Diwali, the festival of lights – Top places to celebrate Diwali

In the past, I have mentioned numerous reasons to visit India. But it seems as if I have forgotten to mention Diwali. Thanks to the Indian Diaspora, Diwali is being celebrated around the world and people all over the globe are getting to know about this amazing Indian festival. But why not come to India to witness this amazing festival – the place where it all started.

Diyas all around the house on Diwali

Diyas all around the house on Diwali

Diwali is India’s most celebrated festivals. It cuts across religious lines. The reason why we call it the “festival of lights” is because, we Indians light clay lamps (called diyas) around the house. It’s certainly a lot of fun and excuse to buy new clothes and jewellery.

Diwali is celebrated in the first week of November. It marks the start of the Hindu New Year. Incidentally, it coincides with Guy Fawkes (Bon Fire Night) in the UK. It’s now even celebrated in the White House.

Diwali Rangoli

Diwali Rangoli

It is mainly the festival of Lakhsmi, the goddess of wealth. Yep, we do have a god entirely dedicated to wealth. It is said that those who worship the Goddess Lakshmi attains large amounts of wealth (it’s obvious that one has to work for it and pray to the goddess at the same time). The “diyas” or lamps are lit around the house mainly outside the house to help Lakshmi find her way into people’s homes.

It is said that you must remain in the house just in case she does come and if she finds you’re not there then you will not get her blessings. So you can see how important this festival is for all Indians. It is also celebrated because Lord Ram and his wife Sita came back to his kingdom after 14 years of exile.

Diwali fireworks at home

Diwali fireworks at home

Sikhs also celebrate Diwali because it is on this day, that Guru Hargobind arrived in Amritsar after being released from prison in 1619.

Diwali also has a very special significance in the Jain religion. It is said that Lord Mahavira, the last of the Jain Tirthankar attained Nirvana on this day at Pawapuri in Bihar.

Others celebrate Diwali because it’s just a lot of fun. Who doesn’t want to eat sweets and play with fireworks?

Perhaps you can make a trip next time to India to witness this amazing festival of lights next year. Just make sure you check the dates, it varies from the end of October to the first week of November depending on the moon’s cycle. Mind you, if you are a person who hates noise, then this festival is not for you. But if you are one of those who love fire crackers, you’ll love the festival of Diwali.

The top 5 Diwali destinations in India will be:

Delhi

None other than the national capital of India. On Diwali day, you will find that the streets are buzzing with people doing their shopping for sweets and fireworks. You will find “rangolis” everywhere including the small lanes to celebrate Diwali. Some good locations when I lived in Delhi was usual places such as India Gate area, Ram Leela ground and some places in Old Delhi particularly Chandni Chowk. But mind you, it does get very crowded and the smoke from the fireworks can be very intense. Some hotels in Delhi have their own programmes for their guests. It might be a good idea to confirm with them beforehand. In addition, the Karol Bagh market is always very beautifully decorated.

Amritsar – Punjab

The Golden Temple at holy city of Amritsar is draped with thousands of lights and is a sight not to miss. They have the most amazing fireworks.

Sivakasi – Tamil Nadu

This small town in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu makes 70% of the fireworks used by India either at weddings or other functions is made here. They display their best firework systems on Diwali day. Sivakasi is situated 70 km south of Madurai town in Virudhunagar district of Tamil Nadu.

Jaipur – Rajasthan

Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan and also known as the Pink City is one of the best destinations to be during Diwali. The whole city is lit with light and has an amazing atmosphere and is globally renowned for its excellent fireworks display.

Varanasi – Uttar Pradesh

Varanasi also known as Banaras or Kashi situated on the banks of the Ganges (Ganga) in Uttar Pradesh and where I spent large part of my childhood is one of the holiest places for Hindus. Although, I don’t live in Varanasi any more, I still remember the Diwali days when I used to go to the ghats (banks of River Ganges) for aarti. I can confirm that even the gods descend on the ghats at Varanasi on Diwali day – such is the atmosphere.

A typical Diwali night in India

A typical Diwali night in India

Even though these are some of the top places to be during Diwali, the real Diwali is celebrated in the ordinary homes of the Indian people that include the pujas, rangolis, the singing, the home made sweets, the blessings etc.

India cannot be experienced in the air-conditioned ambience of a mall or a five star hotel. The best way to celebrate Diwali would be to spend time with an Indian family.

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42 Responses to “Diwali, the festival of lights – Top places to celebrate Diwali”

  1. Hi Shalu,

    I think any place is wonderful when you are celebrating Diwali with your near and dear ones :)

    Not to mention that even those who are your enemies are forgotten during this time, isn’t it? More than the crackers, which one doesn’t like to burst now with the kid’s more aware of noise and dust pollution, it’s the festival of lights that I prefer – let there be light all around. I’d thought of writing on this topic but just couldn’t sit down with it, with my Dad visiting us for a few weeks now.

    Yes, Diwali has significance in the religions you mentioned, and I think even the poorest of the poor celebrates this festival with great enthusiasm. Wishing you and yours a very Happy Diwali :)

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead :)
    Twitter:

    • Shalu Sharma says:

      Hi Harleena
      Diwali is one of my best festivals. Perhaps because the children gets excited about fireworks. You are right, any place with your family is wonderful. Diwali is one festival that is truly Indian that is celebrated by all. Thanks for your wonderful comment and Happy Diwali to you too.
      Twitter:

  2. Kunal says:

    I love the festival of diwali, and i think it make unity and peace to all religion, caste. Happy diwali to all.

  3. Aleah says:

    I would love, love, love to celebrate Diwali in India! Perhaps not in Varanasi anymore, but maybe in Jaipur. Happy Diwali!
    Twitter:

  4. Hi… Shalu Sharma

    First of all ” Happy Diwali ”
    sorry for late comment Because i was busy in Celebrate diwali.

    And Here i say this Awesome Article. But dear i’m Agree with @Harleena mam.
    she is right No any Specific place Is no need to celebrate diwali.
    this is religious Festival you can enjoy this At you Home.

    But No Probl. Your Blog is On Travel Niche So, You can write This because here are many Travel lover visiting to See good choosed place from your Choise.
    thanks to share it.. :)
    Twitter:

  5. Prasad NP says:

    Happy Diwali Shalu…. Indeed Diwali is a very special festival celebrated all over India by people from different religions. All the places you mention are really big on Diwali and are worth visiting to see the celebrations.
    Twitter:

  6. Free Web Directory says:

    I would love, love, love to celebrate Diwali in India! Perhaps not in Varanasi anymore, but maybe in Jaipur. Happy Diwali!

  7. Amit Kumar says:

    Diwali is the festival of light and happiness. Though it is celebrated with great joy in whole India, yet Diwali of Amritsar is worthy seeing.

  8. sangeeta says:

    Beautiful is beautiful!Your version of diwali festival is equally admirable.

  9. Pramod says:

    Hi Shalu !
    I’ve been celebrating diwali with my family since my childhood in Pune . I’d love to celebrate it in Jaipur too as its the capital of my native state Rajasthan . Thanks for sharing the info .

    -Pramod
    Twitter:

  10. Taniya Madan says:

    Hi Shalu,
    Diwali is one of the biggest festival of India, There are many reason behind celebrating Diwali in India & Shalu you did great job to share these Top places to celebrate Diwali. Well my favorite place to celebrate Diwal is Amritsar – Punjab.

  11. Globalemag says:

    Hello, Shallu, Diwali really is a fun cracking festival of India, Amritar is also my favourite one.

  12. resultsportal says:

    Wish you happy diwali .Hope all indian enjoy their own dewali with lots of joy. And for amazing experience you should visit these place.

  13. Mike says:

    What a fantastic post, Shalu! I had never heard of Diwali and all of the history. Nor had I heard about the Jain religion. I agree with you on eating sweets! :)

  14. Happy Diwali Shalu Sharma! Beautiful and colourful, lovely and timely post! I liked all these Diwali pictures.

  15. Shivi says:

    Lovely pics! Diwali is my favourite festival too! I agree who dosent like eating sweets and play with fireworks! :)

  16. Kathryn Burrington ( from TravelWithKat) says:

    I love fireworks! This would be a great time for me to visit and Jaipur would be a wonderful place to be… one day I hope!
    Twitter:

  17. Kamal G says:

    Happy Diwali Shalu Sharma…Its really colorful,great festival always,Entire nation enjoy Diwali Well..Thanks.

  18. Sunidhi says:

    Hi Shalu Sharma

    Diwali is fesival of light and crackers and India. I believe you must enjoy it with your family. Any place where you and your family, all are together is right choice to celebrate diwali.

    But I must want to enjoy diwali of Amritsar in my life.

    Thanks

  19. Ahsan says:

    Hello Shalu,

    I heard for the first time the inner meaning of Diwali – Festival of Lights. I think Diwali is the best attraction for every tourists who come from abroad. During Diwali fireworks attract ever class – old, young. It combines all religion in a single bond that there is no war just peace :)
    Twitter:

  20. Festival of light sounds interesting. I would love to witness that festival.

  21. shanes says:

    I do Agree Shalu Ji India is best known for cultural activities and festivals around the globe thanks for sharing

  22. laptop service says:

    Diwali the festival of lights is always a wonderful festival when we celebrate with family

  23. Alysha says:

    Hello Shalu, Can you tell me what is the great message on this day ?

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  25. HI,

    I knew Diwali festival. Its Holi festival of Hindu.
    Lovely information thanks for sharing.

  26. India is rich in culture and festivity. Your festival of light is like New Year! Full of fireworks and lights. I thinks I will visit Delhi in this time of the year in November. Thanks for sharing.

  27. hello says:

    Happy Diwali Shalu Sharma…Its really colorful,great festival always,Entire nation enjoy Diwali Well..Thanks.

  28. Vivek Jain says:

    Diwali is the festival of lights, we all know! But how to celebrate this festival in a unique style.. We came to from this article.
    .
    It’s a decent article with enormous and deep thinking. Color festival in a great style to define the Indian culture around the globe. Yup! Australian also love this festival so much.
    .
    May be soon, It will include in Top Australian Festivals list also.

    Waiting for that time to see the celebration of this festival across the country, especailly in the Australia Festivals.

    Thanks again for this Awesome writing mam. :)
    Twitter:

  29. amit says:

    I need this info and I got it from your blog.Thanks for sharing thsi info.

  30. Pankaj Bhatt says:

    hey!!! diwali is also my favorite festivals and i love celebrating any festival with my family then i enjoy more,last year i was not with my family though i celebrated diwali with my friends but i really missed my family but now this year i am with them and m gonna rock this diwali as all my cousins will also be with me.

  31. kunal says:

    Awesome article, Diwali is my favourite festival. I usually celebrate this festival with my family but this year i can not because of my college. Thanks a lot for sharing this article mam. :)

  32. Happy Diwali 2014 and If you r searching for Best place for celebrating Diwali then I have one for u , Yes it is not so common but really interesting…. Bhagalpur , Bihar India

  33. Ravi Raj says:

    I wish you happy and prosperous diwali to all of you.Diwali is the festival of sweets and happiness.So on this festival of light be happy and make others happy.
    Twitter:

  34. Savan says:

    Diwali puja Day is very important a Businessman and specially Gujarati businessman because this day open the new Account book. This day also known as a Chopda Pujan.

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  36. Decorlover says:

    India is wealthy in culture and festivity. Your festival of sunshine is much like Year! Filled with fireworks and lights. I thinks I’ll visit Delhi in this time around of the season in November. Thank you for discussing.

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