20 Best Places to Visit in Diwali Vacation in India
India is a country of huge cultural diversification. It is a land with a maximum number of festivals and religions altogether. This is the reason why India celebrates the most worldwide. Diwali is one of the most well-known festivals worldwide, which India celebrates. Diwali or Dipawali is also known as the “festivals of lights” in India, where the people basically get their buildings and houses lightened up and celebrate by firing crackers.
Diwali being such a large scale occasion for India, different cities celebrate it in different manners all over the country, and everyone gets a huge holiday during this period. So, we present you with the list of 20 Best Places to Visit in Diwali in India that you must visit:
Ayodhya is the first destination when we talk about to celebration of Diwali because it is the birth place of Lord Ram and marks the return of Lord Ram with Wife Sita and Brother Laxman to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile. You can witness the real happiness and joy over here. People from different parts of UP comes and lights lamps at the banks of river Sarayu. In fact almost three lakhs diyas were lit and the event was placed in the Guiness Book of Records. It is a massive celebration where the festival is celebrated for four days. There is a beautiful ceremony as women lit the diyas and bring to the river. The city is beautifully decorated with the color papers, lights and other hand made decorative items. You will be amazed and excited about celebrating this day over here.
Although Amritsar is known for the Golden Temple which is predominated by the Sikhs, the festivals of Light Diwali is celebrated in a very grand and different way here. It was incorporated in the year 1619 when the sixth Sikh guru, Guru Hargobind Singh returned from the prison who had been illegally imprisoned for his beliefs. He was imprisoned with several other political leaders who supported him.
Moreover, Diwali is special in Amritsar because, the foundation stone of the Golden temple was laid in the year 1577. If you visit here during Diwali, you will be lucky enough to witness a magnificent display of fireworks over the Golden Temple. Also, the temple complex gets lit up with innumerable number of lights, oil lamps and candles , lit by the pilgrims as well as the devotees.
Get Complete Info : About Golden Temple Amritsar – The Most Visited Place in the World
Suggested Tour : 10 Days – Golden Triangle Tour with Amritsar (Golden Temple)
Varanasi or Banaras is regarded as one of the most holy places of the Hindus around the world. This is the place where the river Ganga meets the ocean and is the widest here. If you visit here in Diwali, you will experience crazy time here in Varanasi. You will get to see a constant stream of firecrackers and fireworks being lightened up throughout the whole night.
Other special things to experience here are the special Ganga Aarti when the Ghats of Varanasi specially the Dashashwamedh Ghat gets illuminated with candles and earthen lamps which are later floated in the river. Soon after two weeks of Diwali, on a full moon night Dev Deepavali is celebrated which is a even bigger occassion. During this time a huge procession of all the Hindu deities are lined up in the streets and the ghats are illuminated with more than a million lamps. Later, it coincides with a cultural festival called the Ganga Mahotsav.
Also Read : 20 Best Places To Visit In Varanasi And Arounds
One of the most happening and popular place to celebrate Diwali is in Udaipur. During Diwali, all the rooftops and doorsteps are decorated and illuminated with lights and fireworks which is reflected over a lake called the Pichola. Devotees here visit the Mahalaxmi Temple situated in Bhatiyani Chauhatta to pay respects to the Goddess of Wealth. Another attraction during Diwali is the Udaipur Light Festival which has been started by the Government since 2012 to gather everyone and celebrate Diwali in a royal style featuring performances from various singers, DJs across genres , art installations, food stalls , fun activities as well as paper lanterns which takes place in the outskirts of Udaipur at the Shouryagarh Resort and Spa.
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Jaipur experiences most of it’s beauty during Diwali from the warm glow of lights and oil lamps illuminated in streets, houses and shops. One of the best places to experience this is in the Pink City, Jaipur, where not just houses, but the whole buildings and markets gets illuminated every year. Every year, a competition is conducted where the Government pays the electricity bill for the most beautifully and most brilliantly decorated market. It’s very glamourous and dazzling event which draws tourists not only from India but also from outside of India. Unlike Las Vegas has a “Strip”, the Johari bazaar has also earned a title of “The Strip” in Jaipur during Diwali. You can also experience a special Diwali Walking Tour called the Vedic Walks.
Also Read : Fairs and Festivals of Jaipur
In Goa, they celebrate Diwali for the destruction of Demon Narakasura by Lord Krishna. Every year, they conduct a competition in every city and village of Goa to see who can make the biggest and the nastiest of the demon which are later burnt down on Narakasura Chaturdashi, which is just a day before the main day of Diwali. As gambling is a primary part of Goa, it becomes even more demanding an popular during the Diwali. You can try your luck in one of the top Casinos of Goa. Make sure to book a well established casino as they are hard to find during the occasion due to high demand.
Also Read : Major Festivals and Events in Goa
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Delhi, the capital of India packs in a lot of amazing destinations for you to explore in your Diwali Vacation. Due to the increasing rate of pollution the Delhi government has restricted the Diwali fireworks and firecrackers celebration. So, you can experience a lit up city with different kind of lights all over the city starting from the buildings to shops and markets.
Delhi celebrates Diwali on a 5 day basis. Starting from the Dhanteras which is regarded as the lucky day to buy expensive goods, then comes Naraka Chaturdashi where the demon Naraksura was killed by Lord Krishna, then is Diwali which is the third day of the new moon in Kartim when it is belived that lord Rama rescued his wife Sita from the demon Ravana, candles are illuminated along with little fireworks all over Delhi. Then comes the Balipadyami, the fourth day of the new year in the Vikram Samvat which marks the Annakut which is all about a giveaway of food i.e, feasting. Lastly, it’s the Bhaiduj when the day is celebrated for the relationship between a brother and sister.
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Ahemdabad’s culture has a great resemblances with the culture of Delhi. It also celebrates Diwali in 5 days starting from the Dhanteras which is regarded as the lucky day to buy expensive goods, then comes Naraka Chaturdashi where the demon Naraksura was killed by Lord Krishna, then is Diwali which is the third day of the new moon in Kartik when it is believed that lord Rama rescued his wife Sita from the demon Ravana , candles are illuminated along with little fireworks all over Delhi. Then comes the Balipadyami, the fourth day of the new year in the VikramSamvat which marks the Annakut which is all about a giveaway of food i.e, feasting. Lastly, it’s the Bhaiduj when the day is celebrated for the relationship between a brother and sister.
Other than this you will surely find great amount of fireworks and firecrackers during these days. Although many Amdavadis opted for a quieter and a more eco-friendly Diwali, many societies here burst limited quantities of firecrackers together to mark the driving away of evil spirits.
When the rest of India celebrates Diwali by worshiping Goddess Laxmi , the main day of Diwali is celebrated as Kali Puna in Kolkata and West Bengal which is remarkable to witness. Maa Kali temples situated in Kolkata like Kalighat, Belur Math, Dakshineswar attract a huge number of tourists and devotees during this day. Beautifully decorated fearless Goddess Kali idols, the dark mother are also put up in display across the city for people to visit. It is believed that Kali is worshiped for her ability to destroy all the negativity, ego and illusions which go with it. During Diwali everything is lit up and illuminated.
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Madurai is the 3rd largest city of Tamil Nadu. Diwali is celebrated in the month of Aippasi on the Naraka Chaturdashi which is said to be the 2nd day of the 5 day Diwali celebration. The South Indians celebrates this festival 1 day prior to the North Indians. During this day, they stroke the oven they use with 4-5 dots and fill it with water to take bath the next day. It is believed that the oil bath is as holy as the river Ganges. The younger ones heads are stroked by the elders in the house with gingelly oil before the bath. They keep aside new clothes and crackers which are the important things for the puja in the house temple itself. Delicacies like jangri, pathri, oeni, vellaiappam, chutney, idli, boondi, ukkarai, omapodi and sambar are the attractions during the festival.
Also Read : 8 Best Places to Visit in Madurai
Pushkar is one such city which is a combination of Sand dunes, lakes ,hills and forest around a the Pushkar Lake. One of the many reasons to visit this oasis town is it’s spirituality and beauty. Taking a dip in the Pushkar lake and visiting the only Brahma temple in the country along with it’s mesmerizing sun rise and sun set are just glorifying experience to have in a lifetime. But if you visit Pushkar during the Diwali you will witness the Haveli Diwali which is a annual camel fair. This is a treat to witness because approximately 50,000 camels participate in this fair and all of them are dressed up in colourful decorations and clothing and also they are taken entirely to drift the ramp. They also participate in races and also traded along side with it.
Suggested Tour : 9 Days – Golden Triangle with Pushkar Tour
Gujarati’s Diwali marks the end of a year and the beginning of a new one. Diwali is celebrated grandly yet quietly over here. Houses are decorated with Diyas, and rangoli’s on all five days. There would be processions conducted, and rituals conducted in tribal style are also quite popular. Gifting gold is also an important ceremony for Gujarati’s. While sweets aren’t of much prominence, delicacies like Samosa, Aloo Tikki, etc. are made in houses and served.
During Diwali, the whole city is illuminated with lights. Still, the best part is, of course, the Mysore Palace, which is a breathtaking sight at night. Houses are also decorated with Diya’s and rangoli’s made of colors and designs. Most of the places around are decorated, such as the Brindavan gardens and Somnathpuram temple, which is a must-see. Sharing sweets is considered a very important part of celebrating Diwali, and one can find sweet stalls in every nook and corner during Diwali.
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Mumbai is one of the best places to celebrate Diwali. Not only does the city get into the mood of Diwali with its light winter breeze, and lights lit up everywhere, you get to explore, and a do lot during the Diwali times. Taking a walk to LJ road in Mahim would provide you with a whole different experience of hanging lanterns been placed all over the street and its beautiful decoration. The city is the brightest during Diwali, and a visit to the Bangananga tank would be a serene experience where tiny floating lamps are all over the water lit. Mumbaikars love celebrating, and of course, crackers are part of them. If you want to get a beautiful view of the crackers bursting into the sky and the sky turning into different colors, then go to the Marine drive. The most spectacular display of fireworks happens over here.
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While Diwali is not a major festival in Kerala, it is still celebrated in its way. If you are in Kerala during Diwali, the must-visit place is the Kovalam beach. Here hundreds of tourists join together and light Diya and place it on the sandy shores of the beach. The whole beach would be lit up on Diwali, not to mention the firecrackers that accompany them.
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The festivals of lights are celebrated uniquely in Odisha. The celebration is not just limited to the festival of lights but is also accompanied by Kali Pooja and a ceremony of Badabadua Daka. The city gets ready for the Kali Pooja a fortnight before and is celebrated with much enthusiasm and gaiety. The idols of Kali are placed in various Pandals, and various poojas are done until the day of Diwali. Long Processions are conducted on the day of Kali Pooja, where the idol is taken into a temple. The Badabadua Daka is also celebrated by remembering the ancestors of the day and praying for them and inviting them to be part of the festive. Burning of Jute sticks in Jaganath temple is a unique ritual that is conducted to call out for the ancestors during Diwali.
While Diwali is not celebrated as tremendous as the neighboring states do, the state is decorated with colorful lamps in houses and even along the streets during Diwali. Flowers are used to decorating the house. Statues of Ram, Sita, and Lakshman returning back to Ayodhya is also placed and decorated in street sides and parks.
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Diwali is celebrated for five days in Assam. Starting from the first day, the house is decorated with flower garlands and diyas and lights. The doors of the house are also decorated with Mango leaves and Marigold. The first day called Danteras is where houses are cleaned and decorated to welcome Lakshmi. The second day is called Naraka Chaturdashi, The third as Diwali, fourth as Balipadyami and Fifth as BhaiBij. On the fourth day, food is given away to the poor people, and on fifth-day sisters mark Tilak on the forehead of brothers marking their wellness. People of Assam celebrate Diwali by greeting and getting blessings from each other. Tejpur and Kaziranga are the must-visit cities during Diwali as they celebrate Diwali in tremendous ways.
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Down in the south, Diwali is considered as the day where Krishna killed the demon Narakasur. The celebration starts with people taking an oil bath and worshipping Lakshmi. Sweets and shared and newly married couples are invited for lunch. However, by evening, the city turns different from Diya’s decorated everywhere, and crackers burst not just from houses but even on roads. The crackers are a main part of Diwali, and it continues to burst till late at night. While there are five days of celebration, it is the last two days that are celebrated with much glory and prompt.
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The Hindus in Jammu and Kashmir celebrate Diwali with a lot of traditions. The whole city lights up during Diwali. This is also the time when people of Jammu and Kashmir would buy new things for their houses. Since Diwali is one of the old rituals for Kashmiri Pandits, the elders of the family take a full day fasting and worship goddess Lakshmi. Wearing new clothes, listening to music, and giving cash as a gift is an important part of Diwali celebrations.
Suggested Tour : 10 Days – Taj Mahal and Kashmir Tour
Diwali is celebrated with much prompt and glory in Bangalore. Since the city is diverse in its culture, people from all around get together to celebrate Diwali. While the houses are lit with Diyas, the shops are decorated with rice lights. The whole city illuminates during the three days of Diwali. Bursting crackers and eating sweets is also considered auspicious.
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