Adventure Sports in Kashmir: Paragliding at Astanmarg

Just about two years ago the Tourism department of Jammu and Kashmir introduced Paragliding at Astanmarg near Srinagar, and slowly it is becoming quite popular with the tourists. When I was there recently I decided to check it out. In one word the experience is adventurous, including the ride and the hike to the mountain from where it starts. 

Intrigued? Check out the entire story below :)

paragliding astanmarg adventure kashmir srinagar india sports
That's me flying off into the horizon...

paragliding astanmarg srinagar jammu kashmir
The road on the way up...

Paragliding at Astanmarg

Astanmarg is a beautiful small hamlet on the outskirts of Srinagar barely connected it to any pukka road close by. Three years back it was picked up as a spot to start the first paragliding experience camp in Jammu and Kashmir and since then it is slowly becoming a recognisable name, at least amongst the adventure sport enthusiasts.

Its rather interesting to reach the spot for paragliding though. Its close to a village called Dara about 15 kilometres from Srinagar on the Nishat-Shalimar garden road. The road leads towards Dachigam National Park and thereafter the climb starts, which is actually very very steep and you will need a Safari or a similar vehicle to take you up. The last 2 kilometres of drivable road is basically just rocks on a barely-there road. We got lost at least four times before we reached this road (no sign-boards and you need to constantly ask the villagers for directions). However, I think it added to the adventure as well as excitement for me!

paragliding astanmarg srinagar jammu kashmir trek
The group walking up to the jumping point...that's the hill on the left of the frame

The last 1.5 kilometres is a lovely hike to the jumping ground. As you walk up, the lovely scenes below open up - on a clear day you can see most of Srinagar, Dal lake, Nishat and Shalimar gardens along with the beautiful villages below. The first part of the hike is a little steep, thereafter its just beautiful.

paragliding astanmarg srinagar jammu kashmir kids playing sport
Kids having fun on top :)

paragliding astanmarg srinagar jammu kashmir wild flowers
Wild flowers!

It was afternoon when I first went up and there was already a crowd of people waiting for their turn so didn't get my a chance to jump that day. There are only four sets of equipments and after each jump they take quite sometime to come up again (unto a couple of hours)!

However, I made my second trip early in the morning and we were ready to jump at 9 am! I was with my photographer friend and we were the only ones there. In fact we had to first wake up the pilot in his village and then make the jump :) Since, I was part of the press consignment invited to the state, they very readily and happily complied. The pilots are actually all from Himanchal Pradesh where is paragliding is a much developed adventure sport

paragliding astanmarg srinagar jammu kashmir valley flowers
View from top...
paragliding astanmarg srinagar jammu kashmir
The river from top

And what can I say about the jump itself! Its simply fabulous...the view is simply to die for. After the initial hesitation of jumping off the really huge mountain (height of 7400 ft), you are simply carried off effortlessly by the parachute and you can take out your cameras, take pictures and also talk with the pilot. He can actually tell you many stories of past jumps and some very interesting near misses :) The fly down takes about fifteen minutes, and it actually depends the wind and air temperature. Its longer in the afternoon when the air is warmer.

paragliding astanmarg srinagar jammu kashmir
The beautiful terrace farms 

This was my first ever paragliding jump and now I am rather excited to try many many more, hopefully another one in Kashmir itself!



  1. Phone numbers to help plan your trip: Yograj (call him Yogi or Raju when you call, he is known by those names) @ +91 9419476552 or +91 9419476551 
  2. If possible do the trek in the morning, you will find the entire place to yourself. Plan to reach up around 9.30 am (you will have to factor un about 45 minutes of drive and then at least half an hour or more of the hike).
  3. Do no plan for this is there is any possibility of rains - no paragliding is possible with rains :(
  4. Carry some cash with you - each jump costs Rs 2700. Cards are not accepted.
  5. Water is essential - you will surely need lots of it after the trek. Also, carry some food, like chocolates or trail mixes
  6. Go with a taxi driver who knows the area well, else you will spend quite some time locating the place (like we did in our first attempt).
  7. Phones do not work so plan on where the driver should pick you after you jump down in advance - the usual pick up point is the 'Jamal Resort' on the road to Srinagar. Once the driver drops you at the hiking point, you can ask him to go down and wait for you there. The paragliding team will drop you there after the jump.
  8. You can easily take your cameras along. Its quite safe and you would love to share the views from top with you friends and make them jealous. I took only my phone as I was not sure about this aspect.

Before I sign off, here are a couple of videos - one of the views from top and another one of my landing :)


  1. Hello Siddhartha,
    Thanks for sharing this Paragliding at Astanmarg. I would try it very soon, I recently do paragliding at

  2. Replies
    1. It was Rs 2700 when I did it, might have gone up since then...


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