Toggle Dark/Light/Auto modeToggle Dark/Light/Auto modeToggle Dark/Light/Auto modeBack to homepage

Did Mughals Start Kiting Tradition in India

Did Mughals start Kiting tradition in India?

Claim: In India, it was during the Mughal rule that kiting became a sporting event.



In India, Kiting was a sporting event from ancient times. Bhakti saints such as Namadeva in their poems talked about children flying kites during the Sankranti festival.

This was more than 200 years before a single Mughal landed in India. Here is an Abhanga of Sant Namadeva (c.1300 CE) where he describes a boy flying a kite made out of paper. Namdeva says his mind is attached to Lord Rama even if he performs other tasks just as the boy keeps his attention on kite string even while talking to his friends.

This Abhanga of Namadeva is found in Adi Granth as well as the Sri Namdev Gatha. The word used for kite (गूडी) is an Indic (originally Prakrtic) word. This word along with the word पतङ्ग (both originally meaning “bird”) has been used for kiting sport even in Afghanistan & beyond.

In Afghanistan, Kiting is known as Gudparan Bazi. In Pakistan as Gudi Bazi or Patang Bazi. Given the presence of Indic words rather than Persian even in SOME Iranic speaking regions, it is likely that kiting was popularised there from India rather than the other way round.

Meanwhile, Muslim clerics issued fatwas against kiting, terming it “haram'.