Diwali or Deepavali is one of India’s most important festivals. It gets its name from the rows of colored diyas or clay lamps that many Indians light outside their homes to symbolize the inner light that protects us from spiritual darkness. During Diwali people clean their homes, purchase gold or silver, and offer puja to the Goddesses Kali and Laxmi (depending on which part of India you are from). Some also make the most of the festive season and travel to distant lands with friends and family.
Here’s a list of few incredible destinations that you can visit during Diwali and enjoy an extended weekend:
Mount Abu, Rajasthan: Mt. Abu is a quaint hill-station in Rajasthan famous for its sunset point, Dilwara Jain temples, honeymoon point, wildlife sanctuary, Bailey’s walk and several other attractions. Those interested in hiking, camping and trekking can expect an awesome experience! The Nakki Lake here is considered to be sacred and ancient and you can enjoy a boat ride and take back home some beautiful memories.
Matheran, Maharashtra: Matheran is one of those picture-perfect hill-stations of Maharashtra, which is very popular with nature lovers. Painting a cool canvas, Matheran is an eco-friendly zone with ample birds, animals and trees, letting you feel completely in sync with nature.
Goa: Goa is every traveler’s paradise. Blessed with exotic biodiversity and a great weather around the time of Diwali, Goa is the ultimate place for fun in the sun. There are fabulous beaches to let your hair down, great seafood and shopping in flea markets. For the adventure seekers Goa has plentiful options from surfing, white water rafting, cruising to parasailing. Basilica of Bom Jesus, Fort Aguada, Dudhsagar Falls, Se Cathedral, Chaporra Beach, Casino Goa and Goa Museum are among the best tourist attractions.
Bandhavgarh, Madhya Pradesh: Grab your binoculars and set off for an exciting journey to this game sanctuary, which is open only from October to June. Engage in thrilling wildlife safari and who knows, you might even spot a big cat! This national park has the highest density of Bengal tigers along with diverse species of birds, butterflies, reptiles, bison, sambar, barking deer, nilgai, striped hyena, spotted deer and leopard.
Amritsar, Punjab: The Golden Temple is a treat to watch during Diwali with fireworks illuminating the sky. You will also get to taste special Diwali delicacies at local eateries. Other popular attractions include Jallianwala Bagh, Akal Takht, Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum and Durgiana Temple.
Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh: Deepavali festivities are worth seeing in Varanasi, where the ghats are lit with earthen lamps and houses are decorated with oil lamps and rangolis. The city looks especially spiritual and magical this time.
Bali, Indonesia: Great for adventure lovers, Bali can be a memorable experience this Diwali! Add some action to your holiday by going for paragliding, diving, river rafting, scuba or snorkeling. Enjoy bike tours, visit the rice plantations, have a fun day at theme parks or spend a day in luxurious and affordable spas, Bali will offer everything for recreation!
Bangkok, Thailand: Most Indian cities operate flights to Bangkok and you can expect a fascinating combination of wonderful sights, bustling shopping malls, exotic sea life, grand palaces, museums and temples, beautiful architecture and relaxing spas. Bangkok is a great place to be with its fun and laid back ambiance and unforgettable shopping experience.