It should be fair to say that the last quarter of the year is usually the most exciting, what with a multitude of festivals being celebrated in literally every corner of the globe. In India, the dazzling festival of lights, Diwali which falls between mid-October to mid-November every year is considered as one of the most significant religious festivals, marking the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness. It’s no wonder then that Diwali is one of the most anticipated religious festivals in the country. However, as the festival approaches, a lot of us are left wondering how or where to spend it. Listing long weekend ideas to the ideal place for this year’s Diwali festival may seem a little baffling, right? Well, not really! Here are a few Diwali holiday destinations in India absolutely worth exploring this long weekend:
Soak in the Sights and Sounds
Strolling along busy streets under the colourful lit up skies, neatly placed diyas and reverberating sounds is the first experience to go through regardless of which location you plan to spend your weekend in India. Virtually every city celebrates Diwali and the warm welcome extended by revelers can leave most tourists wishing that the celebration never ends
Ideal Places to Visit in India During Diwali
If you're looking for a short trip to spend the weekend celebrating Diwali up north, Amritsar is the place to be. The Golden Temple is must-visit and cannot be given a miss when in the Golden City (yes, that's what the city is nicknamed). The temple is draped in tasteful colorful lights and massive firecrackers are burst by designated professionals called aatishbazi. Also, not far from the Golden Temple, tourists tend to make a stop at the century old Durgiana Temple. Of course, Diwali is all about eating and making merry. So don't forget to savor a glass of lassi at Ahuja Milk Bhandar, langar ka prasad at the Golden Temple and Amritsari kulcha at Kulcha Land.
Another beautiful northern city that your itinerary should include is the holy city of Varanasi that pulse with the glow of diyas and throng of devotees come Diwali. There's no better time of the year than this to take a dip in the holy river, Ganga as people from all across the country gather here under the illumination of fireworks and vibrant rangoli patterns. Once here, you can enjoy the five-day Ganga Mahotsav festival that reaches its finale on Dev Diwali.
Further down south, Madurai's Meenakshi Temple is a major landmark of tourist attraction during Diwali. The temple is lit up like a bride and features intricately drawn rangolis interspersed with flower decorations. This long weekend gateway should also include a shopping spree along Vengala Kadai Street and South Masi Street in your quest for textiles. Wind down by indulging in the amazing local cuisines of jigarthanda, muttaiparotta, and the ever trusty Madurai-style dosas. This all round experience is bound to make this mini vacation a delight for the sight and soul.
Anyone located in and around the eastern region of the country must make it a point to visit Kolkata as Diwali also coincides with Kali Puja, an auspicious dusk-to-dawn festival that is celebrated with much gaiety and fervor. Venture out to do pandal hopping, and marvel at the unique decorations and creative setups for the puja. Areas like Park Street and New Market are ideal for dining and shopping. Be sure to try out the countless number of sweets and Bengali dishes while you're at it!
Last, but certainly not the least, long weekend ideas to celebrate Diwali in the west should definitely involve a trip to the Pink City, Jaipur. Market places come to life here, and the warmly lit houses simply add to the illusion of gold dust being scattered across the city.
The majestic Nahargarh Fort is an alluring place of attraction especially after sunset with its beautiful illumination and stunning sight it offers of the lit-up walled city during Diwali. This is certainly a place to visit on Diwali before hailing a cab back to your hotel.
TIP: Depending on your preference and budget all these locations can be reached either by road, train or flight from most parts of the country. Just make sure to go through your bookings in advance to avoid a mad rush.
Decide on Your Mode of Travel
Depending on your travel preferences, it would be a great idea to plan your bookings way in advance as Diwali is one of the busiest times of the year in India. There is constant shove and push when it comes to making flight and train reservations this time of the year. So unless you're planning on driving with family or friends, it's highly recommended that your flight and train tickets along with hotel reservations are booked in advance.
Cleartrip.com ensures that your Diwali long weekend plan is a memorable one by helping you with hotel reservations, besides flight and train tickets at the best rates without any complications. Keep yourself informed with our fare alerts which will help you stay updated with the best offers in travel and hotel reservations. If you prefer going mobile, you can download the Cleartrip iOS or Android App to help you with important alerts.