More than 100 kite flyers from across the globe will participate in the 25th annual International Kite Festival of Gujarat, which will be hosted outside the state for the first time beginning from January 7.

“The International Kite Festival, Gujarat’s most eagerly awaited event and a huge favourite amongst tourists from across the globe, is all set to initiate its 25th edition starting on January 7 this year,” announced Tourism Minister Saurabh Patel, while addressing the media here today.

“This year, starting with Mumbai and Delhi, for the first time Kite Festival will also be hosted in cities outside Gujarat,” he added.

This festival will also be celebrated at Priyadarshi Park (Mumbai) and at Connaught Place (New Delhi) on January 7.

This year’s itinerary of the International Kite Festival will cover Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Saputara, Dhordo (White Rann in Kutch), Modhera, Somnath and Mandvi.

100 kite flyers from 40 countries are expected to take part during this eight-day kite flying extravaganza, which will conclude on January 14, the day of Makarsankranti (Uttarayan).

“This Silver Jubilee edition of the International Kite Festival will see more than 100 international kite flyers from around 40 countries including UK, France, Italy, Singapore, Switzerland, Spain, Netherlands, Brazil, South Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam and Philippines,” said Patel.

It will be celebrated in Ahmedabad from January 13 onwards at the Sabarmati Riverfront where the festivities will be graced by Governor Dr Kamla Beniwal and Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Tourism Minister also hoped that this festival, with a turnover of Rs 350 crore, would generate more employment opportunities as well as increase tourism in the state.

“Our aim is that this, one of the most popular festivals of the state, has wider reach and more people could involve in celebrations,” Patel added.

This year state tourism has organised night Kite flying for the first time and there will be more events of adventure sports at the riverfront in Ahmedabad.

The International Kite Festival in Gujarat was initiated in 1989 in Ahmedabad when it was attended by legendary mountaineer and first person to scale Mount Everest, Sir Edmund Hillary.

(This article was published on January 4, 2013)
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