You may have seen starry nights but have you ever wondered how resplendent, life-size kites will look, swaying in the vast open skies of Ahmedabad? This year, it is your chance to have this singular experience in Ahmedabad. By Shubhanjana Das

The day that the International Kite Festival (IKF) begins commemorates the upcoming harvesting season and brings an end to the chill in the air by welcoming the ever-so-gorgeous spring. The ethic and thought behind the festival makes it even more special – it brings together people of all communities and backgrounds under one sky in a fervour of celebration and sheer joy.  

What do you need to know about the international kite festival in Ahmedabad? We have it all in one place for you. 

When? 

The schedule of the International Kite Festival has been the same ever since 1989, the year it started. It is held on the occasion of Makar Sankranti or Uttarayan. This 5-day festival will be held in Ahmedabad over a period of 5 days. The festivities and the celebrations will be in full swing from 7th-14th January, 9AM till 7PM. 

Why? 

The entire state of Gujarat experiences a shutdown as all the residents take to their rooftops to fly kites and compete with their neighbours. In IKF itself, master kite-makers and flyers come together from different parts of the world. The sight is unforgettable as wau-balang kites from Malaysia, Ilayang-Ilayanghave from Indonesia, banner kites from USA, and rokkaku fighting kites from Japan have been flown along with Italian sculptural kites, and the well-known Chinese flying dragons. This is when you can witness the union of countries and cultures in one grand and giant festival, which is graced even by the dignitaries of the state and the nation.  

Where?  

The grand festival will be held at Sardar Patel Stadium in Amedabad. 

How?  

  • Kolkata to Ahmedabad- Direct flights and trains ply between the cities. The distance is covered in 2,087 km. 
  • Delhi to Ahmedabad- Situated just 946 km from the capital, Ahmedabad can be reached by flight or train. 
  • Mumbai to Ahmedabad- The distance from Mumbai to Ahmedabad is 530 Km. Buses, flights, and trains are available from Mumbai to Ahmedabad. 
  • Bengaluru to Ahmedabad- The 1,489 km distance from Bengaluru to Ahmedabad can be covered by flight, train, or bus. The bus journey requires a break at Vadodara.  

Things To Keep In Mind: 

  • Don’t forget to register beforehand on their official website. This helps the organisers in keeping a proper headcount of the footfall.  
  • Only lunch is provided on the grounds in the form of food packages. Breakfast and dinner will have to be arranged by you. 
  • If you wish to participate, the official IKF website will ask you to upload pictures of the kites you will be flying. 
  • Don’t forget to witness the kite-making art of master kite maker and flyer Rasulbhai Rahimbhai of Ahmedabad whose trains of up to 500 kites on a single string have become a classic attraction at the festival.  
  • Accommodation must be arranged from before in order to escape the mad rush that Ahmedabad will experience in those dates.

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