Kalimpong is a bazaar town that stretches out along a saddle-shaped mountain ridge affording a glimpse of the raging Teesta river. Darjeeling’s closest cousin, Kalimpong is smaller and more laid-back. The town bustles away with the Khangchendzonga dominating it in the backdrop. Located at an average elevation of 1,250 meters, this town is the headquarters of Kalimpong district.
Favoured by the British for its soothing weather, Kalimpong transformed from a tiny hamlet to a progressive hill town. The sheer diversity of its offering to the tourists make Kalimpong a fantastic holiday destination. Apart from jaw-dropping scenery and blissfully slow pace of life this town offers plenty of adventurous activities – River rafting, mountain climbing, rock climbing and paragliding. Paragliding in Kalimpong is undoubtedly one of the most exciting activities a tourist should try out. Let’s take a look at the places in Kalimpong where you can try out this activity and know more about the best season for paragliding in Kalimpong.
Also See: Paragliding in Gangtok
Paragliding in Kalimpong
Paragliding in Kalimpong completes a trip to the hill stations of West Bengal in a sumptuous way. Taking in the view of the beautiful Himalayan range with the Khangchendzonga sitting like a queen is surrealistic. And, the vastness is such an allure that leaves every adventurer wanting for more. In this article, we would discuss a few pointers on how and where to start with your paragliding in Kalimpong. The details which travellers tend to overlook.
Paragliding basic info
- Depending on the wind conditions, paragliding in Kalimpong starts from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm.
- Take-off point is Deolo Hills. From March to June, the timings are from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm.
- From October to January, it’s from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm.
Deolo Hill is one of the two hills between where the town of Kalimpong starts. Situated at an elevation of 1,704 meters, it’s one of the highest points of Kalimpong town. It’s located to the northeast of the main area of the town. The main road which is the starting point is within walking distance from Deolo viewpoint. Quite hard to miss for a passerby. As you reach the hill, you will be welcomed by a fantastic garden.
From the ridge edges, you are blessed with a unique view of the snow-capped mountains of the Khangchendzonga undulating valleys and villages. If you are visiting the hills on a clear day, then a view of the West Sikkim Hills might greet you. Getting to watch a sunrise and a sunset at Deolo Hills is something sort of a dream come true. Deolo paragliding is one exciting activity that most of the travellers do avail when in Kalimpong. It’s the best way to experience paragliding in Kalimpong. Usually, paragliding is done on a clear day for you to get a good view as you soar above. An unmatchable experience, unique to the one tries out. Deolo paragliding involves a session between you and your guide.
Also, known as tandem paragliding, wherein the guide will join you on your flight. And, he/she will be the one who would be in charge of the flight. There are two types of flight that take place in Deolo paragliding. Medium and Cross Country. Let’s take a look at the same in detail.
Also See: 12 Top hill station in Sikkim
Types of Paragliding Flights
As told in the previous para, there are two types of paragliding in Kalimpong that a traveller can avail. Medium and Cross Country. The medium flight is the one which lands you on the Homes Ground near Dr Grahams Homes School. As for the Cross Country, it lands you on the Relli river ground near Relli resort at a distance of about 10 km. There’s transportation provided to the way back from landing location to the starting point. Medium Flight takes you around 20-30 minutes. And, Cross Country Flight is an affair of around 30-45 minutes. Medium Flight lets you glide through the sky at a relatively lower altitude. Whereas a Cross Country Flight usually takes you to a higher altitude and lasts for a longer time.
- Charges for Medium Flight – INR 2500 to INR 5000 per person.
- Charges for Cross Country – INR 5000 to INR 6000 per person.
The rates are mostly standard for all service providers. It may vary a bit by a sum of INR 200-300, but mostly, they are the same.
Best Paragliding services providers in Kalimpong
Make sure to connect with the best and trained providers even if you are quite adept with paragliding. There are several providers who offer excellent services and skilled trainers.
- Himalayan Eagle – Of all, Himalayan Eagle is the best provider. Located in Chibbo village of Kalimpong, they also provide comfortable homestays along with paragliding. They offer both Regular and Cross Country flights. There is no prior experience needed to go ahead with them. With the best of trainers, they would make sure that you have an enjoyable experience. Before the flight, the trainer or the pilot gives a short piece of information which the passenger needs to abide by. Post that, the passenger needs to sign a liability form and complete with the payment.
- Alpine Paragliding – Providing services to both locals and tourists alike, Alpine Paragliding has been around since 2012. It’s located just in Deolo road and easily accessible to the ones who wish to try out this activity. They employ only those individuals as trainers who are passionate about the sport. Along with paragliding, it also offers services for trekking.
- Adventure ATT06 – They offer you excellent paragliding services with trained professionals. Medium and High Flights are what they offer. And, for both the landing points are different-Homes Ground near Dr Graham’s Homes School for medium flights and Relli River Ground near Relli River for the high flights.
- Kalimpong Tandem Paragliding – Kalimpong Tandem Paragliding situated in Deolo also does offer paragliding services. The professionals are quite trained. They are new in the list of service providers, but, does offer a professionally sound job.
Also See: 7 Most serene lakes in Sikkim
Experience of Paragliding in Kalimpong
Deolo paragliding in Kalimpong involves one well trained and experienced pilot flying with the traveller. Here the passenger or the traveller doesn’t need to have any prior experience or training as such. There are separate harnesses provided for both the trainer and the passenger. Harnesses are attached to the main wing. All that is required from the traveller (passenger) is to sit back, relax and take in the epic scenery. The best is to opt for a GoPro video. Paragliding in Kalimpong is one of the most professionally undertaken activities, with a pilot all the way from Sweden.
As the paragliding starts from Deolo, the traveller needs to reach at least 1 hour in advance. Deolo is almost 7 km away from Kalimpong, and hence, one needs to reach early. Best way to reach Deolo is by car. As mentioned by many adventurers who did undertake this activity – take-off is way much easier. All you need to do is run a few steps down the hill and voila! You would be in the air. The first few seconds can be quite panicky. Take a few deep breaths, and the mesmerising scenery would refresh you.
As you soar high, a lovely view of mountains and clear blue rivers would give you the happiest time of your life. In the recent few years, paragliding in Kalimpong has been heavily promoted. An evolution of wonderful techniques and methods of training has taken paragliding to newer heights in Kalimpong.
Best time to go paragliding in Kalimpong
The best time to visit Kalimpong and try out the exciting activities would be from April to June and October. Specifically, if you wish to try out paragliding in Kalimpong, then these are best months. The weather conditions are perfect with clear blue skies and pleasant weather. Even though, Kalimpong is a year-round travel destination. There are specific times and months when it’s better not to travel there. Paragliding requires a very light climate.
Extreme heat, way too cold, and monsoons might ruin your whole plan. In monsoon and winters, the hill station is enveloped in fog which is not suitable for adventure activities. Between the months from April to June, the weather stays light. Temperatures vary between 25-30 Degree Celsius which is quite favourable for paragliding in Kalimpong. Wheres in October, temperatures might go down and vary between 20-25 Degree Celsius. The good part is, there’s no fog seen around that time. Weather is amazingly pleasant and the best time to go paragliding there.
As told, monsoon and winters can really be hazardous. These are the seasons which need to be avoided at any cost. Most of the operators stay closed during these months and trying to paraglide would result in severe damage.
- Ideal trip duration for paragliding in Kalimpong: 1 night 2 days.
- Ideal for: Youngsters and adults.
Note: Travelers (Passengers) should be at least 30 kg, and the maximum is 120 kg. People with health issues like asthma or heart problems are strictly forbidden to undertake this activity.
Dress Code and what to carry during Paragliding
During the time of flying, make sure you are wearing proper clothing — t-shirts, denim, cargos and track pants. Sneakers are a must. Avoid wearing slippers, sandals or floaters. Wear a jacket or windcheater depending on the weather. It is also mandatory to carry one identity proof.
Basic tips for Paragliding
- Always choose to fly with a certified instructor.
- Google, research and know the area you are going to fly. Communicate and ask as many questions to the instructor. Clear all your doubts.
- There will be instructions given prior to flying. Read that well.
- When your instructor is explaining, listen to that carefully.
- Before taking the final leap, practice the take-off couple of times.
- Prior to booking your session, do proper checking of the weather conditions and climate.
- Know your landing zone and span well.
With all the above tips and information, we wish that for your next trip you choose paragliding in Kalimpong. In fact, choose to travel to Kalimpong and try out all the other exciting activities that the place offers. There are quite a lot of providers of paragliding from Deolo hill. You can choose any one of them and make your vacation an adventurous one. Paragliding is an exciting adventure sport which gives you the freedom to manoeuvre your way as you wish. So, when you get the opportunity, grab it. And, Kalimpong, located on a daunting altitude gives it an upper hand when travellers shortlist places for adventure sports.