There were a few balloon flights in India notably in Bombay and Calcutta after the first one in 1936. But none carried mail and hence out of this blog’s scope.
The first balloon mail flight in India took place in India on January 14, 1941. This pioneering mail flight was initiated by Dr. Stephen Smith who had balloons released for observation in Calcutta at Curzon Park. Dr. Smith made special arrangement to carry a message addressed to the Hon Secretary, Indian Airmail . Society, Calcutta. Cover carried by the balloons bore words ‘Carried by balloons on observation flight”. But these were not manned balloons.
The first manned balloon flight carrying mail was flown on 14th November, 1963 when a balloon flight was arranged at the Race course ground in Bangalore. The flight was arranged in aid of the Pestalozzi Children’s village on the lines of balloon flights in Europe. The function was presided over by the Chief Minister of Mysore, Shri S Nijalingappa and inaugurated by Mr. Ramchandani, the Post Master General of Mysore. The balloon was piloted by Mr. H. Jo. Sheer of Pestalozzi Children’s village of West Germany. Mr. Alfred Schulz was the co-pilot and Master Anil Kumar of Bangalore represented India on this unique flight. The philatelic mail included covers and cards of different colours. Some of the covers were signed by the pilot, co-pilot and the sole passenger. Covers bore various cancellations/cachets as can be seen on the covers. Profits from sale of this philatelic mail was donated to the children’s village.
This became a yearly feature till 1966. But cards were flown instead of covers.
Ther were no balloon flights after that. However, there was a special flight in 1867 in aid of the children's village.