Situated at an altitude of 2050 metres above sea level, just 17 kms 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 derives its name from two small lakes in the neighbourhood – ‘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 the sports. Summer temperatures between 10-20 degrees Celsius provide an ambience conducive for these adventure sports and also make them enjoyable.
Because of their in-built characteristic of 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, speed of water rapids etc., these sports are termed ‘Extreme’ and require a certain level of training before embarking upon them. Water sports include free-diving, 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 sky-diving. 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 are 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. Infact 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 in 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 on rent from J&K TDC.