ite flying or Patang Baazi is a most popular cultural sport of India from the time unknown. Some
say the history of Kites dates back to the days of Mahabharat. In early days Kites were used in receiving messages and measuring distances during wars.

In Hindi, Kite is called Patang and the string with which it is flown is called Manjha. The wood and bamboo roll on which the string is wound is called a Charkhi or Hujka. The kites are given different names depending upon the color combination and the design. Names like Danda, Pari, Chand Tara, Shakkar Para, Chhapan Chhuri, Adhiya, Tiranga, Patiyal are common.

Village children flying kite at sunset

Romantic verses in Hindi, Urdu, and Punjabi are sometimes inscribed on the Patangs to send messages to the beloved on whose roof the kite is flown.

Kite fighting', which involves trying to cut the string of each other's kites, is the most interesting aspect of kite flying. It is called Patang Baazi in Hindi. The Indian fighter kites are of medium size normally from 1 to 4 feet in across, made of special thin paper. The kite is flown with specially made thread called Manjha, which is the most important thing in kite flying and many precautions are taken to prepare it. A paste made of glue and finely powdered glass is spread on the thin cotton thread in a special way to give that "cutting edge" to the twine, required to cut the string of other
School children choosing their kites kites. People use necks of bottles or tapes to cover their fingers as the sharp Manjha can cut their fingers while flying Kites.

In towns and cities of north and west India, kite flying is a craze. People fly their kites mostly from the roofs of their houses. At some places Kites are also flown from open grounds. Being a fun sport for all times, Kites are flown throughout the year. However there are some special occasions, on which every enthusiast
involves himself in Patang Baazi. These occasions include Makar Sankranti, Basant Panchami, Raksha Bandhan, and Independence Day.

Basant Panchami
is one of the biggest festivals of North India. It heralds both the approach of the harvest and the end of winter. This spring festival is celebrated by flying kites, mainly of yellow colour, which represents the ripening mustard in the fields. From the morning onwards, the roofs of almost every house become full of young and old keeping their kites afloat. By early afternoon, the sky becomes peppered with kites of different colours and sizes. The fun of Basant Panchami does not preclude the intense competition that is a unique north Indian phenomenon - cutting each
other's kite lines. Each time a kite's lifeline is severed, a cheer, "Bo-Kata" (loosely translated as "a kite cut off"), is sent up by the victor.

In Gujarat and other western states the change in the direction of winds on Makar Sankranti is marked by thousands of colourful kites of all patterns and dimensions, which dot the blue sky. Besides the kite flying competitions, the major attraction of the festival is the special kites with paper lamps that fill the night sky with myriad 

A colourful kite, flown by the a participant of Ahmedabad Kite Festival

flickering lights. Special Gujarati cuisine, exhibitions of handicraftsand folk art add to the excitement.

Kite flying has contributed to the composite culture and harmony of India. It has also promoted national integration. Making a kite is an art and flying it is a fine art! Have you ever tried flying a kite?

Auspicious Colours   Mehndi   Celebrating Indian Tastes
Cricket Mania   India on Rails   The Hindu Marriage
Paan Chewing   Colourful Bazaars   Sadhus  
The Ganga   Indian Villages   The Holy Cow  
Jungle is calling   The Tilak   Kite Flying  
Traditional Wearing  



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