Diwali, the festival of lights, is one of the most important celebrations that takes place all across the country. The festival is celebrated in terms of 3 to 5 days in India, depending on different regions. Every year, this grand occasion falls in the month of October or November.
Apart from India, the beautiful festival of lights is celebrated in countries like Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, etc. While fireworks is one of the many ways of celebrating Diwali, Indians tend to do so much more and celebrate it in their own unique ways.
If you haven't planned your Diwali yet and intend to make it an interesting or a different one this year, visit these 5 places in India where Diwali is more than just celebrations with fireworks.
Jaipur – Shop At The Illuminated Markets
PC: Marc Shandro
We all know that Diwali is defined by lights and a warm feeling that is unique to the festival. Jaipur, the Pink City of Rajasthan, takes this bit of the festival seriously and lights not just buildings, but also the many markets of the city.
All the markets of Jaipur are gloriously illuminated in competition with each other, while the electricity bill is taken care of by the government. Shopping at these beautifully lit markets is certainly an experience you cannot miss!
Goa – Witness The Burning Of Narakasura
PC: Pete Birkinshaw
The first day of Diwali is called Naraka Chaturdashi. On this day, it is believed that Lord Krishna killed the demon named Narakasura who troubled and terrorised villagers. This is celebrated by making enormous Narakasuras out of paper, filled with grass, crackers and other such items.
In Goa, you can find every village competing on who makes the biggest and scariest looking Narakasura. This is certainly a delight to watch, where you can witness huge paper-made Narakasuras being burnt at the dawn of the first day of Diwali.
Kolkata – Go For A Kali Puja
While the rest of the country worships Goddess Lakshmi, Kolkata and other parts of West Bengal, Tripura, Odisha and Assam worship Goddess Kali during the main festival day of Diwali. Therefore, temples dedicated to Goddess Kali are usually crowded with devotees in these regions.
Apart from the temples, you can witness awe-inspiring idols of Goddess Kali being displayed all across the city.
Nathdwara – Observe Traditional Wall Paintings
Nathdwara is a small town located about 45 km from Udaipur in Rajasthan. This holy town is a site of pilgrimage due to the Shrinathji Temple that houses an idol of Lord Krishna. Apart from the temple, the town is known for the traditional paintings of Pichwai that showcase certain scenarios from the life of Lord Krishna.
Every year, the buildings of Nathdwara are whitewashed and on their walls, you can see the beautiful Pichwai paintings. The temple also is crowded with devotees, where they can witness the idol of Lord Krishna elaborately decorated.
Varanasi – Watch The River Ganga Light With Diyas
PC: Matt Zimmerman
Varanasi is one of the most important pilgrimage destinations for Hindus in India. The final day of Diwali is known as Dev Diwali or Dev Deepavali in Varanasi, which is the most grand day of celebration. You will witness beautiful fireworks over the river Ganga at all times during the 3-day festival.
Apart from the fantastic show of fireworks in the sky, you can see the river Ganga dotted with mesmerising diyas made of clay that float on the water during the night, making the majestic river look her best.