For those of you who have seen the animated film Up, the thousands of brilliantly coloured balloons strung together to make Carl’s house float in the air, and travel to distant lands was fascinating, to say in the least. Even the movie adaptations of the book Around the World in Eighty Days highlighted the hot air balloon in which Fogg travelled across the world. Pictures or TV grabs of countless hot air balloons in polychromatic colours have always captured our imaginations. We have off late got a chance to pursue this fantasy, as hot air ballooning has now become popular in India. Here’s a look at some of the impressive locations where one should go to for hot air ballooning.

1. Rajasthan


The land of royalty & warriors; of palaces & havelis; of deserts and camels. One could not have asked for a more idyllic setting. Float over these lands, and let your mind absorb the wondrous sights below. There are operators such as Balloon India Safari, Sky Waltz & Tiger Balloon Safari to name a few. Locations in Rajasthan are many, including Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Neemrana, & Pushkar. The cost is anywhere between INR 6,000 to 12,000 for a standard flight and for an exclusive flight approximately INR 20,000 to 65,000.

2. Maharashtra


Lonavala is a heavenly respite for those seeking a break from their hectic city lives. With lakes, dams, caves & forts; drift through the skies while peering down at the lush greenery of this tiny hill station. There are early morning & evening rides, which allow you to admire the views that the rising & setting sun has to offer. Contact Sky Waltz for rides.

3. Karnataka


Hampi needs no introduction. A declared heritage site by UNESCO, Hampi has a rich & checkered history. The Vijayanagara kingdom saw its golden days with the rise of an extraordinary ruler, King Krishnadevaraya. Unfortunately, after he passed on, the kingdom & fell to death & destruction. All its sad & gory history was buried deep under the earth. It was only when the Britishers came, that the ASI was established, which eventually led to Hampi’s discovery. Admiring the beautiful ruins, one is left to their imaginations of just how magnificent these structures must have been in their hay day. Contact Tiger Balloon Safaris to book your ride.

4. Delhi NCR & Haryana


Admire the city skylines of Greater Noida, Gurgaon, & enjoy gazing at the calm waters of Damdama Lake. It certainly is a unique experience for those living in the city to actually view it from above. A truly enjoyable ride for kids & adults alike. Contact Wanderlust Travels & Rocksport Adventures, to name a few of the operators.

5. Uttar Pradesh & Uttarakhand


In these two states, one is spoilt for options. What about a romantic setting; viewing the Taj Mahal, not from the ground but from a bird’s eye view! How about perceiving the beautiful, meandering holy Ganga from Rishikesh or Haridwar? Does getting the darshan of Lord Krishna while your airborne sound too good to be true? Well here’s your chance. Rush to contact Balloon India Safari, Rocksport Adventures & Airsafari.


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