Tag Archives: Kites

Why You Shouldn’t Miss Makar Sankranti of Jaipur

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Hundreds of kites dancing in the sky, and us- on our terrace. That’s the memory every Jaipurite has of Makar Sankranti. Kite-flying is one of the most favorite and zealous festivals in Jaipur. It’s not just about flying kites but also about the battleground that the sky becomes and the way the whole group of family and friends gather up on their terraces and hoot and shout along with the music.

But this is not all! There’s so much more to this festival and the day marks as one of the most auspicious occasions of the year. Here are some of the reasons Jaipurites put their heart and soul into celebrating Makar Sankranti.

1. Pavitra Snaan and Daan
While lakhs of people take dips into the Ganges on Makar Sankranti around the nation, scores of people also arrive at Galta Ji Temple in Jaipur to bathe in the seven holy kunds there. The day is celebrated to worship the Sun God. It is considered that taking dips in the kund at Galtaji on Makar Sankranti absolves us of all our sins.

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To take a dip in the kund at Galta Ji Temple, you might as well trek up the small hill that exits the city from Galta and Surajpole gates. It’s a sight to behold when you see the amount of faith that Jaipurites put into worshipping on Makar Sankranti.

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People around the country also believe that donating clothes, jaggery, corn, ground peanuts and sesame is a good omen and brings prosperity.

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2. Harbinger of spring
Makar Sankranti falls on the equinox and the day and night are equally long. After this day, the days start to get longer and nights shorter. It also marks the onset of spring season. This also brings a welcome relief from the cold wave of the bygone winter.

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3. The Harvest Festival
Makar Sankranti is celebrated every year as the harvest festival of the country. The Rabi crop is harvested in the month of January and corn, mustard, peanuts, sesame etc. are the major crops harvested at this time. One day before Sankranti, i.e. on Lohri the new crop is offered to god through worshipping fire.

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4. Kite Buying
Kite buying is a serious affair in Jaipur. People don’t just by any random kites. They especially head to kite markets like Handipura, Haldiyon Ka Rasta, and Kishanpole bazaar to buy the best kites. It takes an understanding of the science behind the designing of kites in order to buy the best ones. You can find hundreds and thousands of kites in all shapes, sizes and designs according to your preference. Some of the popularly known designs of kites are Chaand-dara, Glass-dara, Mangal-dara, Aankhal-dara, Tripatta, Dadhiyal etc.

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5. Kite- Flying

A true jaipurite knows how to fly a kite and the science applied behind it.

It takes a lot of patience, time and effort to prepare for kite flying. The night before Sankranti the whole family sits together to put ‘tang’ in kites with white saddha.

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On Sankranti, everyone’s duty is sorted! Makar Sankranti food is all about pakode, moongfali, popcorn, khichadi, gajak, feeni, ladoo and papdi-chatand the children in the house go up and down the terrace for serving them. The youngsters become DJs playing the best songs the loudest.

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And oh! What an art kite flying is. As soon as the ‘Dangal’ starts in the sky, you can hear “Woh kaata” every five seconds from a terrace or two around!

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  1. The evening sky

As the day sets in, the kites start to come down and gradually the whole sky is lit up with fireworks and paper lanterns known as “Tukkals” or “Kandeel.” The night view on Sankranti is absolutely mesmerizing and one of those experience that is hard to get over!

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So if ever you plan to visit Jaipur during winter, make sure you don’t miss the intoxicatingly enthusiastic vibe of Makar Sankranti!

Jaipur’s legendary kite flyer Babu Khan passed away

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Today Rajasthan Tourism Buzz pays tribute to the legend of Kite flying, Babu Khan.  Globally famous for the unique kite flying skills, Babu Khan has passed away on January 29, 2014 at the age of 76. He was survived by his wife and two sons.

Babu Khan was not only esteemed in India for his commendable kite flying skills but had also earned a great reputation across the borders in foreign lands for his tremendous kite flying skills. He was also famed for making the unique decorative kites.

Jaipur is known for its kite festivals and the glamour of this great sport was incomplete without the participation of Babu Khan, whose unique style of flying 500 kites on a single strand used to enthrall the spectators at the festival.  There was a time when the name Babu Khan almost became synonymous to Kite Festivals

The feat that he learned to conquer hunger won him innumerable awards, recognitions and badges. The only grudge he had was the lack of government’s interest in keeping the rare art of kite flying alive.

Image Courtesy: BCCL

International Kite Festivals in Rajasthan

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Since many years, the cities- Jodhpur and Jaipur in Rajasthan have been hosting Kite Festival on Makar Sankranti with great fervor. The main attribute of the festival is the show of ‘diversity’ in all aspects. Kites all shapes and sizes are seen in the sky and the main competition is to cut the strings of nearby kite flyers and bring it down. For this purpose people intend to make their strings and sharp as possible, to give a tough fight to its opponent flyer. The special kite strings are coated with the mixture of glass and glue called as ‘manjha’.

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Jodhpur Kite festival will be held from January 12 to 15, 2014 at Jodhpur polo ground. The festival is divided into two sections, of which one is fighter kite Competition and the other is Display Flying. The kite flyers compete with each other displaying their skills in order to win the Fighter Kite Competition while the other calmly flies the kite exhibiting their beautiful kites for the Display Flying. The prestigious trophies are awarded to the winners of both the categories and every participant is offered dinner at an exotic venue. The Grand Finale of the International kite Flying Festival in Jodhpur is held in the extant lawns of the Umaid Bhawan Palace. The finals of the Fighter Kite competition and Display Flying are followed by the prize distribution ceremony, thanks-giving ceremony and farewell dinner with the Maharaja of Jodhpur.

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Jal Mahal

Jaipur, on the other hand, would host International Kite Festival from January 14 to 16, 2014 at the Jal Mahal ground. Participants from 25 countries are expected to reach Jaipur for this International festival besides 30 kite flyers from different Indian states would participate. These participants will also show off their considerable skills like flying multiple kites with one string. The kites will provide a glimpse of the varied culture and traditions of the various countries that are participating.

Bright and colourful kites in striking shapes and unusual designs, some never seen before, would dot the sunny sky of Rajasthan on 14 January, 2014. For kite flying enthusiasts, various locations of Rajasthan on Tuesday morning will be the right place to be.

If you are a passionate Kite lover, participate in the festivities of Makar Sankranti and various Kite Festivals across Rajasthan in 2014 and enjoy the rejoicing festival. Make you bookings and get ready to shout in joy “Woh Kaataa!!”

Kites and Firework dotted the Jaipur Sky

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Thousands of colourful kites dotted the skyline of  Pink City- Jaipur on Monday, announcing the festive beginning of the year.

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It seemed as if the whole of Jaipur had gotten together to celebrate the festival and engage in kite-flying. Rajasthan Tourism Department also organized a special kite fest for the both, the domestic, and international tourists at the Jal Mahal Ki Pal where tourists not only enjoyed kite-flying but also relished til ke laddoo, fini and gajak – special delicacies of the festival.

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Apart from expert flyers, city’s oldest kite expert Babu Khan also displayed his skills, flying 100 kites with one thread. The colourful festival concluded with a spectacular show of fireworks lighting up the sky.

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Jodhpur Kite Festival: January12 – 15, 2012

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The three-day International Kite Flying Festival in Jodhpur is held at the Polo Ground. The sky looks absolutely beautiful with kites in myriad hues, designs and shapes of the kites being flown in the air. The Air Force helicopters release colorful kites from the sky while school children release colorful air balloons. The festival is divided into two sections, namely, the Fighter Kite Competition and the Display Flying. The kite flyers compete with each other displaying their skills in order to win the Fighter Kite Competition while the other calmly fly the kite exhibiting their beautiful kites for the Display Flying. The prestigious trophies are awarded to the winners of both the categories and every participant is offered dinner at an exotic venue.

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The Grand Finale of the International kite Flying Festival in Jodhpur is held in the extant lawns of the Umaid Bhawan Palace. The finals of the Fighter Kite competition and Display Flying are followed by the prize distribution ceremony, thanks-giving ceremony and farewell dinner with the Maharaja of Jodhpur. The festival is attended and participated by a large number of people from India and abroad.