The first ever hot-air balloon 1783. However, with the advent of air
planes, flights 'by lighter-tan-air' machines went out of fashion until it
was revived in the last century as an adventure sport.
Joy rides on the balloons can be had for a fee by the enthusiasts. The view
from the top, according to the experience of some who have travelled up and
down, is nothing but exhilerating.
An ace balloonist and the force behind professional ballooning in India is
Major Mukesh Kumar Yadav who has flown his balloon from various points
across the Himalayas, taking it to a height of 26,000 feet at an air show in
Bangalore and has represented India at a ballooning competition in Japan.
There's no age barrier to enjoy hot-air ballooning, but a you have to be
fit, as you may have to walk through paddocks after landing.There are no
seats in the basket - therefore, standing for the duration of the flight,
about on hour is unavoidable. Its best not to take children along with you,
reason being the comfort and enjoyment of other passengers. The size of the
basket is quiet small and young children often get restless when in confined
areas. The walls of the baskets are usually four feet high, and small
children would have difficulty in seeing over, unless carried by an adult.
Adults should accompany children under 12 years.
The best time to indulge in balooning is after sunrise when the winds are
their calmest. Winter months provide the most reliable conditions, but
during summer months its better take of early in the morning. The duration
of ballooning flight can change at the pilot's discretion, taking into
account the winds, temperature and weight carried on the day.
Clothing should be exactly the way you wear during a hiking trip that
includes sturdy shoes or boots plus sunglasses, gloves and a cap. Rememeber,
it does not get any colder in the balloon than on the ground. Always bring
an extra film for photography. When alone a balloon can rise upto 800 feet
and above, while those in groups may be restricted to heights between 200
and 500 feet.
A balloon can move as fast as the wind blows, but high wind landings always
require skill and experience. The passenger capacity depends on the size of
the balloon, but usually it varies from 2 in sport balloons and up to 12
people in passenger balloons. The balloon crew tracks the flight and are
usually there when the balloon lands.
Major Ballooning Sites In India
India also has its own hot-air balloons and the Ballooning Club of India
organizes international balloon festivals and demonstration flights
annually. There are Ballooning clubs in Guwahati, Dehradun, Bangalore and
Balloon Ride Over The Taj Mahal:
Hot-air ballooning in India is being given a new dimension by some travel
agents/tour operators. They not only operate joy flights on the balloon but
also conduct interesting tours like balloon-cum-horse or camel safaris. They
also offer a view of the Taj Mahal from a balloon, with the Yamuna flowing
by. The sight is not only an exciting but a thrilling experience.
Ballooning In Rajasthan:
The undulating sand dunes are ideal for ballooning buffs. People can even
travel short distances between towns or historic resorts in these hot air
balloons. The best attraction, of course, is to coast over fairs as Pushkar,
or Beneshwar or Nagaur in a hot-air balloon.
Ballooning Places in India: