India is fast emerging as a major aero-sports destination because of its long Himalayan range that offers opportunities for activities like Para Sailing, Para Gliding, Hot Air Ballooning, and Para Jumping. Though, it will still take some time for the state of Jammu and Kashmir to gain popularity as a hand-gliding landmark, yet the location of a flat valley surrounded by high mountains is an ideal terrain for hang-gliding. The best places to try hand gliding are the meadows at the foot of mountains such as Yusmarg, Gulmarg and Sonamarg and one may go to the Suru and Zanskar valleys for hot air ballooning.
Paragliding is the latest aero sport to take the world by storm and its
origin dates back to as late as 1940s, when an aviation pioneer, Dr.
Francis Rogallo filed for a patent for his flexible Delta Kite. But it
was not until the early 1980s that parachutes were foot-launched
regularly from hills. Since then this sport has been rapidly expanding.
Thousands of people all over the world have found this sport convenient,
sheer fun and a safe medium of soaring in the air. With a vision to make
India the leader in paragliding, over the past three to four years, many
training courses were organized by several organizations such as Indian
Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering. A sizeable number of people have
been trained as pilots now and are capable of flying solo. Sansar in
Jammu and Kashmir is one of the most interesting spot that offers a bag
full of wonders when the pilots take off for the flights.
Aero sports like Para Sailing, Para Gliding, Hot Air Ballooning, and Para Jumping are fast becoming popular in Kashmir.