Uttar Pradesh is all set to host one-of-its-kind boat race event and a hot air balloon festival in Varanasi in 2023. Titled ‘Kashi Balloon and Boat Festival’, Uttar Pradesh has decided to turn it into a carnival, even though northern India is experiencing extreme cold conditions.
Winter is the time for festivities, as they say and Varanasi is living up to it. The boat race and the hot air balloon festival in Varanasi this year will see a bunch of other adventure sports and activities. The state tourism department has already released the logo of the festival. Priti Srivastava, the Deputy Director for Tourism, Varanasi, has announced that it is going to be the most adventurous event of the year, quoted Hindustan Times. Are you excited already? Here’s everything you need to know about the hot air balloon festival in Varanasi 2023.
The #Kashi Balloon & Boat Festival will give a new dimension to the #tourism of the state. The #festival will run from 17th to 20th #January, 2023 with representatives of #SCO countries participating in the same!#BalloonAndBoatFestival #Varanasi #RethinkTourism #UPTourism pic.twitter.com/4xIcV6YWU6
— UP Tourism (@uptourismgov) January 16, 2023
All about the Kashi Balloon and Boat Festival 2023
Varanasi is all set to host the festival on January 17, and it will continue for four days straight. The boat racing event that begins on January 17, will start at Varanasi’s famous Dashashwamedh Ghat. As for the hot air balloon festival, this is the second time Varanasi will be hosting this festival.
All about the boat racing event
The Uttar Pradesh government and the festival authorities are expecting the boat racing event to be a huge crowd puller. As said by the local officials, “Local boatmen, largely from the Majhi community, have been divided into 12 teams for the contests. We have roped in experts from other states where boat racing is a mainstream sport. They would also be inducted into the teams to give a professional touch to the races and make the entire event even more sporting.”
The 12 teams are called Gangaputra, Kashi Lahiri, Navik Sena, Jal Yodhas, Ganga Lahiri, Kashi Keepers, Nauka Riders, Ganga Vahini, Jal Sena, Bhagirathi Sevaks, Ghat Keepers, and Haumukh Giants.
The race would take place in an area stretching over 3 km. It will start at Dashashwamedh Ghat, and cover Raj Ghat, Kashi Vishwanath Dham, Mehta Ghat and Panch Ganga Ghat
All about the hot air balloon in Varanasi
The main attraction of the event, the hot air balloon in Varanasi will be hosted for the second time this year. The Uttar Pradesh tourism department has brought in agencies from five countries across the world and pilots from across five countries too, as well as from 12 different parts of India, to make the festival as grand as it can get.
The venue for the balloons taking off and landing will be at Central Hindu Boys School, Ramnagar and the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) grounds. While officials still haven’t fixed a price for the hot air balloon rides, last year the rides were for INR 500 per person.
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This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia India