Makar Sankranti- The Festival of Kites, Holy Dips and Delicious Delicacies

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Festivals of India are globally popular for their rituals, customs and the fun element attached with them. One of the most popular festivals of India is Makar Sankranti! The festival of kites is best celebrated in the Jaipur City of Rajasthan.  We know you’re already charged up for the kite wars in sky while savoring a world’s supply of sesame and dal pakodis, but before you climb up the roof to cut your neighbor’s kite let us help you sneak into the festivities of Makar Sankranti celebrated with great enthusiasm in Jaipur 🙂

Significance

Most likely the Hindu festivals follow lunar calendar. Hence, the dates of festivals change every year. But Makar Sankranti is the only festival which falls on the same day i.e. 14th January every year as it follows the solar calendar. Predominantly known as the harvest festival, Sankranti is the day which officially marks the end of winter and beginning of spring – a transit symbolic of saying good bye to the season’s shivering struggle and the onset of a fresh new season with longer days and shorter nights!

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The day of Makar Sankranti in Jaipur starts with taking a holy dip in the Kunds (natural water springs) inside the Galtaji temple which is one of the most sacred pilgrimages in Jaipur.

Soaring high on Pink City’s Sky

The Kite flying enthusiasts begin the preparations one night before the festival, then early morning innumerable colorful kites dot the skyline of Pink City- Jaipur to announce the festive beginning of the year. The Walled City enjoys kite flying on their houses’ terraces with high pitched music, Sankranti special delicacies in the company of their friends and family.  People from all age groups enjoy fluttering their kites. Not just the walled city homes, but the whole city is colorfully ornamented with different unique kites.  On a larger scale, special events are organized by tourism department on open grounds and the City Palace for the tourists and international kite flyers landed in Jaipur mainly for the Kite Festival. Jal Mahal Ki Pal becomes the epicenter of Kite festival in Jaipur, where kite flyers would challenge each other with their kites soaring high in the sky and the exciting duels with the winner taking it all!  Various cultural programmes like Rajasthani Dance performances, musical band and decorated kites exhibition enrich the whole Kite Festival experience in Jaipur.

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A transit from colors to lights

The special attraction since a couple of years is the sky balloon lantern. It appears as a million flickering fire flies dot the sky! As the sun begins to set, people release paper lamps from their terraces and the fascinating firework take over the sky by the late evening till night.

 

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Image courtesy google

Traditional Kite Markets of Jaipur

It’s not just the kite flying that grabs kite lovers’ attention during this season, but a vibrant and inviting canvas of colors and more colors that fetches everyone to these kite markets of Jaipur! Haldiyon Ka Rasta and HaandiPura are the nationally acclaimed markets that supply kites and Maanjha ‘the thread’ to other states too. A visit to these streets is a treat for eyes and you wouldn’t resist buying not few but so many kites and Maanjha.

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Indulgent Sankranti Delicacies

Indian festivals are incomplete without special food and festive delicacies. Hence, Sankranti too has its share of goodies. The most popular traditional Makar Sankranti sweets and delicacies of Jaipur are Til ke laddoo, chakki, Gajjak, fini, Jalebi and different kinds of pakodas!!

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As it happens to be a weekend as well to tempt you more, travel down to Jaipur and revel in the spirit of Makar Sankranti, which is celebrated by flying kites, victorious screams of ‘Wo Kaata’, holy dips, making merry and savoring delicious food!!

Happy Kite Flying !

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