Leh is the capital of the Himalayan Kingdom of Ladakh, an ancient and mysterious part of Northern India sitting at 3500m. Ladakh attracts travellers to its rocky moonscapes, and Leh to its ruined palaces. There is plenty to see on the ground in this remote corner of the world. But, to really appreciate it, you’ll need to get up in the air.
A Leh paragliding holiday will take you to the roof of the world…and then it will take you higher. The Ladakh region attracts paragliders from all over the world, despite it being notoriously difficult to get to. Snow cuts the region off from its surroundings for much of the year. It’s impossible to get into Leh from November to May. Altitude sickness and a bone-shakingly bumpy ride are problems for travellers coming in on the world’s highest road.
Once there, though, it’s impossible to stop marvelling at your surroundings. Ladakh is a high, rocky desert, which almost looks as if it has been transported from the surface of Mars (barring the snow-capped peaks)!. Paragliders in and around Leh need to be fit to cope with the conditions: take-offs can be as high as 4000 feet, and winds unpredictable. The best time to fly tends to be late morning, but there is often only an hour or two a day when conditions are right. It’s worth the wait: the other-worldly valleys, ancient villages and green mountain rivers are beyond breathtaking.
A Leh paragliding trip is not for the unfit or the unprepared, but it can be for the beginner: local operators are happy to run tandem flights in the right conditions. And if you have the chance to fly over some of the highest and most unusual terrain in the world, then you have to take it, don’t you?