Paragliding in Vagamon : My Favorite Tourist Spot in Kerala
Vagamon is blessed by nature with a crown of hills. Interspersed are green meadows, proudly standing Swiss styled cottages, balancing them is the precariously perched Indo-Swiss project, all arranged aesthetically like images in a colourful canvas. All place for this wonder of nature I reached the sweet spot of Vagamon called the G-spot, perhaps the best suitable place for paragliding in Kerala.
G-spot! The name itself piqued my curiosity which soon raged into a passion to go paragliding. Friends who conduct paragliding named the place, the Gliding spot. a geographical G spot.
The cost of a glide will go beyond Rs 150,000. That is just one aspect of this sport. There is another factor , perhaps the most important, the abundance of wind without which the investment would remain a mere waste. It is said to be less risky to para-glide at Vagamon, because even in case of an accident the meadows would cushion the fall. The moment I started flying I understood that paragliding is not that simple as a sport as I had presumed it to be. I waited for a steady wind to blow so that the flight would become less perilous.
A fully equipped paraglide awaits one at the hilltop. One is allowed the lenience of a speck of fear till one is tightly bound and belted. But once fully geared to fly, that fear should be shrugged off. Rest all is left to the wind- the one and only factor that controls the flight and your plight. Unless a steady wind comes you should sit on the hilltop sky gazing. Wind blew at a speed of 15 km/hr. It seems almost steady wind and here is John, the pilot of the glide on his way with a near perfect take off
While gliding we should fly against the wind and not with the wind. In a red paraglide, John in his blue jacket flew high above the Vagamon hills like a colourful bird, There was only a German family to watch the flying.
The flight took me to suicide point. This is a vehicle prohibited area and if one has to commit suicide has to walk all the way. Poor souls! But I am sure by the time they reach the top they would have revised their decision. This is a point which any pilot would love to land, but the problem is that only an expert can aspire for a perfect take off from here.
Those who are less confident of flying need not feel dejected. You can fly as a passenger with the help of a trained Tandem Pilot. But such confident pilots who can accommodate passengers along while flying are a rare species in Kerala. Thus my day long attempt to land safely playing in the hands of wind became a reasonable success. I felt as if I was lying in a cradle.
The day in Vagamon had an energetic end. Wind continued with its frolic in the night too. Caressing the Pine trees and amplifying its sound to a digitally sharpened Dolby surround, the wind shattered the silence of the night. Sleeping in the lap of wind I was a bit too lazy to wake up in the morning. But soon the thought of the vagamon Fest and the adventure activities waiting wiped out all my laziness. Parasailing, Hot air Balloon, Sorbing... unable to rate them... one better than the other.
Zorbing, a sport where you are made to sit inside a ball seemed to be very simple while watching. But once you are inside it and the ball starts rolling you will call heavens for help. That was one other time that I developed a healthy respect towards the moving phenomenon called wind.
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Elappara. a place around 16 kms from Vagamon is the nearest town and this is a fact that nobody can ever afford to forget. On your way to Vagamon, collect all necessary items lest you have my experience of making a couple of additional drives to Elappara. When I was about to leave, a white car stopped in front of me. A young couple stepped out from it. My eyes followed them Hand in hand they vanished among the pine trees behind the resort. I urged my gaze to leave them alone and come back.