“Sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage, and I promise something great will come of it.”
Since childhood, the divine beauty of nature fascinates me. I always dreamt of flying like a bird and it happened at the most unexpected time. Yes! Finally, I rose swiftly and felt the wind, the most exciting day in my life. I am super excited to share my first paragliding experience with you all. Read on…..
Vagamon lies closer to Cochin, my hometown. Since childhood, every weekend we used to travel to Vagamon as this serene hill station is perfect for a family holiday. During those days, there weren’t any adventurous activities like today. The lush greenery, meadows, pine forest, Kurishumala, etc were the prominent attractions we used to explore. Even then, those holidays were special for us and we kept looking forward to vacations!
One day, my cousin called me and shared the most exciting news! She said, "Gear up lady, our favorite holiday spot is in the news with some exciting activities and one among that is ‘PARAGLIDING." I was delighted to hear that news from her. In the recent past, the family trip became a ‘cousin’s trip' and we used to go trekking and mountaineering together. However, we never got a chance for this exhilarating activity called Paragliding! Sadly, it took almost three years for this dream to come true. Our parents weren’t happy to send us for paragliding but we( Me and my cousins) were determined to go. So, we kept pressurizing, pleading, and begging….. FINALLY convinced them.
Yes! the day has arrived and I am all set to cut off the most awaited activity from my bucket-list, PARAGLIDING! Haaa. Not just me; my team! Exactly, two of my cousins and my brother were all set for the journey. (We are above 20 years of age). Our parents did not send us alone and we were a bit disappointed about that!
Since the booking was through Funday Holidays, on the day of travel our parents dropped us at their office. From Cochin, we started off by 7 am and we reached Kolahalamedu, the flying site around 11 am. We were asked to have a light breakfast three hours before the activity. So on the way, we stopped near a beautiful waterfall ( I don’t remember the name!) and enjoyed the idli and chutney, mom packed for us. A part of Amruthamedu, the second highest peak in South India, Kolahalamedu offers a visual treat that awakens your soul. My brother was a bit nervous and said that he is dropping the idea of flying in the air! Since I was too excited about this much-awaited activity, I didn’t go for my usual motivational speech, instead, I asked our agent to take us to the glider pilot who briefed us about the equipment and the experience. Since we don't have any basic idea about gliding, we went for tandem paragliding. The pilot was an expert in his field and listening to him itself was a joy. I was sure that my brother would have a double-mind by now!
After the briefing, it was time to fly high. I don't have enough words to describe the entire journey, scenes, and feelings. I was mesmerized by the breathtaking beauty of this fascinating landscape and it was the same with others too. The pilot controlled the entire ride and like a bird, I enjoyed the scenery beneath. The gentle kiss of the cool breeze, lovely waterfalls, and the green meadows offered a treat for my eyes and soul; I was speechless! The steady winds favored the ride and the adrenaline rush was at the peak. Once I landed, my brother said, “I am not going to drop the plan.” I was sure that he would go ahead with the plan after seeing the excitement and thrill on my face; and he did the same. After his glide, he commented that it was an unforgettable experience and he would have regretted it for the rest of his life if he missed it. I too agreed with him. I had recorded my journey in the Gopro and undoubtedly, it is a true treasure to cherish forever!
I conclude my experience with Philippe Perrin quotes, "It's only when you're flying above it that you realize how incredible the Earth really is!"
A 360degree view of the Western Ghats is the best ever gift for Us!!
Things you would love to Know about Paragliding in Vagamon
- Every year the Paragliding Festival is organized. Online registration is available.
- The pilot will brief you on how to equip yourself.
- Eat light.
- Avoid the activity if you are not physically fit( Respiratory issues, Blood Pressure, etc).
- Carry cash-in-hand. Vagamon town has a couple of ATM's but during holidays and weekends, there won’t be sufficient amount in the ATM's. Online payment is not available at the restaurants too.
- Fill your vehicles with enough fuel.
- Wear full-sleeved clothes and sports shoes for paragliding.
- Carry sunscreen lotion and sunglasses.
- Rent a GoPro, if you don’t have one; if don't forget to carry your GoPro and record the journey!
- October onwards starting but the best and peak from January to May.
- Paragliding costs Rs.3500/- and Fee for the camera is Rs.500/-
- The ideal weight of a glider is 50 KG to 80 Kg. Those who are above 100 kg will not be allowed to participate in the activity.
- If you are planning for a one day or two-day trip you can also plan your visit to attractions including Pine Forest, Marmala Waterfall, Thangal Para, Vagamon Lake, Kurishumala, Vagamon meadows, Murugan Mala, etc. This farm tourism destination is also famous for nearby attractions like Sathram, Ashleys Bungalow, Anjuruli, and more. Those who are keen to explore Vagamon should make a detailed itinerary before traveling to this paradise-like land.
If you love my Paragliding experience, kindly share your thoughts!