Crafting Sankranti’s sky canvas in Hyderabad

CE gets in touch with Gopal Singh, kite maker from Dhoolpet, who talks about how he is into kite making industry for the past 40 years and the city’s demand for larger-sized kites this year
Representative image (Source: Unspalsh)
Representative image (Source: Unspalsh)

Amidst the vibrant skies filled with colourful kites, people revel in the joy of flying them during Sankranti. Yet, amidst this festivity, there’s a hidden story of the skilled kite makers who infuse our celebrations with vivid hues. In Hyderabad, at Dhoolpet, Shree Renuka Mata Patang Gher, Gopal Singh leads an expert team in crafting these magnificent kites. CE reached out to him to uncover the artistry behind these beautiful creations and embarked on a delightful journey while visiting this enchanting place.

Adorned in diverse colours, shapes, and sizes, these kites carry tales worth knowing. Gopal Singh shares the origins of his journey in kite making, “Our legacy dates back to the Nizam era, traversing through my great-grandfathers’ time, passed down through generations. We now stand as the fourth generation carrying forward this craft, even involving our children in the art of kite making.”

The intricacies of crafting the kite’s thread, known as manjha, pose their own challenges. “We specialise in natural manjha, a tradition we’ve upheld for the past 15 years. The prevalence of plastic manjha in the market stems from its demand, but it’s not a healthy choice. Our natural manjha combines vardhaman taga, typically used for stitching, with glass for added strength and durability.”

When discussing their manufacturing volume, he reveals, “We produce approximately 50,000 kites, investing nearly 8 months in their creation. Here, we streamline the process by cutting 500 designs in one go, followed by meticulous colouring, design implementation, and intricate embellishments, often requiring skilled artists. We also affix the ‘bada,’ the essential support for the kite.”

Detailing their design process, he explains, “Our design techniques are ingrained in our minds. I’ve been in this market for 40 years now. Every kite shape is meticulously cut and adorned with intricate detailing, a testament to our dedication to craftsmanship.”

Regarding the current kite trends in the market for this festival, he notes, "This season, there’s a surge in demand for larger-sized kites among the public. There’s a noticeable reluctance towards plastic kites due to their lackluster flying experience; they hold no charm. Kites crafted at Dhoolpet stand unique, recognised worldwide. Our kites respond to the flyer’s commands, dancing in the sky at their will. Numerous shops here cater to people who flock to acquire these kites. We distribute our kites extensively across Hyderabad and to locations like BHEL, Secunderabad, Sangareddy, Karnataka, and beyond.”

In essence, this place epitomises an extravaganza, presenting the perfect kites for celebrating the Sankranti festival with boundless enthusiasm and delight.

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