Friday, October 23, 2009

Chikamagalur Paragliding Site

the monsoon blues saw me actively searching new site with the wonderful tool that is Google maps. What did one do prior to Google maps? One wonders...

Anyhow, I posted to the club member a selection of 6 possible sites within a 5 to 6 hours drive around Bangalore. The main criteria being that the site requires a substantial elevation, 300+ m, and a motor-able access to the top.

Some of us visited a site during monsoon times, a little to the north of Bangalore but were rather disappointed with the lack of real take off opportunities.

last w.e. I set off for Deepavali celebrations to Chikmagalur with wife and family... one of the potential sites spotted. I was not disappointed.

Chikmagalur has a lot promising for paragliding and the most attractive part is its beautiful rolling mountain tops covered in grass, ideal for top landings. Just one little hick-up being that there isn't mush landing opportunities.... for now. Anyhow, there are a few options but with a little difficulty and therefore as an initial flying site I recommend it for advance pilots only. In time if we can get the local authorities to encourage the sport we may be able to clear a patch for a nice landing field.

So here are the photos, maps and GPS tracks.

Here is the GPS track of my drive up to Mullayanagiri peak. The highest peak in Karnataka apparently. More details if you click the link to everytrail.

Mullayanagiri at EveryTrail

The following image was produced using Google Earth. It shows the same GPS track (in blue this time) up to the peak. In addition I have marked out a white polygon with the landing site I have in mind. This to me was the best site for an initial landing field. There were people playing cricket there on the day I drove up. A few bushes here and there, with trees surrounding the field, but no major problems. However it does require a decent approach. I have also drawn a straight line from the peak to the site on Google, this is a line that follows the ground and not a line of site as such. It measure 2.7 km on Google earth. My GPS showed 2.1 km. Furthermore, the asl height at the landing site is 1250m (see the everytrail site for confirmation), while the peak is as 1900m. However, we would probably take a little lower at 1800 m or so. So all in all we have 550m drop to cover 2km. That's a 4:1 glide ratio, quite accessible with any basic glider.

One more thing. Both maps above are oriented N at the top. The peak is ideal for a SE winds therefore, but actually there is large bowl just below and to the right of the peak (left on the map), which can take anything from an ENE to SE wind really.

... and to finish, some photos to make you drool a little :)

Mullayangiri peak

The Road to and car park for the peak. I am thinking that the hill above the road would make an ideal take off point. This picture is facing S.

And to finish, still more promising, is the Baba Budangiri peak to the north, with several kms of SE, E and NE facing cliffs. This will require more investigation on a future trip.


Sanjay said...

Hey Vrata

That chikmaglur site looks great, how far by road from Mangalore ?

Hope to see you at Kamshet sometime

Peace, Bliss & Happy landings

Sanjay Rao

Paragliding Kamshet

anil said...

great work vrata. Look forward to more info on the flying possibilites.

Anil Madgavkar

Nishanth M said...

Good to see the efforts,
Kinldy let us know once you rae ready wanna try paragliding

Ramesh said...

Nice blog. Chikamagalur seems best paragliding site and beautiful hill station. Thanks for sharing this blog with us. I would like to say something that there are many paragliding sites in India where people come for paragliding from overseas also. Touching Cloud Base offer tandem flights and paragliding lessons to all over India.