Gujarat's International Kite Festival is regarded as one of the grandest festivals of the state. Observed on the occasion of Makar Sankranti, the celebrations continue for a period of around eight days every year. It is quite a delight to see the joyful faces of the people who participate in this grand event. One can literally see thousands of kites flying in the sky depicting various hues and colors. The scene totally feels as if the whole state has soaked itself in the paradise of colors.
The festival of Uttarayan or Makar Sankranti symbolizes the journey of the Sun to the northern direction aka Uttar Disha. This festival is also a sign of the end of winter and the beginning of the summer season, and the Hindu New Year.
The first International Kite Festival in Gujarat was organized in 1989 in which master kite makers from Malaysia, Indonesia, and the USA participated.
The symbolic meaning of this festival is to awaken the Gods and Devas from their deep slumber. Indian history itself depicts that kite flying has always been a significant part of our culture. Even the royalties used to follow this tradition in the pre-colonial era.
Later in history, the Nawabs of Hindustan found kite flying as a really interesting sport. And then soon, the sport started to gain more popularity and also began reaching the masses.
Throughout the festival week, the bazaars are decorated with various forms of kites for people to choose from. The Pataang Baazar remains open 24x7 on all days for the people. And despite the huge crowd and chaos that ensues here, the Pataang Bazaar remains a beautiful travel spot for tourists to explore. You would be quite surprised to know that the price of the kites here can range between Rs.5 and Rs.5,000. Interesting, isn't it?
During this festival, people are quite charged to participate in this event where they try to tear down the string of the opponent’s kites. Generally, small kites that are not particularly stable are used in the combination of aerial combat. And before the flight of the kite, the string is coated with a mixture of crushed glass and glue. This combination is known as Manjha.
International Kite Festival of India is a hub of some lip-smacking food stalls which serve a variety of scrumptious options like Muthiya, Dhokla, Khandvi, etc. Then there is also Chikki, which are deep-fried spirals of batter soaked in sugary syrup and are best served when hot.
A similar kind of kite festival is celebrated in Jaipur as well which is a 3-day annual event that marks Makar Sankranti. The people of Jaipur fly kite, hold various kite flying competitions, and relish the traditional cuisines which are made of sesame seeds.
Delhiites are not too far from celebrating Makar Sankranti in a vibrant way. Similar to Jaipur and Ahmedabad, people in Delhi organize kite flying events and competitions wherein they grant cash prizes and gifts to the winners. Food is another highlight of these events as people get to savor food items like Gajak, til laddu, Ghewar, khichdi, Churma, and different types of halwa.
Sabarmati West Riverfront in Ahmedabad is a significant and most visited tourist destination which can be easily reached by various modes of transportation such as railways, roadways, and airways. The riverfront is approximately 950, 540, 2,000, and 1,400 km away from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru respectively.
By Air. Sardar Vallabhbhai International Airport is the nearest to reach the Sabarmati riverfront. From the airport, the riverfront is approximately 10km away. Go Air, Spice Jet, IndiGo, and Air India have non-stop flights to the airport from Delhi and Mumbai, whereas if you are looking for direct flights from Kolkata and Bengaluru then you may consider traveling via GoAir, IndiGo, and SpiceJet. One may take a local bus or hire a cab to reach the riverfront which is a journey of nearly 20 minutes via Airport road and Riverfront road.
By Road. If you are planning to travel by road then one may consider traveling by inter-state tourist buses. Geeta Mandir Bus Stand is a prominent bus stop where one may deboard the bus to reach the riverfront which is nearly 3km away. Biking enthusiasts or people who are planning a long trip may also arrive here by road as the city is well connected with national highways.
By Train. Ahmedabad Junction Railway Station on the Kalupur Road is the nearest to reach the Sabarmati riverfront. Arriving from Delhi one may consider traveling via Ashram Express, and Yoga Express, from Mumbai Bhavnagar Express, and Suryanagri Express, Kolkata Garbha Express, and from Bengaluru Barmer Express and Jodhpur Express. After deboarding at the Ahmedabad Junction station, one may take a bus or hire a taxi to reach the riverfront via Swami Vivekananda Road.
You can plan your trip and create your own route to the city with Adotrip’s technically driven circuit planner. Click here.