While India is known to be the ‘Land of Festivals’, Diwali is one of the most prominent festivals in the country, due to its considerable Hindu population. Diwali or Deepavali is also called the ‘Festival of Lights’. It is rightly named as this festival celebrates the triumph of light over darkness. The celebrations of Diwali are filled with much religious fervour. The entire country is decked up in the prettiest lights and colours, with houses smelling of Diwali special delicacies like laddoos, chakli and farsans. Schools and colleges also have a long Diwali vacation in India. 

Diwali 2023

Diwali 2023
Diwali- The Festival of Lights
Image Credit: szefei

Diwali 2023 falls on 12th November 2023, Sunday. The pre-Diwali festivities start with Dhanteras on 10th October 2023 and the festivities end with Bhai Dhuj on 14th October 2023. 

The Indian festival of Diwali is all about celebrating and spending quality time with your close family and friends. While one’s idea of celebrating Diwali might be spending it at home, you might want to try something different for your Diwali vacation 2023. 

Also Read: Global Diwali: Diwali Across The World

India hosts a plethora of breathtaking tourist attractions. Here are 6 amazing places to visit for your Diwali vacation in India for the upcoming Diwali weekend. 

1. Varanasi

Diwali vacation in India - Varanasi
Stunning View of Varanasi’s Diwali
Image Credit: Davide Gandolfi

Varanasi is one of the best places to visit in Diwali vacation in India due to its revered presence in Hindu mythology and the Ganga River. This city holds the most spectacular display of a spiritually enlightening extravaganza. 

Get to Varanasi a few days before the D-day and you can witness the city donning an extraordinary garb. Start your Diwali morning by taking a dip in the holy Ganga River. After that go exploring the several ghats and bustling bazaars, where you can try some authentic food in the afternoon followed by shopping for traditional food and sweets. Return to the ghats, especially Assi Ghat as the sun sets in. Come early to grab a spot as you will be witnessing the most spectacular nightly Ganga aarti. Take a boat ride in the river as you see lamps and diyas covering the distance, religious chants evoking the air and a splendid barrage of fireworks. 

If you have some more time to spend, wait to celebrate Dev Deepawali in Varanasi. It is held about 2 weeks after Diwali as a part of the Ganga Mahotsav Festival. 

Varanasi is a top choice for a Diwali vacation with family. To avoid the festive rush and price surge, plan a Varanasi vacation by making affordable hotel bookings in advance. 

2. Amritsar

Bandi Chhor Divas in Amritsar
Golden Temple for Bandi Chhor Divas in Amritsar
Image Credit: Joshua Gao

Just as there are a variety of festivals around India, even the reasons to celebrate these festivals are varied. While many around celebrate this day as Diwali, the Sikhs commemorate the day as ‘Bandi Chhor Divas’. Intrigued to learn more about celebrations of this day? Spend the Diwali weekend in Amritsar, the birthplace of Guru Nanak and the heartland of the Sikh community. The reason for celebrating this day is to mark the return of the 6th Sikh Guru, Guru Hargobind Singhji from imprisonment, in 1619. 

Celebrations include people lighting diyas and performing kirtans at Harmandir Sahib. A procession is taken out through the city streets which ends at the fully illuminated Golden Temple. 

Amritsar is probably a great pick for a Diwali vacation in India, due to its settling winter weather at that time. The perfect vacation weather, the zesty festive spark all around and the opportunity to dig into the most healthy meal of makki di roti and sarson da saag, tempting enough for a rejuvenating Diwali vacation right? 

Plan a winter-special trip to Amritsar and make it even more special by adding Himachal Pradesh to your travel itinerary with our all-inclusive Himachal Pradesh Tour Packages

3. Kolkata

Kali Puja in Kolkata
Park Street decked up for Kali Puja
Image Credit: Rudra Narayan Mitra

Unlike the North, the South celebrates the Diwali period differently, i.e. with Kali Puja. It is a celebration to mark the triumph of Goddess Kali over several demons. The ‘City of Joy’ is dazzled with lights, flowers and huge pandals with huge statues of Goddess Kali. The city’s festive spirit is still high from the exquisite Durga Pujo and Dussehra celebrations

For Kali Puja, people offer unique offerings like meat, fish, sweets and flowers to the Goddess. Thousands of devotees gather on the streets to go from one pandal to another. Many also visit places of religious importance like Kalighat Temple or Dakshineshwar Temple. Do not miss out on Kolkata’s Kali Puja celebrations with a Kolkata trip for your Diwali vacation 2023. 

If you want to enjoy a Diwali vacation in India in more than one place, get cheap flight bookings online in advance and move from one city to another over the Diwali weekend. 

4. Jaipur / Udaipur

Diwali vacation in India- Jaipur/ Udaipur
Udaipur’s City Palace during Diwali
Image Credit: Kandarp

The prominent cities of Rajasthan, Jaipur and Udaipur, are some really breathtaking cities for a royal Diwali vacation in India. 

Jaipur boasts of hosting a culturally rich Diwali. Forts and gardens of the ‘pink city’ in lights of all colours and the city bazaars like Chandpole Market and Jantar Mantar Market are filled with people. Enjoy the local musicians at one of the market’s crossroads, buy a variety of traditional stuff and relish the mouth-watering Marwadi cuisine. 

Udaipur will give you a grander display of Diwali celebrations with its grand palaces and stunning lakes. The Udaipur City Palace shimmers in the night sky and you can witness this picture-perfect scene by taking a ride across Lake Pichola. Pick a serene spot along one of the lake banks and watch the night sky lit up with firecrackers. 

Even though you do not want to engage in traditional Diwali celebrations, Rajasthan Tour Packages offer several types of tourist attractions. Opt for a fun jungle safari experience in the Ranthambore National Park or spend a royal staycation at one of Rajasthan’s many palaces turned hotels. 

5. Goa

Diwali in Goa- Narak Chaturdashi
Effigy of Narakasura for Diwali
Image Credit: knyazevfoto

Yes, Diwali celebrations in Goa are special for its Narak Chaturdashi processions. It signifies the celebration of Lord Krishna’s victory over the demon Narakasura.  Goans decorate their houses with lanterns. Huge effigies of the demon Narakasura are filled with firecrackers and then lit up at dawn the next morning. Cities like Panjim and Margao hold a lot of historical significance with temples that attract a considerable tourist population during Diwali. 

Enjoy Goa’s exquisite cuisine at one of the beachside shacks and hit the swankiest casinos later with our all-inclusive Goa Tour Packages

6. Mumbai

Diwali vacation in India- Mumbai
Fireworks at Mumbai’s Marine Drive
Image Credit: Vishal More

Mumbai has always been a hotspot with people coming in from different parts of India. This means there are varied kinds of celebrations in Mumbai, making it ideal for a Diwali vacation in India. Friends and families get together to organise Diwali parties, perform pujas, play games and have fun. 

Head to the city’s shores, along Marine Drive or Girgaum Chowpatty and witness the Mumbai skyline drown in colours with fireworks. For shoppers, visit one of the local markets to get the trendiest stuff to decorate your homes for Diwali. Restaurants here also host parties with planned Diwali special meals. Festival season or not, exploring Mumbai with our affordable Mumbai Tour Packages is always touristy. 

Apart from these places, you can also spend your Diwali vacation in India in Ayodhya, Delhi, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, etc. This festive season, make use of the long Diwali weekend, pack your bags and go exploring. It will not only be a rejuvenating vacation but a learning experience too. A Diwali vacation in India will surely be etched in your memories forever. 

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