Around mid-January, all across India, a tribute is offered to the Sun God- a fiesta identified by various names coupled with a number of rituals including taking a holy dip in the rivers. Commonly known as Makar Sankranti, it is celebrated as a community festival, transforming the mood into gaiety. A cultural practice manifests itself in a popular age-old tradition of kite flying on the day also known as Uttarayan (Hindi name for the date depicts the Sun’s transit into the northern hemisphere).
Every year during this period, “The International Kite Festival” is hosted in Ahmedabad in the State of Gujarat in India since 1989 to commemorate the enthusiasm shared by people all over the world. During this time, the sight in Ahmedabad will leave you mesmerized when you see kites from different countries in various shapes, sizes and colors beautify its panorama. A million colorful kites take over the morning skies, with every rooftop swooped by highly passionate children and elders alike.
Kite flying is an experience one must have at least once in a lifetime, I am sure you will not stop thereafter. The art of flying a kite is a lesson of aerodynamics. The joy in snapping others’ kite strings in playful kite games is unmatched while the air is blissful. But here is a word of caution. Be aware of your surroundings or you could trip over or run through the strings attached to kites. These are sharp, quite often coated with glass and can cause slits and cuts or other serious injuries.
The city of great contrasts- Ahmedabad, has been accorded the status of “India’s First World Heritage City” by UNESCO. Right from your arrival at the airport, you can feel the synergy of the past and the future. Each and every corner inside the terminal showcases either the heritage or the progressive outlook of this important business hub of India. In recent years, this airport has evolved itself to win many National and International accolades. It represents the essence of Gujarat and its culture, like a mirror.. so spend some time inside the airport for some glimpses of Gujarat. You could click some of your best selfies within this beautiful airport. It is meticulously designed to replicate the best tourist destinations of the State for you to discover, including a replica of “GIR” National Park at the Domestic Terminal, and the “Statue of Unity” at the International Terminal building. It’s just amazing!! You have to see it to believe it.
Ahmedabad is a city with an ambience that brings out the hidden child in you, a city where the spirit around kite flying days is as high as it gets- an experience in itself. In addition to the International Kite Festival, Ahmedabad is a marvelous city and an admirable place to travel in its own right. Heritage sites like Adalaj Stepwell or Ahmed Shah’s Mosque are attractions for your historic soul. Naming a few other things you could do, and for your social media updates or #tag clicks:-
- #youcanshop at exclusive showrooms and malls or test your bargaining skills at Lal Darwaza Market.
- #relishthestreetfood at Manek Chowk or a meal in the unusual Lucky Restaurant or fine dine at Agashiye.
- #enjoyamovie at the Drive-In Cinema or visit Kankaria Lake.
- #getinspired at world-renowned educational institutions like IIM, IIT, NID, CEPT, or discover history with some amazing and unique museums.
- #feelthecalm at Gandhi Ashram at the Sabarmati riverfront or visit Mahatma Mandir at Gandhinagar to know the extent of simplicity of the “Father of the Nation”.
- #visit the renowned Hathee Singh Jain Temple or admire the architectural marvels with the divinity at Akshardham.
The International Kite Festival, 2020 dates for Ahmedabad are from the 7th to 14th of January. Entry is free for all, between 10.00 a.m. and 5 p.m. The access to kite flying area is not provided to the visitors. All the facilities like parking, food and handicraft stalls, selfie points and interactive display kiosks etc. are well planned to make you feel delighted to the core. Gujarat Tourism website provides all the needed information to plan your journey: http://ikf.gujarattourism.com
For best memories of the International Kite Festival, find a hotel along the Sabarmati riverfront.
So what are your plans for the upcoming International Kite Festival 2020?