Gethin Webb - Visiting Pilot
This was my first visit to India. It turned out to be nothing that I was expecting ( in a good way
People were incredibly friendly, the most relevant thing to me is the very obvious how expensive life is in the UK. Material things. when you come here it feels like how Europe may have been of 100 years ago.
The Flying – it’s the most consistent place in terms of conditions. I’ve flown to the point where we came down because we have had our fill. Normally you grab as much airtime as you can get – here it’s hugely consistent so you are not grabbing but enjoying.
The FlyNirvana Instructors – Massively helpful, high standards, instruction style seems to be more supportive in that sense.
The Food – food was excellent.
I logged 10 hours in ten days. Quite a lot really!
I Doubled my airtime since passing CP and was able to learn a little thermalling and that was great, lots of ridge soaring and practicing the rules of the air. It was an awesome trip. I’m definitely coming back.
I had a fantastic time at Nirvana, my confidence as a pilot grew stronger.
It was so much fun and exciting to be amongst such great pilots, instructors and friends.
I have made a video of my experience; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EKR0mgDm3I&sns=em
I hope you like it. Can you please send me Yanesh and Angelika’s email address, I would like to write them also and keep in touch.
I am certain I will be back at Nirvana to take my pilot skills further.
Dag Ivar Hansen – Visiting Pilot
Paragliding holiday in India with Nirvana Adventures: brilliant acro flying, a smile on your face and peace in your heart
I came to India on the 19th December 06’ to do some paragliding in India which has been my dream for years. Found this website on the internet about a place outside Mumbai about 2 hours away called Kamshet.
Was picked up at the airport and directly transported to the Native Place which was to be my home for the next month to come. It’s also the first Paragliding School opened in this area in 1997 and one of the most experienced schools in the country.
They have 2 great sites nearby brilliant for beginning and intermediate pilots and experienced pilots can enjoy very good flying here as well.
Tower Hill’s take off is about 857m above sea level and you often get up to 2600 meters after which it is quite an easy flight back to the Native Place where you can land in the garden and have a beer before you pack your glider. The distance is 9 km back to the Native Place guesthouse from Tower Hill. This site is brilliant for practicing acro too.
The second site at Kamshet, Shelar has a take off at 720 above sea level
At the Shelar cliffs you have people to pack your glider and carry it up to takeoff and down to the vehicle for you. The site is great for soaring and accumulating airtime.
There is yet another take off right above Native Place called the ‘lake view site’. A 20 minute walk to takeoff and you can go XC to Shelar – 4 km away and fly till after sunset and get back home for a beer after which dinner is served.
I spent a month here and we flew everyday except for a couple of when I decided to take it easy and relax at the guesthouse. It costs a visiting pilot 25 euros per day which includes food transport and stay. Great food, good variety and both spicy or non spicy as you like it. .
At Native Place you are well taken care of by the staff. There is lot of positive energy in the place and great people too. I met a lot of Indian pilots and beginner students. Every weekend it is full of people – students and pilots from all over the world, mid week you have the place to yourself. Great place for Yoga and meditation. Beautiful lake 50 meters down from the house.
Weekends when Sanjay the owner is here it’s a feast. Sanjay often cooks dinner and lays it out on the roof. You meet up with the rest of the guests and pilots under the stars where you may spot a shooting star or two if you are lucky.
Beautiful garden and a couple of hammocks to relax in and breathe in the air scented by the tropical flowering climbers At the entrance of the garden a beautiful smelling shrub called the queen of the night which puts a smile on your face and peace in your heart.
The instructors and the tandem pilots are all highly qualified better than many places I’ve seen in Europe. The safety aspect is very well taken care of. I have to say they are damn good pilots.
Best time to visit – November December January Feb after which it is still flyable but the heat begins to escalate.
Joel Gans - Visiting Pilot
Hi Sanjay & Astrid, I’m already back to Seoul after this unique experience with you guys… It was for me the first time to really leave the crowdy Mumbai and I must say, it was worth it…
Your team is doing a perfect job to make us feel at home. Even, learning how to cook the Nan was quite interesting. The Shelar paragliding site is unique. Perfect to train some wingovers, spiral dives or just enjoy the scenery. And taking the dynamic “lift up” so easy. The most difficult was to find how & when to come down.. haha. Next time I plan to try a little cross-country to the Native Place Guesthouse. I’m sure I could find my way just by the smell of the Tandoori chicken.
Take care both of you & please, continue to give opportunities & hope to all the kids from the village. Hope to come for the next season, to experience Tower Hill this time…
Joel, Z flying Panda
Duncan Perry - Visiting Pilot
I’m used to the sun. I work in Oman, where there’s no shortage of the stuff and pasty-faced Europeans usually know the pitfalls of getting too much. Nevertheless, awesome thermo-dynamic conditions and an open face helmet on my final day as a relatively low-airtime visiting pilot in Kamshet put me off guard, resulting in the pain and embarrassment of a badly sunburned face to balance the euphoria of one of the best days of flying I’ve ever had.
Free flight in Oman is impossible so it made sense to capitalise on the long break after Ramadan by crossing the Arabian Sea to link up with Nirvana and explore paragliding possibilities in the Western Ghats in early November. Despite short notice, smooth administration by Sanjay and Astrid meant a swift transfer to Kamshet, a tasty lunch and a ride up to Tower Hill launch just a few hours after arriving at Mumbai International Airport. During this post-monsoon period Tower Hill is the only viable site, taking a consistent Westerly wind. During my stay the wind was always bang on the hill, with speeds building up gradually during the mornings and dropping off in the mid-afternoons, giving two satisfyingly lengthy flying windows each day.
It may have been the only site working at the point in the season, but Tower Hill was perfect for my requirements. Soaring the lengthy ridge above an authentically rural Indian landscape presented surprising challenges as the lift band shifted and contracted, and the sky turned ‘on’ and ‘off’. Top landing practice was easy and forgiving due to the flat, wide open ridge top, and in the afternoons the sky became thermo-dynamic, allowing me to core thermals and gain enough height to take me above the top of the tower. While the winds were gratifyingly smooth, they were often stronger than I was used to. Local pilots were more at home launching in these conditions than I, but Nirvana Adventures highly competent and knowledgeable instructor team, offered patient advice and encouragement, as well as physical assistance on more than one occasion, and I soon found myself redefining what I was comfortable with as skills and confidence grew.
At the end of each flying day fellow pilots habitually headed to Rangoli’s Restaurant on the outskirts of Kamshet for some cold Kingfisher beers and to shoot the breeze with other pilots from all over the world at what is clearly becoming an increasingly well-known and correspondingly cosmopolitan free flying location. Back at the guesthouse we enjoyed great evening meals, courtesy of the skilled and tireless kitchen staff, and even the odd impromptu party. I couldn’t have asked for more.
My longest flight at Kamshet was over two and half hours, a personal best, and the reason for the red face. If you want to increase your airtime in a friendly, culturally authentic but surprisingly accessible part of India with some like-minded, easy-going people, Nirvana Adventures comes highly recommended. But bring your sun cream.
Asa & Anita, The Flying Effect – Visiting Pilots
When we reached our first PG destination in India I felt like falling on my knees and kissing the ground. Being in India that didn’t seem like a great idea. So, I jumped for joy instead… we both did! We so deserved being at this utterly gorgeous place after the last days experiences. Native Place has a good vibe you feel as soon as you walk in the door. It is in the middle of nowhere by a peaceful lake. From here we can drive with the local pilots to several flying sites. We already went to two of them and had great flights. We have met so many lovely and interesting people/pilots here and the staff spoils us with warm Chai, home cooked meals and hot showers … and just now, as I sit here typing these words, they brought me a piece of freshly baked cake! This is Nirvana.