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Diwali Travel: Experience the Magic of the Festival of Lights

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

Experience the Dazzling Magic of Diwali: Curated Diwali Travel and Trip Ideas to Immerse Yourself in the Festival of Lights.

Diwali Diya (earthen lamps) are shown on the day of Diwali.
Diwali 2023



Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, is one of the most grandiose and vibrant festivals celebrated in India and around the world. This auspicious occasion marks the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance. It is a time when families come together, homes are adorned with colorful decorations, and the air is filled with joy and excitement. In this article, we will explore the significance of Diwali and why you should consider celebrating it. We will also take a look at the best places to experience the magic of Diwali, unique attractions associated with the festival, cultural experiences that await you for your Diwali travel, essential travel tips, and how to reach your chosen Diwali destination.

Light Lamps are decorated for Diwali.
Diwali Lights

Understanding Diwali

Diwali, a dazzling dance of lights, ignites the skies, dispelling darkness and igniting joy. The festival holds great religious and cultural significance for Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs, who celebrate it with fervor and enthusiasm. Diwali usually falls between October and November, and the exact date varies yearly, depending on the Hindu lunar calendar. It spans five days, with each day having its customs and rituals. The festival is a time for spiritual reflection, family gatherings, feasts, and exchanging gifts.

Why You Must Celebrate Diwali

Diwali is not just a festival, but a transformative experience that immerses you in the rich tapestry of Indian culture and tradition. Here are a few reasons why you should consider celebrating Diwali:

  • Cultural Immersion: Diwali offers a unique opportunity to witness and participate in age-old customs and traditions. By celebrating Diwali, you can gain a deeper understanding of Indian culture and immerse yourself in the vibrant festivities.

  • Joy and Unity: Diwali brings people together, fostering a sense of unity and harmony. It is a time when families and friends unite to celebrate, exchange gifts, and light up their homes with diyas (earthen lamps).

  • Spiritual Significance: Diwali holds immense religious significance for Hindus, as it marks various mythological events and symbolizes the triumph of good over evil. By taking part in Diwali celebrations, you can connect with your spiritual self and experience a sense of inner peace.

  • Spectacular Displays: The sight of thousands of lamps illuminating the streets, homes, and temples during Diwali is a breathtaking sight to behold. The festive atmosphere is further enhanced by colorful decorations, firecrackers, and elaborate rangoli art.

Best Places to Celebrate Diwali

If you wish to immerse yourself in the true essence of Diwali, here are some of the best places to add to your Diwali travel list to experience the festival :

People are celebrating Diwali with firecrackers.
Celebrating Diwali

India is the epicenter of Diwali celebrations, with every city and town embracing the festive spirit. Here are three remarkable destinations within India that offer unique Diwali experiences:

This image shows Diwali celebration in Varanasi.
Diwali In Varanasi

1.1. Varanasi

Known as the spiritual capital of India, Varanasi is an enchanting city where Diwali takes on a whole new dimension. The banks of the sacred river Ganges come alive with thousands of diyas, lighting up the night sky and creating a mesmerizing spectacle. Witnessing the grand Ganga Aarti, a liturgical ritual performed with fire, is a must-do during Diwali in Varanasi. This place should be definitely on your Diwali travel list.

Nearby Hotels:

  1. Taj Ganges Varanasi: A luxurious 5-star hotel with a riverside location and beautiful views.

  2. Radisson Hotel Varanasi: A modern hotel offering comfortable rooms and a range of amenities.

  3. Brijrama Palace: A heritage hotel along the ghats, providing an authentic Varanasi experience.

Travel Information:
  • Nearest Airport: Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport (approximately 25 km)

  • Nearest Railway Station: Varanasi Junction (within the city)

  • Nearest Bus Stand: Varanasi Bus Stand (within the city)

  • How to Reach: Varanasi enjoys excellent connectivity, with well-established road, rail, and air links facilitating smooth travel to this ancient city.

  • Reason to Visit: Varanasi is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and is a major pilgrimage site for Hindus. It is known for its ghats along the sacred Ganges River, spiritual significance, and vibrant cultural scene.

1.2. Jaipur

The Pink City of Jaipur comes alive with a riot of colors during Diwali. The entire city is adorned with dazzling lights, and the markets are bustling with shoppers looking for traditional clothing, jewelry, and handicrafts. The famous Jal Mahal and Amber Fort are illuminated with bright lights, creating a magical ambiance that is a treat for the eyes. Jaipur is one of the best places to take a Diwali trip.

Nearest Hotels:
  1. Rambagh Palace: A luxurious heritage hotel known for its regal ambiance and impeccable service.

  2. The Oberoi Rajvilas: A 5-star resort offering a blend of traditional Rajasthani architecture and modern comforts.

  3. Hilton Jaipur: A contemporary hotel with comfortable rooms and a central location in the city.

Travel Information:
  • Nearest Airport: Jaipur International Airport (13 km)

  • Nearest Railway Station: Jaipur Junction (5 km)

  • Nearest Bus Stand: Sindhi Camp Bus Stand (4 km)

  • How to Reach: Jaipur is a well-connected city. The Jaipur Metro provides convenient access to various parts of the city. You can also use a taxi to explore the local sites of the city.

  • Reason to Visit: Jaipur, also known as the "Pink City," is a city steeped in history and culture, with its magnificent palaces, forts, and vibrant bazaars. It offers a glimpse of the royal heritage of Rajasthan and is known for its architectural marvels like the Hawa Mahal and Amber Fort.

This image shows diwali celebration in Amritsar.
Diwali In Amritsar

1.3. Amritsar

In the holy city of Amritsar, Diwali is celebrated with great fervor at the Golden Temple, the holiest shrine of Sikhism. The magnificent temple is beautifully decorated with lights and flowers, and the night sky is lit up with a mesmerizing fireworks display. The atmosphere is filled with devotional music, prayers, and langar (community kitchen) where everyone is welcome to partake in a free meal.

Nearby Hotels:
  1. Hyatt Regency Amritsar (0.5 km from Golden Temple)

  2. Radisson Blu Hotel Amritsar (1.5 km from Golden Temple)

  3. Holiday Inn Amritsar Ranjit Avenue (3 km from Golden Temple)

Travel Information:
  • Nearest Airport: Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport, Amritsar (11 km)

  • Nearest Railway Station: Amritsar Junction (1 km)

  • Nearest Bus Stand: Amritsar Bus Stand (2 km)

  • How to Reach: Amritsar is easily accessible by air, rail, and road. It's a well-connected city. You can hire a taxi for local travel.

  • Reason to Visit in One Line: Amritsar is famous for the Golden Temple, a spiritual and architectural marvel, as well as its rich Sikh heritage and delicious Punjabi cuisine.

2. International Destinations

If you wish to experience a Diwali trip outside of India, here are three international destinations you can add to your Diwali travel list where the festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm:

2.1. Nepal

In Nepal, Diwali is known as "Tihar" and is celebrated with unique customs and traditions. The festival involves worshiping various animals, including cows, dogs, and crows, as a form of gratitude for their contributions to human life. The streets are illuminated with oil lamps, and homes are decorated with colorful rangoli designs. Visiting Nepal can easily make your Diwali tour list amazing.

Nearby Hotels in Kathmandu:
  1. Hyatt Regency Kathmandu: A luxury hotel with a tranquil atmosphere, located about 3 km from Tribhuvan International Airport.

  2. Hotel Yak & Yeti: An elegant hotel nestled in the heart of Kathmandu, just 1 km from Durbar Square and 6 km from the airport.

  3. Shangri-La Hotel, Kathmandu: Situated near the city center, this hotel is around 5 km from the airport and offers comfort and convenience.

Travel Information:
  • Nearest Airport: Pokhara Airport (3 km)

  • Nearest Railway Station: N/A

  • Nearest Bus Stand: Prithvi Chowk Bus Park (2 km)

  • How to Reach: Pokhara is well-connected by road and air. You can fly into Pokhara Airport from Kathmandu or take a scenic bus ride through the beautiful Nepalese countryside. Taxis and local transportation options are readily available for exploring the city.

  • Reason to Visit: Pokhara, known as the gateway to the Annapurna Himalayas, offers stunning mountain vistas, serene lakes, and numerous outdoor adventure opportunities, making it a paradise for trekkers and nature enthusiasts.

Diwali, locally known as "Deepavali," is celebrated by the Tamil community in Sri Lanka. The festival is marked by the lighting of oil lamps, exchanging sweets and gifts, and offering prayers at Hindu temples. The vibrant celebrations, cultural performances, and delicious traditional delicacies make Sri Lanka a wonderful destination to be added to your Diwali travel list.

Nearby Hotels:
  1. The Grand Kandyan Hotel

  2. Cinnamon Citadel Kandy

  3. Amaya Hills Kandy

  4. Earl's Regent Hotel

  5. Mahaweli Reach Hotel

Travel Information:
  • Nearest Airport: Bandaranaike International Airport (32 km)

  • Nearest Railway Station: Colombo Fort Railway Station

  • Nearest Bus Stand: Central Bus Stand, Colombo (2 km)

  • How to Reach: Colombo is well-connected by air, and Bandaranaike International Airport is the main gateway to the city. The city also has a comprehensive railway network, with Colombo Fort Railway Station serving as a major hub. Local transportation within the city includes buses and tuk-tuks, which are readily available for convenient travel.

  • Reason to Visit: Explore the vibrant city of Colombo, known for its mix of modern and colonial architecture, bustling markets, and rich cultural heritage. Enjoy the beautiful beaches, visit historical sites, and savor delicious Sri Lankan cuisine.

This image shows Diwali celebration in Singapore.
Diwali In Singapore

Singapore, with its diverse cultural landscape, showcases a grand celebration of Diwali. The streets of Little India are adorned with elaborate decorations, and the annual "Deepavali Festival Village" is set up, offering a vast array of shopping, dining, and cultural experiences. The mesmerizing light displays, live performances, and mouthwatering Indian cuisine make Diwali in Singapore truly unforgettable and your Diwali trip memorable.

Nearby Hotels:
  1. Marina Bay Sands: This iconic hotel offers breathtaking views and a stunning rooftop pool.

  2. The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore: A luxury hotel with a prime location overlooking Marina Bay.

  3. Mandarin Oriental, Singapore: Known for its world-class service and convenient location near Marina Bay.

  4. Swissotel The Stamford: Located in the heart of the city, offering easy access to shopping and cultural attractions.

  5. The Fullerton Hotel Singapore: A historic waterfront hotel with elegant colonial architecture.

Travel Information:
  • Nearest Airport: Changi Airport (Approximately 20 km from the city center)

  • Nearest Railway Station: Singapore has a well-developed Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system but no specific railway station in the city center.

  • Nearest Bus Stand: Various bus terminals and stops throughout the city.

  • How to Reach: Singapore is easily accessible with Changi Airport serving as a major international hub. The city also boasts an extensive public transportation network, including buses and the MRT, for convenient travel within the city. Taxis and ride-sharing services are readily available for local commuting.

  • Reason to Visit: Singapore offers a unique blend of modernity and tradition, with world-class attractions, diverse cuisine, and a vibrant cultural scene that make it a top destination for travelers seeking an unforgettable urban experience.

Unique Diwali Attractions

Diwali is not just about lighting lamps and exchanging gifts; it offers a multitude of unique attractions that will leave you spellbound. Here are some of the standout features of Diwali celebrations:

This image shows a hand lighting diya on a rangoli.
Lighting Diya

1. Rangoli Art

Rangoli is a traditional art form where intricate and vibrant patterns are created on the floor using colored powders, rice, grains, or flower petals. During Diwali, the streets, courtyards, and doorsteps of homes are adorned with magnificent rangoli designs. These visually stunning artworks are a symbol of auspiciousness and are believed to invite prosperity and good fortune.

This images shows diyas lit up.
Diwali Diyas

2. Fireworks and Diyas

Fireworks are an integral part of Diwali celebrations, symbolizing the triumph of light over darkness. The night sky is filled with dazzling displays of fireworks, creating a magical ambiance. Diyas, or earthen lamps, are also lit throughout Diwali to ward off evil spirits and illuminate the path for Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity.

This image shows diwali treats.
Diwali Delicious Treats

3. Delicious Diwali Treats

Diwali is a time when culinary delights take center stage. Mouthwatering sweets and snacks, such as gulab jamun, kaju katli, jalebi, and samosas, are prepared in every household. These delectable treats are shared with family, friends, and neighbors, spreading joy and happiness.

This image shows people shopping for Diwali.
Diwali Shopping

4. Shopping for Diwali

Diwali is a shopper's paradise, with markets bustling with activity and excitement. From traditional attire like sarees, lehengas, and kurta-pajamas to intricately crafted jewelry, home decor items, and handicrafts, the options are endless. Shopping during Diwali is not just about purchasing items; it is a cultural experience that allows you to witness the artistry and craftsmanship of Indian artisans.

5. Light and Sound Shows

Several cities across India and international destinations host grand light and sound shows during Diwali. These shows utilize cutting-edge technology to showcase the history, culture, and mythology associated with Diwali. The synchronized play of lights, music, and narration creates a captivating multimedia experience that educates and entertains. When preparing a Diwali travel list, light and sound shows should be prioritized.

Cultural Experiences

Diwali is a celebration deeply rooted in Indian culture and provides a plethora of enriching experiences. Here are some cultural highlights to look forward to during Diwali:

This image shows pooja ceremonies.
Puja Ceremonies

1. Attending Puja Ceremonies

Puja ceremonies are an integral part of Diwali celebrations. Participating in these sacred rituals gives you a glimpse into the spiritual side of the festival. From lighting diyas and offering prayers to performing aarti and seeking blessings from deities, every aspect of the puja ceremony is filled with devotion and reverence. Attending Puja ceremonies makes your Diwali

This image shows decorations for Diwali.
Diwali Decorations

2. Exploring Diwali Decorations

During Diwali, homes, streets, temples, and public spaces are adorned with mesmerizing decorations. Intricate rangoli designs, vibrant floral arrangements, and colorful lanterns are a common sight. Take a leisurely stroll through the streets and marvel at the creativity and artistry that goes into creating these stunning decorations.

This image shows people with gifts and traditional clothing.
Traditional Clothing

3. Traditional Clothing

Diwali provides the perfect opportunity to embrace Indian fashion and traditional clothing. Men can don dapper kurta-pajamas or sherwanis, while women can grace the festivities in elegant sarees, lehengas, or salwar kameez. Wearing traditional attire not only adds to the celebratory atmosphere but also allows you to be part of the cultural fabric of Diwali.

4. Music and Dance Performances

Diwali is synonymous with music and dance, with various cultural performances taking place throughout the festival. From traditional folk dances like Garba and Dandiya Raas to mesmerizing classical music recitals, these performances showcase the rich artistic heritage of India. Immersing yourself in the rhythmic beats and soul-stirring melodies will leave you with unforgettable memories.

Diwali Travel Tips

If you are planning a Diwali travel, here are some essential tips to make your trip smooth and memorable:

1. Best Time to Visit

Diwali celebrations usually span five days, with the main festivities falling on the third day. To make the most of your Diwali experience, plan your visit to coincide with the peak days of the festival, which are marked by grand fireworks displays and cultural events.

2. Accommodation Recommendations

As Diwali travel is popular, it is advisable to book your accommodations well in advance. Depending on your chosen destination, you can opt for luxury hotels, boutique homestays, or heritage properties to enhance your overall Diwali experience.

3. Transport Options

During Diwali, cities can get crowded, and traffic congestion is common. To avoid transportation hassles, consider using public transportation or hiring local taxis or rickshaws to navigate through the festive chaos. It is also advisable to check for any restricted areas or road closures due to festivities.

4. Safety Precautions

While Diwali is a time of joy and celebration, it is essential to take precautions to ensure your safety. Keep a safe distance from fireworks and follow local guidelines regarding their usage. Be mindful of pickpockets in crowded areas and take care of your personal belongings. It is always advisable to travel with travel insurance and carry a basic first aid kit.

Why You Can't-Miss Diwali

Diwali is a celebration that stirs the senses, evokes emotions, and leaves an indelible mark on your heart. Here's why you simply cannot afford to miss celebrating Diwali:

Diwali is not just a celebration, it's a dazzling display of light, color, and cultural exuberance. The energy that permeates the air during Diwali is electrifying and contagious. It is an experience that will leave you spellbound and longing for more." - Anonymous

This image shows joyous diwali atmostphere.
Joyous Diwali Atmostphere

The Joyful Atmosphere

Diwali is a time when the entire country is in a state of celebration. The air is filled with laughter, music, and the aroma of mouthwatering delicacies. The infectious joy that surrounds you will fill your heart with warmth and happiness.

Cultural Immersion

Diwali provides a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the vibrant tapestry of Indian culture. From witnessing traditional rituals to donning beautiful traditional attire, you will feel a deep connection with the ancient traditions and customs that have been passed down through generations.

Astonishing Visual Spectacles

The sight of millions of diyas illuminating the night sky, vibrant rangoli adorning the streets and homes, and mesmerizing firework displays is nothing short of awe-inspiring. Diwali is a feast for the eyes, as you witness the sheer magnificence and creativity on display.

Delicious Delights

Diwali is a food lover's paradise. Indulge in an array of mouthwatering sweets, snacks, and sumptuous meals that are an intrinsic part of the festival. The flavors and aromas will take you on a delectable journey through the rich culinary heritage of India.

This image shows children making rangoli art on Diwali.
Rangoli Art

Time with Loved Ones

Diwali is a time when families come together, sharing laughter, and stories, and creating unforgettable memories. The warmth and love that permeate the festival will make you appreciate the value of relationships and the importance of togetherness.

Inner Transformation

Diwali is not just an external celebration; it is also an opportunity for inner transformation. The festival encourages self-reflection, introspection, and the pursuit of enlightenment. By embracing the spirit of Diwali, you can embark on a personal journey of growth and self-discovery. The charm and magic of Diwali and Diwali travel cannot be adequately described in words; it must be experienced firsthand.


Diwali is a celebration that transcends boundaries, bringing people together from different cultures and communities. It is a time of joy, love, and spiritual awakening. Whether you choose to celebrate with a Diwali travel in the vibrant cities of India or international destinations, the essence remains the same - the triumph of light over darkness, the victory of good over evil. So, pack your bags, let the Diwali spirit guide you, and embark on a journey that will fill your heart with wonder and your soul with bliss.

Happy Diwali!


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