Slumber to soaring spirits, two-day Jamghat brings bustle to kite market in Lucknow
Tanglers start preparing for Jamghat a month before Diwali, collecting the best Manjha, Saddi (threads), kites and the best of the tapes required for mending kites.
Jamghat was celebrated for two days (Monday and Tuesday) this time, and this brought life back to the sleepy kite market.
Tanglers start preparing for Jamghat a month before Diwali, collecting the best Manjha, Saddi (threads), kites and the best of the tapes required for mending kites. Around 228 registered kite clubs of Lucknow start preparing for competitions.
Patron of the District Kite Clubs Association and eight-time National Kite Tangling Champion, Amarnath Kaul said, “Jamghat is the union of two words Jam and Ghat. It’s when people collect over the ghats to fly kites. Jamghat is a unique festival celebrated on the next day of Diwali in Lucknow in which people of different communities participate. It started during the period of Nawabs, who used to collect on the banks of the Gomti with their cabinets. Here people from different faiths used to collect to fly kites and greet each other on the occasion of Diwali.
“For the last three years the pandemic cast its shadow over Patangbazi on Jamghat as no major competitions were organised. But this year several competitions were organised along Kudia ghat, Gulalaghat and Chowk Stadium.”
Om Prakash Agarwal, 65, of Channa Kite Centre said, “This time, sales have gained momentum, around 20% increase in sales has been seen this year. This time, customers who used to purchase 100 kites are giving orders of 130 to 140 kites.”
GuruDutt, 46, of Guddu Kite Centre in Chaupatian said, “Kite-making is a highly skilled job, but kite-makers hardly get anything in return. They earn less than an unskilled labourer. The government must come out with a package to help the kite-making business.”
Head of history department, Navyug PG College, Shobha Mishra, said, “Jamghat is a unique festival celebrated across the city by both Hindu and Muslim communities. The tradition of kite-flying on Jamghat was started by Nawab Asafuddaula for maintaining close relations between Hindus and Muslims during his tenure. The Nawabs knew that they had to establish a connection with the majority Hindu population of Avadh so they started a tradition of Jamghat in which Hindus and Muslims participated with equal enthusiasm. This bonhomie between the two communities has continued since”.
Amarnath Kaul said, “This time kite-tangling is back and around 30 competitions were organised by different kite clubs of Lucknow at Gulalaghat, Kudia Ghat and Chowk Stadium. This year, Bon Tava kites, used by professional kite-tanglers, costs between ₹100 to 150 while other kites are between ₹10 to ₹70. The rate of Manjha Charkhi is between ₹2,000 to 3,000, while Saddi costs ₹300 to 400.”