As children, didn’t we all wish if we could fly like the birds, soaring high up in the sky and look at the world below from a whole new angle? Well, since we don’t have wings, we invented all possible aviation equipment. But the best and the closest to a ‘flying’ like experience comes from a para-glide. And I can say that confidently after my extensive flying session in Kamshet.
Touted as one of the best paragliding centers of the country, this location attracted me right from the time I had learned about it but never managed to visit. So this Diwali, when some friends and I planned for a weekend in Pune, we added a day at Kamshet to our itinerary.
Kamshet lies about 102 Km from Mumbai, somewhere between Lonavala and Pune. We booked an affordable taxi service from Mumbai to Kamshet and headed on the Mumbai Pune Highway. The drive of 106 Km took us around 3 hours, including breaks for food and fuel.
Sitting atop a plateau on the Sahyadri Mountains, the expansive grasslands of Kamshet are perfect for exploring the sky on a paraglide. The lush green grasslands, the rugged mountains, the pristine lakes, and the ancient caves invited thrill seekers like us to discover this plateau region from the air or on the ground.
Over the recent years, the town has gained immense popularity among explorers and adventure seekers like me who want to take the thrill quotient a notch above and experience the real adrenaline rush. Once we reached, I realized that it is not just a place for tourism but a paradise for paragliders. The horizon was dotted with colorful gliders; some were steadily flying with their passengers while some were engaged in wooing the onlookers with stunts and tricks in mid-air. From amateur to pro gliders, there are flying sessions designed for everyone. And the best part, there is no age limit to try your hands at this sport!
Touching The Sky
Despite having flown before, I prefer to call myself a novice in paragliding. For people like me, there are proper training schools with certified instructors where you can learn how to maneuver your glider, how to ensure a smooth landing, etc. I was surprised to find so many instructors flew down from overseas to train and teach professional gliders here. There were options for instructional, classic, and acrobatic sessions (the ones with the tricks). I chose an instructional session which lasted about an hour. While I was guided by my instructor, I took control of the glider from time to time to get a hands-on experience of flying. It is indeed an extraordinary feeling to see the world pass by under your feet and feel like you are flying with the birds, or on a magic carpet like Aladdin. And the view of the Sahyadri Mountains half-clad in the autumn mist and the idyllic Pawna Lake were breathtaking from every angle. I somehow managed to click a few quick photos to store my memories of this exceptional flying experience.
Apart from being a paragliding destination, Kamshet is also a popular hill town in the Konkan region. And since we were there, we made the most of our trip with a few more adventures. I was glad we could manage to book a top-rated cab service in Mumbai which let us keep the car with us while we explored Kamshet.
Although I had tried my hands at paragliding tours, a couple of times on my earlier vacations, nothing compared to the fulfillment of flying high that I experienced in Kamshet.