Making Manjha

Preparations underway for anticipated business during the the kite flying season during Sankranthi.

[Source of text below : http://www.drachen.org/pdf/KitesinIndia.pdf]

Manjha making is a traditional skill which is handed down over generations and families jealously guard their secret
recipes for the manjha paste.

The basic ingredients are powdered glass (crushed tube lights are supposedly the best!), some colour and a binding agent – generally a cooked paste of wheat or rice flour. To this each manjha maestro adds his own secret ingredients – and everybody claims that his manjha is the best!

The cotton thread is strung in eight or ten strands between two poles and the manjha maker walks up and down the length with the paste in his hands, finely coating the threads at each pass until the desired effect is achieved. The thinner, or 6 ply thread manjha, is generally preferred for its suppleness over the thicker 10 ply which might be used in stronger winds.

All the images on this blog are protected by copyright. Please do not copy, blog or repost in ANY way. If you wish to use them please get in touch with me through email.

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5 thoughts on “Making Manjha

  1. You have to come to Gujarat to see the colors of this festival.
    Popularly called as Uttarayan than Makar Sankranti there.

    This is one of the few things come close to meditation for me.
    Last year I just followed the kites and ended up somewhere in Koti.
    Found some commercial cum residential building’s terrace and flew kites from there.
    Can’t even trace the same building again πŸ™‚

    I am that much crazy about it πŸ™‚

    1. Yes I’ve heard that this one has cult status in Gujarat. Didnt know this could be a sort of meditation πŸ™‚
      I just stumbled upon this scene and I didnt know what was going on..puchne se pata chala …I think these fellows can give you all the info you need. Their shop is in the backdrop. He was saying “Sankranthi ke time Eid hota hai” …I was like what?!?! πŸ™‚ I guess it was the spirit of the festival or the kite flying or I need to find out more. Maybe another time I go that way!

  2. Lovely pic πŸ™‚ Love the blur of the manjha – and your copyright strip also looks like a part of it lol πŸ™‚

    Lakshmi – I’ve seen Hyderabadis refer to all festivals as Eid – Hindu and Christian festivals also πŸ™‚

  3. guys have u ever been to jaipur on sakranti? I guess u’ll find it even more crazier there than compared to gujrat. Even i found, being bit closer to bareilly , the kites and manjha quality is also superior there.

    From ahmedabad
    abhi

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