India has 2 main regions for flying, Bir a Tibetan colony near Dharamshala towards the northern end of the Indian himalayas and then the northern Western Ghats between Mumbai and Pune.

Both offer incredible flying on a budget, interesting culture and like so many other places stunning scenery. The only downside is that the medivac facilities are not great and it is unlikely you will be able to get a helicopter to hospital should you have an incident.


Bir sits at the foot of the Dhauladhar range that has been made famous in 2020 for being visible for the first time in 30 years from Punjab.

Takeoff is at 2100m and the typical October flying heights are up to around 3000m, but if you go over the back or manage to get onto the Dhauladhar proper, flights of up to 5000m are possible (but not necessarily advised). 

The town of Bir will be busy with pilots from all over the world, but it still retains the charm of being a Tibetan colony.

Western Ghats Kamshet & Panchgani

The western Ghats is a chain of extinct volcanoes and in years gone by was true tiger country, but sadly as the human population has grown the tigers have all but disappeared. The topography is stunning and changes from thick green jungly scrub at the end of the monsoon to dry grasses by the beginning of February.

Kamshet offers exceptionally reliable conditions from November through to June (when the Monsoon starts). It is a great place to learn to fly and in some ways has conditions that are similar to the UK, but with bigger hills and as the season goes on stronger thermals.

It is ideally located between Pune and Mumbai and approximately 100km from each. Getting from Mumbai or Pune is easy using either Ola or Uber. I would strongly recommend going for the most premium option you can get as that will make your journey more comfortable.

Kamshet is not somewhere to go for serious XC flying, the airspace is only 400m above launch and that makes transitions almost impossible, but it is a great place to work on your thermalling skills or learn to fly.

Panchgani is a beautiful hilltop town overlooking Dhom lake, close to Mahabaleshwar, one of the strawberry capitals of the world and a very popular tourist destination for locals. The majority of the hills are steep sided with pancake flat, dusty plateaus on the top which bake in the sun, creating very strong thermals and dust devils too. 

Add to this, the steep sided hills, a prevailing morning breeze off from the interior, valley breezes and a sea breeze that can come in some afternoons and you have a recipe for very interesting air and some incredible convergence flying too!

Flying here is complicated and to get the most out of it, you really need a lot of experience, to have done at least a couple of SIV courses and observation skills.