Asia, March/April, November/December, September/October, Travel Guide

Himalayan Getaways: Chamunda, India

Wednesday 24 January, 2018

Chamunda Devi temple sits at 2,800m in the mountains about 30km west of the famous paragliding site of Bir as the Himalayan Griffon Vulture flies, and 400m higher than that take-off.

A long zig-zag path sees up to 3,000 pilgrims a day hike up 1,500m for a blessing in spring time. To cater for those who don’t want to walk (and can afford it), a helicopter sits at the bottom of the hill.

Subverting its higher purpose it costs about €250 for four pilots plus paragliders to hire it for the eight-minute flight to the tiny helipad on the edge of these big mountains. A 10-minute walk takes you to the temple where the resident priest will bless you and your friends before you take off into 4m/s climbs and strong air.

When to go: Oct to Nov and Mar to Apr

Photo: Ed Ewing

This appeared in the 2016 Travel Guide as a Himalayan Getaway, one of six alternative sites to Pokhara and Bir for pilots visiting the Himalaya.

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