I was in Amaravati. It is the new upcoming capital of the state of Andhra Pradesh. Incidentally, it was also the ancient capital city that shares its name with the capital of Lord Indra in heaven. If you wonder how this place would look from the skies – to Indra or to the birds flying over it, I have a few glimpses captured during my aerial adventure activities here to share with you.
Global Music & Dance Festival at Pavitra Sangamam, Amaravati
I was in Amaravati to attend the global music and dance festival. On the banks of Krishna River, where a canal from the Godavari merges with the river. The place is called Pavitra Sangamam. You can witness the lovely Krishna Arti in the evening here.
I stayed at Bhawani Island No 7. An island on the Krishna River, located just across the Pavitra Sangamam. A boat ferried us to and fro from our campsite on the island. The forests on the other end of the island were visible. But we had no time to go and explore them. But as they say, if you really wish something you get it eventually.
Adventure Activities to explore at Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh
Powered Paragliding over Krishna River
My first morning at Bhawani Island, I set out to explore Powered Paragliding also called Paramotoring while the air around was still misty. Paramotoring is powered paragliding using a motor. Since it is mechanized, you really do not depend on the wind for launch or for taking off. Strong winds, of course, can impact the flight.
We drove to the other side of the island. In the open fields, the gliders were set up. The umbrellas covered the ground with strings neatly placed to avoid any entanglement. A small tricycle like a vehicle with a small motor and two fragile seats stood like a star in the middle. I walked to it to have a closer look at it. It would be a lie, if I said, I was not scared. We were told you cannot take anything with you on this flight. Of course, you cannot. The seat can hardly hold you – where would you keep any stuff. Having said that, I did hang my camera around my neck and assumed it is a part of my body. How else, would I get these videos and images for you!
I sat in the front seat with a pilot behind me. I was told take-off can be a bit scary. Being prepared helps to an extent. But when you have to face the fear, you have to deal with it. As soon as the glider took off, we were flying above the river. I was scared for like 30 seconds and then the views took over. Rest of the flight was all about soaking in the unique views that only low flying can give you. The islands on the river looked like green jewels in the river. The thick forests looked lovely. The interplay of water and greenery was lovely. The rising Sun participated with its first rays.
We went up and down, coming very close to our campsite, that looked picture perfect with its white tents erected in a neat square. We flew for almost an hour and I could have stayed up there forever.
Video of my adventure activities – Powered Paragliding
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The landing was again a bit scary. But all is well that ends well. As we drove back, I was already counting places where I would like to do low flying. Majuli island in Assam is definitely something to explore with paramotoring.
Hot Air Balloon Ride over Krishna River
Next day early morning we were out at 5 AM to take a ride in the Hot Air Balloon. Till then, I had always seen them in pictures. I had no idea that balloons are so huge. They measure a few hundred kgs when rolled up.
At an open ground, where our balloons – one blue and one red were being prepared, I was all curiosity. It was magical to see the fabric spread on the ground slowly swell up as the hot air was pumped into them. The basket that would carry us looked tiny with respect to the balloon.
After paramotoring, standing in the basket seemed like an easy task. Once the balloon is full of air and stands upright, you jump into the basket. The pilot pushes some more hot air and the balloon starts flying in the air. In a few minutes, we were back on top of the river.
Stunning Aerial views of Sunrise and Landscape
The presence of other Balloon’s and later Paramotors added to the scenery before us. The surprise was when our pilot decided to add a dash of adventure to our otherwise comfortable ride. He took a sudden dip in the river. Our feet were in the water. Thankfully the balloon was ready to pull us back.
It was again Sunrise time. Sun reflecting its amber color in the waters of the river felt like it wanted to soak Krishna in its color.
After an hour of flying, we started our descent. For the villagers, we created quite a spectacle. Everyone watching us had their mobile camera pointed towards the balloon.
Video of my Adventure activities
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Landing from the ride was easy. The basket goes and sits on the ground. All you have to do is jump or step out of it. However, what was intriguing in the landing process was for the pilots to ensure that the balloon does not land on the basket. It must deflate on the ground. The ground should be clear enough not to damage the balloon.
These adventure activities were conducted by E-Factor Entertainment. They are also behind Taj Balloon Festival – that I hope to attend this year.
Recommend you read the following travel blog on places to visit in Andhra Pradesh.