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Monday , April27 , 2009
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International Paragliding Troupe makes Assessments
Potential Sites Identified in Jammu including Udhampur for Adventure Sports

Udhampur, April 27-Endowed with majestic scenic splendour, the Outer Himalayas and the Shivalak hills of Jammu are now bracing up as potential adventure tourism destinations. Little known to the enthusiasts of the sport outside the State, the virgin and exotic mountain ranges in Udhampur district are giving a call to international paragliders to test their adventure skills on this land.
Recently, a group comprising of world-class paragliders from different countries including USA, Sweden, France, Czech Republic, and India carried out a recce to assess the potential of Pancheri and Madha hills of the Lesser Himalayas, in Udhampur District, for national and international paragliding events.

  A Group of paragliders from countries including USA, Sweden, France, Czech Republic, and India who carried out assessment for potential sites in Jammu including Udhampur for Paragliding Adventure Sports.
A Group of paragliders from countries including
USA, Sweden, France, Czech Republic, and India who carried out assessment for potential sites in Jammu for Paragliding Adventure Sports.

The team lead by Capt Satish Pathania and Adie Kumar, organisers of “Fly Himalaya” carried out extensive touring to meticulously study the topography and identify various take-off and landing locations at Meer Chulna, Sankari Devta and Natha top etc. The team members were quite excited in spotting out these locations which they termed as equivalent to the best anywhere in the world.
India born, Adie Kumar, living in Japan for the last 12 years, has been paragliding since 1998 and holds the Indian League championship for the last three years. At Panchari, on the potential of paragliding in the areas, he said that these sites were “most gratifying and alluring, and it was difficult for a paraglider pilot to resist their call”.

Brad Sander of the United States of America, with over 400 hours of flying time clocked in USA and nine other countries, who is the world record holder for the highest solo flight reaching an altitude of 7750 m and also the world record holder of the highest tandem flight, 6990m, remarked that none would have ever imagined that these lofty mountains could also have in their fold “the best paragliding sites”.

Admiring the scenic beauty with which Udhampur district is blessed, Anita Zulauff a female paragliding pilot from Switzerland remarked that “it was surprising as to how these spots have escaped the attention of the community of international paragliding enthusiasts so far”.

The group also sought assistance from the District Administration in carrying out their futuristic plans for promotion of adventure sports in the district. In this connection, the District Development Commissioner Udhampur, Mr Ajay Khajuria was apprised about the details of the findings and propositions of the group during an interaction at Udhampur. Providing details of the Across Himalayas Expedition, co-organiser Capt Pathania disclosed that the sites in Udhampur district had been found suitable for international paragliding events spread over Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal and Uttrakhand. Mr Khajuria assured them that efforts to promote adventure sports in the district, which have a positive impact on the economic development of the local population, will be supported and the recommendations of the group will be placed before the appropriate authorities for necessary action.

Source: Government of Jammu and Kashmir, Department of Information, Press Note, April 27, 2009
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