7 Destinations You Can Holiday At For Your Diwali Long Weekend

by Shalini Mimani

One of the most anticipated festivals of India, Diwali is just around the corner and we can’t contain our excitement. But hold your excitement right there! This year Diwali also gives you a long weekend. Yes, you heard it right. This year you can spend Diwali for a total of 4 days. And four days call for a road trip, doesn’t it? Hence, it’s the perfect time for us to help you with a curated list of destinations for Diwali Holidays.

There are so many places that you can visit in 4 days. So many ways to spend your Diwali in a way you haven’t before.

So let’s start and help you with a specially curated list of 7 ideal destinations for Diwali holidays.

#1 Darjeeling

When it comes to the hill stations in the eastern part of India, Darjeeling surely is one of the most beautiful destinations. The magnificent mountain peaks, the serene valleys and the beautiful stretch of tea plantations are what makes it one of the most loved places by tourists.

But one of the most astounding things about Darjeeling is the third highest peak in the world, Mountain Kangchenjunga. Oh, the white snow-covered peak turning red with the twilight rays of the sun! A view you would rather not want to miss.

Another attraction of the place is the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Remember Rajesh Khanna singing “Mere Sapno Ki Rani” in “Aradhana”? That’s the Darjeeling Toy Train for you!

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Tiger Hill, Rock Garden, Japanese Peace Pagoda, Observatory Hill, Nightingale Park, Bhutia Busty Gompa, and other Buddhist Monasteries are some of the other spots to visit there. There are also trekking trails for adventure lovers, and for the wildlife lovers, there’s Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park.

The vibe during Diwali is awesome, as the city is lit up with lights and “diyas”, with crackers all around. The hilly terrain can give you the perfect drive for your Diwali road trip. If you spot a bunch of local folks playing Housie (Indian Bingo), don’t forget to join them.

destinations for Diwali holidays
 

#2 Jaisalmer

The Golden City of Jaisalmer in Rajasthan is one of the most exceptional destinations for Diwali holidays. The narrow streets, majestic forts and palaces, and the luxurious havelis and bazaars in Jaisalmer are proof of its medieval charm. Part of the great Indian Thar desert, the entire city is lit up with oil lamps and lanterns.

One of the most unique things that this place has to offer you is the chance to celebrate Diwali in the middle of the desert. There are numerous desert camps where you can relax in your lavish tents. You can even go for camel rides and witness the solace of the desert right under the stars.

Further, the only living fort of India, Jaisalmer Fort is an example of the marvelous Rajasthani Architecture. The royal havelis represent a beautiful blend of Islamic art and Rajput architecture.

In addition, Bada Bagh is a three-hundred-year-old Haveli with roof carvings in the form of peacocks. The Desert National Park is famous for harboring species like Hare Desert fox, Chinkara, Blackbuck, etc. The Sam Sand Dunes give you the opportunity of a memorable desert safari through the golden sands of Rajasthan. Surrounded by small temples and shrines, the Gadissar Lake is an exquisite attraction too.

destinations for Diwali holidays
 

#3 Goa

You all must be familiar with the legend surrounding Diwali celebrations. Yes, we are talking about the epic return of Lord Rama after defeating Ravana and bringing Sita back. But the reasons why locals in Goa celebrate Diwali is a less popular one.

Goans celebrate the defeat of the demon Narkasur by Lord Krishna. To replicate that, there are large figures of Narkasur on streets blazing with fireworks. (Yes, very similar to what you must have seen on Dusshera). The city really becomes a part of the festival with beautiful decorations everywhere, lights and, crackers.

Then again, Goa is known best for being Goa!

There’s literally never a bad time to go to Goa.

Riding from the top of North Goa to the end of South Goa on your scooters, bikes or jeeps, could be an awesome Diwali road trip for you. And since Diwali is also about gambling and cards, what better place to visit than the casinos in Goa!

All these combined, Goa could be one of the most apt destinations for Diwali holidays.

destinations for Diwali holidays
 

#4 Manali

Diwali doesn’t necessarily have to be about the noise and chaos. Some like to spend it peacefully. And if you’re one of those who like to enjoy Diwali in peace, Manali could be the perfect destination for Diwali holidays for you.

Amidst the snow-capped Himalayan peaks and lush pine forests, the aesthetic beauty of this place will never fail to awe you. The place has so much to offer to you in the early winter. Adventure lovers also visit this place for sports like trekking, climbing, rafting and the best of them all, skiing. Try backpacking to Manali this Diwali and this place is sure to leave you with an enchanting experience.

destinations for Diwali holidays
 

#5 Coorg

Coorg is also known as the Scotland of India and the Kashmir of South India. This small hill station located at the southernmost edge of Karnataka is blessed with a beautiful stretch of emerald landscapes and coffee plantations. The greenery, combined with such a pleasant climate is what makes this a desired destination for Diwali holidays.

There are hotels and resorts along the hilly terrain, and it gives you the perfect atmosphere to go for a rejuvenating walk in the laidback mornings. You can also just sip on your coffee in the open and let nature do its job of cleansing your soul.

Then again, the diversity of birds in this place also attracts a lot of birdwatchers. A lot of treks are organized during this time.

Not a fan of treks? Worry not. If you are the one who loves to drive, let this place be the Diwali road trip for you.

destinations for Diwali holidays
 

#6 Amritsar

The day of Diwali marks a very significant day for Sikhs worldwide. It coincides with the “Bandi Chhor Diwas” which marks the release of the sixth Sikh Guru, Guru Hargobind Singh by Emperor Jahangir along with 52 other Sikh princes.

Amritsar celebrates this day of Diwali and Bandi Chhorr Diwas, by decorating the Golden temple with illuminating lights and a traditional 10-minute fireworks display. The lake surrounding the temple is fringed with numerous oil lamps and candles that are lit by devotees. This whole place has a magical aura to witness.

The temple is known to have been feeding people for decades on a daily basis. However, the sight of the feeding hall on this auspicious day is something to behold. The excitement with which people sit to eat and the feeling of being blessed with Prasad through the food is rather something to experience.

Yes, the origin of Diwali has been through religion. However, in Amritsar, you might end up witnessing religion and spirituality like never before.

destinations for Diwali holidays
 

#7 Tarkali

A little off-beat but Tarkali is one of those places which could give you the experience of spending your Diwali holidays in a way you have never before.

One of the very few places in India which offers scuba diving, this hidden gem located on the Konkan coast has an abundance of coral reefs and clear waters, making it perfect for scuba divings. It offers a magnanimous stretch of white sand beaches and if it’s your lucky day, you might even spot dolphins while sitting at the beach.

Exploring a fort by the sea, lazying around at a calm lake and enjoying a boat ride through its backwaters are some of the things you can do during your stay. And folks from Maharashtra and Karnataka, you could just pack your bags, fill your tanks and drive to this awesome destination and make it the perfect Diwali road trip for you.

Image source: Wikimedia

Well, Diwali with a long weekend? It couldn’t get any better, right? Pick up a place if you haven’t yet and do something this Diwali that you have never done before. Sometimes, a road trip on a festive occasion can be the best combo ever. If you need any assistance, feel free to hit us up on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram

Better yet, Hire a Scout and let them #LightUpYourDrive as they plan your road trip for you where you can travel confidently and explore more!

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