Ditch Gangtok for this Quaint Paragliding Village on your next trip to Sikkim

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Photo of Ditch Gangtok for this Quaint Paragliding Village on your next trip to Sikkim by anshul akhoury

As one of the most accessible adventure sports, Indian paragliding scene has become somewhat mainstream among the travellers. I remember that as a child, I was very much fascinated by the possibility of adding paragliding in my itinerary. Sadly, I was only 14 and the cost of paragliding was INR 8000.

After experiencing paragliding in Bir Billing, the wish to experience the feeling of soaring high made visit a place that would show me the world from the top. It didn’t happen until I went to Sikkim.

While looking for a little offbeat stay during my trip to Gangtok, I came across this cottage at a place called Paragliding Village. The name was interesting and the price was only INR 1200 for a shared cottage so I made my booking. The moment I saw the listing, I knew that I have to visit paragliding village.

Photo of Ranka, Sikkim, India by anshul akhoury

Locally known as Ranka, this gorgeous location is home to the best paragliding experience in North East India. Surrounded by beautiful jungles and filled with isolated cottages, you’ll experience a sojourn like never before. Shared taxis go to Ranka and charge between 250 to 400 rs, the prices depend on your negotiation skills.

I reached Ranka on a similar shared taxi with a few locals travelling to manage their daily life affairs. I reached Ranka, I had nothing on my itinerary, I decided to stroll around and surprise myself.

Ranka is fairly unknown compared to Pelling and other points of interest like Lachen and Lachung. The primary highlight of Ranka is the massive Khangchendzonga tourist villa. It has a massive amusement park built by Sikkim tourist department. The villa itself stands on the edge of a hill and overlooks the town of Gangtok. One of the highlights here is the ride simulator which offers visitors a virtual ride over the length and breadth of Sikkim in 4D format.

About Paragliding in Ranka – The bookings for paragliding can be done from MG road market at Gangtok or you can go straight to Ranka, stay there and ask your stay home owner to arrange for a tandem paragliding ride. The costs are similar to any other paragliding venue but the levels are different. The medium fly is INR 2000 and the high fly is INR 4000.

Banjhakri waterfalls is on the way to Ranka monastery and has been developed by Sikkim Tourism as a recreational centre. Apart from the 100 feet waterfall, the surrounding area is developed with gardens, several recreational activities, refreshment stalls and statues of prominent Sikkimese tribes and is known as energy park. Banjhakri is composed of 2 words – ‘Ban’ which means forest or jungle and ‘Jhakri’ which means traditional healer. Banjhakris, according to Sikkimese ancient folktales were a community of spiritual healers (also called ‘Shamans’) who were believed to possess supernatural powers to drive away evil forces.

Other places to visit in Ranka

Post paragliding, you’ll have ample time to soak in the beauty of Ranka. Ranka Monastery or Lingdum Monastery resembles the traditional Tibetan architectural style and is covered with symbolic frescoes, intricate hand paintings. The best time to visit this monastery is during Losar festival when the monks perform their traditional dance forms with their masks on. The views of breathtaking mountains from the proximity make the visit worth it.

Banjhakri waterfalls is on the way to Ranka monastery and has been developed by Sikkim Tourism as a recreational centre. Apart from the 100 feet waterfall, the surrounding area is developed with gardens, several recreational activities, refreshment stalls and statues of prominent Sikkimese tribes and is known as energy park. Banjhakri is composed of 2 words – ‘Ban’ which means forest or jungle and ‘Jhakri’ which means traditional healer. Banjhakris, according to Sikkimese ancient folktales were a community of spiritual healers (also called ‘Shamans’) who were believed to possess supernatural powers to drive away evil forces.

Next time you plan a visit to Sikkim, plan to spend a night or two in Ranka. The natural sights and the adventure will make your visit an experience worth remembering.

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