Sidhdhapur celebrates Dussera with kite flying

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Palanpur, Oct 21 (UNI) Though kite flying is celebrated during the festival of Makarsankranti in January, people of Sidhdhapur town of Palanpur district in north Gujarat fly kites on 'Dussera' day.

''Right since this morning, people were perched on their terraces to fly kites with phaphada and jalebi doing the rounds. ''Though Makarsanktranti is the main festival for kite flying, in Duessera we fly kites in equal numbers,'' kite flyer Girishbhai Bhatt told UNI.

''It is difficult to ascribe any specific reason for kite flying during Dussera. However, it is a tradition I have been flying kites since last 20 years,'' said Mr Bhatt.

Kanubhai Thakar, a well known scholar and a retired college teacher, attributed the custom of kite flying during Dussera to Sidharaj Jaisingh Solanki, the benevolent Emperor of Gujarat during the 12th century.

''Sidharaj Solanki is considered as great as emperor Ashoka.

Solanki, whose kingdom was in Sidhdhapur, was a bird lover and was against the practice of kite flying during Makarsankranti that killed many birds,'' said Mr Thakar.

''Solanki had prohibited kite flying ahead of Makarsankranti and made it only a day affair on Dussera. The kite flying on Dussera in Sidhdhapur is also seen as tribute to Solanki,'' he said.

UNI

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