Araku Valley turned into a colourful grand spectacles. A tourism promotional event, the hot air balloon festival has seen a huge response with hundreds of people travelling to the Araku valley from Vizag a day ahead to catch the first glimpse of the balloons soaring in the skies.
The skies of Araku turned into a colourful grand spectacle as the three-day Araku Balloon Festival took off on Tuesday 14th November 2017.
Most hotels & resorts were packed with travellers who booked accommodation well in advance in anticipation of the hot air balloon festival being held in the region for the first time. “This is my first time experience of seeing a hot air balloon this closely.
The energy at the launch site Valley was incredible. I also interacted with a few foreign pilots & got some great shots of the festival,” said Narendra Sai, an avid photographer. Like him, several others travelled to Araku to witness the 16 colourful & beautiful balloons take to the skies. “It’s a rare chance to view such a fantastic festival happening in our neighbourhood. I came here a day before so that I don’t miss the first day’s action,” said Mayank Kumari Deo, who came with her daughter from Vizag.
Many of them travelled to the camp site to get a glimpse of the luxury tents set up in an eco-friendly setting at Bosebeda village, near Araku valley. A large team of over 100 photographers, nature lovers & students from across Andhra Pradesh & Telangana arrived at valley to capture the spectacular scenes of the festival.
There are several others who are making plans to head to the Araku valley in the coming two days. “Our rooms are almost booked till November 16 for the balloons festival. Today morning itself, we got a few extended stay requests from guests who have already arrived here from visakhapatnam,” said the front office manager of Dhimsa Resorts. Though high wind speed hits the safari, nature’s splendour mesmerises them anyhow.
A veil of fog enveloped the roads to Araku valley on Wednesday morning with the cool climate weaving its magical spell on travellers who headed in large numbers towards the valley on the second day of Araku Balloon Festival.
The inclement weather, however made it difficult for the balloon safari to be carried out even as scores of people arrived to get a glimpse of the spectacular view of the festival.
The wet spell may have disappointed many, but the beautiful climate of Araku brought out a melange of vibrant hues of the region wrapped in misty vapours. The foreign pilots are very much equally floored by the beauty of Araku.“The wind speed was high today, so the balloon safari could not take off. But we are enjoying the magnificent views of Araku Valley . Every moment we get to see a new splendour. It’s one of the very most beautiful locations for ballooning,” said Rick Astral, a balloon pilot from Chile.
Sukhbir S. Sekhon, a Malaysian pilot, who went up to one of the highest levels on the first day of the balloon festival, was overwhelmed by the “spectacular” green stretches of fields & hills. “It was a sight to behold! We went across a small hill & it was quite a discovery. We hope the weather clears up on the last day of the festival so that we can explore the beauty of the place,” he said.
Many of the foreign team members & others visiting the valley for the first time took the opportunity to explore the tribal hamlets to get a peek into the ethnic culture of the region.
Meanwhile, the valley was bustling with a steady stream of visitors from various city. The evening night glow event at NTR Grounds saw a teeming crowd of people who thronged the venue to view the colourful huge balloons all lit-up in the sky.
A lucky few got a chance to go on balloons tethered to the ground while others got to view the grandness from very close quarters.
Several people have made plans to head to the valley on the third day of the festival as well at Araku.
“I am going on Thursday. Having seen so many breathtaking pictures on the social media about the festival & the beautiful climate of Araku, I can’t hold myself back!” said Dipankar Saha, F & B manager of a hotel.
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