Similar to last 3 years this year too we had International Kite Festival 2012 at Mangalore. It was held on 21st & 22nd January 2012. I went on Sunday to photograph these colorful kites.
Compared to last 3 years variety of kites this year were less. But the show was better organized this year. Thousands of families were there enjoying the International Kite Festival on Panambur beach. While the kites of different shapes and sizes flew high resembling the aspirations of the hands flying them, Panambur beach took a look of a gala fair.
To cater to the flowing crowd, several shops had come up. While some plush make-shift restaurants flaunted cozy couches served hot, creamy coffee, sandwiches and burgers. There were couple of ice cream stalls helping the crowd to beat the heat. Rest of the smaller shacks sold sugar cane juice, Gobi Manchurian, Kebab, biriyani and there was even a shop selling masala powders. Local puffed rice Churmuri and groundnut vendors were busy calling on their potential customers, making brisk business during the festival.
Kite enthusiasts from seven countries participated in the competitions. Other countries participating in the kite festival were England, South Korea, Netherlands, Lebanon, Kuwait, Indonesia and France.
The Indian kites nicknamed ‘Kathakkali’ were among the largest kites flown in the skies while the kites flown by the Kuwaiti team were the most striking with two fishes and tiger models.
Other extremely eye catching kite was that flown by the Lebanon team of Rami Al Khal and Sami Sayegh. The duo’s two duck kites, one black and another white was appreciated a lot by the crowds. Rami is visiting India for the sixth time. He praised the organizers Team Mangalore for a well organized show.
One kite flyer from the Netherlands called Otto was observed flying a kite from his latest edition Beautiful People. He informed that this edition comprises of a series of kites that are two metres wide and 3.8 metres long. The kites carry the faces of people close to him and have their favorite color. “The 25-metre tail is made of Indian cotton”, informed Otto.
Another ardent kite flier March Herzog, a member of Manja Club of France, had brought three kites one of which was a unique one captioned Revolution to the fest. This is Herzog’s third trip to the city and he says he likes the people here. With regard to flying kites in Mangalore skies, he opined ‘What is more important is the steady wind which is favorable for kite flying.’
Not to be left behind even an Indian Asst. Professor in Engineering from NITK Surathkal, Prithviraj Umesh hit the Panambur skies with his inventive kite with an attached camera. He named his labor of love Mugila Kannu (eye of the sky). His 12 megapixel compact camera can catch images from a distance of 1.5 km.