Looking as far as the eye can see, every home is decorated in exquisite lanterns and diyas, every building is shining with the series light running all over it and every inch of sky is illuminated with numerous colors despite being the moonless night of the month. And that is how you know it is Diwali, the ‘Festival of Lights‘.
Places to visit in Diwali
In this festive season, people are in great celebratory spirit. As India is blessed with rich and diverse culture, so is the celebration of these festivals. You will get to experience different vibes and impressions of Diwali across India. Here is the list of places to visit in Diwali.
1. Varanasi (Dev Deepavali)
Starting the list of best places to visit during Diwali with one of the most significant places, Varanasi. Also known as the city of lights, it is the top destination to experience Diwali on a grander scale. You can start your day by having a bath at the ghats and then wander out in the city to explore different markets where you will find local foods, traditional clothes and much more.
In the evening, take a boat ride to amuse yourself in the magnificent sight of the city where the ghats are illuminated with the candles and diyas floating on the river and a continuous stream of firecrackers are brightening up the sky.
If you have a long trip planned then you might wanna see the Ganga Mahotsav which is celebrated on the coming full moon night just after Diwali and take part in the ‘Dev Deepavali‘ or ‘Diwali of Gods‘.
If you are planning to visit Varanasi for longer duration, Check out the 11 Best Places to Visit in Varanasi.
Also please do checkout the experience of a Trip to Varanasi with Friends – A Shivling Behind Nandi.
2. Amritsar (Bandi Chhor Divas)
Next on the list of places to visit in Diwali vacation is Amritsar. As the city is presided over by Sikh community, one might be amazed to know that Diwali is celebrated here with all the beliefs and important rituals associated with it. The Golden temple is illuminated with diyas, oil lamps and candles lit by pilgrims and devotees themselves and also there is a display of stunning fireworks over the temple.
It is believed that it was the time when the sixth Sikh guru, Hargobind Singh, returned who was imprisoned for his beliefs and this homecoming is celebrated as a festival called Bandi Chhor Divas. Moreover, the day is also significant because the foundation stone for Golden Temple was laid during this time.
3. Jaipur (Folk Performances)
Incandescent yellow shade of light glittering all over the Pink City, Jaipur is a one of the best place to visit in Diwali if you are up for regal celebration. Palaces, markets, buildings and streets are illuminated with diyas and well crafted lanterns. Also, musicians perform folk favorites in the city bazaar.
There is competition held every year in which the government pays the energy bill for the most alluring and beautifully decorated market. One famous market is ‘The Johari Bazaar‘ which becomes ‘the Strip’ unlike Las Vegas during Diwali.
Note : Popular landmarks like Nahargarh fort offer a great view of light glazing all over the city.
Not just palaces, lakes and streets lit up with diyas and candles but also in Udaipur, the sky is illuminated with the floating diyas casting a stunning reflection on Lake Pichola which makes it one of the best places to visit in Diwali Vacation.
The city offers a regal, romantic and picturesque celebration of the festival of lights. Since 2012, the Udaipur Light Festival has been held every year on the outskirts of the city where artists from around the country come to perform. Also, there are food stalls and fun activities like paper lanterns that you can indulge yourself into.
5. Ayodhya (Native Celebration)
In Ramayana, Lord Rama returned from the 14-year exile with his wife and brother to His birthplace, Ayodhya, and the people celebrated their arrival which we call today as Diwali. So when it comes to the festival of lights, Ayodhya is the place you wanna be.
The whole city gets decorated with diyas, light, vivid papers and other DIY decorations. In the year 2018, for lighting more than 300,000 earthen lamps by the side of the banks of Saryu River, the city had attained a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. The enchanted and fervour celebratory spirit of the people of Ayodhya will surely take you to the sacred space.
6. Kolkata (Kali Puja)
The city echoing with the post Durga Puja celebration comes anew celebration of Kali Puja. In Kolkata, Diwali is seen as a celebration of Goddess Kali’s victory over demons and evil. Huge pandals with Goddess Kali’s Idol are erected all over the city and there are unique offerings to the Goddess such as red hibiscus flowers, sweets, meat and fish. The entire city flourishes with diyas and candles and firecrackers in every street corner.
Note : Kalighat or Dakshineswar Temple are bookmarked places during the Diwali.
7. Goa (Narakasura Chaturdashi)
Being the party capital of the country, Goa is in the bucket list of all the vacation trips ever planned. So, if your plan is to visit Goa in Diwali, you are up for a treat.
Diwali, here is the celebration of the defeat of demon Narakasura by Lord Krishna and it is celebrated a day before Diwali as the Narakasura Chaturdashi where massive effigies of Narakasura filled with firecrackers and grass are built and then burnt later. Following this, a huge celebration of Diwali starts where people wallow themselves into several popular activities in Goa like gambling.
Note : During holidays, all floating casinos are fully booked, so if you want to enjoy these activities you need to book in advance.
Frequently Asked Questions About Diwali :
Q : Where is Diwali most celebrated in the world?
A : Diwali is a festival that is celebrated with great passion worldwide. Since it is an Indian festival originally, you can expect celebrations on a great scale in every part of India.
Q : Which country has Diwali as a national holiday?
A : Not just India, other countries also have an official holiday on Diwali. Countries like Malaysia, Mauritius, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Guyana, Fiji and Trinidad & Tobago also celebrate Diwali in grandiose.
Q : Where can I go for Diwali in India?
A : Nothing beats celebrating Diwali with family and friends. But if you are planning a trip for Diwali, then you can go to Ayodhya for its native celebration, Varanasi for Dev Deepavali, Amritsar for Bandi Chhor Divas, Kolkata for Kali Puja, Goa for Narakasura Chaturdashi, Jaipur for folk performances or Udaipur for its light festival.
Q : Less crowded places to visit in diwali
A : Places like Diu, Puducherry, Kumarakom or Mashobra have discrete ways of celebrating Diwali. If you are planning to escape the grand celebration of the festival and want to spend it quietly and in solitude then you should visit these places.
Q : Is Diwali a good time to visit India?
A : Diwali is the best time to visit in India. You will get to experience a rich culture that is associated with the festival of lights. The streets and buildings are decorated with lights and earthen lamps and there is a display of dazzling fireworks in every part of India.
Q : Which State is famous for Diwali?
A : Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh is famous for offering a distinctive experience to the visitors where they get to hold a sight of the city beside the ghats with all the diyas and candles lit up and a stream of fireworks enriching the sky.
Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, is celebrated all over India with great enthusiasm. Every other state has its own way and tradition to celebrate this beautiful occasion. These were some of the best places to visit in Diwali.
The list is not exhaustive. We would love to know how Diwali is celebrated in many other state or region. Comment below and share your experience with us.
Some More Places to Visit: