POKHARA, March 29: Many tourists who arrive in Pokhara do not miss an opportunity for paragliding. Some foreign tourists even come to Pokhara for paragliding training. Among them, a high-profile guest, Princess Asma Al Thani of Qatar, also took paragliding training in Syangja a few days ago.
She took the training at the Babu Adventure International School in Bhirkot, Syangja. After being trained on solo paragliding, Princess Al Thani set out to climb Mt Annapurna-I.
Sano Babu Sunuwar, director of the school, said that after flying from Shirkot in Bhirkot Municipality-5 Mahapur ground, the princess landed in Walling Municipality-1 Dauaphant. She completed the one-week basic pilot training of paragliding. He said that 'Ground and Hillfly' is taught during the one-week course, in which a person will be able to take off from the hills and land safely on the ground.
He said, "The princess took the class as a special course. It takes a week to be able to fly and land safely. Nirmal Purja, who has set a record by climbing 14 mountains in the world with a height of 8,000 meters, has led the climbing team of Princess Al Thani. At the same time, Al Thani took paragliding training.”
Similarly, Sunuwar said that the basic flight training of a paragliding pilot is usually completed in 15 days, but if the weather permits, and it can be taught in a small group, the course can be completed in a week.
“Being able to fly alone is a big thing in paragliding. If a person gets enough time, they can complete basic flight training in a week," he said. According to Sunwar, Princess Al Thani has promised to come to Syangja for the remaining training. “The words of the princess have also made us enthusiastic. It is a big thing for high profile guests to come all the way here (Sangja) to learn paragliding,” he said. The school had provided the necessary flight equipment for the princess.
Likewise, Sunwar said, “During training, Princess Al Thani completed the eight-kilometer ground distance by flying twice a day. Due to the dirt road, it took time to get down to the plain land and return to the hill. She flew twice in a day. The distance between takeoff and landing is 15 minutes. However, Al Thani flew for 25 minutes," he said.
“This is a good message for adventure tourism in Nepal. Nepal's paragliding has gained popularity in the international market, not only as a way to fly but also as a learning tool,” said Sunwar. He claimed that Nepal's paragliding sector is well-known in the world and has been able to attract high-profile trainees. “Paragliding is taught everywhere. However, the weather of Pokhara region and the scenery here have attracted many people. In the international market, Nepal’s paragliding is not only popular as an adventurous sport, but we have also become an important training destination.”