Hot Air Balloon Ride In India
Flying high in the sky on a hot air balloon ride has been on top of our bucket lists since we were children. Here is a curated list of the best hot air balloon rides across the country.
We’ve all seen the images from Cappadocia, Turkey, with a sky full of people hot air ballooning across a rugged landscape at sunrise. While Turkey may be a distant dream right now (thanks, Corona), here’s a curated list of where you can take hot air balloon rides right here in India that are just as magnificent, if not more. From the Taj Mahal to the Himalayas, you can get a unique bird’s eye view and memories to last a lifetime.
1. Agra, Uttar Pradesh
Possibly one of the most popular destinations for a hot air balloon ride in India, flying high above the Taj Mahal is a once-in-a-lifetime experience you should tick off your bucket list soon. Reaching heights of just about 500 metres and spanning 15-20 minutes, many people use this opportunity to declare their love for another. Because, why not? Hot air ballooning here is quite affordable and costs between INR 500- 750. A small price to pay for an unbeatable view like this, wouldn’t you agree?
The best time for a hot air balloon ride here is between October to March.
2. Lonavala, Maharashtra
Just 19 kilometres from Lonavala and two hours away from Mumbai is Kamshet, where you can enjoy hot air balloon rides that are said to offer 360-degree views of the scenic Sahyadri valley, alongside the Mumbai-Pune expressway, dense forests, lakes and dams far beneath you. Rides are offered every morning, but we suggest that you book one in advance. This is also a popular destination for people looking to celebrate anniversaries, birthdays and special occasions. Pssst, you can even cut a cake 4000 feet up in the air.
Hot air ballooning here is best experienced between October and May. One hot air balloon ride is around INR 6,000 for children (up to 12) and INR 12,000 for adults. We recommend either the Lonavala Hot Air Balloon Club or Sky Waltz Balloon Safari.
3. Pushkar Mela, Rajasthan
Taking a hot air balloon ride over the Pushkar fair is an indescribable experience. Watching the topography unfold beneath you in a riot of colours across Pushkar town, dunes, lakes, temples and, of course, a mass of people is worth it. You can choose to either go up at 5 AM or 4.30 PM; from start to finish, you’ll need a good three hours, but you even get to watch the balloon be inflated! The hot air balloon ride itself is an hour-long. This is also something you can do with your whole family since each balloon can hold between four to eight people. This gets our vote for the best hot air balloon ride in India.
This is a little costly at INR 12,000 per person, but it’s a small price to pay for the joy of hot air ballooning over Pushkar. Book a hot air balloon with Adventure Nation during November.
4. Darjeeling, West Bengal
One of the most cost-effective yet scenic options for hot air balloon rides is in Darjeeling. While the balloons don’t rise above 300 feet, the 45-minute experience will cost only INR 1,500 and gives you a bird’s eye view of the snow-capped Himalayas. #Wow! Rides here are offered in the evening between 4 PM – 6 PM; however, they require at least 15 people to board the balloon before take-off. The best time to enjoy hot air balloon rides here is between October and May, when you can take advantage of the clear skies and maximum visibility.
Go hot air ballooning in Darjeeling with either Darjeeling Adventure Activities & Tours or Off-Road Darjeeling.
5. Hot Air Balloon Festival, Karnataka
Between December and January every year, the Karnataka Hot Air Balloon Festival occurs across three cities: Bidar, Hampi and Mysore. Each one will brilliantly showcase the lush landscapes of Karnataka, and you’ll be able to see thick, green forests and plenty of temple ruins. The most popular spot for tourists is Hampi, where you get the rare chance to view ruins, caves and temples without interruption. Not to mention the great pictures you’ll get for the ‘gram. The hot air balloon ride goes up to 5000 feet and will keep you in the air for about an hour. You’ll have to shell out a good INR 8,000 – 12,000 per person, though. Check with Tiger Balloon Safaris, among the best in the area.
Pssst, the festival itself also includes paragliding, flying foxes and even bungee jumping, so make sure to plan!
If you prefer the choppy comfort of the sea to the thrill of the air, check out these luxury cruises (https://www.livemorezone.com/travel-more/luxury-cruise-in-india/) or explore some of our other offbeat recommendations here. (https://www.livemorezone.com/travel-more/offbeat-places-in-india/)