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
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.