High up in the sky: Best places to take a hot air balloon ride in India

Make your Cappadocia dream come true! Here’s where you can go for a hot air balloon ride in India.

If you think watching giant, colourful balloons gliding high in the sky is a treat, try riding in one. You step into a basket, find your balance, a sudden jerk and you’re lifted up. Soon, you are floating in the still air, sweeping your gaze at the endless blue in front and vast expanses of valleys, meadows, and rivulets below. Nothing but occasional swishes of heat from the cylinder keeping you warm ad company. There’s nothing quite like soaring in the sky during Indian winters. As the season for soaring in the sky in gigantic colourful balls officially kicks in, we bring you the best destinations for taking hot air balloon rides in India.

Pushkar and Jaipur, Rajasthan

Hot air balloon ride in india
See the forts and palaces of Jaipur from above. Image: Courtesy Sky Waltz.

Forlorn forts and palaces, rugged Aravalis, and golden sandscapes of Rajasthan make the perfect backdrop for hot air ballooning. Get a bird’s eye view of the Pink City as you sore over Amber Fort and Samode Palace, or gaze at the far-stretched sand dunes speckled with camels and tents in Pushkar during its 10-day eponymous fair. Try Sky Waltz that organises the soft adventure in Jaipur, Pushkar, and Neemrana.

Lonavala, Maharashtra

Hot air balloon ride in india
The surreal view of Western Ghats. Image: Shutterstock/Patrick Foto.

While snaking your way through the lush Western Ghats or Sahyadari ranges in Maharashtra might be fun, soaring over them in Lonavala is an adventure you wouldn’t want to miss. Think soaking in the views of the many waterfalls, dams, and lakes along the way while floating mid-air amid misty rolling hills. Once done, the thrill-seeker in you can even try bungee jumping and paragliding here! Kamshet is another destination in the region where you can try hot air ballooning. Book a ride with Adventure Nation.

Manali, Himachal Pradesh

Hot air balloon ride in india
Manali is a crowd-magnet for more than one reason! Image: Shutterstock/structuresxx.

Right from caving and trekking to river cruising and skydiving — Manali is slowly turning into the adventure highlight of Himachal. The popular destination has also started offering tethered air balloon rides, lasting up to seven minutes. True, it is different than floating free in the sky, but we are certain a few minutes of affordable flight that offers you closer views of the snow-clad Himalayas is worth a try. Activity Manali offers daily rides.

Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh

Hot air balloon ride in india
Ditch jungle safari and explore Bandhavgarh in an air balloon. Image: Shutterstock/yaalan.

What if we tell you there’s a non-intrusive way to explore the Bandhavgarh National Park rather than going on just another jeep safari? Revel in panoramic views of the national park an get a glimpse of the big wild cats, leopards, sloth bears, and more roaming free and undisturbed in the reserve, courtesy a hot air balloon. SkyWaltz offers the activity across the limited buffer zone in the reserve.

Chandor, Goa

Hot air balloon ride in india
This year, see Goa from a completely different point of view! Image: Courtesy Twitter/Goa Tourism.

It’s time to finally bring your Goa plan into action, but this time, give it a twist. Once you are done with the debauchery in North Goa, head south to spend your days at laze. Hop onto an air balloon and float over towering palms, old cathedrals, thick mangroves, endless coasts, and secluded beaches. In short, live the truly susegad Goan life! Tiger Balloon Safaris also lets you book a private flying experience for special occasions, whether you are planning to pop the question or throw a surprise birthday bash mid air for a special someone.

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