UP CM Akhilesh Yadav presiding over an investor's meet at Hotel Trident, Nariman Point Mumbai on Thursday. Express photos By Pradip Das,10/09/15,Mumbai.


The ongoing second edition of Taj Balloon Festival, witnessed an overwhelming response, as the residents and tourists woke up every morning to colourful balloons dotting the skyline. This year Sky Waltz is conducting Taj Balloon Festival 2016 in association with Uttar Pradesh Government under Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. The six-day festival is ending on 30th November, 2016. This was initiated by the UPCM in 2015 with hot air balloons of different hues and shapes floating over historical monuments.

The surreal view has the rapt attention of people as a total of 16 hot air balloons grace the horizon both during sunrise and sunset at PAC ground. Highly-experienced pilots and crew from India and around the world are participating in this event. A total of 12 countries are participating which include balloonists from the US, UK, Spain, Belgium, Turkey, Netherland, Germany, UAE among other countries.


The Taj Mahal is the only wonder of the world that lets one take flight on a hot air balloon next to it. This year, The Taj Balloon Festival saw excited viewers enjoying the chilled winter morning and a lovely scenery from above. They can also take a ride on one of these balloons if the pilot agrees. The balloons take off in the morning and land in and around the city. For a more detailed schedule and other highlights, you can check out the official website: http://www.tajballoonfestival.com/



Amongst the pilots, 2 female pilots from Malaysia and Poland are also flying the balloons. Enthusiastic local residents had a fantastic time mingling with the foreign pilots and taking pictures of their special shaped balloons. The city of Agra was ecstatic with thousands standing on their roof tops waving across, trying to a catch the attention of all. The enchanting air balloon ride in the morning and a night glow show where hot air balloons give a stunning light display, choreographed to music continues to enthral the city to its core in its last two days.

Deputy Director Tourism (Agra) Dinesh Kumar said, “The event has got overwhelming response. The department is giving free ride to tourists/locals through lucky draws which will be conducted for all six days. This year the festival is being organized at a larger scale with the number of days of the festival being doubled to six from three last year.” This year saw some extremely quirky shaped balloons which Happy Egg, Bob the Lobster, and Smurf which became a crowd puller for people from across the country. Don’t miss the opportunity to be a part of this festival!

This initiative by UPCM Akhilesh Yadav had an objective to boost leisure and adventure tourism along with aviation based entertainment in the state. Social Samajwadi can happily say that the motive has been met.