Located 1300m above sea level, Araku Valley is one of the most picturesque hill stations in Andhra Pradesh. About three hours from Vizag, the misty valleys of Araku are known for their coffee plantations, orchards and stunning waterfalls. However, now there’s even more reason to visit this heavenly abode. Adventure enthusiasts rejoice; the second edition of Araku Balloon Festival is here again and is happening from January 18 – 20, 2019. The otherwise silent valley will come alive with all the excitement, light and colours and it truly is a delight to the senses.
The first Hot Air Balloon Festival that happened in 2017 was a massive success and garnered a lot of attention from locals as well as travellers. Pretty much unheard of until a decade ago, the concept of hot air ballooning has picked up in the country. It is a great adventure sport especially in cities like Jaipur, Lucknow, Agra, Pushkar and even Tamil Nadu today. But the one in Aruku, is taking things a notch higher.
An initiative by the local tourism board, this three-day event gets you the most memorable experiences of your lifetime. The best experienced pilots and 18 colourful balloons from countries such as such as Netherlands, USA, Philippines, Belgium, South Korea, Malaysia, Italy, Australia, UAE and Lithuania, promise you sweeping, stunning views of the valley, as you soar into the sky.
These balloons are not at all ordinary; they’re given a character and a personality that only add to the fun. Some popular ones from last year are: Iwi the Kiwi from New Zealand and the Bee from Belgium.
Apart from the sport, it’s great to catch the pilots in action before they take off. There are other events as well such as Paramotoring Display, The Hare and Hound Race and Musical Night Glows where they light up the night sky with bright displays making it a sight to behold.
The highlights of this event is the luxury camping facility built near the venue. With glamping too catching up as a phenomenon, there’s a provision of 40 well-equipped tents for travellers. The nearest airport is at Vishakhapatnam about 115km away. You can hire a cab to reach the valley from this airport.