Ahmedabad's Kites and its Makers: 

Weaving history, culture, and colors into the fabric of the sky.

The sky is freckled with kites on the day when the sun enters the zodiac of Makara or Capricorn.  The sun commences its northward journey on Uttarayan (Uttar – North, Ayan – toward movement) and signifies the end of winter. This day is celebrated by sending out kites to the clear blue sky.

Kites were been brought into India by Muslim traders or Buddhist religious pilgrims coming from China to obtain sacred texts.  Most people believe that kites were first brought into India by Chinese travellers, Fa Hien and Hiuen Tsang but from there the kites have taken their own evolutionary route in India. It has always had a special place in the history of India and some even believe that it dates back to the invasions of Mongols who converted to Islam. Therefore, even today it is Muslim community who make them.

The kites are of various shapes, sizes and colours, swaying and playing along with the tug of strings in the January wind. The strings hold a significant place too. Manja (kite-string) making is a traditional skill, which is handed down over generations and families jealously guard their secret recipes for the Manja paste.

Since 1989, Gujarat has been hosting the Gujarat International Kite Festival around the time of Uttarayan.  Kite enthusiasts from all over the world come to display their skill and a variety of kites. The Gujarat government invites kite masters from all over- the world and display their best made kites too woo the awestruck crowd.

Ahmedabad also houses a kite museum, which was established by Bhanubhai Shah who was a great connoisseur and collector of kites.