To give you a view on it, paraglider is a wing which glides in the air and for beginners, you have a pilot attached with you who is buckled with you comfortably, steering the glider. One can jump from 5000 ft, 7,000 ft or above. Higher the height means more the flying time which is on average 10 mins to 20 mins in Bhimtal, where I tried it. Bhimtal is 9kms away from the popular hill station nainital.
For this recreational joyride, all you need is the spirit to try it as by all means it is pretty safe. Though yes, you will be signing the incase-something-happens-to-me-form which is the scariest thing in this entire paragliding adventure. And, I can only say it post I did it. Before doing it, as I was wearing the safety equipment, standing on the exact point from the 'jumping carpet' and looking from the height of 5000 ft, all I could think was, 'Why the hell am I here?". I had palpitations, my palms were sweaty, my heartbeat irregular and I thought of the possibility of a minor heart attack during the flying. Yes, I was terrified.
And here, let me tell you, you really don't need to jump!!! Your pilot along with two other support staff would ask you to run, and as your legs would give away just before the edge, THEY would push you and you can actually almost sit on a almost comfortable belt, so yes, there is NO free falling and NO jumping off the cliff sensation. I almost fell cheated by the comfort of it all! That's me cribbing, but this is a blessing for people who are super scared of heights as I am.
And, once in the air, I will use a cliche here, 'You will feel like a bird', it is a beautiful feeling and I can't stress it enough, on how one should experience it as early as possible in life. I could feel the limitlessness, freedom and also how tiny I am scheme of things, yet I could feel the power of it all, how we can experience it by will... powerlessness and power can be felt in this one experience.
Landing, which is coming back on ground is comfortable too if you are with an experienced pilot, I was lucky with that, and I was planted on my bum on the ground without any impact. Since, it is commercial you can also buy your inch by inch flying photographs and video at the landing site in few bucks. My advise: Hang your phone securely around your neck and click few pictures from the top...and if some of you are as self obsessed as me..a selfie can be taken just fine.
This is in my to-do when I do it next, without fear this time.