Soon, you will be able to soar high in the skies in a hot air balloon. Adventure tourists will be able to get a bird’s eyeview of picturesque Lonavala hill station, as the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation Limited (MTDC) will launch a hot air balloon safari service from Diwali.
According to a state tourism department official, MTDC has collaborated with a private company, Sky Waltz, for the project. State minister for tourism Chhagan Bhugbal will officially announce the project on Tuesday, the official added.
The private company offers similar services for tourists in Jaipur, Ranthambore, Pushkar and Udaipur. Though the company officials refused to reveal the pricing for the ride, a similar one-hour flight in Rajasthan costs around USD 250 — that’s approximately Rs15,000 — per person. Each ride on the hot air balloon can accommodate about eight tourists, according to the officials.
An MTDC spokesperson said, “Since the balloon safari is gaining popularity in the country and people go to other places to enjoy the air trip, the state tourism corporation decided to offer the service in our own backyard.”
Located about 100 kilometres from Mumbai, Lonavala is very popular among tourists from Mumbai and Pune. Perched on a hilly terrain, it has a cool climate, dense vegetation, historical caves, religious and spiritual centres, and is considered an ideal getaway for a short vacation.
Adventure sports and trekking is also popular in the region.