The AAI Paragliding World Cup is being held in the Kangra district, Himachal Pradesh, in October. The events will be held over a week at Bir Billing, located approximately 40km from Kangra. The event will take place between 23rd – 31st October.
There will be about 130 pilots from 35 different countries. Included in the list of top pilots are three out of the four top-ranked pilots in the world. The paragliding pilots get to compete at one of the best launch sites around the world. Bir Billing has been referred to as “Paradise for Paragliders.”
India’s national team consists of seven pilots. The specially customized AAI Paragliding World Cup Trophy and the mascot for the event have been revealed. The mascot is the Snow Leopard, the Himachal Pradesh state animal.
Highlights of the event include a special event for Tandem Flights where pilots will give a number of special needs children the experience of a lifetime. There will also be daily festivals throughout the week to highlight India, and more specifically, Himachal Pradesh’s, history and culture.
The paragliding event will be sponsored by the Airports Authority of India, along with a number of other sponsors. The Airports Authority has been seen pushing a number of Adventure Sports.
“We are extremely pleased to be associated with the Paragliding World Cup,” said R K Srivastava, the Chairman for the Airports Authority of India. “For quite some time we were looking for a sport that was in sync with our specialization, which is aviation. And paragliding fits perfectly with that. Also Adventure Sports has become hugely popular among youth. We plan to start with paragliding and take Adventure Sports in India to a new level.”
Other supporters of the event include cricketer Yuvraj Singh, the director/producer, Mahesh Bhatt, and Bollywood stars, John Abraham, Akshay Kumar, and Preity Zinta.