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Makar Sankranti Special: Kite king of Bandra

From radium kites to those that sport faces of Jethalal from 'Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah', King Kite Centre is a must-visit for the kite-crazy

Whenever we are in Bandra, for our shopping trails, King Kite Centre manages to grab the eye, thanks to its colourful kites.

The shop has been at the same location for 60 years, when owner Salim Qureshi's father came to the city from Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh, and set up a fruit shop. "Once, we let out our shop on rent to a kite seller for 15 days and he made good business. That's when we decided to sell kites along with fruits," shares Qureshi. While today it's all kites, during season, they also sell mangoes.

Masood Qureshi at King Kite Centre
Masood Qureshi at King Kite Centre. Pic/Satyajit Desai

The kites come in all varieties, and from different locations too, from Jodhpur to China. The shop stocks different types of manja (string, even strong fishing wires for huge kites). With Qureshi's only son, Masood's help, the shop has kept up with times; they have an email id, a Facebook page and ship abroad too. The store recently supplied 5,500 customised kites for IIT-Bombay's annual festival. Sky lanterns costing '30 are also hot-sellers. Qureshi has also printed calendars on kites for a company in the past.

The kites are major forecasters of trends: Qureshi has sold Kejriwal kites, Modi kites and the funniest; Sheila and Munni kites (based on the popular item numbers). "We sold a lot of those," he laughs. On trips to Goa, many Mumbaikars, buy their big kites to fly on its beaches. They also have radium kites to fly at night. The most expensive kite on offer is a cloth kite that costs Rs 2,000.

While they deliver across Mumbai on request, Qureshi proudly reveals how drivers of film stars like Salman Khan and Shahrukh Khan have collected kites from his store.

Time: 10 am to 12 am, daily
At: SV Road, near Lucky Restaurant, Bandra (W).
Call: 9867574571

Also visit - Kites and more

All Day Head to the Kite's Gully on Imamwada Road in Dongri to buy kites from some of the city's oldest kite makers. Situated next to the Moghul Masjid is the over 100-year-old Farhan Kite Centre and few steps ahead is the Dongri Kite Centre.

At: Imamwada Road, Dongri.

Attend - Kite festival at Powai

4 pm to 7pm Join the Golden Kite Club as they host an evening of kite flying at Powai this Makar Sankranti. At the festival, you can spot a host of designer kites and LED kites decorating the sky.

On: January 14
At: Renaissance Mumbai Convention Centre Hotel, Powai.
Call: 61586158
Entry: Rs 350

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