International kite festival lures skilled fliers to Vadodara

Vadodara (Gujarat), Jan.12 : Scores of skilled kite fliers have descended on Vadodara to take part in the international kite festival.

Around 100 kite enthusiasts from 40 countries flew kites in a bid to outdo each other, filling the city's skyline with colourful contraptions of all shapes and sizes.

Organisers said a three-day workshop would also be organised to train people in the art of kite flying.

The popular festival spelled magic for the tourism industry in the state, as many visitors from abroad as well as from India came to take part and watch.

Thrilled spectators were seen gazing at vibrant and, in some cases, peculiar-shaped kites floating in the clear blue skies.

The annual kite-flying festival, which marks the start of spring, involved aerial duels in which participants tried to bring down each other's kites using string coated in a sticky paste of ground-up glass or metal.

British participant Alex said that the increasing popularity of kite flying in India - not to mention the weather - made it an obvious choice to host the event.

"The Indian kite clubs are growing and their kites are getting better and better," he said.

"India is always better. In UK it is wet and it's cold. India is very warm and sunny, just like the people - they're warm and friendly and very sunny," he added.

Meanwhile, organisers including a lawmaker of India's main opposition, Bharatiya Janata party, Balkrishna Shukla, said the festival holds much importance for the province as it showcases the cultural ethos of the region at a time when it is exhibited on a global platform.

"51 participants from 27 countries and nine Indian states have come here to attend the kite festival," he said.

"It has been the tradition of Gujarat state to hold such festivals, in which participants come from across the globe. Every year, we hold this event where people can show their skills, and we have been fortunate with favourable kite-flying weather this year," he added.

The festival coincides with Uttarayan, the country's largest kite festival, during which the entire city takes to the rooftops. It has become a favourite destination for hundreds of kite fliers from across the world.

Various pavilions for adventure sports, food and craft bazaars were also put up at the venue.

Kite fliers from eleven countries, including Ukraine, Switzerland, Indonesia, Belgium, UK, Lebanon, Lithunia, Italy, South Korea, and Turkistan participated in the festival.

--ANI (Posted on 12-01-2014)

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