Gandhinagar, 12 January 2013
The week-long Silver Jubilee celebrations of Gujarat’s 25th International Kite Festival are culminating in Ahmedabad from 12th to 14th January. The event in Ahmedabad commenced today with the inauguration of a specially created Theme Pavilion on kites, showcasing the history and significance of kites and kite-flying, by Mr. Kamlesh Patel, Chairman, Tourism Corporation of Gujarat Ltd. The inauguration of the Theme Pavilion was followed by a live musical performance by ‘Aryans’ and ‘Tukkal’ flying by kitists.
The International Kite Festival will be inaugurated by Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Narendra Modi on Sunday, 13th January, 2013. This year, a host of attractions and activities apart from kite flying like theme pavilion, adventure pavilion, food court, are being held at the International Kite Festival in Ahmedabad, where more than 100 international kitists from more than 50 countries and over 150 kitists from 10 states across India are participating. Kite Flying enthusiasts from countries like United Kingdom, France, Italy, Singapore, Switzerland, Spain, Netherlands, Brazil, South Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand, Curacao, Ukraine, Israel, China, Belgium, New Zealand, Cambodia, Lithuania and Malaysia, have descended to the city to be a part of the festivities. The Festival is being held at the Sabarmati River Front on 12th January & 13th January, followed by kite-flying in the heritage walled city of Ahmedabad on 14th January.
The students of Bhagwat Vidypith will chant the ‘Aditya Stuti’ and more than 2000 municipal school students of Ahmedabad will perform ‘Surya Namaskar’. The inaugural function will also include a parade by national and international kitists and a cultural program by more than 100 slum kids, who will sing kite-flying songs of Gujarat. The kitists will indulge in kite-flying and showcase their array attractive kites for the entire day on 13th January, after which the kitists will fly ‘Tukkals’ at sunset. The kitists will also visit the Pols in the heritage walled city of Ahmedabad to participate in the Uttarayan celebrations on 14 January. An array of attractions and activities have been organized for visitors at the International Kite Festival at the Sabarmati river front that include adventure activities like zorbing, speed boat rides and rock-climbing; Food Court serving mouth-watering Gujarati delicacies and a Craft Bazaar that showcases the various handicrafts of Gujarat.
The 25th edition of International Kite Festival has travelled to Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Dhordo (White Rann), Modhera, Somnath and Mandvi, starting with Mumbai and Delhi on the 7th January. Vadodara and Saputara hosted the festival on 8th January while Surat and Modhera followed the next day on 9th January. The festival was held at Mandvi, Dhordo and Somanth on 11th January. The grand climax of the festival is being held in Ahmedabad, on the Sabarmati River Front from 12th January to 13th January, and in the heritage walled city on 14th Janaury.
Presently in its 25th year, the International Kite Festival was initiated in the year 1989 in the city of Ahmedabad. Notably, the first edition of this festival was attended by Sir Edmund Hillary, legendary mountaineer and the first person to scale Mt. Everest. The International Kite Festival has grown to become an integral part of the vivid and vibrant Gujarati culture. In fact, with every passing year the festival has grown in terms of popularity and magnitude as well. Today, the International Kite Festival has played a pivotal role in Gujarat assuming the enviable position of one of the top travel and tourist destinations of the country.
Currently TCGL is also hosting the Rann Utsav which started on 15th December 2012 and will continue till 31st January 2013. Till date, the Rann Utsav has been an astounding success with almost 100% booking for its packages. This time the Rann Utsav saw tourists from all across India flocking to the event. This exotic destination is fast becoming a popular festival both nationally and internationally. In the culmination of the Rann Utsav, the 3rd global bird watchers conference is going to be organized from 29th to 31st January, 2013 where bird lovers from all over the world going to attend. Gujarat is a bird watchers’ paradise and Gujarat Tourism is now popularizing this niche tourism segment. Gujarat Tourism is probably the only state tourism board, which is popularizing bird watching as a tourism event.
Gujarat is probably the only state which has conducted an in-depth study on the infrastructure gap existing in the various tourist locations across the State. This study was carried out by Gujarat Tourism Opportunity Limited a joint venture company formed between Gujarat Tourism and ILFS. Currently infrastructure works related to tourist facilities is under progress in 22 districts across the State and amounts to a total worth of Rs.730 crores. Gujarat has the longest coastline in 1600 kms. The Planning Commission for the current five year plan has sanctioned Rs.1200 crores for development of Coastal Tourism to TCGL. Ministry of Tourism, Government of India has sanctioned total 20 projects for Gujarat worth Rs.103.74 crores in the 11th Five year Plan.