Colour parade: kite masters display their skill
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Last Updated: Friday, January 13, 2012, 16:46
Ahmedabad: Bright sunny days with brisk breeze and the Sabarmati riverfront provided the perfect setting for the 22nd International Kite Festival, which saw the participation of almost 300 kite enthusiasts from around the world.

With famous local 'kitists'(as flyers are known) like Digant Joshi and Ujal I Shah accompanied by world renowned kite makers Peter Lynn Kites Ltd representatives, Jenny Cook and Simo Chisnall, this annual winter carnival proved to be a delight for the visitors.

Since 1989, the city of Ahmedabad has hosted the festival as part of the official celebration of Uttarayan, bringing master kite makers and flyers from all over the world to demonstrate their unique creations.

This year saw 75 kite flyers from 23 countries and 102 from 12 states take part in this event from Januray 9 to 12, attended by some 70,000 visitors.

While master kite makers from Malaysia, Indonesia, US, Japan, New Zealand, UK, Italy- displayed their latest high-tech modern aero wonders, locals were also at par with their foreign counterparts.

Almost every known variety of kite could be seen in the sky over the 1.5 km stretch of Sabarmati riverfront between Gandhi bridge to Nehru bridge.

From box kites, high-speed sport kites, windsocs and spinsocs to hand-painted artistic kites and the latest additions of 3D and train kites were a hit this year.

Before the start of the festival, the flyers also displayed their skills in Delhi, Mumbai and in Gujarat. "This year we decided to make it a national as well as a state event rather than just Ahmedabad.

So one group of kitist's were at India Gate, New Delhi, one in Juhu, Mumbai and other groups were in various parts of the state like Vadodara, Jamnagar, Gandhinagar and after the festival kite flyers will also go to Mandvi and White Rann of Kutch," said Vipul Mittra, Principal Secretary of the Gujrat Tourism.

He also claimed that the four-day event that has been widely promoted by the state's brand ambassador, mega star Amitabh Bachchan, has boosted tourism.

"Amitabh Bachchan made a clip to promote the event which stays in the mind. Gujarat as tourist state sells. Other state request for kites from us. It has also boosted the domestic kite making business," Mittra added.

This time around the festival of Uttarayan, celebrated on January 14 will also see foreign 'kitists' take part in the kite flying competition to be held on rooftops. The participants will abandon their ornamental kites and fly traditional Indian kites alongwith their Indian counterparts.


First Published: Friday, January 13, 2012, 16:46

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