Have you ever witnessed an azure sky filled with myriad colors and animated forms roaming all across till the horizon? Did you ever felt an incongruous urge to fly kites (or Patang) with Manjha and get embroiled so much so that you start competing for supremacy in the sky? Have you once been baffled by the number of colors and choices available for buying a Kite? If your answer to any of this is no, then a visit to Uttarayan, the annual Kite festival of Gujarat is an absolute necessity.
The recently concluded festival, organized annually on 14th and 15th January, has become such a craze that it has started attracting a sizeable participation from foreign countries as well. The experience of Kite flying and the competitive spirit behind it is mystifying for these strangers. Nonetheless, they enjoy the festival and an interaction with local people along with a rare chance of tasting Indian delicacies. Uttarayan organizers, Tourism corporation of Gujarat, are attempting to enter this festival into Guinness Book of records with an unprecedented foreign participation from 42 countries.
Celebrated in the spirit of Makar Sankranti, this festival marks the beginning of summer and a sign for farmers that the harvest season is around the corner. It is not true that Kite flying is only popular in Gujarat, other states like Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Telengana etc. also celebrate this as part of their cultural heritage. But, the passion and vigor makes all the difference.
The event takes place in Ahmedabad, the Kite capital, which accommodates all foreign and domestic tourists. There is a special “Patang bazaar” for Kite shopping which opens 24 hours a day during this festive season. Equipped with all necessities, people in Ahmedabad approach the Sabarmati Riverfront which has become a popular destination due to its open space and beautified pavements. Local food like Undhiyu and the sweet Jalebi make this experience memorable.
Here, are some mesmerizing photographs from the festival…