A qualified team of pilots and adventure enthusiasts
A lean and passionate team of pilots and adventure enthusiasts form Nirvana Adventures’ core team, teaching, guiding and directly supervising paragliding holidays. One of the striking aspects of the Nirvana Adventures core team is that our paragliding instructors are young people from the region hailing from the farming community, sons of the soil who have grown up amongst these very hills and have a strong connection to the land. They have witnessed the sport since its infancy in Kamshet picking up the basics with ease and understanding the broader picture as time passed. Their understanding of the local weather is intuitive and their thirst to know more, learn new things and grow each day is ever expanding. They have trained according to the system and consequently have great respect for safety and the training pattern they follow.
The team goal is to promote the sport of paragliding by offering safe standardized training and an encouraging atmosphere to all who want to try the sport. We are committed to promoting Kamshet as an adventure tourism destination on the international stage, maintaining the flying sites and preserving the ecological balance of the area for future generations.
Our core team is grateful to our community of experts and ambassadors from across the world who contribute to our growth by sharing info, skills, experience and good energy.
Dreamer and Entrepreneur
Call him a maverick, an individualist or a rebel – Sanjay Rao has lived by his own rules and set his own standards. A chance tryst with paragliding in 1996 was all it took to fuel this intuitive Piscean’s unbounded enthusiasm and he set up Nirvana Adventures soon after, with the idea of developing Kamshet, an area he has had a presence since ’92, as a flying destination.
When Sanjay learnt to fly the teaching available was a far cry from what Nirvana offers today. There were few tired old wings floating around the country, no radios and instructors came in the form of travelling pilots. In his endeavour to create world class paragliding facility in India he attracted to his side an awesome team that he nurtured and guided along the path to the skies. Sanjay forged links with the world free flying community to set systems & standardized training. His knowledge of the area and his relationship with the local people has been instrumental in opening up the area for flying to the Indian and International PG community.
Sanjay’s friends know him to be a great cook, an effortless organizer and a party animal.
Nature Enthusiast and Co-founder
Astrid manages the marketing and administration from the Bombay office. She grew up in a little village by the sea in Mumbai and traces her ancestry back to the original inhabitants of Bombay. She graduated with honors in Ancient Indian Culture and has had a successful career in advertising & film making in the city for 10 years. Somewhere along the way her dream and that of Sanjay’s merged to create a vision that most others thought was fantasy. Today Nirvana Adventures, nature study projects, and her garden at Kamshet take up much of her time. Astrid also runs Native Place, a purpose built guesthouse that doubles as a residential paragliding school at Kamshet inspired by the sustainable, ecology conscious homesteads of village India. She networks with the BNHS and other conservation organizations in the areas of nature education and conservation.
She reports on the nesting of the endangered vulture population in Kamshet to the Peregrine Fund. She is also a freelance travel writer.
Senior Instructor , Mentor and Tandem Pilot
A native of Karanjgaon, the location of our favorite Shelar site, Ravi has watched us fly since the first day we stumbled upon this site in 97’ ’ He joined Nirvana Adventures in ‘03 at the tender age of 18 as a part of our CSR commitment to involve and impact upon the lives of the local people. Years of rigorous training in the field and in the skies, the guidance of senior instructors and pilots, and his own keen observation of the sport since his tender years, all contributed to him evolving into a competent senior paragliding instructor with an ability to instill calm and focus in his students as well as to becoming a skilled, competent tandem pilot.
His metamorphosis from a quiet shy little village boy to an experienced level headed , gentle yet firm Senior instructor with Nirvana Adventures has not gone unnoticed . In the villages around Kamshet and especially Karanjgaon this young man’s his success story has inspired the youth who want to emulate him and loving refer to him as ‘tatya’ a term of respect in the local language.
Ravi has trained over a thousand students from various parts of the world and from varied professions including over a hundred cadets and officers from the Indian Air force. For Ravi the dream is ever alive and evident in his committed to make your flying dreams come true.He has over 1000 hours of solo and tandem flying; he has flown in various sites around the country, he enjoys acro as well as xc flying
Sandeep, Vinya & Bandya
The 3 musketeers from Karanjgaon have observed the growth of paragliding at Kamshet since their childhood years. They started with packing gliders at the Shelar site and officially joined the team in 2006/07 making their dreams to be paragliding pilots and follow in Ravi Shelar’s footsteps a reality.
Years of hands on work in the field, intensive training under experienced instructors and flying experience at various sites in the country have unearthed each ones potential. They are a competent yet friendly bunch and you will surely appreciate their friendly attitude, professional service, honest feedback and timely encouragement in the field.
Foreman at Native Place
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