​ From ‘Baahubali’ to Narendra Modi kites to pieces with special messages printed on it. Hyderabad is set for a colourful Sankranti sky

Kite fights, bonfires and Rangolis… With a day left for Sankranti, kite sellers are up with varieties of kites from ‘Baahubali’ to Narendra Modi kites to pieces with special messages printed on it. The VFX-special hit, ‘Baahubali’ that gained appreciation worldwide, is leading the market with a host kites designed from the movie characters.

Speaking about the varieties in kites, “We have ‘Baahubali’ kites, ‘Chota Beam’ and ‘Doraemon’ kites. Children are fond of cartoon characters and youngsters sometimes purchase kites with printed film characters on it,” says Umesh Singh another kite maker in the area.

Kites with greetings like ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’ and ‘Happy Pongal’ printed on kites are also trending this year. Another unique variety is the ‘Stunt Kites’ that are mainly used for fights. Single line kites and delta kites are purchased for their size. Bird kites are also available, which flies when wind blows, unlike the normal quadrilateral kite.

It takes about 15 minutes to prepare one kite whose quality varies depending on the material used during preparation. The manja (string used for fighter kites) plays an important role in kite fights. The Chinese manja is banned this year; consequently there is a huge demand for Indian manja, which is handmade and made of cotton.

The cost of the medium sized manja is Rs 130 and the bigger one is priced at Rs 750. Suresh Singh, a kite maker at Dhoolpet says, “We only use German and PVC paper to prepare kites.  We get these materials from Delhi in bulk. Apart from these, kites made from waste plastic paper are also available at our shop, which are usually prepared by children.”

Speaking on the price point, Gopal Singh says, “One bundle has upto 480 pieces of sheets, which costs upto Rs 180 per kg. We prepare 800 kites of small size out of one bundle. If its medium sized we prepare 600 and 500 if the size of the kite is large.” Handmade Indian manja is prepared at his shop and is distributed to Delhi, AP and Punjab.