Hyderabad: With Sankranti festival just a week away, youngsters and children are preparing to dot the blue skies with colourful kites and accordingly, vendors in parts of old city are stocking up on kites and manjas.
Sankranti is one of the most important festivals celebrated in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and flying kites is an integral part of the festivities. This tradition is being followed for decades wherein friends, relatives and well-wishers get together to fly kites.
Already, areas such as Dhoolpet, Begum Bazaar, Gulzar Houz, General Bazaar and Chanchalguda are abuzz with kites and manjas and customers are flocking shops here to purchase them before the prices shoot up during the festival. There is a huge demand for kites in Dhoolpet, which is popular for many seasonal businesses and vendors have been selling kites since November. Given the good response from customers, wholesale shops have been increased from 80-90 last year to around 150 shops this time.
According to Navin Singh, a trader in Dhoolpet, fancy kites sporting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Baahubali, Valentine’s Day and Happy New Year are in good demand from customers while children prefer cartoon character-based ones like Pokemon, Ben 10, Angry Birds and Doraemon.
“The prices differ depending on size of the kite and its design. All the wholesale shops here have been selling kites starting from Rs.2 to Rs.25. The plastic kites, popular as cover kite, are being sold at prices ranging from Rs.5 to Rs.10 while paper ones cost Rs.15 to Rs.25,” he said.
On the other hand, Chinese kites and manja are not being sold in the city, traders say, adding that they are selling high quality manja brought from Jaipur and Ahmedabad while kites are prepared locally.
L. Rohit Singh, a trader in SS Kite Centre, Dhoolpet said he has been doing good business as he could sell around 100 to 150 kites per day. He is expecting the business to peak from January 11 to 15, when holidays are declared for schools and colleges.
“Our kites are made by local women as it generates good income to them. They make around 100 kites a day with good quality. Traders from Begum Bazaar also come here and order in bulk,” he added.
There are also ‘packages’ for children that includes a kite, manja, goggles and mask.
Fest to draw kite flyers from 50 nations
The fifth International Kite and Sweets Festival scheduled to be held from January 13 to 15 will showcase Telangana’s culture, tradition and food. Internationally renowned kite flyers from about 50 nations and domestic kite flyers from 25 States are expected to participate in the kite festival. Sweets and traditional food from about 25 States will cater to food lovers’ delight, said Tourism Minister V Srinivas Goud.
The three-day kite festival will be organised at Parade Grounds in Secunderabad, coinciding with Sankranti.
Speaking at the coordination committee meeting for the Kite and Sweets Festival here on Monday, Srinivas Goud said as per directions from Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao, the officials should make arrangements which should reflect customs and traditions of Telangana State. He said the fifth edition of the Kite festival will increase the brand value of Hyderabad as the host for largest kite festival in the country. “We have already sent invitations to international kite flyers from about 50 countries and also various recognised kite clubs from 25 States across the country. There has been a positive response from all. We need to ensure that all the invitees from different countries and States enjoy Hyderabad’s hospitality,” he added.
Besides Kite Festival, the Sweets and Snacks Festival also will be organised at the venue serving traditional delicacies from 25 States in the country. Popular eateries from Telangana State also will set up their stalls. The officials are also gearing up to organise cultural events coinciding with the Kite festival where cultural teams drawn from various parts of Telangana and other neighbouring States, to entertain audience at the venue.
On the occasion, the Minister released a brochure and a wallposter on International Kite and Sweets Festival. Tourism Secretary Burra Venkatesham, Hyderabad police commissioner Anjani Kumar, GHMC commissioner Lokesh Kumar, Telangana State Tourism Development Corporation managing director Manohar and other officials attended the meeting.