As in many Asian and Middle Eastern countries, India has an ancient kite fighting tradition. The traditional kite, patang, is a simple-looking two-spar tissue paper and bamboo creation, carefully crafted for maneuverability and responsiveness. The kites are flown at great heights (one mark of the expert flyer) with a long section of glass-coated cutting line, manjha. One-on-one tangles are the normal fighting format, even in skies crowded with thousands of kites.

The most notable kite flying time is Maker Sankranti, January 14th, where families fly patang from rooftops, engage in friendly tangles, and celebrate into the night. Most kites are simply decorated so flyers can recognize their flight paths at great distance, but complex geometric and appliqué designs are also found. Figure kites, the tukal, and "round", ten-sided kites can also be found in Indian skies.