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India holds a unique position in the world due to its various festivals that are distinctive and attractive and each one is special in itself. The kite festival of Jodhpur is one such festival, which is celebrated with great zeal and zest. Started just a few years ago, the desert kite festival of Rajasthan is becoming more and more popular among kite fliers all over the world. The best kite flyers from India and abroad take part in this splendid celebration of the art of kite flying.

Makar Sankranti or the Hindu New Year is celebrated with merriment, kites, street plays, folk art performances and exotic food all over India and especially in Jaipur every year on January 14. This Desert Kite Festival is held every year. Kite makers flaunt kites sized as big as 1.5km of various shapes and Designs. Some Kites carrying messages, some depicting social issues, some as caricatures of politicians. The International Kite Festival fills the Jaipur soul with gay rainbow colors and a general happy mood. People from all over the world come and participate in the International Kite Festival of Rajasthan with joyous enthusiasm. Entire Jaipur of Rajasthan springs to life with paper kites, kite exhibitions, sessions on the history of kite flying, dance dramas and other festive celebrations.

Celebrations of the Desert Kite Festival in Rajasthan

January 14 is celebrated in India as Makar Sankranti or the day of transition of the sun into the northern hemisphere. It is also a day inextricably related to kites in most parts of India. Children from 6 to 60 can be seen concentrating on their colorful kites with their heads turned to the sky. In cities like Jaipur of Rajasthan and Ahmedabad kites practically blot out the sky. Everyone joins in this uncontrolled celebration and shouts of “Woh Kata Hai" reverberates from rooftops to the accompaniment of drums as adversaries' kites are cut down. Here everyone's an adversary and every kite in the sky, fair game. And it is better not to put up the Egos or Flexi foils, or Sky Tigers, or Revolutions or any other fancy kites in the midst of all the fighter kites.


The three-day festival starts with an inauguration at the Polo Ground, which is the venue for some serious kite flying and fighting for the three days of the festival of Rajasthan. The festival of Rajasthan includes two kinds of celebrations. A massive extravaganza follows, with Air Force helicopters releasing kites from the sky, and hundreds of schoolchildren releasing balloons. Kites that look like wasps, exquisite stained glass windows, graceful mythical birds soar in the sky and the sky shimmers with magic.

Fighting kites beautifully choreographed by the wind look like poetry in the skies, written by kite flyers from many nations. The three days of the festival are divided into two sections. One is the Fighter Kite Competition and the other is the more sober Display Flying and there are prestigious trophies to be won in both categories. Every evening participants are provided with dinner at an exotic location.

On the final day of the festivities air force helicopters release hundreds of colorful kites in the blue skies and school children release balloons that fill the skies in vibrant hues of happiness and gay abandon. On the final day the venue of the festival shifts to the exquisite lawns of the Umaid Bhawan Palace of Rajasthan, the royal residence of the Maharaja of Jodhpur of Rajasthan. The finals of the Fighter Kite Competition and the final judging of the Display Kites of Rajasthan are followed by the prize distribution ceremony, the valedictory function, and a farewell dinner with the Maharaja. As the festival draws to an end, traditional Indian kite craftsmen prepare to return to their humdrum lives, selling handcrafted aerial art for mere pennies.

Rituals of the Desert Kite Festival of Rajasthan

Being a non-religious festival, there are no rituals or customs that are followed in the celebration of this festival. However, celebrating the festival of Rajasthan with joy and festivities has become a ritual of this festival for all those are involved in flying kites and also for those who do not fly a kite but just enjoy seeing them flying and soaring up in the sky. Seeing the kites trying to cut down one another and shouting with thrill at such sights could be regarded as rituals of the festival. Participants from all over the world come to take part in this splendid festival of flying kites. The different and unique designs of the kites, designer kites, the various color and sizes of the kites are some of the factors that make this festival an attractive one.

Legends of the Desert Kite Festival of Rajasthan

Started just few years ago, this festival has got no mythological connections or legends attached to it. Currently, this sport is witnessing a major revival globally and India, with its ancient tradition of kite flying, could benefit from becoming a part of the international kite flying community.


Regional Celebrations of the Desert Kite Festival of Rajasthan

Kite flying is a common practice in India especially during the Phalgun month of the Indian solar calendar. The wind flow during this period is favorable for flying kites in the sky and the pre-spring weather is also pleasant. Apart from Jodhpur of Rajasthan, places like Ahmedabad and Delhi along with other places of the country celebrate the kite flying festival. Ahmedabad is famous for the country's yet another international kite festival held almost at the same time as the kite festival of Jodhpur of Rajasthan. In Jaipur of Rajasthan too a kite festival is held on the same day. Though organized on a much smaller scale, the enthusiastic kite fliers of the Jaipur festival of Rajasthan too manage to fill the skyline with the myriad shapes and colors of their kites.

Places to visit for the Desert Kite Festival of Rajasthan

The recommended places to visit to witness the magnificent kite flying festival would be Jodhpur of Rajasthan, the desert city of Rajasthan and Ahmedabad, the second largest city of Gujarat. In these two cities, kites practically blot out the sky. In Delhi, the capital of India, kites are flown in the sky to mark the celebration of the Independence Day of India on August 15 every year.

Location and Transport
The major cities of Rajasthan are easily accessible from the major cities of India by rail, road and air.

Many domestic airlines connect many important cities of Rajasthan including Jaipur, Udaipur and Jodhpur to all the major cities of India. Flights for Delhi and Mumbai run on a regular basis. The Jaipur airport has been granted the status of an international airport and connects to the foreign cities like Sharjah and Muscat too.


Jaipur Railway Station is a central main station of the state of Rajasthan. The vast rail tracks of Indian Railways connect all other cities of Rajasthan with the rest of India. There are numerous trains which run on a regular basis to and from Jaipur.

Rajasthan is well connected by road to major cities in India. Excellent road network serves people to enjoy a comfortable journey. This mode of traveling is quite easy and comparatively cheap. Regular bus services from nearby cities connect Jaipur of Rajasthan to the other cities. Deluxe Buses, AC coaches and Government buses are available for the convenience of the passengers.



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