Ahmedabad in India comes to you immediately when we start talking about Kite Flying. Ahemdabad which is capital city of Indian state Gujrat, which is popularly known for it's Kite Flying festival which is organized to celebrate Uttarayan. During the same time people celebrate it in the name of Makar Sakranti and Lohri. Inspired by Ahmedabad International Kite Festival, many of the other states have started organizing Kite festivals. For last three years, we have witnessed great enthusiasm in Delhi as well, when some of the acclaimed kite fliers come to the city to show brilliant kite flying skills with brilliant kite-arts in forms. This Photo Journey shares more about Kite Flying festival of Gujarat and how it influenced the overall eco-system around Kite flying in India and abroad.
Above photograph shows a 3D kite in the sky. Can you imagine the kind of effort and skill needed to make a perfect 3D kite which flies so smoothly in air and can also be controlled with a string. Every year, Gujarat celebrates thousands of festivals including some of the national festivals and the International Kite Festival has it's own importance for the land. Uttarayan is regarded as one of the biggest festivals celebrated in this beautiful Indian state with lot of stuff to explore. Months before the festival, homes & businessmen of Gujarat start making kites to celebrate Uttarayan with and have great fun.
Ahmedabad International Kite Festival 2014, Gujarat was inaugurated by Chief Minister Narendra Modi last Sunday around Sabarmati river in Ahmedabad City. Mr. Modi mentioned Kite Festival as a place which shows love for nature, culture, environment and tourism. he strongly believes in such special celebrations which keep creating momentum to keep people united and enjoy the life by remaining attached to the roots. During the inaugural speech by Mr.Modi, he specifically emphasized on importance of tourism in the state as well as country. As per Modi, tourism is one of the core development lever for our country and we should straighten it further through various tourism related activities. Talking about tourism, he mentioned that how these festivals also help creating some value for poorest of the poor to earn their livelihood. It seems that kite market in 2001-02 was Rs. 30-35 crore while it has crossed Rs. 500 crore now. Which sounds significant. Spending most of the times inside office we don't even see kite flying around us and it was very surprising for me. His vision is to integrate locally skilled people with tourism industry to enjoy better results and encourage a win-win state for everyone.
Now there are various International Kite Festivals happen in India, apart from them the one which happens in Gujarat is most popular. This inetrnational festival is popularly known as Uttarayan. It's not only celebrated in Ahmedabad city but also in other Gujarati towns like Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot, Nadiad. Supposedly, one of the best place to enjoy International Kite Festival is Sardar Patel Stadium and Ahmedabad Police Stadium. These two places have enough space for folks to come and lay down to enjoy the sky full of colorful kites all around.
The Kite Festival Uttarayan actually signifies the day when winter begins to turn into summers and this is as per Hindu calendar. This indicates to the farmers that the sun is back with Makar Sankranti. Makar Sankranti is considered to be one of the most important harvest day in India.
During the International Kite Festival week the markets are flooded with kite buyers and sellers. This festival is a three days festival but celebrations continue after that as well. In Ahmedabad, there is a Patang Bazaar (Kite Market), which can be seen open throughout the day during International Kite festival. There is also a Kite Museum in Ahmedabad, which is located at Sanskar Kendra in Paldi area of the town. It was established in 1985, which has a numerous collection of unique kites contributed by some of the famous kite artists. 'Patangbaaz' is another hindi term used to signify the personality involved in making special kites and take them to unimaginable heights.
During the Kite festival at Ahmedabad, local food like 'Undhiyu' and sweets like Jalebi are served. Opposite to common belief, Kite flying in India is picking up again with time and credit goes to various State tourism departments of India and their passion to sustain these art-forms and ensure that people come together to enjoy and create some economical value as well. It's great to see other states to follow these good trends and joining the league. Delhi Tourism department is organizing international standard Kite festival for last few years now and year over year, it's attracting lot of new audience and Kite flying enthusiasts. It was surprising for me when last year I got to know about Kite Flying Academy, which is run by famous Kite Flyer's son in Delhi. We got to know about the same when we were chatting with Bhai Mian in Delhi Kite festival and many of the academy students had helped them setting up the stall & making some of the special kites to be flown in the festival.
Hope to see more exciting festivals happening in India, which help in building good environment to cherish various art-forms by adding economic value to individuals as well as country.
To know more about Uttarayan, Click Here.