Araku to host Balloon Festival from tomorrow
Once again the tourism and district officials were making elaborate arrangements for establishing a platform for hot air balloons in Agency area, said HRD Minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao here on Wednesday in the city
Visakhapatnam: Once again the tourism and district officials were making elaborate arrangements for establishing a platform for hot air balloons in Agency area, said HRD Minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao here on Wednesday in the city.
The platform will be located at an altitude of 1,300 m above sea level, Araku Valley, a three-hour drive from Vizag, which is a popular hill station and one of the most scenic spots in the State amidst the Eastern Ghats range.
The first edition of Ballon Festival had received a mixed response as it could not conduct full-fledged due to weather conditions and unseasonal rains last year. The organisers hope that the weather remains suitable as balloon flights are subjected to suitable weather conditions.
Many people who had visited Araku for the Balloon Festival last year had dissented that even after crores of money being spent for the event, there was no provision for common man to enjoy the balloon flights while a few selected government officers, VVIPs and media personnel were only given chance.
Addressing the media during the launch of second edition of Balloon Festival at Araku Valley, being organised by the Andhra Pradesh Tourism department, the Minister said the festival will begin from January 18 and will conclude on January 20.
The hot air balloon line-up comprises 20 balloons from 15 different participant countries including India, France, Italy, Australia, the USA, Belgium, Switzerland, among others. The other features are overnight camp stays where people can reinvent oneself in the lap of green valleys.
Enthusiasts can also visit the aromatic coffee plantations and tribal villages to experience the raw and rustic culture of Araku. Specially shaped balloons featuring some famous and iconic characters like Bruno Clown, Honey Bee, Baby Car and Happy Chicken will float across the Araku skies, the minister added.
Mukesh Meena, secretary of Tourism and Youth Welfare, said that tourism marketing effectively must translate into new experience in drawing travelers’ attention as part of that the balloon flights were introduced. The balloon flights will take place only in the morning from 6 am to 7 am.
Besides, the hot air balloons, as per the festival itinerary, one can enjoy para-motoring display with the aerial enthusiasts soaring into the sky and painting picturesque visuals, he added.