Know About the Festival of Kites, Makar Sankranti in Lake City

In India, it is rightly said, there are Saat Din Aur Nau Tauhar (seven days and nine festivals). Udaipur, a happening place, is no exception. Makar Sankranti (Also known as Uttarayan) is a big festival in Lake City. According to astrologists, while rotating the sun enters different ‘rashis’ on Makar Sankranti, it leaves Dhanu Rashi and enters Makar Rashi. That is why it is called Makar Sankranti. The winter begins to become less severe. There are other reasons for this celebration.

himadri pachori
Photo by: himadri pachori

It is believed that on this day Lord Vishnu killed all the demons and the battle between the gods and demons ended. During Mahabharat, Bhishma Pitamah decided to leave his body. This was the day on which river Ganga came down on the earth. The new harvest is offered to the gods. Lord Surya himself went to his son Shani’s house. There is a tension between the two. To escape the ill effects we are advised to bathe in holy waters, perform religious rites give alms.

It is interesting to learn that while rotating on its axis, the earth lags behind every year so Makar Sankranti is shifted by one day in 80 years. According to an encyclopedia, it used to come on Christmas day 1700 years ago. It fell on 12th January when Vivekanand was born, during Akbar’s reign it came on 10th January.

People visit their relatives and friends and share special dishes such as porridge made with the new crop of grain and milk. The mood is one of merriment. Cattle are fed with green grass as part of charity and alms are given to beggars who gather in large numbers not only outside temples but also move around in different localities of the city.

The temples and the town are thronged with devotees after an early bath in water bodies like Pichola, they go to temples with offerings. In Jagdish Mandir, there is ‘Panchamrit Snan’ in the morning. The idol is dressed in velvet clothes. The Lord is offered ‘Kichdi’, ‘Halwa’, ‘Kesaria Bhat’, etc. Bhajans are sung. In Srinathji Ki Haveli, the idol is clad in gorgeous attire. The Lord is offered a bull and play items. Recipes made with ‘til’ are offered to the Lord in Asthal Mandir.

In streets and open places, children and even some elderly are seen playing ‘Satolia’ and ‘Mardari’. But these traditional games are being gradually replaced by cricket.

Kite flying in Udaipur used to be limited to Nirmala Ekadashi, but now it has become very popular also on Makar Sankranti. Maybe it is so due to the influence of a large number of Gujaratis who have settled in Lake City. Due to this craze over 15,000 kites are procured every year. The kites liked most by children are those of Motu Patlu, Spiderman, Tom and Jerry, Mickey Mouse, Chhota Bheem, Pogo, and Bahubali. Also popular are kites of film stars such as Deepika Padukone, Anushka Sharma, and Salman Khan. So also those of political leaders like Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi. For those who do not like plastic kites, the ones made with cloth are also on offer.

Makar Sankranti that has become a big festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm in Lake City.


January 2011: Quick Flashback

Yeah it is indeed the 1st of Feb, lots of new plans for the upcoming month, for the near approaching exams, the season of marriages, Basant Panchmi, of course not to forget the Valentine’s Day, and lots more. After all, “khush hai zamaana aaj pehli taareekh hai

But not to forget the previous month, the beginner of the New Year, which filled the welcome of 2011 with many reasons of happiness and pride, as well as many mixed feelings for the entire Udaipur, and the Udaipies as well.l Lets have a quick flashback of the month we left behind yesterday.

Parties and celebrations were at their extreme. With many mixed feelings and memories of 2010, Udaipur welcomed 2011 with a great vigour. Also, the Year 2011 began with great news to rejoice. Rajasthan won the national level kick- boxing tournament held in Udaipur. Almost all of the Udaipur was excited to host a series of events to be held in the next few weeks of global repute.

  • It began with the hosting of the International Kites Festival 2011, in the first week of January.It was a three day festival which was held at the Maharana Bhupal Stadium (Gandhi Ground) from 5th to 7th Jan 2011. Every eye was on the sky, which was full with vivid colours and cultures from as many as 10 countries across the world, in Udaipur.

  • In the next few days after its completion, the entire Udaipur was engaged into the preparation for the 16th National Youth Festival 2011. Every roads, every nook and corner of the city was shining like a newly built palace.

  • Finally the day came. 12th of January and the entire India came into life at the opening ceremony of the 16th National Youth Festival in the Gandhi ground.There were many cultural events, competitions, evening shows, heart throbbing stunts by the Army, and lots more.There was a spectacular performance by the Indian Air Force and the Indian Army on the closing ceremony.

  • A remarkable news that can never be forgotten here is the struggle between life and death by Narayan Tomar, a worker at the Devas Tunnel Project who was struck at his workplace for many days. Every Udaipie prayed for him, and finally every prayer was heard. Narayan was successfully taken out of the tunnel by several hours of continuous rescue operation.
  • The Mohan Kumar Mangalam football tournament 2011 was held at Zawar Mines this year from 23rd to 31st January. This is a National Level football championship, held every year. Team Dehradun won over the Mumbai team in the finals after a very interesting match, and was the champion for the MKM 2011

  • Udaipur also hosted the Inter-University boxing championship, in both men’s and women’s categories.
  • We all remembered Ganhiji, his principles and all the sacrifices by freedom fighters, and despite of the cable TVs’ or the DTH installed in our homes, all switched on to the DoorDarshan on the 26th Jan, our 62nd Republic day, with a patriotic feeling in our minds, and to salute the Great Indian Flag. A huge crowd too gathered at the Gandhi ground, where the Flag was hoisted by renowned dignitaries.

This was beginning of 2011 only. For more Photographs on the above news, do visit our Facebook  fanpage. And there are lot more stuffs yet to enter Udaipur and our lives as well. That was all for the moment. Team UdaipurBlog will be back with more news and surprises in the upcoming times. Keep liking, sharing and supporting. 🙂