of love and reunion at a kite fest
Love soars like kites. And sure enough, tales of friendship and
sweet reunion fill the air as kite flyers from across the world
mingle at the 21st International Kite Festival in Gujarat's
Giant and minuscule, dragons and butterflies, mean machines and
gentle doves...kites of every conceivable shape and size will slug
it out at Karnataka's maiden kite festival to be held next week at Belgaum, an important town located across Goa's border.
The organisers of the event are keen to promote Belgaum, which is
strategically located between historic towns related to the
Vijayanagara dynasty of yore and within a stone's throw from Goa,
as a centre for tourism.
"Kite flyers will fly kites at night as well, which is the first
time such a thing is happening and will be the star attraction of
the festival," organiser of festival and legislator Abhay Patil
told IANS on the sidelines of unveiling the festival in Goa.
"We want to promote tourism, both international and domestic, in
Belgaum and because Goa is such a stronghold for tourism in these
parts, we wanted to unveil the festival here," Patil said.
Kite flying may seem child's play, but according to ace kite flyer
V.K. Rao, the sport packs a punch and requires exceptional skill.
"One needs to develop a skill. It's not as easy as it appears,"
Rao said, while explaining the various techniques used in kite
Nearly all professional kite flying equipment needs to be imported
from abroad and comes at a dear price tag.
"This," Rao says pointing to a coil of nylon string in his hand,
"costs Rs.1,000. And the kite, depending on what material it is
made of, could run into tens of thousands of rupees. You wouldn't
want a kite costing that much to come crashing to the ground," Rao
told his bewildered audience.
The two-day festival on Jan 16 and 17 is expected to draw at least
10,000 enthusiasts, both flyers and onlookers, mainly from south
Maharashtra and Goa, besides Belgaum.
The organisers hope to also attract 5,000 foreign tourists, as the
venue is in close proximity to the tourist-flushed state of Goa,
besides attracting teams of expert kite flyers from Western
"Fifteen national and five international teams, including those
from the United Kingdom, Germany, Brazil and France, are supposed
to take part in the event. Around 30 international kite-flying
experts have already confirmed their participation. Some kite
flyers from France and the UK shall display their dexterity by
flying a number of kites simultaneously with both hands," Patil
"Various categories ranging from miniature kites of 3 cm wide to
giant kites which could go to as many as 40 feet wide will be on
display. Besides, there will be another category wherein the flyer
will display his skill of control of the kite and the stunts he
can perform with it.
Dragons, trains, eagles as well as dancers are all set to battle
for space both during night and day at the event.
(Mayabhushan Nagvenkar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)