Ten-day long Hot Air Balloon festival begins in Varanasi

Ten-day long Hot Air Balloon festival started on the bank of River Ganga in the spiritual city of Varanasi, on Sunday.

A private tour operator - Tour Assistant India - in collaboration with the Uttar Pradesh (UP) Tourism department has taken the initiative in order to explore the scope of adventure tourism in the city.

According to Vikas Narayan, Assistant Tourism Officer at UP Tourism, the project is on a ten-day test as a pilot project to check the feasibility to make it a permanent adventure to attract more tourists to the city.

"Varanasi has a large scope of adventure tourism and despite having river and many landscapes, it has not been explored yet. The Hot Air Balloon service is an initiative in this direction. It is on a ten-day trial as of now and after examining the response, it can be made permanent," said Narayan.

"It is very affordable and reasonable as the ticket is Rs 500 per head during the trial period. The Hot Air Balloon involves a lot of cost along with several limitations such as weather," he added, while talking about the cost and affordability.

The flying balloons created a big buzz among the tourists and the local residents pulling them to the river bank.

A local resident, Sarika, told ANI, "This is a very new thing for all of us and everybody, especially kids, are very excited about it."

"Banaras is already a very beautiful city and the view will be more beautiful from the top of it," she added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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