Tourists visiting the ancient city of Varanasi are in for a treat. Now, hot air balloon rides on the banks of the Ganga River at Assi Ghat provide a magnificent aerial view of the surroundings below. This is also the best time to plan a holiday to this holy city as it’s immersed in Christmas and New Year festivities this time of the year. The 10-day long festival, which was organized as a test run to assess the feasibility of holding adventure sports, commenced on Sunday.
The hot-balloon ride, which is open to all tourists, has been fixed at Rs. 500 per head. Varanasi holds several attractions for the tourists visiting it, however, this kind of experience is completely different from the rest. On the occasion of the inaugural ride, hundreds of people assembled at the Assi Ghat to witness domestic and foreign tourists enjoy these exciting rides above the Ganga. One of the tourists, who was also amongst the first to have enjoyed the ride said, “The view from the top was breathtaking and the Varanasi skyline looked spectacular.”
The hot-air balloon rides, which are part of the adventure tourism policy in the state, are scheduled to continue until 2nd January the next year. These rides have been started with the aim of promoting adventure tourism in the state. The entire event was organized by a private firm under the auspices of UP Tourism, and inaugurated by the mahant of Sri Sankat Mochan Temple, Prof. Vishambar Nath Mishra. According to the organizers, the balloon would remain fastened to the river bank, while the balloon rides would be open from 7am to 10pm.
The organizers are expecting a huge rush in the coming days and towards that end, have offered bookings in advance. The ticket for a single balloon ride is Rs. 500 and the carrying capacity of each balloon is not more than five riders.
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