Localites in Ahmedabad prepare to light up the sky with colourful kites, this Uttarayan
During the auspicious occasion of Makar Sankranti, the entire state of Gujarat gears up to celebrate the age old kite flying festival, 'Uttarayan'. Well, the festival is right around the corner and with it the terraces in Ahmedabad will be set abuzz, with cheerful crowds and skies with colourful kites. Chants of Kaipoche (Gujarati for 'I have cut', a victory shot) will echo through the streets.
Apart from the kite flying contests happening everywhere in the city, the Uttarayan festival is marked by international fests, lip-smacking indigenous delicacies exclusive to the occasion and much more. When in Ahmedabad don't miss out on all the revelry happening across the town!
Grab your kite-flying gear from the hueful markets of Ahmedabad
How could one even possibly think of celebrating a full-fledged kite festival without purchasing the kitesurfing gear? Fret not, we know exactly where you need to go to find the best supply of sassy patangs and perfectly honed manjha firkis in the town.
Although the markets in Ahmedabad remain mobbed with kite buyers and sellers during this time, shopping for the kiting stash also counts as a part of the festive experience. Head to the Raipur Patang Bazaar in the old walled city of Ahmedabad, one of the most prominent kite markets of the city. Some shops here even remain operational 24 hours a day around the festival.
Indulge in Grandeur of local kiting contests in the Pol area
Ahmedabad is particularly famous for its Uttarayan celebrations, where people and families gather on the Pol terraces with great enthusiasm to fly kites. The iconic, tightly-spaced houses in the Pol area have remained popular for many decades for hosting Uttarayan kiting contests. Terraces flooded with cheerful crowd and a high density of kites swarming the sky create a unique atmosphere during the festival.
Typical kite flying contests involve cutting the kites of opponents using a Manjha. For outsiders, participating in the Uttarayan festival not only offers an exhilirating kite-flying experience but also a chance to learn about the local culture of Gujarat.
Try some super-fab & Uttarayan-exclusive Gujarati food
Shopping and kite flying only makes up half the part of the Uttarayan festival coz a Gujju celebration can never really be complete without some wholesome and lip-smacking food!
And when it comes to Uttarayan, every kite flyer in town requires a substantial amount of traditional delicacies to satisfy their hunger after a hearty yet tiring kite-flying competition. The festival remains synonymous with a special dish called Undhiyu which is a mixture of numerous veggies and spices, specially prepared in sesame oil and cooked in an earthern pot. This succulent delicacy can be enjoyed as a standalone dish or with puri/chapati.
Head to the legendary International Kite Festival to witness a thrilling spectacle
Happening annually in the city since 1989, the International Kite Festival is organized as part of the celebration of Uttarayan. The globally-renowned event brings together top kite makers and flyers from around the world to showcase their creative designs and captivate audiences with extraordinary kite displays.
The massive festival includes a public showcase of gigantic and skillfully designed kites all sharing skies to create a super quirky and noteworthy spectacle. With this, the festival also features dozens of stalls featuring traditional handicrafts, delish Gujarati food and so much more!
This year, the festival has been themed around the celebration of India's acquisition of the G20 presidency, making it grander and a must-visit festive spot.
Location: Ahmedabad Riverfront
Date/Timing: Till Jan 14, between 10 am to 5 pm