Diwali is one of the biggest and most beautiful celebrations in India. Marking Hindu New Year, this ancient five day festival celebrates the triumph of light over dark and good over evil. Witness incredible light displays, mesmerising fireworks and symbolic burning of candles, while families get together to feast and share gifts.
This year Diwali is celebrated from October 30 and Booking.com
, the global leader in connecting travellers with the widest choice of incredible places to stay, has put together some of their favourite destinations to celebrate this one of a kind festival.
Kandy, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is a symbolic place to celebrate Diwali and here you can’t miss the lighting of lamps and distribution of misery, figurines of sugar crystals. Kandy is a great base to explore the country and travellers can either head to the beaches or stay in nearby villages to join the friendly locals celebrate after dark with colorful ceremonies.
This quaint homestay, Bee View is a relaxing stay away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Guests can enjoy beautiful views and delicious food prepared by the friendly hosts. It’s also a great location for hiking and a perfect starting spot for to explore further afield.
Varanasi comes alive even more at this time of year and you’ll be blown away by the incredible fireworks going in every corner of the city. For the best view head to the Ganges and see the breathtaking visage of the water lighting up and the diyas (lamps) floating down the river. Known for its abundance of culture and history, after being mesmerized by the bright lights across the night sky, spend your day exploring the bustling street markets and indulge in Diwali sweets and brightly coloured clothes.
Built in the 18th Century and one of the oldest structures in Varanasi, the BrijRama Palace is the perfect place to stay for a bit of luxury when visiting this part of India. With views overlooking the Ganges (the perfect spot to catch the fireworks), a rooftop terrace and beautifully decorated room, you can sit back and relax after exploring the local sights.
Festivities are celebrated more privately here, rather than with a public festival but none the less, the city is completely lit up as everyone’s private party includes a mesmerizing firework display. Visitors should head to Mumbai’s iconic Queen’s Necklace to watch the most spectacular fireworks or go to Juhu Beach if you fancy perusing delicious food stalls while watching the display in the skies.
If you love a room with a view, Taj Lands is the perfect option. Just 200 metres from the seafront, it offers panoramic views of the Arabian Sea. After watching the fireworks at Juhu beach, travellers can retreat back to enjoy the beautiful spacious rooms, health club, and spa.
Goa, Anjuna, India
Diwali celebrations in Goa consist of competitions in each village to see who can make the biggest and scariest version of the demon Narakasura (to celebrate Lord Krishna defeating him). The demon is then burned at dawn, the day before the main day of Diwali. There are of course plenty of late night fireworks for you to enjoy and Goa is a great place for beaches, nightlife and relaxation.
If you’re looking for a laid back, ‘cool vibes’ kind of stay than look no further than Roadhouse Hostel. You’re bound to meet fellow travellers from all over the world at this quirky hostel, which is situated close to the beach and Anjuna flea market.
Udaipur’s majestic lakes are a beautiful spot to watch the Diwali lights and fireworks, not to mention it’s full of royal history and plenty of things to do. Enjoy a camel ride, feast on Marwari delicacies and pick out ethnic Rajasthan souvenirs from the local markets. Come Diwali the main streets are lit up, making for a completely magical experience.
Built in 1746, the iconic Taj Lake Palace is a beautiful sight – full of incredible architecture and made with marble. Guests can enjoy breath-taking views of the City Palace and Machala Mara hills, indulge in luxury spa services and enjoy fine-dining authentic cuisine at the Neel Kamal restaurant.