Preparations are underway to start commercial paragliding in Parbat by mid-April. Local youths have formed a committee to offer the adventure sport in the district in a bid to attract thrill seekers.
They will be organizing a three-day Parbat Paragliding Festival starting on March 5 before beginning commercial flights.
A team of paragliding pilots have completed two test flights in Kusma, the district headquarters. The Parbat Paragliding Management Committee has joined hands with Pokhara’s Frontline Paragliding Company to conduct commercial operations.
“As we have already done two successful test flights, commercial flights will be started soon,” said Bishal Regmi, coordinator of the youth committee.
He added that the climate in Parbat was appropriate for commercial paragliding operations. The committee decided to hold the paragliding festival as a number of companies from Pokhara have shown interest in conducting flights in Parbat.
Local youths claimed that Parbat would be one of the most thrilling spots for paragliding in the Western Region. Paragliders can observe the beautiful Kali Gandaki Gorge, the Modi River and the country’s highest suspension bridge from the skies over Parbat. “Tourism entrepreneurs here are very excited,” said Ganesh Poudel, a member of the management committee. “We have agreed to operate commercial flights from mid-April.”
Tourism entrepreneurs said the paragliding business would flourish in Parbat. “We could make paragliding flights cheaper than in Pokhara,” said Nuren Lama, a paragliding pilot. “The take-off and landing points are also not very far as in Kaski district.” The proposed regional international airport in Pokhara has worried paragliding operators who fear that they may be shut down as being a hazard to aircraft, and they have been exploring Parbat, which is close to Pokhara, as an alternative spot for their business.
According to Narayan Parajuli, operator of Blue Sky Paragliding, they have made a number of test flights in many parts of western Nepal. “Among all the places we explored, Parbat is very feasible due to its geographic location, wind speed and landing points,” said Parajuli, adding that Parbat would be an alternative location to Pokhara for commercial paragliding.
Parbat is located 55 km from Kaski. “We can develop a day-long package for foreign tourists,” he said, adding that it was equally important to attract domestic tourists. Local entrepreneurs, particularly hoteliers, are pleased with the plan developed by Parbat’s youths.
“Although Parbat is close to Pokhara, one of the major tourist hotspots, we were unable to explore our district,” said Krishna Shrestha, the operator of Bandana Hotel. “We are happy that commercial paragliding flights will be operated in our district.” said Shrestha.
He has spent Rs50 million to build a modern hotel in Parbat, and expects business to flourish once commercial paragliding activities increase in the district.
Source: The Kathmandu Post