Paragliding in Kamshet, India: ”The thought of travelling to India had never crossed my mind. Paragliding gave me the opportunity to come – and I just loved it” said Camilla. “I have never seen such hospitality, warmth and live for today happiness.”
Camilla completed her beginner paragliding course in 2010 and accompanied her paraglider husband Novak on a pg holiday to Kamshet, India the same year. People told her she needed to gain more experience before taking on such a trip but she signed up for the adventure never the less.
About the flying: She found the flying stable and good for beginners too. Today with 3 years of flying experience under her belt she is she is even more appreciative. “I have grown with the place and there is still so much to discover” she enthuses. “I feel l secure and confident when I am here”
The India Experience: “I feel at home at the Native Place guesthouse, such an amazing place to live in full of warmth and hospitality not at all like a hotel. We enjoy the Indian food, and the interactions at Native Place, the wild tropical garden, sunset over the lake, evening on the terrace with all the pilots & students and the relaxed, and warm, happy holiday atmosphere.”
“Everyone in this year’s group says it is the best trip they have ever had -great flying, delicious food, warm ambiance and good company.”
At the landing: “I am a social person – I enjoy the contact with the children at the landing. It is a joy to see them running about happily in the sunshine. We look forward to interacting with them at the end of each flying day. We are able to see their needs and although one cannot help everyone it is possible to touch some of them and share simple joys.” Camilla takes the time to write letters to some of the children.
Make a difference: The friendships formed on the landing field led to them wanting to make a small difference. “We are all very happy to give something back.” she said. “Sanjay Rao took us to visit the local school last year – we wanted to see the infrastructure of the school that takes care of so many village children.”
After discussing with the teachers and spending time with the school children they decided to put together a fund towards a projector for the school. This would give the kids of class 10 access to interactive tutorials thus putting them in a better position to do well in this crucial examination year. Camilla took charge and asked friends, family and pg pilots to contribute and made it happen! “We are all very happy” she said. “We wanted so much to give something back – this made sense – the school is close to Nirvana Adventures and we can see, feel the kids, school. Not like Red Cross or some big NGO where the money goes into a black hole
Camilla Ljungberg visits India along with instructor & guide Peder Dryssen of PG school Aventyrscenter Sweden. Peder guides pg holidays all over the world and his annual trip to Kamshet, India has been on for the past 8 years. He says that unlike the other trips he takes around the world, at the end of each India PG trip at least half of the group signs up for next year! Catch up with them at www.aventyrscenter.se
Sanjay, Sunith and I drove up from Mumbai to Kamshet on the 9th of November with the happy intention of spending the entire Diwali break in Kamshet. I had only just returned from a week long permaculture course and had my head full of plans for the garden. All through the week I slaved in the garden (happily) saying bye to the paragliding students and pilots each morning as they left for the flying site. Each evening we gathered on the roof at dinner and I listened to the excited reporting of each ones experiences.
Saturday the weather was exceptionally good and pilots gained enough altitude to leave the hill and head for home. Ravi, Bandya, Sandeep, Doc Pathak (yes he is in the house) and our very own 16 year’ old Sunith Rao braved the instability and got all the way back to Govitri the nearest village to Native Place. Sunith had only just got his first vario the day before and boy had he made good use of it.
Sunday saw me ditching the peace of the Native Place garden and scurrying off to the site. I could not stay away from the excitement no more. Colin was visiting from Brunei, Nikhil and Nisha drove up from Mumbai, Doc had arrived the previous day from Pipalkoti and Algeliki and Jannis from Greece, Gregory from the US, Jose from Hyderabad, Ben from the UK, Emil from the Koh Tao … the list goes on. A happy group of paragliding pilots all hung out on the hillside waiting for the wind to calm down a bit and embrace our wings. It was wonderful to be in the air again. I can never get over that million dollar post landing expansive feeling that lingers on, making you feel like you are walking on air and the whole world is beautiful
Peace Bliss & Happy Landings
Due to the late monsoon the season opening was delayed. Nirvana Adventures was scheduled to start paragliding courses at Kamshet on the 18th of October. Impatient brothers Dwane and Dylan ditched the Mumbai city weekend and took a slim chance to get to the Tower Hill flying site on Saturday the 13th only to be rewarded with some wonderful flights. Dwane uploaded the above picture on the Facebook Nirvana Paragliding Group last week announcing ‘Super weekend … it’s on people! It’s on!!” What’s on? another wonderful paragliding season – 8 months of sunny weather and the possibility of soaring the sunny skies with friends and family … snoozing peacefully in a hammock in the Native Place garden … hitting the flying site for bliss in the air and coming back home to Native Place again after a happy landing.
Sherwin and Dharmesh had got there the day before and they were all thrilled to be back in the air after 4 months of rainy weather. The picture made us all feel we missed a great opportunity but no worries people the season is here to stay for another 8 months.
Courses are on again once more. Here is the first batch of the season. Look forward to seeing you all at Native Place and Nirvana Adventures
Peace Bliss and Happy Landings
Astrid & Sanjay Rao
Hi All ,
Many of you may be aware of the Golden Glades School, the only secondary school in the villages around Kamshet catering to all the children who complete their primary education in their respective village schools.Nirvana Adventures has been associated with the Golden Glades school since the 2009 when we assisted Dutchmen Eddie , Oscar and gang donating the money they received for a delayed baggage claim to a good cause by suggesting the GG school as the beneficiary. Check the full story.
Since then we have maintained a close relationship with the school organising tree planting drives, attending their school sports days, holding dental camps and Independence Day functions. We have committed to work closely with this school as we see it as an opportunity to impact the lives of the children from all the nearby villages. The school is rather tiny yet it accommodates 400+ students. . Despite the large numbers and the lack of basic infrastructure they have an overall class 10 passing of 86% of the students which is a good number for a village school thanks to a vibrant teaching and support staff.
It has 2 classrooms for class 8, two class rooms for class 9 and one for class 10. There are 102 students in class 10 this year the kids have been sitting on the floor all along in a cramped fashion.This year they approached us to help them procure a 100 benches for the students , and the teachers themselves sourced out a supplier to make the benches locally.
We are very happy to let you know we achieved the target with the support from our well wishers and friends and have now been able to provide the students comfortable seating for the hours that they spend in the classroom. Now the school has started work on a new classroom for the class 10 kids and the plan is to have a projector and computer set up for E learning to better their chances to get good grades and get exposure to modern training methods , current information and technology.
Peace Bliss & Happy Landings
Astrid & Sanjay Rao
We closed the flying season at Kamshet with our traditional end of season party on the 9/10th weekend of June. Saturday began with an early morning trip to the Shelar site to pay our respects to the Devi on the hills. We walked up to the shrine in silence, said a prayer, lingered a while to enjoy the view before running down the hillside and driving back to Native Place to wait for the Shelar village kids to arrive.
The plan was to give the kids a new experience and for this we enlisted the services of team building professionals to take them through the mountain adventure experience that we offer our corporate clients.The kids were super excited and loved the rappelling zipline, team games and the nature activities. They were given an orientation on mountaineering equipment and those interested were given details on courses to help pursue a passion or a profession.
The day was full of excitement and joy with the kids having a blast with all the fun activities and pilots landing up through the day. In the evening it was just pilots – dancing, chatting, bonding and firefly gazing.
Our way of saying ‘thank you all’ for a wonderful flying season.
Peace Bliss & Happy Landings
Astrid, Sanjay & all at Nirvana Adventures
Kamshet in the rains: We made plans to meet at Native Place during the monsoon to enjoy the rains, streams and waterfalls as well as the verdant shades of the hills all around. So those of you who missed this occasion keep a look out for the announcement of the next event: ‘Discover Kamshet in the rains’