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Parasailing in Panchgani

It was last weekend of July, rainy season in Maharashtra and we, a group of 11 people (extended family) went to three days trip to Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani. You can read in details about that visit here, here and here. It was my second visit to these small hill stations amidst the heights of the Sahyadris mountains.

Only eighteen kms from Mahabaleshwar, the hill station of Panchgani is no lesser known to tourists. It is a frequented hill resort and is an ideal base for some good trekking, hiking, biking and parasailing (seasonal).
The parasailing takes place at a vast plateau, the second highest in Asia (and 4.5 km long) after the Tibetian plateau and locally known as “Tableland”. More on tableland in another post.

Parasailing consists of a parachute-like parasail, attached to a 300-meter long towrope, which is pulled along, by a speeding form of transport. When the speed rises to beyond stalling speed, the parachute rises, taking the pilot up in the air. Parasailing has two variations: a terrestrial and an aquatic one, with usually a jeep being used on ground and a motorboat being used in the water. As compared to gliding, parasailing is easier to learn and is also safer.

The length of the towrope restricts the height gained by a parasail. You achieve a height two-thirds the length of the rope. Other factors like wind speed, participant’s weight also have an important role to play. The time in the air depends on the amount of space available and the strength of the breeze. The stronger the breeze and the longer the run for the towing vehicle the longer and higher the flight will be. There are no weight restrictions in parasailing. The lighter you are, the higher you can go.

We too wanted to try our hands on parasailing. Having done so in France, I was initially wary of trying this in India where I thought the facilities may not be that good. Yes indeed, the facilities or infrastructure are far less but then we have to, at sometime, take risks to enjoy things. Also, looking at the people’s enthusiasm, all my inhibitions went off.

It was a very windy day with sky full of clouds. First, there was a long queue for parasailing and only one parachute ! And we all were praying that our turn comes before the winds become mischievous or rain gods start playing with us. The tickets vary (depends on the season and the organizer). We paid Rs 300/- per person.

parasailing Panchgani

I was tied to a parachute and a jeep and as the jeep picked up speed I went up in the air. It was a feeling of flying. Flying inside an airplane is a different experience. Here I felt like a kite with no control in my hands. It was really wonderful. I could view the whole green valley and the mountains from a higher plane !! And it was pretty cold !! Phew !

After sometime the jeep stopped and before my parachute came down, I could see 5-6 people running towards it. Well, they help us in landing process, nothing else. 🙂 While landing many people fall down and get hurt.
Some of us wanted to go for a second round but before we could even stand in the queue, drizzles and strong winds forced the organizers to close the show for the day.

Nevertheless, we had already enjoyed our quota. 🙂

Tip to Indian ladies:– Dress yourselves properly preferably with jeans/trousers and proper shoes. Sarees, flaring skirts and dresses with dupatta are best avoided for obvious reasons and so are strapless chappals/sandals.

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9 thoughts on “Parasailing in Panchgani”

  1. I also love para-sailing. I did it last winter only, in a river island, which was quite an experience by itself…Nice reading your experience & very nicely captured shots too!

  2. Nice post,you daring girl.

    Last year at this time I was in Matheran, which is close by, but haven’t been to Panchgani as yet. When I am there, I’d like to to try parasailing as well. I’ve enjoyed a bit of skydiving here and I love those thrill rides. 🙂

  3. Kalyan,
    Thank you very much. Well, I must admit I was quite scared initially. 🙂

    Thank you. Matheran is a different experience altogether. Hills, forests, horses, red soil and a small train. 🙂 Have been twice there.
    Skydiving is definitely more scary for me. This parasailing was quite safe with a very small round and controls in hands of some other person who was very much grounded. Here, in India I was more worried with the facilities/infrastructure.

    Oh, how much I am loving it to see you like this. 😛 Koi nee.. udaas nahi hote bachche, bahot time pada hai, chale jana phir kabhi.. 😉

  4. Hi I’m back after a short break… and glad to see your new blog! Great!
    Thanks for your comments at Blogtrotter. Chococow won! Now I’m in the Balkans, as far as posting is concerned! Now, land parasailing? No, Thanks! Once in Brazil I did «Ultraleve» (Ultralight flying) and that was enough…
    Have a great weekend!

  5. Wow !! awesome site. I really enjoyed reading your wonderful trips around Mumbai and Pune. There are loads of places to see up north. I guess I can use your site to plan my trips.
    Way to go!! I even enjoyed reading a person called “Fleiger”‘s comments in your blog, but I was not able to find His/Her blog. It would be nice if you could link that site to me.

    expecting a lot more posts from you!!

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