The Telegraph
Saturday , January 7 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Kite fights to turn skies colourful on Makar Sankranti
- Professional flyers to showcase flying skills; food lovers can relish delicacies at snack huts

Patna, Jan. 6: The skies over Sabbalpur Diara sandbar would dazzle with thousands of colourful kites this Makar Sankranti. For the first time, the state capital would host a two-day kite festival on January 14 and 15. The state tourism department, in association with an event management firm, would make arrangements for the kites and spools.

People would be able to register for the event by sending a text message to a number. Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation (BSTDC) will issue the phone number on or after Monday. Professional kite flyers from Calcutta and Ahmedabad would entertain visitors with their skills at the two-day show.

Explaining the concept of the festival, state tourism minister Sunil Kumar ‘Pintu’ told The Telegraph: “Considering the auspicious occasion of Makar Sankranti, we have made arrangements for a two-day-long kite festival at Sabbalpur Diara. People would be given kites for free.”

BSTDC officials said over 1,500 kites would be offered to participants at the event and a special cleanliness drive would be undertaken at the diara prior to the festival. “The festival would be held between 11am and 4pm on both the days. Professional kite flyers would clash against each other in kite fights. Even participants can compete,” said Gajendra Singh, manager, travel and trade, BSTDC.

Apart from the games and contests, people can savour delicacies offered at the snack huts. The corporation has asked the snacks bar operators to increase the number of food items on the two days. “If all goes well, several new facilities, including horse and camel rides, and hand-propelled swings would be arranged during the kite festival,” said the official. On December 4 last year, deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi had inaugurated the sandbar.

Summer treat

The tourism department has made arrangements for a 25-seater speedboat that would take visitors from the Ganga ghats to the sandbar during summer. “As the water-level recedes during summer, it becomes difficult to anchor the floating restaurant near the sandbar to allow people to get down. We have finalised an agreement with a Calcutta-based firm for operating a 25-seater speedboat that would take people from the Ganga ghats to Sabbalpur Diara,” said Pintu.

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