Mysuru Dusshera kite festival 2018 | FLY360.co.in

Nisarg Shah

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Dussehra is the festival celebrated to rejoice the victory of good over evil. Legend has it that the Prince of Ayodhya Lord Rama killed the King of Lanka Ravana on this eve several centuries ago. The festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm in Mysore where the festival becomes a ten-day long celebration, in comparison to the other parts of the country where it is celebrated only for a single day. The celebrations begin on the first day of the Navratri and continue on until the day of Vijaydashmi, which is otherwise known as Dussehra in India.

Every year, the Mysore Palace is lit up with a host of different lights, and the tradition has continued on for centuries now. Since the rule of the Vijaynagar Kings in the 15th century, many athletic competitions have been conducted to celebrate the festival, along with other indulgences like singing and dancing. A wrestling bout also takes place, and people from all over the country come to take part in it.

 

The Connection of Mysore Dussehra and Kite Flying

Another charm of the Dussehra celebrated in Mysore includes the kite flying competition which was introduced as a way to bring back the spotlight on the dying tradition. It was seen that folks in the cities were averting from flying the kites while in the rural areas it was still quite popular. As a result, the festival was integrated with the competition by arranging a challenging friendly match to see who makes the best kites and flies them.

 

This was organized by the tourism board of Mysore. Fly360, being a pioneer in designer kites and kite flying, played its role as consultant and helped the tourism board in conducting and managing the kite festival end to end.

 

What’s Unique about the Kites in Mysore Dussehra

 

The thing that sets the kites flown here apart is that they are all lit up with small LED lights and are flown at night. Every year, on the occasion, people gather and participate in the flying of kites of all sizes, shapes, and colors, in the hopes to win the grand prize which is set aside for the champion. Even though the activity was added quite late to the celebrations of the festival, it has gained popularity, bringing in national and international tourists alike.

 

The festivities for the celebrations of Dussehra in Mysore started about half a millenia ago when the Vijaynagar Kings ruled the province. However, the celebrations were not quite like what they are today. The spirit of the festival was once purely religious and focused on the art and culture in an effort to preserve the traditions in the Hindu culture.

 

Kite Flying and the Royal Connection

 

The festival gained royal patronage under the rule of the Vijaynagar Kings due to their patronizing of the art, architecture, culture, music, and dance. Even after the Wadiyars of Mysore declared their independence from the state, the festival was preserved and given an additional royal treatment. The royal family also had a liking towards kite flying. This is why the tourism board received complete support from the royal family for the event.


 

Schedule of the Kite Flying Event During Mysore Dussehra

 

In the ten days that the festival is celebrated, the kite flying festival is focused on only during two days of the festival. The night sky is quite mesmerizing to look at with all the glowing kites streaming through the otherwise dark background. Since the younger generation has been lacking the interest in the flying of the kites, the festival is a great way to bring the sport to the frontlines.

 

The children are worshipped during the days that the kites are flown and the people who are masters at flying the kites hand out tips to them so that they can learn about the ancient sport. During the two days, the kites are flown from 10 am to 5 pm during the day and then a special occasion is held for the night-time flying as well.

 

The whole arrangement is made to indulge the local flyers as well as the people who come from afar. The only condition that is enforced in the competition is that each of the kites that are entered into the competition should be made by the flyers themselves and must be able to fly. The state organizes the competition and there are prizes for the winners as well.

 

The first, second, and third prizes roughly come in at INR 15 thousand, INR 10 thousand, and INR 5 thousand, respectively. Consolation prizes are also handed out for those who performed well but could not secure a position.

 

There are many other places in India which celebrate the festivals by organizing fun events such as kite flying. These include the celebration of the Utarayan in Ahmedabad with the International Kite Festival, the celebration of Basant Panchmi in Northern India with kite flying, Vaisakhi in Punjab, Independence Day in New Delhi, and other states like Goa and West Bengal as well.

 

The Kite Connection: Fly360 and the Mysore Dussehra Kite Festival

 

Ever since its conception in 1993, Fly360 has provided enthusiasts with designer kites which are handmade and handcrafted by experts. The trend for the designer kites in India was started by the company and till date, it continues to provide services and products for the various kite festivals which take place in the country.

 

Fly360 played a pivotal role in being a consultant to the Kite flying event held during Mysore Dussehra, due to the great response from all quarters, the event is also going to be held this year during September 29th and 30th.


The schedule for this year’s kite festival in Mysore has not yet been announced and the state tourism board promises to do so at the earliest in October. With less than a month left for the celebrations to start, the registrations for the competitions are to begin soon and the glory to the winner ensures that the people will participate in it, fueled with energy and enthusiasm.

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Excellent site. I'll visit often. Governments and religions throughout history often divide us.Even in our own countries. It always amazes me how the arts bring us common people together.Even well done graffiti LOL. If maybe some one doubts kiting is an art they need to visit this site along with many others. In my country we're kinda spoiled(good thing for me). We want something we go buy it. Looking at all those kites that were home made is inspiring. We've lost a lot of the art of craftsmanship in my country(bad thing). Most of our young ones are not taught the true value of it.Myself included. If the science of mathematics is taught without the  appreciation of the art of music an integral part of self is not explored. Remember Srinivasa Ramanujan.Lam Hoac starts making kites as a kid in Vietnam out of whatever he can find. Now one of the most highly regarded builders and fliers on the planet. Got 2 of his kites and I'll get another.Without those humble beginnings wonder if I would have ever heard of him. I can see myself buying a kite from a master builder in India. Some of the kites being pictured here are absolutely stunning. Hope I get to see someone from India gain global recognition soon. May he/she be building 2 line stunt kites 😁.

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Hi @Breezin

Loved every word you wrote. We share common enthusiasm can say. I myself is a computer engineer and I pursue my hobby for kites when and wherever possible. My dad Ashok Shah who introduced me to this kiting world. He is been designing and flying designer kites in India since 1993. When I was only three years old. He came in to designing such unusual kites that not seen in India coz of my crazy demand during my birthday i.e. what he says :) . I demanded for a Micky mouse kite which was not possible during that time time to find in India. He being a lovely father made one for me using plastic and paint. Which also flew. And than his journey began. Coming to your last sentence we have made many different models of 2 line stunt kites. I'm attaching pictures to this comment. This designs are at least a decade old. It's hard to get precision like prism kites with locally available materials in India. 
Recently we also made a RC kite ;)
It was fun to read your views. Hope to fly together soon :) 

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Wow world record with 1000 students building and flying their kites at the same time. Didn't know there was so much info on your father. Even at Kite Life. Lots more to read.You people had a 600% rise in kite builders income in just 3 years :huh:. That's astonishing!!!. Sounds like your pops and his friends had a lot of influence in that.You too. Some of you need to head to the USA and give us a kick in the pants. Festivals and kiting seem to be faltering here. I live in a large area county of 675,00 plus and have never seen quality kites of any type flying around this area. Lots of big balloons but no kites. We have pretty good winds too.Need to figure out how to change that.Finally connected with some stunt kite fliers but it's over a hundred miles to meet up. Worth it though. The yearly county fair is in a little town 22 miles north of here. Talked to a government worker yesterday about getting some kiting going on for the next fair. Maybe.My 2nd  year kiting will begin next month. Bought a sewing machine and materials not long after getting my 1st kite. Backed off and concentrated on learning to fly. This next year I'll start learning the art of kite building. Gonna be fun. Goal is a 100 mph framed speed kite that won't make my arms longer or flatten my nose from faceplants. Flying with you and your dad would be a blast. Will keep following fly360. Great stuff.It's going to teach me a bunch. P.S. I'm more  of a Pluto fan LOL.

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