Every time I saw the hot air balloons of Cappadocia in a book or television, my heart skipped a beat. It seemed like something I just had to do, but the tickets to Turkey weren’t exactly cheap. Then a friend mentioned Hampi to me, and told me about the hot air balloon rides during the three-day festive celebrations in the city. I knew this was my big chance to realize this longstanding travel dream. A luck would have it, Make My Trip was offering an excellent package to the region around that time, and I could find no reason to hold myself back!
Hampi is a Grand Sight to Behold
The ancient metropolis of Hampi is replete with fascinating architecture and cultural wealth. The sky looked nothing less than a bejeweled spectacle studded with colorful balloons with excited tourists on board. It is incredible how the scene matched what I had been envisaging for ages! I got to see my balloon getting readied right before my eyes, and could hardly contain my excitement. The guide then took us through the instructions and direction of the ride. A pilot steered each balloon, but he could only control the altitude because the route was mostly decided by the wind. Below, a jeep with support staff followed our balloon wherever we went. Hampi’s beauty is unparalleled, but it takes on a whole new grandeur when viewed from up above. I was amazed at the panoramic views of the magnificent ruins, rocky terrains and temples of this beautiful city from the balloon.
Read more: Places to Visit in Hampi on Your Weekend Break
Timing is Everything!
Early mornings and early evenings are considered the best timings for a hot air balloon ride. I, however, decided to go for this spectacular affair in the morning itself so I had enough time to repeat it just in case I wanted to.
We were given a choice between a smaller balloon that could carry up to six people and a bigger one that could take ten more people on the same trip. Just to be able to enjoy it a little more, I decided to stick to the smaller balloon. My companions were a couple from Delhi with their two kids. It was a great experience to see these kids feeling excited about being airborne.
Many people tend to overdress imagining the temperatures would drop when the balloon takes flight, but the gas chambers make the balloon hotter than even the ground temperatures. So we were advised to not over clad when gearing up for this marvellous adventure. I also realized that the festival had attracted aero-sport enthusiasts from all over the country.
Exploring the Highlights of Hampi
Once I was back on the ground, I decided to head out to explore more of Hampi. I started with the Virupaaksha Temple—the only active place of worship. My next stop was Badavai Linga, followed by the Achutaraya Temple, Hazara Rama Temple, Krishna Temple, Vittala Temple and Chandramauleshwara Temple.
Being the adventure enthusiast I am, I wouldn’t have left this town without an Oracle boat ride along the Tungabhadra River. I wanted to visit the Daroji Bear Sanctuary, home to 120 Indian sloth bears, wild boars, hyenas, leopards, porcupines and over 20 species of butterflies, but couldn’t make it due to lack of time. But the next time I am in Hampi, I will surely reserve a day just to go here. This unique experience by MakeMyTrip has left me so delighted that I wouldn’t mind going at it again.
Read more: 3 Close-to-Nature Experiences to Have in South India
MakeMyTrip Package I Booked: Hampi - Balloon Safari
Price Paid: INR 10,208*
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*Prices may vary