Diwali is the festival that is most popularly known as the festival of lights. It marks the return of Lord Rama and takes place on the darkest night (first night of the new moon). All across India, in the best places to spend Diwali, streets are lit with lights and decorated with beautiful sweet smelling flowers. In their houses, people light small diyas and explode firecrackers to express their joy.
Since a few days, I was wondering how people in different cities and countries celebrate this festival. Do they light lamps? Do they burst crackers? How is their Diwali different from ours? After a little exploration, I have come up with the 5 best places to celebrate Diwali!
So this festive season, try something new. Let the lights guide you to few of the best places to celebrate Diwali…
History has it that Diwali was first celebrated to mark Lord Ram’s return to Ayodhya after spending years in exile. What better a place can there be than this to celebrate Diwali? What better a feeling can there be than experiencing history repeat itself?
With some new way of celebrating the festival of lights every year, this year Ayodhya is all set to have a rocking Diwali. The grand “Deepotsav” being held here is the town’s biggest Diwali celebration ever, set to light up the entire town in the evening. People who have been to this place for Diwali will know how beautiful the ghats look after their beautification with flowers and lamps. With almost 2 lakh diyas lit on the banks of Saryu River, Ayodhya looks like an illuminated island from afar.
The zest to celebrate festivals with a heartwarming enthusiasm and eagerness runs in the blood of Punjab. Sikhs actually don’t celebrate Diwali but they celebrate another festival that coincides with the festival of lights. The Sikh festival, ‘Bandi Chaura Divas’ is celebrated as the anniversary of the release of Guru Hargobindji. They follow the tradition of lighting lamps to pay respect to god for the attainment of peace, prosperity, health and knowledge.
The Golden Temple in Amritsar is a sight for the eye during Diwali. It is beautifully decorated and lit up and this image is perfectly reflected in the lake adjacent to the temple adding to its majestic appeal. This enchanting image is accompanied by the echoes of special Kirtans sung by devotees. A mesmerizing display of fireworks over the temple is a feast to the eyes. Every tiny bit of Diwali at the Golden Temple is worth the travel.
Varanasi is one of the best places to celebrate Diwali. People from all over the world come here for a few weeks to witness the beauty of the festival of lights. Make sure to have a boat ride during evening time for a fabulous view of the fireworks over the Ganges. After bursting millions of crackers, the ghats are illuminated with candles and diyas that are floated down the river. The festivities culminate with the spiritual aura lent by the chants and recitals on the riverside.
For having a compete for festive experience, one should definitely stay a week longer to witness the ‘Dev Deepavali’. This is a spectacle worth beholding in Varanasi. The temples, ghats and every corner of the city is decorated with lights and earthen ghee lamps. On the main night of the festival, an elaborate aarti called the ‘Ganga aarti’ takes place at the river ghats. After the aarti, Varanasi comes alive with dance, music, and drama. The time around Diwali is also the best time to savor the mouthwatering delicacies of Varanasi.
Looking for a noise and pollution free Diwali celebration? Worry not! I have the perfect destination in mind where you can not only celebrate Diwali in peace but also enjoy it to the core. Purushwadi is a small town in Maharashtra on the Mumbai- Nasik highway. It is known for having the most peaceful and fun-filled Diwali celebrations.
A typical festive day at Purushwadi begins with rangoli making at the house doorsteps followed by rice harvesting after which the people of this town go for a dip in the river. After this, the men of the house go to collect wood for the bonfire while women prepare tasty delicacies. As evening descends, the people of the town get dressed in the best of their local attires and light a huge bonfire. Children move from door to door, singing traditional songs, inviting each household to pour oil into their oil lamps. The festival comes to an end with everyone eating and merrymaking around the bonfire.
With Diwali being one of the most popular festivals in India and Delhi being the countries capital, the city is bound to be one of the best places to celebrate Diwali. Other than the usual traditional Pooja, a lighting of diyas and bursting firecrackers, there is one more thing that makes Delhi one of the best places to celebrate Diwali.
Special Diwali markets and fairs take place all over Delhi. As old as about 50 years, the Sunder Nagar Diwali mela is the most loved mela of the city. Handicrafts, jewelry, clothes, bags, colorful floating candles, diyas and a lot more can be found in abundance here. The mela organized by the blind school is also another mesmerizing place. Here you can find the most beautiful collection of candles and earthen lamps made by blind students. The city walks Diwali bazar, Epicentre Diwali mela and Defence colony Diwali bazar and also some of the best Diwali destinations in Delhi.