After a week of chilly cloudy weather, bright and sunny days are back here in Gangtok with Kanchanjungha visible throughout. When Dr. Keshav Lall Maharjan of the Hiroshima University was here the previous week, he e-mailed me one fine morning from his Sikkim University Guest House-room nearby seeking help to identify the peak. I replied - the one extreme right with peak flat, a feature making it different from the one seen from Darjeeling and wrote also not to miss the sunrise over these peaks that get touched gold, crimson, pink to silver - the highest here getting it first then only the rest. Pleasant weather made me walk down to the town to be welcomed near the Sikkim Tourism by a large poster announcing the joy of paragliding being offered at nearby Ranka, When dreams finds wings– it said. Really, it is a pleasure my dreams of paragliding taking off in Sikkim in a such an excellent manner as also Raju Rai sent me the link Sikkim Paragliding Adventure Sports on the Facebook.
Newly formed Sikkim Paragliding Adventure Sports Cooperative Society Ltd. had some information there while the large hoarding what the paragliders here had to say in all colours about their website www.sikkimskysport.com contact firstname.lastname@example.org - phone 03592649052-53 mobile 09832390556 with office located opposite SABCO Bank at Kazi Road Gangtok. The thrill of flying in tandem on paragliding joy-ride is available at Ranka taking off from Baliman Danra 1600 metres down to the landing point at Rishithang 1100 meters away. Their website says, “The high terrain of Sikkim and its unflinching view of mountains offer some of the best flying in India as you soar with the eagles off of a ridge site only minutes from Gangtok. The Sikkim Paragliding Cooperative Society is an organization that manages and organizes flights to hone your skills in cross-country flying, or aerobatics or just to amuse pleasure seekers.”
You can often measure a person by the size of his dream.
Challenges and opportunities come together with the risk lurking inside in every phase of life, more in some and less in others. Brave hearts know these well that why they are flying in colours giving their own dreams wings in order to make other’s dreams take wings. They need patronage locally as well though we know well that it is for the tourist to have fun while enjoying the nature’s beauty here to the utmost. Rightly affiliated to the Paragliding Association of India, a report of Travel Agents’ Association of Sikkim (TAAS) emerging out as the main stakeholder with the Sikkim Tourism in support was welcome news.
Many believe that this adventure sport of paragliding has a great scope with bright prospects not only in Sikkim but whole of the Himalayas including the North East Region. Pune in Maharashtra have explored it well as regular clubs like templepilots offering training on paragliding and also taking flying tours to beautiful paragliding destinations in India like Panchgani, Goa, Himachal, Nepal and Bali with friends and fellow pilots. Not mere a handful would serve and suffice but more should join them – more the merrier. This could be possible besides fresh takers, remaining of those brave hearts who opted for the training at Manali too joining them after undergoing more such trainings and exposure though they could not make it then to the final seven. TheSociety could also approach the concerned department/s if more youth are found really interested to accept paragliding as a challenging profession to go in for. They could also explore the possibility of finding some kind soul here for the media partner and sponsors to the event.
Participating in the Himalayan Open Paragliding Championship for the Pre-World Cup at Bir-Billing last October, Rinchen Doma Bhutia and her two teammates made Sikkim and the country proud as she being the only woman pilot in India to reach there. Giving wings to her dreams on email@example.com tells us more.
We all have the same sky but horizons different, they show us.