So the gleaming million Tukkals shall dominate the dark skies and the happiness over sorrows prevail.So the colorful kites fly high in the sky and brings in hope and love.So the darkness shall celebrate the light - the joyous festival of Uttarayan.

Living in Gujarat can be a blessing.The people here truly know how to celebrate every festival.In fact,mom says she hasn't ever celebrated Navratri anywhere with such zest.She was been practicing Garba dance steps with the ladies for 10 continuous days starting at 10 o'clock in the night till 2.Similarly,when I stayed in Gujarat for a month,I had a chance to be part of this major festival in Gujarat called Uttarayan or Makar Sankranti.

Gujarat lights up during that time with kites in the daytime and tukkals(Sky lanterns) during night.While the rest of the country celebrates Makar Sankranti with Dahi Chuda,Gujarat takes it to one step ahead.

With the high spirited Gujarati Music playing loud on the roads and threads of bright,pink and yellow that rolled into colorful Manjas,the city was already in the holiday mood.Kites of different shapes and sizes were hanging in both the small and big shops in the city.

Kite Flying @ UttarayanWhen we Bought Kites

In spite of not knowing how to fly kites,I along with my mom and my brother bought a set of smallest kites the shop had.With an amateurish smile I asked the shopkeeper 'Is that easy?Will I be able to fly?'  He gave a return smile and said "Everyone in Gujarat knows how to fly a kite" The Kite Set contained mask,cars,Manja and the set of 10 kites.There were big themed kites which I was tempted to buy,but my brother stopped me saying ‘Lets at least see if we can fly small ones first’.When initially didn't know how to tie kite knots,then a neighbor taught us and then we were cutting kites mid air.It was fun!

What we struggled at Initially - How to Tie Kite Knots!

The Bikers And Birds:Manja

Manjas are cotton thread colored and glass-coated.

The downside of the festival is that the Manjas hang over trees,TV wires,electric poles and everywhere and that stays for many many days.It is also debatable on how it impacts the birds in the sky on that day.

For the same reason that it's dangerous,many bikers during the festival attaches the wire on the bike to prevent entanglement of Manjha over the bikers neck.Initially when I wasn’t aware of why,I was surprised as to why many of the bikers had the wires attached in front as it wasn’t adding on to any glamour factor and rather looked ugly.Only when I got to know about certain past incidents,it made sense.

                                      Image Source:https://entangledmovie.wordpress.com/blog/

But during Uttarayan,everyone flies kites in Gujarat.It’s huge.The city light up,brings lot of cheer and a happy atmosphere.

India International Kite Festival: Disappointing 

 What was disappointing though was the overly advertised ‘International Kite Festival’.The festival felt like a huge food court.What saved us was the choice of bollywood music played at the venue.There was a huge screen which was repeatedly telecasting a long chain of kite which might have been flown in the morning hours.There were the usual stalls selling Gujarati local artifacts and the decoratives.All in all we felt we should have skipped it.


  1. I love the Uttaryan in Gujarat. Its so vibrant

  2. very interesting post ...i like to come at your blog repeatedly.thanks for posting such a post.keep posting.
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  3. Really loved reading this post.Would loved to read more posts from you

  4. Hey Ankita,
    Great content, love to read your blog posts. Photography is high quality.Jope to see more.


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