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Viewing Taj Mahal from above

Viewing Taj Mahal from above
Highlights

The city of Agra, home to some of India\'s most magnificent heritage sites, including the monument to immortal love - the Taj Mahal, last week saw new colours filling up its skies.

Agra: The city of Agra, home to some of India's most magnificent heritage sites, including the monument to immortal love - the Taj Mahal, last week saw new colours filling up its skies.

A three-day hot air balloon festival added to the attraction of the city and lent a new perspective to these magnificent cultural treasures.

Organised by India's first and biggest commercial hot air balloon company, Sky Waltz, in association with the Uttar Pradesh government, the first-edition of the Taj Balloon Festival kicked off last weekend. "This festival is not just to sell tickets and make a huge profit, but it is mainly aimed at giving this ancient city a new perspective," Samit Garg, founder-director of Sky Waltz, said.

"Agra is known all over the world for its many splendid Mughal-era buildings. We aspire to give tourists a different view of these structures and also to give a further boost to the city's booming tourism," he said. Sky Waltz, founded in 2008, made its first hot air balloon flight in 2009 in Jaipur. The company provides commercial balloon experience in Jaipur and Lonavla and charter ones at Pushkar, Neemrana, Hampi and Jodhpur.

It also started flying its biggest balloon with a capacity of 24 people at Jaipur since August. The company is set to host the upcoming four-day Pushkar International Balloon Festival from November 19, started in 2010.

Garg is planning to start regular hot air balloon rides in Agra in the near future in response to what he called was an overwhelming response from tourists and locals.

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