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Kite Flying – A Predominant Activity During Uttarayan festival of Gujarat

Paper made or even certain other material kites have been popular all across the globe since ancient time. The first kite was however made from leaf and not from paper in the year 5th century BC. By 549 AD the traces of using first paper kites are found. However, the first kites were flown by the Chinese philosopher Mo Di and Lu Ban.

Kite Flying in India

In India, its predominance had remained since long back. The Nawabs of Lucknow and other places are all known to take great interest in kite flying. Even in present India kite flying is very much popular like in many other parts of the world. Presently, kite flying becomes the most sought activity during different festivals in different regions of the country. For example, in Bengal, the Vishwakarma Puja or during the festival for worshipping Lord Vishwakarma, the maker of the world, people engage themselves in kite flying. Even the Lord is seen to carry a kite in one of his four hands. In other regions, the kite flying done during other times such as in Gujarat it is flown during the festival of Uttarayan, which known as the famous Makar Sankranti festival in all other parts of India.


Kite flying during the festival of Uttarayan is one of the traditional Gujarati customs. During the time of Uttarayan, the sky over old Gujarati cities across the state gets densely populated by beautiful coloured kites. The kites are of different shapes and they are of excellent texture. The kite flying is generally done during the evening i.e. from around 3 or 4 pm to about just after dark. This is the festival which is celebrated as a mark of change in season from winter to summer. The winter days gets over by Makar Sankranti and gradually the summer days approach from this day. Generally, during this time, the sky is quite a clear one and there remain least possibilities of rain. With clear skies, the shops and all other locations gets closed because it is a state holiday in Gujarat. Before dawn people either get on their house roofs or on the streets to start flying their kites. Not just they fly kites but they start competing with their neighbours.

Kinds of Kites Flown

Beautifully bright coloured kites are generally flown during the uttarayan occasion. It bright colours are said to be a mark of the bright days of spring after the dull winter. Kites are generally made of paper; however plastic kites have become immensely famous recently due to its inexpensiveness.

Kite Flying by Tourist

If a traveller comes to Gujarat during the Uttarayan festival he or she might get extreme joy being able to see the colourful kites laden sky but it might not be so simple; it appears very easy however, one understands the difficult only when flying the kites is involved. Flying kites calls for special skills. Firstly, getting the kites flown is one of the toughest jobs. Even if someone can do that then keeping control over the kites is the next challenge. Thirdly, in order to remain in the sky one has to compete with the other kites. All the kites are flown using sharp threads, locally called Manja. These threads are made sharp using glass dust and thus, one need to be careful while handling these sharp threads as improper handling may bring cuts on fingers. The kites are then made to fight by properly directing them using the personal skill of the person flying the kite. Even if one is unable to handle the kites then also he or she can enjoy being a part of the team member of one of the kite flying persons.

Reaching Gujarat

Gujarat is one of the most developed states in India with connectivity through all means of transportation from different parts of the country as well as from foreign lands.

Flight Facilities

Gujarat has many airports in different cities with the biggest one in Ahmedabad, its capital. This connects flight from across the globe and foreign tourists willing to visit Gujarat may directly come to Ahmedabad. Otherwise, there are flight connectivity to Gujarat from other major cities of India, with maximum from Mumbai and Delhi.

Train Facilities

Gujarat can also be reached by train from all parts of India. Indian Railways operates huge number of trains that ply passengers to Gujarat from all other states of the country.

Road Transportation

Roadway communication is also excellent for travelling to Gujarat. From Mumbai, Chandigarh and other nearby cities bus services are easily available. You can rent a car to travel along the smooth national highways to reach Gujarat.


Gujarat has also got great ports due to the presence of the gulf and the Arabian Sea. Gujarat can as well accessed by travelling in ships from Mumbai port.

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