Sailendra Nath Roy, 48, was performing the feat on the Teesta river in West Bengal when he suffered a heart attack.
Hundreds of spectators watched his last moments in horror.
In March 2011, Roy was named a Guinness World Record holder for travelling the farthest distance on a zip wire using hair.
He worked as a driver for the police.
Roy was trying to cross the Coronation Bridge over the Teesta river near Siliguri town suspended from a zip wire 180 metres long at a height of 20 metres.
A large number of people had gathered on the bridge to watch the feat.
Witnesses said that Roy appeared to make no progress after covering about 90 metres.
“He was desperately trying to move forward. He was trying to scream out some instruction. But no one could follow what he was saying. After struggling for 30 minutes he became still,” said Balai Sutradhar, a photographer, who was covering the stunt.
Police said he was hanging for nearly 45 minutes before he was brought down.
Doctors at the hospital said he had suffered a “massive heart attack”.
Roy had arrived at the riverside on Sunday morning and set up the zip wire from the bridge with help from friends.
He was wearing a life jacket, but there were no doctors or emergency services on the spot.
Police said that Roy had not got permission to do the stunt. (BBC)