Deepavali, the festival of lights is not widely celebrated in Kerala, though a few communities in regions like Kochi go all the way out to have fun at the occasion. This year, the Kerala government has also issued orders stating firecrackers should only be burst between 8 pm and 10 pm, based on the instruction of the National Green Tribunal. However, in many other parts of the country, the festival is a bigger affair and if you want to get a true feel of its vibe, there are a few spots we can recommend. Check them out:
Goa's unique celebrations
Did you know that Goa, a favourite destination of Malayalis, have its own unique way of celebrating the festival? Apparently, it starts by burning the effigy of Narakasura and even competitions are held in every village for making the best effigies. The state also sets up special markets and fairs for the occasion. Anjuna Flea Market, Arpora Market, Panjim Municipal Market and Gandhi Market are some of the famous spots tourists pick for Deepavali shopping. Gambling, which is legal in the state, is also a popular Deepavali activity in the state. But, if you are a fireworks enthusiast, you can head to Calangute, Baga or Anjuna beaches, where you can enjoy the launch of sky lanterns to fairy lights and rockets.
Mysore's royal Deepavali hue
Many travellers say the royal city of Mysore, which is about 150 km from Bengaluru, has a regal hue during the Diwali season with its many palaces and temples lit up, creating a serene, calm ambience. Most of the houses are also decorated with clay oil lamps and coloured with rangolis in their courtyards. Fireworks add a special celebration mood to the place that stays illuminated with many varieties of impressive decors in the season.
Gujarat offers many options
Most Gujarati households will be lit up with diyas, incense sticks and more during Deepavali. But if you want to enjoy the festival the best, head to places like Pushkar, Kutch, Dwarka or Somnath. Dwarka is known as the birthplace of Lord Krishna and is a sacred pilgrimage location that draws devotees from the world over. Pushkar, popular for its melas and lake, has a scenic Diwali every year with the many temples in the region celebrating it, with lit lamps and prayers. Travellers say at Kutch, Diwali has a different, quiet yet glowing vibe with its lanterns and diyas lit in the vast stretches of Rann.
The air quality of Kolkata dips quite low these days around Deepavali aka Kali Puja, but the city's spectacular Deepavali vibe is something festival enthusiasts won't want to miss. A few of the spots that offer exceptional Diwali experiences in Kolkata are the Kalighat Kali Temple, Belur Math, Barasat and the villages of Joyrambati and Kamarpukur. The celebration at Belur Math, for instance, is complete with a special evening arati that devotees look forward to. Pandals and melas make Diwali at Barasat also quite special. You should also check out Kolkata special baklava, kaju barfi, patisa and more if visiting the place for Deepavali.