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Raja Amarnath Kaul: Kite Flying Champion of India
Raja Amarnath Kaul has held the title of the 'Kite Flying Champion of India' on several occasions. It was in Lucknow in 1992 that he bagged the award for the first time. Kaul who comes from an illustrious family of Pandits of the state is from the only family of Kashmiri Pandits who were made Taluqadars of Awadh.

While several Kashmiri Pandits were given the title of Raja, his was the only family to be made Taluqadars. His ancestors were the Rajas of Bedhar and Takhioli in Unnao District.

When Kaul took up the sport in right earnest one victory followed another. It was in 1992 that he was acknowledged as All India Kite Champion for the first time. In 1993 Gwalior followed suit and then again he bagged the award in Lucknow. In 1997 at Gwalior Kaul won with flying colours again and then followed a lull.

For some years he stayed out of the sport and returned to it with a vengeance in 2004 in Allahabad where he literally cut into the competition by sending his competitors scuttling for cover in the skies. In 2005 at Mathura he again won the title.

Kite flying took him many places and led him to many persons. He has met many important personalities and people in the process ranging from veteran actors like Dilip Kumar and Johnny Walker in Mumbai in 1998 who came to fight a friendly match with him just to check out his technique and kite flying skills.

In 1992 and 1995 Kaul also won two of his most treasured possessions, a pair of Silver kites, which cannot be flown but are meant for the top shelf in which he displays his many trophies.

Among his unique collection of kites, which are kept solely for the purpose of display are the kites made by all the craftsmen in Lucknow.

Kaul however, laments the decline in the technique of the sports of late. It is no longer based on finesse and technique, he says and has become a sport where power and physical fitness and muscular strength count.

Earlier for a match a kite had to be flown at a height or distance of at least 700 to 800 metres. Now the distance has been reduced to 400 metres. Moreover kites today are lighter and smaller and there is little scope for the use of technique in them.

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