Uttarayan in Gujarat – History, International Kite festival, famous places for Manja and Kites

Uttarayan, as Makara Sankranti is called in Gujarati, is a major festival in the state of Gujarat which lasts for two days.

14 January is Uttarayan and 15 January is Vasi-Uttarayan (Stale Uttarayan). Gujarati people keenly await this festival to fly kites, called ‘patang’.

Kites for Uttarayan are made of special light-weight paper and bamboo and are mostly rhombus shaped with central spine and a single bow. According to rough estimates, the kites and manja cottage industry in Gujarat is worth over Rs 500 crore. Khambhat is known for its distinct kites whereas Surat is known for its manja.

Ahmedabad hosted India’s first International Kite Festival in 1989 at the Shahibaug police stadium. The chief guest was Edmund Hillary, the first to conquer Mount Everest with Tenzing Norgay.

Read this for International Kite Festival  :

One week International Kite Festival takes off in Ahmedabad

The first mention of a kite in Gujarati is recorded in a 1750 work, ‘Chandra Chandravali’, by Shamal in which it is identified as ‘padai.’ Renowned kitist Bhanu Shah believes that like Polynesian islands, the coast of Gujarat has been producing kites for centuries due to good wind conditions all through the year.
This year Gujarat Government has appealed to the citizens to cooperate to save birds from ‘manja’ injuries. The government-run Karuna Abhiyan drive, which will be on from January 10 to 20, calls on people to rescue injured birds. ( Read More)
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