Situated at an altitude of 2050 meters above sea level, just 17 km’s from Patnitop, Sanasar is one of the remotest areas of Jammu and Kashmir State, India. Owing to the awe-inspiring natural environment of forests and meadows, Sanasar is the aero-adventure-sports capital of the Jammu region having to its credit Rock Climbing, Abseiling, Paragliding, Parasailing, and Hot-air ballooning. Sanasar is a sports-adventurists’ paradise as one gets an avenue for learning and practicing these rare and skilled sports. Sanasar is a perfect destination for eco-adventure activities. Paragliding in Sansar is a popular adventure activity among tourists. Here, tourists mostly find tandem hand glider joy ride being operated by Extreme Himalayan Adventure. They have a team of experienced and professional gliders who guides the tourists on gliding and landing technique well before takeoff. One can either take glide in a Parachute with a pilot or can go solo. Short flights in Sanasar attain an altitude of 150-200 feet for the duration of one or two minutes. These short flights operated in Sanasar (Take off)-Kud (Landing) are considered to be the safest and enjoyable paragliding experience in India. The Nathatop is the high flying site that offers flights of 8 to 10-minute durations depending on the wind condition, which attains height up to 1500-2000 feet. For camping, Extreme Himalayan Adventure, a trekking arranger company offers camping facilities for 100 participants. They also provide amenities for adventure sports to the participants. Apart from paragliding and camping, golfing, trekking, abseiling, hot airSanasar derives its name from two small lakes in the neighborhood – ‘Sana’ & ‘Sar’ and is not a typical town per se – which is probably why one won’t find it on an online map but Sanasar is a very popular adventure sports destination of India nevertheless. Sanasar, also known as a ‘mini Gulmarg’ pretty much has Gulmarg-like qualities – it is at a moderate elevation allowing both Summer and Winter adventurous activities. Sanasar, basically a cup-shaped Green Meadow which is encompassed by tall imposing Cedars offers an enchanting view and experience of nature in all its glory. Exploiting the lush green coverage – which is just right for the royal and prestigious sport – Golf, a part of Sanasar has also been developed as a Golf Course open for tourists to try their hand at it. The Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Department promotes and controls adventure sports in Sanasar and provides the sports gear as well for those who want to indulge in sports. Summer temperatures between 10-20 degrees Celsius provide an ambiance conducive for these adventure sports and also make them enjoyable.
Because of their inbuilt characteristic of the high level of danger, certain sports that involve height, speed, depth, special maneuverability, and other uncontrollable environmental aspects, are grouped as Adventure Sports. Primarily because athletes are not only competing against each other but also against elements of nature such as gravity, wind speed, the speed of water rapids, etc., these sports are termed ‘Extreme’ and require a certain level of training before embarking upon them. Water sports include freediving, scuba diving, jet-skiing, snorkeling, and land sports include cliff-climbing, skate-boarding, extreme-skiing, car-racing, whereas air sports include bungee jumping, paragliding, and skydiving. And Sanasar is home to few such adventure sports.
Paragliding is a ‘free-style’ flying sport where the flyer or the pilot is suspended by a flexible harness underneath two layers of strong, high-performance, non-porous fabric modeled into wings or canopy connected by a network of high-performance strings employing the ‘Whippletree’ mechanism of even distribution of force throughout the glider. You would be surprised to know that this high-tech gliding aircraft was originally designed in 1500 AD by the renowned Renaissance Italian painter-sculptor engineer – Leonardo da Vinci. Leonardo had also designed the helicopter but did not have the resources to test and implement his drafts 500 years ago. But today, we enjoy his masterpieces with utmost ease thanks to all the technological advancements since his time.
At Sanasar, you will find mostly ‘Tandem Hand-gliders’ which is meant to carry both the pilot and a passenger at once. The trained and experienced J&K TDC gliders would coach you on gliding technique as well as landing technique before taking off. The paragliding flights will commence at the parking lot in Sanasar and land at Kud and last between 20 minutes to an hour depending on the wind speed and wind direction, giving a breathtaking aerial view of the green-scapes. In fact, it makes you want to stay up in the air longer. The shorter flight flies over the Sanasar Lake and lands in the meadows close by. The height attained by the paraglider is 200 feet max before it starts to descend to land. The organizers also take your video footage of paragliding flight from take-off till you are still visible mid-air – capturing one of your most hallmark mountain memories.
Hot Air Ballooning:
Hot-air-ballooning is a new-found craze among tourists. Though the first hot air balloon flight transported humans in October 1783 – invented by French inventor-brothers – Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Etienne Montgolfier, it was only in 1960 that a modern hot air balloon was designed and built by Ed Yost of Nebraska, USA. In the previous centuries when people were trying to keep out of sight due to impending wars, hot air balloons were supposed to come to their rescue. Today it’s a recreational sport where one gets to enjoy an aerial view of the area being traversed. Photographers experiment with various shutter speeds from the balloon.
Also introduced in Sanasar is camping which is promoted by the J&K Tourism Department. Camping Gear is available for rent from J&K TDC.