Home Guard Sailendra Nath Roy, 49, had tied a tuft of his hair to a 600-foot long zip wire about 70 feet above the river's water level in an attempt to create a new world record in Siliguri in Darjeeling district.
After completing about 40 percent of the crossing, which started from a point close to the Sevak Coronation Bridge, he got stuck to the wire and was unable to move. He died while struggling to free himself as helpless spectators looked on.
The spectators, who had gathered to see the stunt, initially cheered him on when he got stuck, but screamed when they saw Roy making desperate but futile attempts to free himself and move forward.
A little later he became motionless but remained hanging for about 45 minutes before being brought down, police said.
Roy was rushed to hospital where doctors pronounced him dead. The doctors said he died due to a cardiac arrest.
Siliguri Police Commissioner K. Jayaraman said Roy was a home guard who was on leave Sunday.
"We are conducting a post-mortem examination to ascertain how he died," Jayaraman said.
Roy achieved the Guinness World Record for covering the farthest distance - 82.5 metres - on a zip wire using a tuft of his hair March 1, 2011, at Neemrana Fort Palace in Rajasthan.
Last year, he earned kudos by dragging a 40-tonne train along a track using his pony tail.
He used a chain tied to his hair to pull the engine and four coaches of the heritage Darjeeling Himalayan Railway - also called the toy train - up to a distance of 8.2 feet.
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Image: In this Sunday, April 28, 2013 photograph, people watch Sailendra Nath Roy suspended from a zip wire attached to his ponytail in an attempt to cross Teesta river in Siliguri, West Bengal. Roy who was named a Guinness World Record holder in 2011 for travelling the farthest distance on a zip wire using hair died during the stunt Sunday when he suffered a heart attack.