For the most part, Kaashi is the seat of the gods, one sees colorful throngs of pilgrims, a vast sacred landscape and climactic end-of-life ceremonies in the undulating ganga while navigating its crowded streets, unfolding like a production of Broadway and a costume drama. all at once.
Many scholars, literary figures, Old World strollers and residents flock to the ghats of Varanasi to take their sacred redemptive plunge; with its antique charm, it served as a permanent muse.
In its attempt to enchant its apostles and acolytes with another perspective, on the occasion of Dev Deepawali, the city presented another distinct perspective for travelers to enjoy its mystical allure and floating lights on its river. Uttar Pradesh Tourism has organized the Varanasi Hot Air Balloon Festival, so visitors can enjoy the joyous celebration of the gods celebrating Diwali and see the city in all its glory from an aerial view.
The Festival adds this experiential repertoire, in addition to its landlocked beauties – temples, old paths, craft traditions, gastronomic cornucopia and legends that unfold in every nook and cranny.
This new offering, according to Mukesh Kumar Meshram, Principal Secretary, Culture and Tourism, adds another experience for explorers and will position Varanasi as a destination of choice for many high-end and high-value travelers from around the world. He also said post-Covid tourism will focus on creating authentic experiences and traditions in a modern package for long-term tourism sustainability.
On the occasion, Samit Garg, Founder and CEO of E-factor Entertainment, which hosted the event, said that this new offering adds an authentic and high-value offering for the city’s “living heritage”, and that the breathtaking terrain and the bird sightings match perfectly in splendor with its marvelously preserved wonders on the ground. He also said that New Age travelers are looking for a new type of tourism that is not based on a single product but rather on a succession of new and transformative “experiences”. There is a growing desire for “travel of exploration and experience” over traditional leisure activities such as visiting tourist attractions.
The Varanasi Hot Air Balloon Festival, which runs from November 17-19, is set to usher in a new era in Uttar Pradesh tourism for well-heeled global visitors.