Kite festival turns the sky into canvas

If you see a prowling tiger or a giant octopus in the sky, don’t be frightened as those are some of the innovative kites being flown by kite enthusiasts in the city.

Several giant kites of different shapes and colours dotted the city skies at the three-day International Kite Festival at Parade Grounds, inaugurated by Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday.

The fourth edition of the festival, being organised by the Tourism and Cultural Department as part of Makara Sankranti celebrations, saw the participation of several kite enthusiasts from across the world.

Over 40 professional kite-flyers from 19 countries, including Italy, the United Kingdom, the Philippines and Thailand, have come to the State capital to take part in the festival. Besides, 62 enthusiasts from different States are taking part in the festival, with their innovative kites.

However, with the wind being low, most professionals had to be content with watching their kites fly low.

“The only thing we need is wind and it’s totally low today, due to which we are unable to fly our kites,” said Collin Marshall, a London-based kite-flyer, who has come to Hyderabad to participate in the festival. Mr. Marshall, who was seen struggling to fly the union jack (national flag of the United Kingdom) kite, said this was his sixth visit to India and a first to Hyderabad.

Another enthusiast from Brazil, Guilherme Linares, said he has participated in various international kite festivals across the globe, but Hyderabad holds a special meaning for him. “Though the wind is low and I am unable to fly the kite, people here are very friendly and I love the food,” he said.

Later in the evening, Chief Secretary S.K. Joshi inaugurated the night kite festival where specially-made kites loaded with candles and mini-lanterns illuminated the skies.

Over two lakh enthusiasts took part in the festival on Sunday and over 10 lakh are expected to participate in the next two days.

Also, many descend on Hyderabad to savour sweets from across the country at a parallel event as part of the festival. The aroma of 1,200 varieties of traditional home-made sweets from 25 States and 22 countries wafted through the venue attracting the visitors.

Pakache puri, black rice kheer, caramel paneer pudding, puran poli, vilayichathu and other mouth-watering dishes were for sale and within on time, the women who were selling the saviours went out of stock.