chidiya Tapu Biological Park, the Sylvan Sands, the Munda Pahar Beaches etc. You will be able to stay at a forest guesthouse located nearby atop a hillock and from there, the panoramic view of Chidiya Tapu in detail.

Activities: Apart from sunset and sunrise views, people come in plenty toward this beach to identify the rare species appear in multiple colours and size. Even though many of the birds are commonly found on the beach, you would find it as a unique and unnatural scene to find the colourful gathering of them. Boating is an attractive activity done here as well as snorkeling and swimming are also a part of the adventure activities usually experienced by those who visit here.

Distance from Port Blair: It is located about 25 kms from Port Blair.


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Neil Island

A tiny island located to the south of Andaman is Neil Island, brimming with less explore marine diversity, coral reefs, long beaches and bewitching greenery. Being one of the tourist destinations in Andaman, Neil is so happy to become the host with revealing all what it has. A romantically silent island unlike the hustle of Havelock Island, Neil Island is termed as the vegetable bowl of Andaman. A perfect place to simply relax and chill is the beaches here and the deserted shores are favourite to those who love to relax in utmost peace.

In two hours, one can explore the island by walking around. It got the name Neil after the British Brigadier General James Neill who stubbornly dealt with the rebels during the 1857 Mutiny. The rich cultivation of paddy is found in Neil Island that belongs to the Ritchies’ Arhcipelago between Havelock Island and Rose Island.

Highlights: One of the major highlights of Neil Island is Neil Kendra, a beautiful curving bay full of white sand and holding the major jetty of the island made attracting by disarraying numerous colourful wooden fishing boats. Known to be the heart of the island, Neil Kendra has Bharatpur Beach on its left and Laxmanpur Beach on the right. The richest collection of marine lives and coral reefs have given Neil Island the peculiarity of being one of the most thrilling scuba diving sites on the island. In addition to diving, Neil Island is home to those who love snorkeling, swimming, birding, cycling etc.

Activities: Glass bottom ride and snorkelling are the major activities available on Neil Island though there are enough opportunities to do diving and other prime adventure activities.

Distance from Port Blair: The island belongs to the South Andaman district is located about 36 km northeast from Port Blair.

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Radhanagar Beach

Radhanagar Beach in Andaman has ranked 8th among the top ten beautiful beaches in the world based on travelers reviews and rating available on multiple sources and Radhanagar Beach deserves it for many reasons. One of the most ravishing beauty in Andaman with a lot of tourists visiting it every year, Radhanagar Beach is the gem of Havelock Island. 500 meters away from the beach, one can see only the expansive blue water and the lush green tropical forests but when you reach the beach, the sights are apparently awe-inspiring.

 Radhanagar is commonly called as Beach No.7 and this is one of the closest beach located near to Havelock Island ferry tier. The silky beach is kids friendly as well so that families are found in plenty on the beach to spend their vacation or a short holiday. There are nothing to be worried as the coast guards are roaming around always and the number of people here will be a pleasant sight to see.

Activities: Snorkeling, swimming, scuba diving, boating, parasailing etc are some of the most commonly seen activities on the beach and among them Scuba Diving is the best as it offers the clear interaction with the wide range of marine animals and coral reefs around living in harmony. 

The turquoise water gives a rejuvenating experience while you swim across or do snorkeling and since the number of tourists are relatively higher, the Government opens more opportunities for them to spend an ample time on the beach. As it is a superb place adventure lovers also would covet, the fame it has achieved international importance in no time.

Distance from Port Blair: From Port Blair it will take more than three hours to reach Radhanagar Beach as it is located about 72 kms away from the capital city.

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Baratang Island

One of the aboriginal tribes of Andaman lives in Baratang Island, a highly blessed region with years-old wilderness. Earlier, the tribes did not let outside people to enter their community but presently, Baratang Island is a vibrant tourist destination as people love to spend time amidst the huge forests, limestone caves, mangrove ranges and the mud volcanoes.

Baratang is a part of the Great Andaman Chain with an area of 243 sq.kilometers and that marks it as the main island of the group. Middle Andaman is lying to the north and South Andaman in the south of Baratang Island. And it belongs to Rangat Taluk.

Highlights: The active mud volcanoes are the highlights of Baratang Island along with the abundant mangrove forests and evergreen rainforests and the limestone caves located beyond the forests. So adventure lovers find Baratang as a wise choice to indulge in mind blowing trekking and nature walk. Among the multiple number of mud volcanoes, jalki, as the locals call it, is the famous one.

Activity: Nature walk through the wild forests and the extensive mangrove forests is one of the prime activities done on Baratang Island. Boating, trekking, hiking etc are some of the other, identified activities available on the island.

Distance from Port Blair: The island is located about 150 kms north of Port Blair and one can reach the island by ferry services only.


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Elephant Beach

Settled on the sands of Havelock Island, Elephant Beach is a reveling beauty well presented by the long coral reefs and the shining shoreline. A peaceful beach with pure serenity and silent ambience will offer the visitors a soothing melody and that would be the perfect time to relax, to walk around with your love or just to do sunbathing. Among the different beach on Havelock Island, Elephant Beach has a special significance because of its friendly atmosphere and not so crowded shoreline. In addition to the adventurous activities such as snorkeling and scuba diving, tourists find time to do boating and similar activities on the beach. The clear water, the calm waves, the cool breeze and the magnificent sights on the shore have their own impacts on the number of people visiting the beach, and it increases only year by year.

Highlights: The long array of private boats, fishing boats and buoys extend a riveting beauty to the beach. Moreover, it is a kid friendly beach as well so that families are found here aplenty. The huge shoreline is the key factor behind the countless visitors appear on the beach every day. 

During monsoon also, tourists would love to come to Elephant Beach. People have reported that at times, the wild elephants from the nearby forests come to the beach and stroll along the white sandy bed.

Activities: An ideal place for snorkeling and scuba diving is Elephant Beach though boating and other fun, water based activities are also done by the visitors often. Tourists have experienced the best sea walking as well on Elephant Beach.

Distance from Port Blair: Elephant Beach is located on the famous Havelock Island. It is lying about 69 kms away from the capital city of Andaman, Port Blair. One can reach the beach via boat from Havelock jetty after reaching there from Port Blair by road or by boat.


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Diglipur

A marvelous town in the north part of Andaman Islands is Diglipur, an amicable tiny town with a lot of good people around. For eco- friendly tourists, this town is an inevitable choice. Though the marine life is the prominent feature of this town but the cultivation of orange and rice has enormous importance in the economy of Diglipur.

Highlights: Lamiya Bay Beach is a highlight of the town, it is located a few kilometers away from Kalipur Beach. The beach is lying in the foothills of Saddle peak, the highest one in Andaman. Around 20 kms from Diglipur is the green Shyamnagar covered by thick jungles and why Shyamnagar is a priority for tourists is because of the presence of mud volcanoes here. Kalipur Beach and Ramangar Beach are the other famous beaches at Diglipur and they are famous for turtle nesting. Moreover, visitors are quite eager to visit Alfred Caves as well where a huge collections of limestone structures are found.

Activities: Since there are plenty of beaches, caves, greenery etc, Diglipur offers the visitors a huge number of activities ranging from refreshing trekking through the jungles to the water based activities like island hopping, snorkeling, boating, fishing etc. Near to Diglipur there are famous spots to do multiple activities.

Distance from Port Blair: Lying 290 kms away from Port Blair, the small town of Diglipur that can be connected by boat from both Port Blair and Mayabunder. The boat services from Port Blair are available twice a week. But one can reach the town by road via ATR from Port Blair.

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Vijaynagar Beach

Known as Beach No.5 is Vijaynagar Beach in the north east part of Havelock Island. Very remote from the crowded locations on Havelock Island, Vijaynagar Beach is close to heart for those who love to spend time in utmost calmness. The regular touch of the sapphire blue water on the pearl like sandy beach makes no noise and it is one of the reasons why tourists chosen it as the perfect space for romantic couples and families. 

The beauty of the beach has been praised so much by those who visited it. It is always better to come here freely, just to roam around, or to float on the shallow water, or to read under the large shade given by the huge trees on the shore or to do sunbathing. The collection of Mahua trees and palms is the significant ornament making the beach a splendid place to sit back and relax as much as time one wants to. This is one of the magnificent attractions in Andaman.

Highlights: A photographer's paradise is Vijaynagar Beach; especially the sunrise views from the beach is incomparably magnificent. When the sun’s fresh rays spread all over the wide sea, the entire atmosphere starts blushing in all possible colours and there is no better sight from the beach would satiate a photographic mind. The native birds appear during the fresh mornings add effective colours to the sunrise pictures.

Activity: The beach is recognized for relaxed swimming and sunbathing. Adventure activities are not yet a fashion on this inevitable part of Havelock Island.

Distance from Port Blair: Vijaynagar Beach is located at a distance of about 38 kms from Port Blair but from Havelock jetty the beach is lying 9 kms away only.

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Chadar Trek

For some years, adventure seekers all around the world have been talking about Chadar Trek in the Zanskar Region. Until this year, hundreds of people have experienced the thrill hidden and the mind blowing sights around Chadar frozen river. In fact, Chadar Trek is the most sought after and one of the breathtaking treks in the Himalayas. The winter trek is so special for those who are ready to have adventure at the maximum level. 

The river trek starts from Chilling where the river begins to freeze and mostly, travelers choose February as the best time to cross the frozen river as the ice sheets will be comparatively stable. The precarious snow-flakes would pose severe threats during the trek but in some other time, the challenges would be kind to the trekker. The surrounding of the river are completely vertical cliffs tall up to 600 meters. The Zanskar River is a tributary of the Indus and is 5 meters long. 

A trekker would have to cover 16 kms per day to complete the Chadar Trek. Usually, people opt for 10-15 days of trek depending on the climatic conditions persisting here. The temperature at Chadar will come to the lowest at -35 degree Celsius during winter and thus Chadar Trek becomes more intimidating. Approximate trekking distance one would have to cover in total is 75 kms.

Maximum altitude: 11123 feet is the height at which Chadar Trek would lead you to.

Location: To take part in Chadar Trek, one should arrive in Leh and from Leh, the journey starts and goes to Chilling, the beginning of the Zanskar River in the frozen state. From Leh it would take about 65-70 kms to reach Tilad via Chilling, the base camp of the trek.

Best time to visit: January end to February is the best time suitable for trekking in the frozen river of Chadar. Quality and safe trekking gears and highly warm clothes are required.

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Markha Valley Trek

Adventure lovers always had an affection to Markha Valley and still it fulfills the dreams of a trekker or adventure seeker with the unrivalled collection of natural spectacle. Long day trekking tours are offered by a lot of tour providers all over India which promise a journey through the most scenic locations and villages. The awesomely exciting feature of this trek is that it will let the trekker cross two high altitude passes in Ladakh; Gandala La at 4980 meters and Kongmaru La at 5276 meters.

 Being one of the diverse treks in Ladakh region, Markha Valley trek offers a lot of adventurous moments throughout. The barren land of Ladakh and the Buddhist temples found throughout the journey make the trek special. The route winds past the Ladakhi villages and it goes to Hemis National Park where the chances to spot some rare wildlife species are comparably high. The nomadic groups of people will be a unique picture to keep in heart. The symbols of Buddhism like ‘chortens’, stupas, multi colored prayer flags and numerous monasteries narrate the story of Buddhist culture embraced Markha centuries ago. Another interesting fact heard about Markha Valley trek is that it is also called ‘tea house trek’ due to the accommodation provided in parachute tents in most of the villages during the tour.

Maximum altitude: 15000 feet is the maximum altitude the trek will cover.

Location: In most of the cases, the trek starts from Leh. The trail usually goes through Chilling, Skyu and then to Markha. From Markha it would take the trekker to reach Hankar and Nimaling and finally return to Leh. The ideal trekking distance is 75 kms and it would be graded as difficult.

Best time to visit: The months of June, July, August, September and October are recommended as the best time to do Markha Valley trek.