January is the month when you see the Indian streets dotted with vendors selling colourful kites. Our todays post takes you to one of the best kite shops in the city and tells you all that you need to know about buying kites! But first here’s something very interesting for you to read.
A SHORT HISTORY OF KITES
Did you know, that the earliest known kites date back more than 2000 years. It is believed that the home of the first kite was Shandong, the eastern most province of China. One legend suggests a Chinese farmer tied a string to his hat to keep it from blowing away in strong winds, that is the concept from which the first kite was born.
Apart from flying kites for pleasure, ancient and medieval Chinese sources describe kites being used for measuring distances, testing the wind, lifting men, signaling, and communication for military operations. Once, General Han Hsin of the Han Dynasty flew a kite over the walls of a city he was attacking to measure how far his army would have to tunnel to reach past the defences. Knowing this distance, his troops reached the inside of the city, surprised their enemy, and were victorious. Kite flying eventually spread across territories and each area developed a distinctive style of kite and cultural purpose for flying them.
Coming back to our city Ludhiana, if you are a kite flying enthusiast, one of the best places to shop for your Lohri kite flying essentials is:
RAJU KITE SHOP
Near Dandi Swami chowk, KVM road, Ludhiana (9855739421)
Rajkumar ji, the proud owner of the shop has been in business since past 50 years and thus an expert when it comes to knowledge of kites. Read on to learn all that you need to know about kites! Thanks Rajkumar Ji for sharing these valuable insights with our readers from you 50 year long experience with kites!
TYPES OF KITES
Every country, every culture, every city has developed its own likings when it comes to kite flying. But in Ludhiana, these are the 7 types of kites that you would generally find in the local shops and flying in the sky. The production centres of these kites include Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Jaipur, Muradabad and Rampur.
The best kites in terms of ease in flying are Jaipuri patang, chhaj and Lucknow kaat. Tukal is the most difficult to fly but an attractive kite due to its shape.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT KITE
The following video will tell you explicitly how to test a kite. The mechanics of a kite are like that of a bow and an arrow. The arrow should be straight and the bow should not pop out when bent. In a perfect kite, the wind would not cross through the middle of the bow and the arrow thus preventing it from swirling.
ESSENTIALS OF KITE FLYING
DOR : The next thing you need to fly the kite is the right DOR. As per Rajkumar Ji’s recommendation, the best and safest choice is Pandey dor (9 taar) for smaller kites and 12 taar for bigger kites. If you are an experinced kite flyer you may want to choose even higher grade dors for flying even bigger kites (6 -10 ft tall).
DO NOT BUY PLASTIC DORS!
Apart from the Chinese dors, many Indian companies have also introduced plastic dors in the market under the names MONOKITE, MONOFILL and MONOFILL GOLD. These dors are not safe for kids or adults as they do not break easily resulting in serious injuries and incidents across the state. The kite flying tradition is suffering at the hands of these infiltrations making it a more hazardous festival rather than a joyous one. Stick to the regular dors and enjoy the true spirit of LOHRI!
TAPE : Paper tape or cello tape can be used to fix torn kites and reuse as these are lightweight.
Apart from these essentials, all you need is lots of friends to have a fun filled kite flying experience.