Peace | Bliss | Happy Landings


A qualified team of pilots and adventure enthusiasts

A 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 with 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 been trained according to the BHPA system and consequently have great respect for safety and the training pattern they follow.


The team’s goal is to spread 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.


Sanjay Rao

SANJAY M. RAO – Dreamer & Entrepreneur

Sanjay has had a presence in Kamshet since the early 90’s. A chance tryst with paragliding in 1996 was all it took to fuel his unbounded enthusiasm and he set up Nirvana Adventures soon after, with the idea of developing Kamshet into a paragliding destination.

In his pioneering endeavour to create a world-class paragliding facility in village India, Sanjay forged links with the international free-flying community to setup systems and standardized training process. His knowledge of the region 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 is known & respected amongst the world Paragliding community and amongst the villagers of Kamshet for single-handedly elevating this back-of-beyond place into a global adventure hub, impacting the lives of the local people and transforming Kamshet into a sought-after Paragliding holiday destination.

He is also instrumental in legalising paragliding in Kamshet, ensuring its continuity in the region. He also spearheaded KAPA (Kamshet Paragliding Association), a body that aims at governing the growing sport and keeping it safe for the paragliding community. Today, as the President of KAPA he oversees the process of clearances.

Sanjay constantly works towards the betterment of the sport in Kamshet. There’s more in store in the years to come.

ASTRID RAO – Nature Enthusiast and Co-founder

Astrid grew up in a little village by the sea in Mumbai and traces her ancestry back to the original inhabitants of the islands of Bombay. She graduated with honours in Ancient Indian Culture and had a successful career in advertising & film making in the city for 10 years. Astrid’s dream was to own a piece of land where she could grow trees. She wished to

Astrid Rao

bring up her children in an idyllic nature surroundings. Sanjay and Astrid stumbled upon the hither to unknown Kamshet in 1994 and bought a piece of land. Somewhere along the way her dream (to grow trees and live close to nature) and that of Sanjay’s (to build a world-class paragliding school in Kamshet) merged to create a vision that most others thought was fantasy.

In the early years her attention was to their little son and her work in the city, but soon she gave up her carrier to help Sanjay full time. In 2003 the Native Place Guesthouse was built. Astrid set up the house and the garden according to ecological principles. Her current focus is on retrofitting the Native Place Garden according to permaculture principles and offering our guests a memorable experience in the sky and back at the guesthouse. Astrid also offers permaculture courses and nature connect weekends. She is based at Native Place Kamshet, where she takes care of the Native Place guesthouse, nurtures a beautiful, biodiverse garden and takes care of the students, visiting pilots and guests.



Chief Instructor, Mentor, Tandem Pilot (APPI Certified Instructor)

Emergency First Responder (EFR + CPR 24 hours)

With well over 3000 hours of solo and tandem flying, and after having trained more than two thousand students from various parts of the world, Ravi is a pilot with impressive flying skills and a fantastic attitude towards free flight.

He is well known for his calm demeanour and exceptional teaching methods, which won him the opportunity to train the members of Indian Air Force in the art of paragliding. A country boy hailing from a village close to Shelar, Ravi is also an inspiration to the local youth.

Today, he is a qualified APPI Pilot and Instructor, and is also a certified Emergency First Responder and First Aider. When not teaching, Ravi is known for his dance moves and his love of butter chicken, which can be used as a lure to score up to 5 minutes of extra flight.


Senior Instructor, Tandem Pilot (APPI Certified)

Emergency First Responder (EFR + CPR 24 hours)

Fondly known as Bond – this affable young man is the son of the famous Shelar Mama (the farmer after whom Nirvana Adventures named the Shelar paragliding site). Bandya’s mastery over his wing compares well with his ability to handle a skittish bull. After many years of teaching, we are still amazed by the way he can not only handle his own, but also a trainee’s wing! It is a sight to behold, something you are bound to experience during your own Elementary Pilot course.

When not sprinting up and down training, tending to his prized bulls or the paddy harvest, or on certain occasions playing the role of a certified Emergency First Responder and First Aider, Bond enjoys acting in Nirvana Adventures’ home video productions (often featured on YouTube). Click here to catch the action.


Senior Instructor, Tandem Pilot (APPI Certified Pilot)

Emergency First Responder (EFR + CPR 24 hours)

Sandip is an extraordinarily experienced instructor who not only enjoys teaching the basics, but often offers coaching services to returning students. Hence, it is not unusual to see him teach ground handling in the morning, and then issue commands from the front seat of a tandem on a training flight with a pro pilot looking to polish up his skills.

Sandip is in charge of keeping Nirvana Adventures ISO systems up to date – a job he takes as seriously as he does paragliding training. He is also responsible for coordinating with Air Traffic Control (ATC) office to open and close the skies each day for paragliding in Kamshet.

When back from the paragliding site, he ensures each and every student’s certificate is issued in a timely manner. It is worth being friendly to him, as he holds the answer key to your final exam.


Senior Instructor, Tandem Pilot (APPI Certified Pilot)

Emergency First Responder (EFR + CPR 24 hours)

A flying enthusiast since a very young age, Vinod Shelar joined the Nirvana team in 2006. His talent star quickly turned into a supernova and it is very common to see him high up in the sky on days when other pilots can barely get off the ground.

He enjoys all aspects of training, starting in the classroom, progressing through small to large hills, but the ultimate reward for Vinod is cutting the ribbon at the end of a day’s work and flying home under his wing while the rest of us are rocking out in the Nirvana Adventures van. Yes, Vinod is an avid cross-country pilot.

Always keeping a keen eye, Vinod is also a diligent Emergency First Responder and First Aider.


APPI Certified Pilot and Instructor
(Emergency First Responder and First Aider)

This rising star hasn’t exactly invented paragliding, but he sure has learned how to fly! Pradeep, time and again has amazed everyone with his spot-landing skills, both at the bottom as well as at the top of the mountains! He does like to teach, but you really can’t expect him to give away all of his secrets in the first meeting.

As a junior instructor Pradeep tends to work with other trainers, but do not underestimate his contribution: he is the guy who assigns your glider, and his keen eye knows exactly what each student needs. So, if you have a colour preference for your awesome Facebook photos, you know whom to talk to!


Competition Pilot & Cross-Country Flying freak

APPI Certified Pilot, Emergency First Responder

Born into the first family of paragliding at Kamshet, Sunith grew up with the sport of paragliding.  He has a natural flair for flying and at the age of 23 has already been on podiums in various paragliding competitions in Europe. Sunith is one of the leading cross-country paragliding pilots in Asia. He was only 4 years old when he had his first experience of flying in the vast blue skies and discovered his love for paragliding. He began ground training at the age of 10, Elementary Pilot at 14, Club Pilot at 15,  SIV course with Paragliding Guru Jockey Sanderson in Oludeniz, Turkey, at 19, Cross Country Course with Escape Paragliding at the age of 20, XC Clinic in Piedrahita Spain with Steve Ham at the age of 22 and SIV course with Debu Choudhury at 23

In the recent years Sunith has taken part in many paragliding competitions in Europe and won many prizes

His current FAI ranking:

As a young, enthusiastic and dedicated paragliding pilot, Sunith is in the position of inspiring, opening up the world of paragliding to many a new student pilot. Sunith leads our Intro to XC course in Bir, Billing, overlooks various aspects of the operation, keeping us abreast with this ever-evolving sport.


Foreman, Native Place guesthouse

One of the pillars of Nirvana Adventures, Mangesh is the man behind the show at Native Place guesthouse. He takes care of the daily running of the guesthouse and will organize anything you need. He ensures your stay at the guesthouse is hassle-free right from the moment you step in.

An outstanding cook, he is known to take his food to a higher level of spiciness, especially on Mondays, when he takes over the kitchen. Visiting pilots quickly learn that “Mangesh Mondays” are an adventurous test for the taste buds. So, if you are making a trip to Native Place guesthouse, give a shout-out to Mangesh, and your stay will be sorted out!

Amol Shelar

Trainee Instructor, Wilderness First Aider

24-year-old Amol Shelar is a native of Karanjgaon village the birthplace of the paragliding scene at Kamshet. He has frequented the Shelar site every summer since he was twelve years old.  Amol is an outdoors guy, and eager to learn. He was inducted into the FlyNirvana fold in 2017.

Amol has a natural flair for adventure. He has undergone an in-depth training program under the watchful eyes of the senior FlyNirvana crew that began with a mandatory 6 months of ground handling. He is now making strides to be an adept pilot and a good FlyNirvana Instructor. When you come to fly with us Amol may be the one urging you into the van on those early morning trips to the flying site ensuring you get there on time to do as many flights as the wind Gods allow.

Suraj Bhalshinge

Trainee Instructor, Emergency First Responder

22-year-old Suraj is a graduate and holds a diploma in computer science.  This dynamic young man joined the FlyNirvana team in 2017.

Since the age of 14 Suraj has spent his summers running up the Shelar hills carrying gliders and observing our antics in the sky. He has done 6 months of ground handling before graduating to short flights.

Suraj has a friendly disposition, always smiling and pleasant. Amongst his many talents is his ability to write posts that highlight the rich cultural context of Maval Taluka. Suraj assists Sandip with the humungous task (paperwork) of ensuring we maintain our currency as India’s only ISO certified paragliding school. Suraj is happy to have found his place in the skies and his niche at Nirvana Adventures.

"The Fly Nirvana team of instructors are mostly from the local village. They are a team of APPI certified pilots. They are friendly bunch of guys who have always laid emphasis on safety first. I have always felt safe with them around, even though I have been flying in Kamshet for over 10 years."- Ashwin Kunder, Mumbai