The biggest festival of the year in India that celebrates the triumph of light over dark is around the corner; and it’s no surprise that many travellers will fly down to the country to become a part of the prosperous and glorious celebration. If you too are planning a visit to India to experience all the pomp and show of Diwali celebrations, here’s our list of the places that turn into a true delight during the festival:
The culturally rich city in the state of Rajasthan, Udaipur is a terrific place to spot the glow of lights and lamps adorning the monuments and various other archaeological as well as natural sites. You can make the most of the sparkling festival taking a boat ride across Lake Pichola to the delightful Taj Lake Palace in the city. If you arrive at the hotel in time, you get the chance of becoming a part of the candle-lighting ceremonies, prayers and blessings. You would also love to enjoy a vivid firework display blaze across the sky from the hotel’s rooftop restaurant, Bhairo.
Boasting of a number of temples and shrines dedicated to the Sikh culture, Amritsar is the holy ground for Sikhs worldwide. The Golden Temple, a major draw of the city, is visited by thousands of tourists on the spectacular night of Diwali. It transforms into a fascinating delight with thousands of twinkling lights on its ornate gilded exterior and the sky above it adorned with a colourful illusion of fireworks. A large number of Sikhs gather here on the night and celebrate Bandi Chhor Divas which is the liberation of their sixth guru from prison.
The largest metropolis and capital of India, Delhi is undoubtedly the place where you can experience the best of Diwali. The capital celebrates Diwali in full force and appears its glossiest best during the festival. The shopping emporiums too are in their finery this time. You cannot miss to discover boutique village Dilli Haat that is chockfull of glitter-dipped diyas, colourful lamps and luxurious fabrics. Blind School Diwali Mela and Dastkar – Nature Bazaar venue are must-visits in the city if you are there during Diwali. These are the best places to buy everything from Rajasthani shawls and sequin-studded saris to Orissan bronzes and tinkling anklets.
One of the most sacred pilgrimage sites of India, Varanasi celebrates the festival of Diwali twice a year. Dev Diwali is the most popular festival here that comes after 15 days of Diwali. Both are the festivals of lights when the entire city is illuminated with sparklers and fireworks. Thousands of families visit the city and be a part of them. On Dev Diwali, 7kms of Ghats along the holy banks of the city are beautified with thousands of flickering diyas in honour of Ma Ganga, the presiding goddess of Varanasi.
There is something unique and interesting about the Diwali celebration in Goa. On this auspicious festival, the locals here celebrate the God Krishna who defeated the demon Narkasura. You will get to see large figures of this demon parading the streets and villages of Goa; some of them are filled with fireworks that symbolise light triumphing over darkness. This captivating, colour-saturated event can be best experienced in Panjim, the capital of Goa. You can book a stay at one of the popular hotels in the capital that hold celebrations including stunning firework displays.