Diwali is the festival that lights up almost every house in the country not just with candles and diyas but with happiness, festivity and prosperity. It is that time of the year when majorly all cities in the country are indulged in festivity with lesser work hours and more fun. The streets are filled with crackers and amazing sweets and food. This is the time of the year when you will have most fun being in the land of diversity. Here is a list of some places with the biggest Diwali celebration in India.
Varanasi, is one of the most ancient and religious city located on the banks of the river Ganges. It has its own way of lighting up the city with positivity on Diwali. On the night of Diwali when the sky is all dark, thousands of colored diyas are put afloat into the river by large groups of devotees. This is a practice that has been followed since ages and particularly watching the Ganges all lit up with brightness makes it feel so calm and peaceful within. The diyas float throughout the length of the lake, which makes the sight a memorable one. It seems as like a million stars have come down to the earth for this evening. And of course you cannot miss the Ganga Arti specifically on the eve of Diwali.
Dev Deepavali is celebrated two weeks after Diwali on the full moon night of the Hindu month of Kartika and this is an even bigger occasion. There’s a procession of Hindu gods (idols) through the streets and the ghats that are lined with more than a million clay lamps. It overlaps with the Ganga Mahotsav cultural festival.
It is one of the most colorful cities in India and on Diwali the city lights up with all its brilliance. The Pink city has enough surprises to make your Diwali even more special. Jaipur hosts the light Festival in which the different markets of the Jaipur unite to enjoy the various performances like the ethnic shows, performances and golf clubs and polo matches to entertain the tourists and visitors.
During Diwali, the markets in Jaipur are even more colorful and lit up with lights during the nighttime. The shops remain open late night for the tourists to relax and shop without any hustle. The Imperial Nahargarh Fort is beautifully lit up and people enjoy it thoroughly, so do not miss the view of the Fort during the five days of Diwali festivity.
The Meenakshi Temple in Madurai is a magnificently decorated tourist attraction during Diwali. The temple is lit up with lights. Candles, diyas and traditional decorations like Rangoli, flower decorations are seen all around. Diwali shopping can be enjoyed well at the Vengala Kadai Street and South Masi Street here, there are some amazing fabrics that you can add to your collection. And what is festivity without good food, you must try the Jigarthanda, Muttaiparotta, and also the nimble Madurai-style dosas. Madurai has so much to offer with the friendly people and a calm environment.
Kolkata enjoys every festival to the fullest and so is the case with the Diwali celebrations. You shall be a part of the Kali Puja, an auspicious dusk-to-dawn festival celebrated with much cheerfulness and fervor. Kalighat, Belur Math and Dakshineswar — attract a huge number of devotees. Kolkata is all indulged in the colors of festivity during this time, try pandal hopping, and be in awe with the unique decorations and advanced setups to the puja. And if you wish to enjoy shopping here you must explore places such as Park Street and New Market. Besides you will also be able to come across so much artistic insights in the city that you may never wish to go back.
Goa is all known for drinks and fun and beaches and gambling but there is more a traditional side to it than that. Diwali in Goa is entirely different from the rest of the part of the country. Goa celebrates Diwali by mimicking the killing of Narakasura by Lord Krishna. It’s similar to what happens on Dussehra. Like Ravana is burnt in the event of Dusshera, large effigies of Narakasura are burned by people in Goa around Diwali. You should visit tranquil shores of Goaaround Diwali if you’d like to avoid smoke and noise.
Pushkar is a religious town in Rajasthan and an ideal mixture of old world charm and business gigs. You shall witness hippies and foreign travelers enjoying their days and nights rapping and drumming just 11 kms away from Ajmer. The city has some bathing ghats where you can sit and relax. The best thing during this time of Diwali is the Camel Fair where approximately 50,000 beautifully and colorfully decorated camels participate and this is the best thing to visit in the Diwali vacations along with enjoying the delicacies that Rajasthan has to offer.
Amritsar has the famous Golden Temple and the Sikhs celebrate Diwali here in a very grand way. The occasion has been included into the Gurugranth Sahib and is particularly important because it also marks the return from prison of the sixth Sikh guru, Guru Hargobind Singh Ji, in 1619. He had been wrongly held captive for his beliefs, along with many other prisoners whom he helped free. Also the foundation stone of the Golden Temple was laid on Diwali, in 1577. The Golden Temple is situated between a lake that is lit with countless oil lamps and candles on Diwali. There is a magnificent display of fireworks over the Golden Temple. The Temple complex is also covered in lights. It brings in peace, positivity and calmness just by seeing it.
Nathdwara is a small town about 50 minutes drive north of Udaipur in Rajasthan. The 17th century Krishna temple that houses an idol of Shreenathji is what makes this popular. But what makes it special on Diwali is its noteworthy traditional Pichwai paintings, featuring scenes from Lord Krishna’s life. Every year, in the week before Diwali the walls of the buildings are whitewashed and repainted. Diwali is an auspicious and important festival here also because the significant Annakuta festival falls a day after it. The idol of Shreenathji is particularly bathed and dresses spectacularly and later the pilgrims are allowed to take the blessings of Shreenathji. The temple has hundreds of cows that are also decorated and displayed. And as it is Diwali the entire town is illuminated with lanterns.
If you wish to celebrate a quiet and more meaningful Diwali you must visit the village in Dangs, about 270 kilometers from Vadodara (Baroda) in Gujarat. You will get a chance to celebrate Diwali in a unique way by understanding the local traditions and preparing Diwali rangoli. The villager’s are friendly and shall show you how they use forest resources, give art demonstrations, and cook delicious organic vegetarian food for you. You shall also enjoy trekking and hiking with them. This is sustainable development initiative started by a group named Rural Pleasure and will make your Diwali holidays more meaningful than ever.
If you wish to celebrate Diwali city style Mumbai celebrates Diwali kike none other. A place that offers you the best adventures to celebrate Diwali is Marine Drive. The arc of this Queen’s necklace specifies an excellent backdrop while the bursting fireworks represented by the sparkling waters of this bay. The city does not sleep and the streets are filled with people enjoying and celebrating all over. Mumbai never sleeps and surely not during Diwali.