International Kite Festival held at Umaid Bhavan, Jodhpur
The Second International Desert Kite Festival, January 12-14, 1998, with the theme "One Sky, One World"...
A stunning visual experience that draws thousands from all over the world to the romantic city of Jodhpur arrow_out.gif (229 bytes) in Rajasthan arrow_out.gif (229 bytes), India.

The 1998 Festival takes off on January 12, with the hoisting of the Kite Festival flag at the Jodhpur Polo grounds...
A massive extravaganza follows, with Air Force helicopters releasing kites from the sky, and hundreds of schoolchildren releasing balloons.
Kite Festival Flag

Nicolas Chorier of France
Participants flock to the Festival from many countries - 75 kite flyers from 7 countries participated in the 1998 festival...
And several hundred journalists and thousands of spectators come to watch. Nicolas Chorier of France combines kite flying with photography, with an aerial camera suspended from his kite.

On Makar Sankranti (January 14), the festival moves to the lawns of Umaid Bhawan Palace arrow_out.gif (229 bytes), the last Regal Palace constructed in India.
Makar Sankranti is a festival celebrated throughout India by kite flying, kite fighting and almost incidentally, some religious rites.
A Hong Kong Team Member

Fighting Kites beutifully choreographed by the wind
Fighting kites beautifully choreographed by the wind: Poetry in the skies, written by kite flyers from many nations...
Apart from 7 teams from Jodhpur, teams from Delhi, Pune and Jaipur, the surprise entrant to the Fighter Kite Competition, and eventual winner, was the Hong Kong Kite Fighting Club.

T-Shirts with the Festival insignia emblazoned on them,  and kites of every description, mark the diverse nationalities united by one passion...
Kites that look (and sound) like wasps, exquisite stained glass windows, graceful mythical birds soaring in the sky - the sky shimmers with magic.
Participants wearing Festival insignia emblazoned T-Shirts

The Most Creative Kite Designer
Asghar Hussain Baylim of Jodhpur shares the prize for The Most Creative Kite Designer with George Peters of the USA...
Paul Thody of England is adjudged The Best Display Flier and the Desert Kite Team from Belgium, The Best Team.

As the Festival draws to an end, traditional Indian kite craftsmen prepare to return to their humdrum lives, selling hand-crafted aerial art for mere pennies...
Today this sport is witnessing a major revival globally, and India, with its ancient tradition of kite flying, could well benefit from becoming part of the international kite flying community.
Craftsman Preparing to Return to their humdrum lives

Prize Distribution Ceremony
The next International Desert Kite Festival - from 12 to 14 January '99 - envisages the World Cup of Fighter Kites...
Fliers from Japan, Korea, Indonesia, France, Belgium, Singapore, Hong Kong, Nepal, Pakistan and India are expected to participate.

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Report dated: 4th March, 1997

All photographs by
Pablo Bartholomew. Pablo is the Director of Photography of the Indian Economy Overview.
For photo rights, please contact the agency, Gamma Liaison.