The three-day Sankranti festival celebrations were kicked off amidst traditional gaiety all over Telangana and Andhra Pradesh on Friday. People living in cities and other places reached their native villages and towns to celebrate the festival with families. The old and young alike gathered around Bhogi bonfires lit at junctions in a traditional way in villages and the womenfolk decked up their courtyards with colourful Rangoli. While people of Telangana are indulging in revelry by flying kites, in Andhra Pradesh, people have been involved in cockfights in village playgrounds. Kite enthusiasts from 17 countries enthralled huge audience at International Kite Festival inaugurated by Telangana Tourism Minister Azmeera Chandulal at People’s Plaza in Hyderabad. The International Kite Festival of Telangana was off to a soaring start with a range of flying objects in the sky on Thursday at People’s Plaza. Kitai Rhee and Kang Man Lee from South Korea held the huge audience enthralled with their dozens of kites strung on a single thread doing various tricks and people watched in amazement the robotic kites taking off into the sky. Flown by a team of eight members from Singapore, the kites were remote-controlled with flashing LEDs placed at key locations. “The smaller kites weigh 200 gms while the bigger dragon kite weighs 500 gms. These are different from drones as they have propellers while we use parts of the kite to manoeuvre them in the sky using remote controls,” said Michael Lim, who heads the team of goflykite.com. For hundreds of people who thronged the area, the kites trailing and flashing LED lights were a sight to watch as they moved in synchrony and performed aerobatics as Lim’s team members used the gimbals to control their movement. After being inaugurated by Telangana Tourism Minister Azmeera Chandulal, the kite festival moved to Aga Khan Academy on the outskirts of the city where it will continue for three days starting from Friday. BJP conducted its own kite festival at People’s Plaze. Union Minister of State for Labour Bandaru Dattatreya, BJP MLA Chintala Ramchandra Reddy and others participated in the festival.