Natura Sends ‘Mangalyaan’ on a 850ft Zip-Line Ride at SAG 2016 Opening Ceremony

Industry Watch | March 18, 2016 | Feature

Natura Encompass

The South Asian Games (SAG) 2016 was kicked-off by a stunning Opening ceremony seamlessly executed by Encompass Events, at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Feb 5. The 180-minute spectacle run by the all-girls Encompass core team was perfect blend of  technology, creativity, culture, music and entertainment.

Read: Flawless SAG Opening Ceremony Delivers Encompass From Rain-Drenched IPL Opening

Hovering above the spectacular light & sound, dance & music acts and the spectators was a mock-up model of India’s ‘Mangalyaan’ space probe. Executing this challenging aspect of the show was the responsibility of Encompass’s rigging partners - Natura. The Mangalyaan flew across the venue on a 850ft zip line - the longest-ever zip-line executed by the rigging experts. Here’s how Natura accomplished the feat - as narrated by the team:

“Encompass Events contacted Natura in November 2015, to be part of the spectacular opening act that we knew would be challenging, but definitely a really cool event to associate with. In the midst of all the dancing, singing and other performances, we had to rig the longest-ever zip line that Natura has done. The zip line would have the “Mangalyaan” travelling 850 feet from one end of the venue to the other. We had quite a lot of ground to be covered ….literally!

We gathered all our troops from Bangalore, Mumbai, and Delhi. With a fully loaded nine member team, we wanted to make sure that there would be no scope for error. We sent Avishkar - MD, Natura, along with senior team member and Technical Site Manager, Dilip for a recce to Guwahati. They came back with location maps, stage plans and many pictures. 

Armed with information, we started laying out our plans. First, we wanted to get customized speed winches made for this project, due to the sheer size of the zip line: did we mention 850 feet! We got made-to-order high-speed winches from a specialised international manufacturer, and also imported load-cells from the US which keeps a check on the stress levels of the zip line and its anchor points. This was to make sure the prop weight along with the pre-tensioned lines never exceeded the “Safe Working Load” of our ropes and that we could consistently monitor it through the entire 850 ft length.

A point to be noted here is that this was the first time Natura bought equipment worth the entire show cost and increased our own personal inventory. Why? It was one of the biggest projects for the team from a technical perspective and we did not want to leave a single stone un-turned to achieve perfection.

Pre-plans are all good only until showtime. And when we got to Guwahati with 1050 kgs of Air cargo equipment, (did we also mention it was the first time we did a show in Guwahati?) there were tons of surprises waiting for us. The weather was different - early sunrise and sunsets made days shorter and impacted our set up time. The location of the proposed zip lines were changed multiple times, in order to ensure it would not disturb the projection mapping. We found this one real tough to work with and we had not anticipated it. Hauling up all the equipment took us forever.

It was exciting to find out that PM Modi would grace the show with his presence, but this led to a major security lock-down which in turn meant lesser setup time again! It took us three whole days to set up all our equipment in these conditions of weather and security. 

A 850 ft zip line doesn’t come easy even to pros like us! So, we decided to send one of our really-brave boys on a zip line cruise to check the stability and strength (We did make sure that he was safe through it all.) In spite of all the roadblocks, we managed three very good rehearsals with the team. Armed with our new gizmos, we were all set for our two minutes of fame!

Hats off to Encompass Events for planning and executing the show so meticulously. It was a real pleasure to work with them and we hope to do many more collaborations in the future. We received lots of appreciation from all our working partners and the herculean efforts totally paid off!”


Natura was roped in by Encompass Events to execute the challenging zip-line that took the space probe mock-up from one end of the venue to the other. Find out how they did it.

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