Hot air balloons have never been more popular than now. The thrill and excitement of floating away in a basket attached to a giant balloon that ascends, primarily based on the physics law of kinetic energy—warm air is lighter than cold air.
Since the lockdown ended and Instagram-worthy wanderlust is back in full swing, interest in hot-air ballooning has grown. While Cappadoccia in Turkey continues to be the bucket-list experience, Indian states in the last two years have pushed the case and cause of hot air ballooning in India, by organising hot air ballooning festivals.
Here is a list of some of India’s popular hot-air balloon festivals:
Note: Check official websites and communications to confirm dates for these festivals.
1. Kashi Hot Air Balloon And Boat Festival, Varanasi
In 2021, the first-ever hot air balloon festival organised by Uttar Pradesh Tourism in Varanasi. The early-morning winter experience is unlike any other where you see the Ganges snaking along and on her banks her the famous ghats of Varanasi, sheltered by the havelis. The sight of the ancient city evolving into a modern one is spectacular.
Dates: January 17-20, 2023
2. Hot air ballooning at Rann Utsav, Kutch
The barren expanse of Kutch, covered for miles and miles in a bed of salt, is an unforgettable sight. The adventure becomes even for thrilling when you get to see the same expanse from a bird’s eye view in a hot air balloon. Check the official website for Rann Utsav packages including hot air balloons or you can also connect with reliable private hot air balloon operators.
Dates: October 26, 2022 to February 23, 2023
3. Hot air balloons at Pushkar Mela, Pushkar
The cattle fair, the largest of its kind in Asia, in Pushkar, Rajasthan draws in tourists from the world over. To see herds and herds of cattle—camels, cows, buffaloes, goats, horses, and more—is some sight. Another exotic way to catch a glimpse of not just the animals but the spirituality and brilliant Rajasthani hues at Pushkar Fair, has to be the hot air balloons. It is a larger-than-life festive environment and it is best to just let yourself get carried away with it all.
Dates: November 20-28, 2023
4. Tamil Nadu International Balloon Festival, Pollachi
Every year, for the past eight years, the Tourism Ministry of Tamil Nadu has been hosting a hot air balloon festival in the town of Pollachi, to celebrate the harvest festival of Pongal. The festivities and therefore the hot air balloon festival in Pollachi also takes place in the month of January.
5. Hot air ballooning at Mandu Festival, Mandu
Located in the southwestern part of Madhya Pradesh, Mandu is home to an incredible and unexplored cultural and historic heritage of India. Mandu Festival, organised by Madhya Pradesh Tourism, is a way to showcase the heritage to the world. The festival apart from tours, recitals and performances, also has hot air balloon rides that are a must-try.