Diwali is one of India’s biggest festivals, and features a fascinating display of lights — grand fireworks outdoors, and the lighting of diyas or oil lamps indoors, a symbol of the triumph of good over evil. If you happen to be in India during that time, here is a list of top Diwali destinations you must visit, brought to you by tripsavr 2.0.
Goa’s Diwali celebration is slightly different to how other cities celebrate the festival. Here, villages and cities host a competition to showcase the most terrifying demon effigy, focusing on the destruction of demon Narakasura by Lord Krishna. These effigies are then burned at dawn on the day before Diwali’s main celebration day.
India’s very own ‘Pink City’ is famous for sparing no expense when it comes to lighting up homes, streets, shops and even markets during Diwali. In fact, there is an annual competition for the most brilliantly lit. While there, make sure to taste some of the most ambrosial diwali treats like Mawa Kachori, Gond ke Laddoo, Sohan papdi and Besan Barfi, made with love by the Rajasthani women.
If shopping is your thing, then you must absolutely head down to Delhi which boasts of festive markets, bazaars and fairs during Diwali. And perhaps in between shopping adventures, you can check out adaptations of Ramlila taking place on temporary stages or even as street plays on every street corner. In the mood to relive your childhood spent on carnivals? Make a stop at the Diwali carnival located at Delhi's upmarket Sundar Nagar neighbourhood and check out their rides!
Considered one of the holiest cities in the whole of India, Varanasi is a great place to experience Diwali, if only for the most fabulous lights show over the Ganges. Expect to witness a steady stream of fireworks and firecrackers illuminating the dark sky and the flickering diyas (earthen lamps) floating down the river throughout the night. For some fantastic riverside hotel options with an unobstructed view of the fireworks and floating diyas, look to tripsavr.
For a quieter, more sedate celebration of Diwali that can also keep your lungs smoke-free from the crazy fireworks in and firecrackers in most cities, head down to Gujarat and spend the festival with the local tribal residents who will give you the warmest welcome through home-cooked organic vegetarian meals, art demonstrations and invitations to participate in their daily activities. Check out some tours and activity options on tripsavr in order to maximise your immersive Gujarat experience.