Paragliding fest kickstarts in Tamil Nadu

September 12th, 2008 - 6:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Yelagiri (Tamil Nadu), Sep 6 (IANS) A three-day paragliding festival started Friday in this picturesque hill station in the southern Eastern Ghats.Flagging off the event, Vellore District Collector Dharmendra Pratap Yadav said the town was a welcome addition to India’s paragliding destination.

“This town has become the third destination for this sport in India after Panchgani near Pune in Maharashtra and Bir Billing in Himachal Pradesh. But the nicer part is that its climate remains salubrious all year round and yet has the appropriate wind speed, height, altitude, takeoff and landing points besides the easy accessibility to the gateway of the south - Chennai,” he said.

Local residents have formed the Yelagiri Paragliding Club (YPC) to help foreign tourists and enthusiasts of the sport. Yelagiri, which is situated 225 km southwest of state capital Chennai, is well connected with roads and is 15 km from the railway junction of Jolarpet.

At the inauguration, paragliding enthusiasts from France, Switzerland and China were rubbing shoulders with local lovers of the sport. YPC also plans to conduct other adventure sports such as rock-climbing, trekking and cycling at affordable prices with the cooperation of Yelagiri Adventure Sports Association, a press communiqué said.

Though the paragliding festival would be held at this time of the year annually, enthusiasts would be welcomed throughout the year, Yadav added.

Yelagiri’s temperature rarely goes beyond 24 degrees Celsius even in peak summer as it is situated at an altitude of about 1,310 metres from the sea level.

The town, which is also known as the poor man’s Ooty (a better known hill station further southwest in the Western Ghats), also has a Mughal Garden and a quiet lake with canoes for boating.

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