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Hot air ballooning in Agra (11th Oct 2015) :The UP Government is organising hot air balloon festival in Agra, so one could have a bird’s view of the Taj Agra.From November 14 to 16, Agra’s skyline will be doted with 15 colourful hot air balloons from 12 countries that will participate in the Taj Balloon Festival.An initiative of the UP government to boost leisure, adventure and aviation – based tourism in the state, the festival will bring  expert balloonists from countries like USA, UK, Germany, Spain and India who will show their ballooning skills in the Taj city.

Considered as one of the safest forms of the aviation sports, hot air ballooning has been attracting the popularity across the world.These balloons will be of different capacities – ferrying a minimum of two and maximum of eight people. For an hour’s ride, the tourists shall be required to pay something between USD $ 200 – 250 (Apprx. Rs. 15,000/-) each. The balloon flight will start from 7 am and continue till 9 pm. However, there will be certain restrictions too. No balloons will be allowed to fly in the close proximity of Taj. The minimum distance between the balloon and the monument shall not be less than 500 mtr. The Archaeological Survey of India and local administration had already given approval, after which a test ride was carried out recently. Though a hot air balloon can scale up to a permissible limit of 3000 ft, here it will be restricted to somewhere a little over 500 ft. Tickets will be sold on line and it will be on firsts cum first serve basis. But there will be some categories like ‘tourists’ and ‘local residents’ of Agra city.

There will be 11 take off points and the wind direction will have a major role to determine how the balloons will fly.  A night before, weather inputs will also be taken from the Met department. A night glow concert will be organised, where hot air balloons will light up in sync with live music.

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 The Char Dhams of Uttarakhand