Whenever we talk about an environment full of light, the first name that comes in every mind is Diwali. Diwali is one of the most important festivals of Hindus and the grandest festival celebrated across India. The word Diwali is derived from Deepavali which is a combination of two different terms, Deepa and Wali. Deepa means lights, Wali stands for string, and when those two words combine, they make a string of light that enlightens entire India. The colors, sights, and vibe in this festival are simply incredible.
This festival of lights is celebrated throughout India, therefore, you can see many colors of it as every region celebrates it specially. In some places, the celebration of this auspicious day starts from Durga Pooja and keeps on going until Bhai Dooj and Govardhan pooja. Schools, colleges, and offices are closed for a week to enjoy the celebration. Markets are decorated with remarkable lights, and the roads too have an alternative charm. Diwali is the ideal time to witness the diversity of the country and see the variations in their celebrations. Some travelers specially visit these regions to experience this festival.
We have curated a list of the places to celebrate diwali in India -the festival of lights at its best.
No other place can beat the serenity of Varanasi when it comes to experiencing the Diwali festival. Varanasi or Banaras lies on the banks of the sacred river, Ganga. The beautiful view of floating Diyas all over the river looks as if a million stars have descended is a sight to behold. The Ganga snan(bath), bustling street markets, sunset boat ride, Ganga Aarti with religious recitals and chants, ghats lined with candles, a fabulous view of the fireworks over the Ganges are some the experience you must go through. Ganga Mahotsav which falls on a fortnight after Diwali is the highlight, as it is celebrated on the Dev Diwali which is celebrated with a lot more fervor than Diwali. Millions of people visit this city at this time of the year. On this day a grand procession of Hindu deities is held. Ganga Mahotsav truly showcases Varanasi’s cultural heritage.
Diwali at the Golden Temple. Diwali is celebrated grandly at Amritsar because it also marks the return of the sixth Sikh guru, Guru Hargobind Sahib from imprisonment. He had been unjustly held for his beliefs. The day is also called Bandi Chor Diwas. Another reason behind the massive celebration is that the foundation stone of the Golden Temple was laid on Diwali, in 1577. So, the Golden Temple is draped in fairy lights, and the edge of the sacred pond is adorned with countless oil lamps and candles, lit by devotees. A mesmerizing display of fireworks is held over the Golden Temple. The area around the shrine transforms into an ethereal landscape. There are special prayers or kirtans held throughout the city.
Jaipur As Places to Celebrate diwali in India
Celebrate the grandiosity of Diwali like no other at the city of royals, Jaipur. Celebration of Diwali in Jaipur is mesmerising. The whole markets of the pink city are decked out in a multitude of hues with spectacular lighting. There is a competition held by the government of Jaipur for the best decorated and most brilliantly lit upmarket. Different ethnic shows, performances, golf clubs, and polo matches are organized to attract visitors. The dazzling display at the nighttime of those five-day celebrations is spectacular. Nahargarh Fort and Jal Mahal are at their peak of beauty during Diwali. The scintillating view of the city from the fort and the reflection of the brilliant fireworks on the tranquil lake offers glorious sight. Indulge in the finest Marwari cuisine and shop for attractive souvenirs and handicrafts on your sojourn through Jaipur.
The celebrations in Mumbai might not be traditional, but they are sure to mesmerize one’s heart with its glimmering celebrations at Marine Drive. The arc of this Queen’s necklace offers an excellent backdrop on the eve of Diwali. Soak in the sight of fireworks by the sparkling waters of this bay. The locals of this city flock there to enjoy the atmosphere and watch the fireworks dazzle throughout the night.
Embrace the festivities of Diwali at Kolkata with a distinct style. While most people in India worship Goddess Lakshmi on Diwali, Kolkata celebrates it as Kali Puja. Magnificent pandals are decorated at marvel. Idol of Goddess Kali is setup and worshipped with great joy and enthusiasm. The Goddess Kali is worshipped by thousands of devotees for her ability to destroy the ego and illusions. You can participate in the Kali Puja, Kali Puja pandal hopping, visit famous Kali temples such as Kalighat, Belur Math and Dakshineswar which attract a huge number of devotees. You can also witness the offerings to the Goddess including meat, fish, flowers, and sweets. The dazzling Diyas, candles, and lamps, and amazing fireworks at almost every street corner make the lively atmosphere, you must experience once.
If you are looking to celebrate the Diwali festival in a way different than usual, Go Goa! The celebrations start from Naraka Chaturdashi when people in Goa celebrate by taking out processions, enacting the killing of Narakasura by Lord Krishna. Large effigies of Narakasura are burned by the locals in Goa the same as we burn the effigy of Ravana on Dussehra. They are burned in the evening on Narakasura Chaturdashi, the day before the main day of Diwali. Competitions are held for making the biggest and scariest effigy of the demon. You can also have a great time, visiting the shores, casinos of Goa. Try your luck at this paradise of casinos. Goa can be a unique destination for Diwali as Goa is the heaven of gambling.
If you are a person who doesn’t like much noise and crowd, Purushwadi is the ideal place to celebrate Diwali. It’s a small town located on a hill along the Mumbai-Nashik highway. This quiet village celebrates in a uniquely away from street fairs and firecrackers. The villagers here light a grand bonfire on Diwali night and cook traditional food, while children carry lamps and move from door to door, singing traditional songs, inviting each household to pour oil into their oil lamps. You can learn the local culture by immersing yourself into village life. You can help the local women in making Rangolis, assisting in the rice harvest, going for a dip in the river, chopping wood for the campfire, and toasting your dinner on the bonfire. Celebrating Diwali here gives you a really out of the world experience of the festival that you won’t get anywhere else.
Ayodhya As Places to Celebrate diwali in India
Which place can be better than the place where the festival came into existence. Yes, Ayodhya the birthplace and kingdom of Lord Rama where he returned on this day after a 14-year long exile. Ayodhya the holy city holds India’s biggest Diwali celebration. You can experience the true blue celebrations here and can witness the happiness on the faces of the people who live here. This city made a record of lighting more than 300,000 earthen lamps along the banks of the Saryu River. Ayodhya earned the festival a place in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2018. The calmness of the river Saryu coupled with the Aarti and rituals make up for a very spiritual experience in Diwali.
Gujrat does not lag when it comes to celebrating Diwali. Every city of this state is decorated gloriously and the streets display countless twinkling lights with happy faces all around. The state of Gujarat gives more importance to business and trade. There are several shoppers crowding shops, wholesale markets and streets in Gujarat during Diwali. People in residential areas are more into rituals than celebrations. Huge Rangoli designs with different bright colors can be seen here. They create colorful Rangoli along with the Rangoli of the footprints of Laxmiji over the front side of their houses. Houses are lit up with diyas, lights and the doors are kept open as they believe Goddess Laxmi will enter and bless them. The next day of Diwali is the new year of Gujaratis.
Head to the city of lakes, Udaipur for celebrating a happening Diwali. During Diwali, all the houses and hotels are decorated and illuminated with lights. Here unique Diwali celebration makes Udaipur one of the best places to celebrate Diwali in India.A charming view of fireworks can be enjoyed over the Pichola Lake. You will fall in love with the lake city that glows and shimmer with the reflections of the fireworks and the lights of the palaces offering regal celebrations of Diwali that just cannot be matched!
People here visit the Mahalaxmi Temple to pay respects to Laxmiji, the Goddess of Wealth. The major attraction during Diwali is the Udaipur Light Festival or ULF was initiated by the Government since 2012 to unite everyone and celebrate Diwali in a royal style. This festival features performances from various singers, DJs across genres, art installations, food stalls, fun activities along with flying paper lanterns. This festival is organized at Shouryagarh Resort and Spa on the outskirts of Udaipur.
So what are you waiting for? Get your bags ready and head to your favorite destination for the Diwali celebration.
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