Hot Air Ballooning at KASHI

17th Jan 2023
Photo of Hot Air Ballooning at KASHI by Ishita Mithrani

Kashi in India is one of the oldest cities in the world and it is a must-visit for anyone who wants to experience the beauty and culture of this ancient city.

Kashi, also called Varanasi, is known for its ghats (which are steps leading down to the river Ganges) and are used by devotees to perform various rituals. There are about 84 ghats, each with an interesting Folklore story to tell, and they are spread across a distance of about 8-9kms.

This place is considered so pure that even cremation is considered a celebration here. The Manikarnika Ghat is the ghat, and the only place in India, where cremations can happen 24/7. The temples located here are some of the most important pilgrimage sites for Hindus, especially Kashi Vishwanath temple which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Small lanes of houses behind the ghats, house thousands of temples, each with its own folklore.

There is a mesmerizing Ganga arti performed here every evening and it attracts thousands of tourists from around the world each year.

This year, we were lucky enough to experience it.The Arti starts sharp at 6pm in winters, at the Dashashwamedh Ghat.

The newest way to experience Kashi is by taking a hot air balloon ride. The one hour ride gives you a peaceful, yet breathtaking view of the city from above. You can watch the Hot Air Balloning being held there or witness the annual boat race that takes place in Varanasi, starting from this year, as part of the Kashi Balloon and Boat Festival. It was a lovely experience that will stay with us for years to come! 10 Hot Air balloons flew the delegates, global media and attendees over the sacred-scape of Varanasi's fabled ghats to give an aerial perspective of the ancient city for four days. (Hot Air Ballooning was not open to public this year.)

The festival was conceptualised to celebrate the prestigious title of Kashi being declared as the first global cultural capital by international grouping SCO (Shanghai Corporation Limited) which has countries like Uzbekistan, Kyrgyz Republic, China, Pakistan along with India and to mark the arrival of delegates into Varanasi for their annual coordinators meet.

Top balloonists from five countries flew over the ghats where the guests could and the global media attendees could see the life-ending climactic rituals, Kashi's landlocked temple scape, and the dramatic throng of pilgrims taking their redemptive dips in the holy river. Samit Garg- the organising member and Founder, E Factor and Skywaltz said that it is critical to reimagine the tourism landscape of the country and create new niche products for premium travellers to provide thrilling perspectives of India's vast heritage capital.

Kashi, India is home to one of the most thrilling and unforgettable experiences - a Boat Race League - to morph the traditional Nauka Races into an annual global sports tradition for the premium sports lovers to come and watch. The twelve boat teams were given unique identities and were rowing Naukas -which is 15 feet long with a hull of about 4 feet traditional boat- that is helmed by a captain and four more rowers who row it manually to navigate the water currents. The local sporting teams were christened as Navik Sena, Nauka Riders, Bhagirathi Sevaks, Ghat Keepers, Ganga Vahini, Jal Yodhas, Ganga Lahiri, Ganga Putra, Kashi Lahiri, Gaumukh Giants, Kashi Keepers, Jal Sena and were seen competing to vie for the championship. The racing track started from Dashashwamedh Ghat to Rajghat with a total stretch of 3 km.

Glad to experience the beauty of Varanasi from a hot air balloon! Floated above the old city and to witness the majestic view of Ganges and its ghats. Got a glimpse of the boat race and people celebrating cremation in an unique way. Kashi in India offers an amazing opportunity to explore the city from a different perspective - hot air ballooning.

The Hot Air Ballooning experience allows visitors to get an aerial view of the beautiful city of Kashi and its surrounding areas. The hot air balloons take off from the banks of the Ganges River, offering spectacular views that are sure to take your breath away. Get ready for an adventure like no other as you take in the sights and sounds of this majestic river from above!

Just About to Take off on the Hot Air Balloon

Photo of Hot Air Ballooning at KASHI by Ishita Mithrani

Hot Air Balloon Getting Ready to Fly

Photo of Hot Air Ballooning at KASHI by Ishita Mithrani

Outside The Ganga Mahal Ghat

Photo of Hot Air Ballooning at KASHI by Ishita Mithrani

Aerial view of the Ghats & Ganges from the Hot Air Balloon.

Photo of Hot Air Ballooning at KASHI by Ishita Mithrani

Happy Faces to have a Bucket List Check off

Photo of Hot Air Ballooning at KASHI by Ishita Mithrani