Riding in a hot air balloon has always been some sort of a fantasy and adventure for excursionists around the globe. Journeys across seas, oceans and continents to new and different worlds, cultures and people, depicted as such either in movies or stories have always captured imagination and fired inspiration. There is a huge appeal of sighting wonderful scenery, places and country from high above and in open air, floating in a basket and being carried across the skies, like an alien ship. Apparently, hot air balloon ride as a tourism sport has always been popular in the western countries where it is exercised and promoted widely.
Recently, however, introduction of hot air balloon rides in India has created much excitement and curiosity among people. Gradually as more and more people came to know about it, the more popular it became, getting its place as one of rising tourist recreations in the country. Nevertheless, there are still only few places in India which offer an opportunity for ballooning and we present here the top 10 such destinations where tourists can indulge in this hugely exciting, fun activity and experience the thrill as well as joy of floating above your city and sighting it in all its glory.
Ballooning at Pushkar during the famous annual Pushkar fair is an exciting, not-to-be missed fun activity which is hugely popular among the travelers. A ride during this event over soaring sky and watching the largest gathering of cattle on the planes along with the mass of humanity and colorful audiences makes this one of the finest experience of hot air balloon ride in India. The delight of traveling over the huge gathering at the fair, the numerous camps over dunes, the sight of the holy lake and the vision of a number of temples and holy places, which have been an important destination for pilgrimage since ages is awe-inspiring. The flights are safely conducted twice during the day i.e. at 5 in the morning and 4.30 in the evening and is the major tourist attraction at the fair.
Flying over some of the most beautiful and breathtaking palaces, havelis, buildings and forts above the panoramic spread of a culturally rich city is an amazing and incredible experience. Hot air balloon rides in the ‘Pink City’ Jaipur, is one of the most favorite pastimes for tourists from India and abroad. A standard flight at Jaipur may cost anything from INR 6000 to INR 12000 while an exclusive flight may cost more. Nevertheless, it is one of the must-do things while visiting the capital of India’s most picturesque North-Western state to behold the awesome sight of forts, palaces, colorful bazaars and ever changing landscape that you are going to cherish forever.
3. Uttar Pradesh
In Uttar Pradesh, this exotic ride is accorded at Taj Mahal in Agra and is one of the dreamiest excursions that tourists can ever take in India. The stunning view of most beautiful Mughal monuments, punctuated by the quixotic sight of the Taj in all its glory is indescribable. The balloon here is a low-height suspended helium setup that rises to about 500m, furnishing a spectacular and close vision of these magnificent structures. It can be an ideal ride for honeymoon travelers or couples in love to say those magical three words and express their undying love high above the universal symbol of this beautiful emotion itself.
It already being one of the best places to experience adventure sports in India, balloon ride at Manali is simply incredible. Surging above mesmerizing landscapes, glorious snow-capped hills and gushing, fast-flowing River down is amazing and fascinating. However, the balloons are tied with thick ropes to maintain the safety and stability of passengers in air but this cool air expedition in hot-air balloon is an experience that you would treasure.
5. Kamshet, Lonavala
An ideal getaway and recreation for Mumbaikars and people around, hot air balloon trip is available in Maharashtra at Kamshet near Lonavala which is located at less than 100 km from Mumbai. Rides begin early in the morning and in the evening and let the travelers relish the surrounding beautiful landscapes in the cool, crisp air and also enjoy the quaint views of sunrise and sunset. Lonavala and its surrounding area is a scenic little getaway town which is adorned with dense greenery, sturdy forts, caves, lakes and dams and admiring these from high above the ground is delightfully appealing.
Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR):
Observing the beautiful panorama, monuments, landmarks and sights of Delhi is a wonderful and unique experience. Around Delhi, the trip is organized from Damdama Lake, Sohna, Neemrana and depending upon the weather, morning flights can begin from 6 AM or 4 PM and 7 PM in the evening. Balloon flights in Delhi happen during the months from September to March when the weather is more suitable for such adventures. Viewing the national capital from a bird’s eye view is an awesomely expedition which should not be missed.
Balloon ride from Bhopal, called the city of lakes takes place from Jeet Stadium and take about two hours to complete. Ballooning in Bhopal or as per say in India, is relatively new. It’s only in its nascent stage right now. Moreover, this is a seasonal adventure in the city and only takes place when the wind and weather is relatively right. Travelers are usually picked from their residence and are dropped back when the activity is completed. It is one of the most enjoyable and adrenaline thumping activities in Bhopal.
Out of the other adventure sports that tourists get to enjoy in Darjeeling, hot air ballooning is new and emerging attraction. The lift in Darjeeling balloon is approximately 300 ft. and a single ride requires a minimum of 15 persons. It takes places usually between 4 PM to 6 PM in the evening and between the months from October to May when the weather and visibility is much clearer. Tourists can undertake ballooning in Darjeeling at relatively much reasonable rates. For example, a single ride normally costs Rs. 1500 per person. Make you trip to Darjeeling even more fun and adventurous by taking ride in this exciting and awesome undertaking.
As if all the fun and adventure in India’s beach capital Goa was not enough, hot air ballooning has added an amazing feather to its cap. Goa is an all-time favorite destination for local and international travelers with its exciting culture and lively beaches. Watching all the fun and frolic and vast and unending boundaries of sea from high above in hot air balloon is an exceptional experience. Moreover, it affords an amazing sight of sunrise or sunset from distant horizons of sea is an exceptional experience. The ride takes about an hour and normally costs around Rs. 14,000 per individual.
The monuments and cave sites at Hampi are world famous and what better view to see than to observe them from hundreds of meters above the ground. Being the perfect setting for a peaceful and calming time raised over the West Coast of India, Hot Air Ballooning is fast catching up to be popular and favorite past time adventure and recreational sport for all ages in Karnataka. The balloon at Karnataka takes its passengers to the height of 500 m. The host agency charges anywhere between Rs. 8,000 to 12,000 per person offering great opportunity for a fun-filled and adventurous holiday.
We hope we have provided information about all the places where one could go for hot air balloon rides in India. Do let us know if we have missed out on some place where hot air ballooning activities are undertaken.
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