Diwali, often known as the “Event of Lights,” is India’s largest annual festival. This five-day festival celebrates the triumph of good over evil, and in North India, it is most famous for commemorating Lord Ram’s and Sita’s return to Ayodhya (after the defeat of demon Ravan and rescue of Sita from his evil clutches on Dussehra). It’s a time for good fortune and family reunion. If you’re looking for a unique way to celebrate Diwali this year, look no further than these different destinations and activities.
The festival of lights is just around the corner, and we hope your joyful spirits are high! From gorgeous lanterns to delectable sweets, the festival of lights is just around the corner, and we hope your celebration spirits are high! Intriguingly, the Diwali festival is celebrated in a variety of ways across the country. Diwali is celebrated in a variety of ways, similar to the diverse cultures that exist in India. The manner in which the holiday is observed has a significant cultural importance. You may only gain a better understanding of the significance of their Diwali celebrations if you visit their city to partake in the festival of lights. Simply said, while the entire country celebrates Diwali with zeal, these sacred sites commemorate the festival in unique ways.
1. Nathdwara- Udaipur
Nathdwara, a small holy town in Rajasthan about 50 minutes north of Udaipur, is most known among pilgrims for its 17th century Krishna temple, which holds a Shreenathji idol. The town, on the other hand, is known for its traditional Pichwai paintings, which depict episodes from Lord Krishna’s life.
Every year, in the week leading up to Diwali, the town’s structures are whitewashed and repainted. Because the major Annakuta holiday happens a day after Diwali, it is widely observed. For the event, Shreenathji’s idol is lavishly adorned and presented, and pilgrims flock to the temple to seek the Lord’s blessings. Hundreds of cows are also decorated and placed at the temple. In addition, lanterns are used to elegantly brighten the town. The day following Diwali, Lord Krishna’s victory over Indra, the Rain God, is commemorated with a special Goverdhan Puja (worship).
2. Marine Bay- Mumbai
The Queen’s Necklace, also known as Marine Drive, provides an evocative backdrop for Mumbai’s Diwali fireworks display. Residents of the city throng there to take in the ambiance and watch the fireworks sparkle in the bay throughout the night. Book a room at one of the hotels along Marine Drive, such as the InterContinental, Marine Plaza, or West End Hotel, for the greatest experience. Diwali-themed illumination can also be found at the Chhatrapathi Shivaji Terminus train station.
3. Dangs- Gujurat
Do you want a peaceful Diwali free of noise and pollution caused by firecrackers? Rural Pleasure, an award-winning rural community-based tourism organisation, will transport you to a secluded village in Dangs, Gujarat, around 270 kilometres from Vadodara (Baroda). You’ll be able to spend Diwali in peace with local tribal locals, who will welcome you into their village, make Diwali rangoli for you, show you how they use forest resources, demonstrate art, and cook great organic vegetarian food for you. You’ll also have the opportunity to go trekking and engage in the tribes’ daily activities if you so desire. It’s a fantastic virtual reality experience. Best of all, the proceeds from the tour are split among the participants.
Diwali celebrations in Goa are centred on Lord Krishna’s defeat of the demon Narakasura. Every hamlet and community holds competitions to see who can create the largest and most terrifying effigy of the devil. Some of them are enormous! On Narakasura Chaturdashi, the day before Diwali’s major day, they’re paraded around the streets and torched at dawn. Because gambling is a favourite Diwali activity, you might as well try your luck at one of Goa’s best casinos. However, you should book the floating casinos well in advance, since they are quite popular at this time of year.
5. Varanasi-Uttar Pradesh
Varanasi is a chaotic town at any time of year, but it’s much worse during Diwali, with a never-ending barrage of firecrackers and pyrotechnics. If you want the finest view of the fireworks over the Ganges, stay at one of the riverside hotels in Varanasi. Other attractions include an unique Ganga Aarti, candle-lit ghats, and diyas (earthen lamps) floating down the river. Dev Deepavali, which takes place two weeks after Diwali on the full moon night of the Hindu lunar month Kartika, is a much grander occasion. A procession of Hindu deities parades through the streets, and the ghats are lined with over a million cypress trees.
6. Kolkata- West Bengal
While most people in India worship Goddess Lakshmi on Diwali, in Kolkata and West Bengal, the major day of the event is known as Kali Puja (as well as Odisha, Tripura and Assam). The Kali temples of Kalighat, Belur Math, and Dakshineswar in Kolkata draw a large number of visitors. Visitors can also see magnificently decorated idols of the terrible Goddess Kali, the Dark Mother, on display throughout the city. Goddess Kali is revered for her power to shatter the ego and all of its associated illusions.
7. Amritsar- Punjab
Although Sikhs predominate in Amritsar, location of the Golden Temple, Diwali is also celebrated in a big way there. The event has been included into the Sikh religion, and it is especially noteworthy since it commemorates the release of Guru Hargobind Singh, the sixth Sikh guru, from the Gwalior Fort jail in 1619. For his beliefs, Mughal Emperor Jahangir had imprisoned him. Furthermore, Amritsar was created in 1577 on Diwali. Expect a spectacular fireworks display over the Golden Temple. The temple complex is also lit up, with thousands of oil lamps and candles lit by devotees along the lake’s shore.
8. Udaipur- Rajasthan
Udaipur is a favourite Diwali destination, with lights illuminating rooftops and doorsteps and fireworks over Lake Pichola. Devotees pay their devotion to the goddess of riches at the Mahalaxmi temple in Bhatiyani Chauhatta. Another highlight is the Udaipur Light Festival, which was founded by UdaipurBlog in 2012 to bring people together to celebrate Diwali. All singers and DJs from various genres play at the festival, which also includes art installations, food booths, amusement activities, and paper lanterns. It will take place at Shouryagarh Resort & Spa, which is located just outside of Udaipur.
Diwali is the busiest shopping season of the year, with unique Diwali markets and festivals held all throughout Delhi. In the run-up to Diwali, Dilli Haat at INA hosts a well-known Diwali Bazaar. Don’t miss the annual Dastkar Festival of Lights Diwali Mela if you’re looking for unique or distinctive handicrafts. The Diwali carnival in Delhi’s affluent Sundar Nagar neighbourhood has been going on for over 50 years and includes amusement rides. The Blind School also hosts a large Diwali mela every year. It takes place near the Oberoi Hotel on Lodhi Road. Matka Market in south Delhi is the place to go for all your Diwali decorating needs. There’s an amazing selection of colourful clay diyas and pots there.
10. Jaipur- Rajasthan
The warm glow of lights and lamps that adorn streets, homes, and stores contributes to Diwali’s splendour. One of the greatest places to see this is in Jaipur, Rajasthan’s “Pink City,” where not only buildings but entire markets are illuminated. Every year, a competition is held for the finest decorated and brightly lit market, and the government pays for the electricity. It’s a spectacular show that draws guests from all around India. During Diwali, Johari Bazaar has gained the label of “The Strip” in Jaipur, similar to how Las Vegas has one. Vedic Walks provides a unique experience.
11. Kovalam- Kerala
Even though Diwali is not a prominent event in Kerala, it is nonetheless observed. The Kovalam beach is a must-see for everyone visiting Kerala during Diwali. Hundreds of tourists gather here to light Diyas and place them on the beach’s sandy shoreline. On Diwali, the entire beach will be illuminated, not to mention the accompanying firecrackers.
Pushkar is a city made up of sand dunes, lakes, hills, and forests that surround the Pushkar Lake. The spirituality and beauty of this oasis village are only two of the many reasons to visit. Taking a bath in the Pushkar lake and seeing the country’s only Brahma temple, complete with its breathtaking sun rise and sun set, is a once-in-a-lifetime event.
However, if you visit Pushkar during Diwali, you will be able to see the Haveli Diwali, an annual camel market. This is a sight to behold because about 50,000 camels take part in the fair, all of them are decked up in colourful decorations and outfits before being led down the ramp.
13. Madurai-Tamil Nadu
Madurai is Tamil Nadu’s third largest city. Diwali is observed in the month of Aippasi on the Naraka Chaturdashi, which is the second day of the five-day festival. This holiday is observed by the South Indians one day before the North Indians. They stroke the oven they use with 4-5 dots and fill it with water to take a bath the next day during this day. The oil bath is said to be as sacred as the Ganges River.
Before the bath, the elders in the house rub the younger ones’ heads with gingelly oil. They set aside new garments and crackers, which are essential items for the puja in the house shrine. Jangri, pathri, oeni, vellaiappam, and other delicacies are the other attractions during the festival
“Diwali is a symbol of hope for humankind. May it bring universal compassion, inner joy of peace, love and awareness of unity to all”