Recently Pam Shanahan and I, (Simon Chisnall) attended the Gujarat kite festival from the 10th to the 14th of January 2010. I think it is well worth it for any kite flyer.

The festival is to celebrate the Indian festival of Uttaraayan – the end of a long winter and the arrival of the sun.


This festival is one of the most interesting festivals I have ever been lucky to attend. The festival started with a parade of international kite flyers (32 countries) around the flying field with 7500 kids performing in the centre.

The flying conditions where very difficult. With very light winds and no tie off points for the larger kites, but with plenty of fast learning helpers, made flying still possible (just).


After a 6 hour drive we arrived for the festival in Surat. The next day on the 13th January the wind was way more challenging. There were a lot of large buildings surrounding the kite field and shifting winds. That turned out to be the least of my worries.

After getting a pilot and the Sun & Moon up, I looked around to see a group of Indian Fighter Kites zeroing in on my pilot. As we rushed to get the kites down I looked up to see the fighter kites 1 by 1 slowly floating away.

We soon realized we had 3 guys at the start of the flying area with fighter kites working as our line of defense. It made for some exciting flying, but they could not stop them all.

After flying we headed back to Amhedabad. For me what was the highlight of the trip was participating in the Indian Kite Fighting off the roof tops. Where ever you looked there were people on the roof tops, with music playing and lots of cheering coming from all around. It is something you have to see to really appreciate.

To top it off that night there were large fireworks and Chinese lanterns going up all over the city.

A fantastic Festival for any kite flier.

Simon Chisnall

Ps.cheek out our facebook page for some photos.