With Diwali peeping from just around the corner, everybody is having the same discussion on the table. How to spend the vacation? Where to plan for? The capital of the nation, Delhi is as heartful as its “bade dill wale log” residing there. The festival is celebrated with utmost zest and excitement. Streets decorated with colourful bulbs, houses adorned with fairy lights and streets bustling with a variety of range of firecracker. Delhites are rocking the way Diwali is celebrated since years. But do you want to spend the weekend in a different way this year? Walk out of the city lights to a serene environment? Are you ready to grab the opportunity this weekend to explore Diwali of places nearby the city? We are here with our exclusive list of places one must head to this vacation to celebrate the festival of lights in a unique, heartful way!
1. Manali, Himachal Pradesh
On the top of our list is none other than Manali, the dream spot for all college gangs, the paradise for those with adventure burning in their hearts and the one perfect stop to find serenity in the beautiful lap of Himalayas. The towering peaks of Rohtang Pass covered in the blanket of snow is a heart stealer any time of the year. During Diwali, it’s just more special because you get to escape the hustles and bustles of the city, the noise of the crackers and deafening chaos of the market. Instead, you get to explore the beautiful alleyways, the old Manali cafes, the rush of trekking and following the map to find new untouched points of the Himachal hills. Spending Diwali in Himachal will be a one of a kind experience that you just cannot miss. There are different ways of reaching Manali from the capital. You can hire your private vehicle or book a bus. There are flights that take you to the land of tranquillity as well.
2. Udaipur, Rajasthan
Diwali is celebrated all across the country with huge grandeur and what better way to witness that other than in the city that bleeds royalty. Udaipur, the lake city, situated in Rajasthan is the perfect place to enjoy your Diwali. The royal palaces, spectacular gardens and beautiful lakes of Udaipur is a treat to the eyes in any month of the year. Diwali is indeed special because the whole city is jewelled with lights, gorgeous decorations and more. You can take a tour to the vivacious Forts that speak of chivalry and bravery. The city palace is a must visit during the festival as it glistens and shines like a bride decorated with dazzling lights, beautiful crafty decorations, and fancy colourful lamps. The Lake Palace also welcomes its visitors with gorgeous views. Udaipur is easily accessible from Delhi via frequent running trains, buses and also some of the flights.
3. Pushkar, Rajasthan
Pushkar lies in the heart of Rajasthan, proudly boasting of its glorious historical and mythological past. The city is just the right blend of old world nostalgic beauty and today’s comfort and luxury. Walk down the lanes of Pushkar and you will experience its raw culture live with temples standing tall next to each other, streets crowded with people, the chant of drums and bhajans and beautiful wide ghats where one can find people from all culture, caste, and society taking a dip. Hardly 12kms from Ajmer, Pushkar is a vibrant city with a just equally vibrant way of celebrating Diwali. You can visit the many temples, all of which are decorated with burning lamps during the festival. Encounter with a foreign tourist is not a rare incident here. Pushkar is also popular for its Camel fair held in the month of November. So, if you extend your trip a bit more, you might be able to catch a glimpse of this one of its kind event in the Asian countries. The fair plays host to more than 50,000 camels who are embellished with jewellery and decorations and brought here to take part in the thrilling event. You can reach Ajmer from Delhi via bus or train and easily catch a local transport to the historical city of Pushkar. Believe me, it will be worth it!
4. Amritsar, Punjab
Very few people know that the foundation stone of the alluring Golden Temple was laid during Diwali. Undoubtedly, the festival is a special day for the entire city of Amritsar due to many reasons. The entire temple is glorified by long strands of fairy lights, with lamps burning near the water edge, lanterns are hung at the entrance with floating clay lamps. The beauty of the Golden Temple on Diwali night cannot be described in just a few mere words. You will have to see it for yourself to experience the grandeur of Golden Temple. The breathtaking fireworks that brighten the dark sky in the night will leave you awe-struck. During the day you can roam around in the city, relishing the taste of Punjab in their delicious parathas and chole kulchas. I bet you will forget the taste of Delhi chaats! Amritsar is just a few hours away from Delhi and can be reached via bus, train or flights.
5. Orccha, Madhya Pradesh
Orccha is established on the bank of Betwa river in Madhya Pradesh. This lesser known place has its own unique importance in Hindu culture and heritage. It has been one of the most favourable spot of many historians over the years. The city with its rich culture and customs has also gained fame for an extravagant celebration of Diwali. The temples, forts, and palaces built in Orccha have been carefully maintained to restore its glory. Many Palaces have been constructed during the time of the great emperor Akbar. The people celebrate the festival in a joyous mood with lights, crackers and huge puja organized. It is a delight to be a part of such a rich culture. The glorious past of Orccha tingles the feet of all history buffs, making the city earn its spot on their bucket list! So, book your tickets for Orccha to visit the magnificent temples and Palaces. Don’t forget to visit the Chaturbhuj Palace, which is considered the best in the city.
6. Rishikesh, Uttarakhand
The land of the holy Ganga, the land of Yoga, the land of God. These are some of the common phrases used to describe Rishikesh. And why not? The city lies in the foothills of the Himalayan range, with River Ganga flowing beside it. Home to many temples, Ashrams and centers of Yoga and Meditation, the town of Rishikesh is a different world altogether. It is also known as the “Gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas”. You can spend your vacation roaming the streets of Rishikesh, visiting the beautiful temples and peaceful Ashrams. You can indulge into Yoga to bring peace and calm to your mind. Or you can head over to the river side where provisions for a plenty of adventure sports from river rafting, bungee jumping to fox flying has been made. There is just so much to do that you will never feel bored here. Rishikesh can be reached effortlessly via bus or trains that run frequently from the capital. Also, don’t miss to climb the Laxman Jhula, a very popular spot in Rishikesh.
7. Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
This Diwali, let’s go back to finding the roots of our traditions and cultures. And there can be no better place than Varanasi to do so. Lying on the bank of the holy Ganga, Varanasi is considered as the spiritual capital of India. The city attracts millions of Hindu pilgrims every year to take bath in the holy water. The place has around 2,000 temples dedicated to different Gods and Goddesses. Kashi Vishwanath is an important pilgrim spot dedicated to Lord Shiva. Needless to say, the place that holds such importance to Hindus celebrate the festival of Diwali with bundles of excitement and energy. Preparations start taking place from months before. Temples are decorated, the river Ghats are adorned with lights, streets are lit up with sweets, crackers, colourful lights and so much more. Celebrating Diwali in the city of Varanasi is an exhilarating experience for anyone!
This Diwali, try something new. Ditch Delhi and head over to one of these fantastic places to celebrate the festival in a unique way. Whether you want to indulge in the vibrant traditions of the city or pamper yourself away from the noise in a peaceful environment, our extensive list has got it all covered for you.