Where to be for Divali Festival

Jun 7th, 2009, 07:41 PM
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Where to be for Divali Festival

We will be in India during the Diwali Festival. What is the best city to be in? We are visiting Udaipur, Jodpur, Deli and Simla.

Thanks for any advice.
jtgarland is offline  
Jun 7th, 2009, 10:36 PM
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I don’t think it really matters, as the festival is celebrated so widely (it’s a little like asking where in Europe one should go to celebrate Christmas). I would say if you can to try a smaller place, as you may find it easier to get around and observe. I think I would rule out Delhi as too large (and things may be closed). Udaipur or Jodhpur would probably be my choices, I probably would have a preference to Udaipur because of the lake and the possibility that there would be events planned on or around it (like floating candle ceremonies, etc). But of course events go on for several days, decorations are up and there are special foods and often fairs going on before the actual festival as well, so you probably will actually get a feeling for it in every place you mention whether or not you are there for the actual public holidays.
Cicerone is offline  
Jun 8th, 2009, 09:12 AM
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Divali is not a big outdoor festival like many others. It is similar to Christmas in that you will see outdoor decorations, but the religious ceremonies are done inside the house among family members.

Divali is actually 5 days long. Be aware that the first day is "Dhanteras" and the stores and markets are mobbed to the point of gridlock because it is the day to purchase new things for the house, new clothing, new jewelry, etc. This year Dhanteras will fall on Thursday Oct. 15th.

You may want to stay clear of shopping venues and not plan any road travel through cities on that day.

The actual day of Divali will be on Saturday October 17. Everything will be CLOSED and the roads virtually diserted. In the evening is when you will see all the houses lit up with either electric Christmas lights or the traditional oil pots (size of your palm). Then when it's dark, the fire crackers begin and can be deafening until about 2 am.

You should not drive or walk around when fire crackers are going off because occasionally one will get thrown at a car. The whole event is very noisy and produces thick smoke in the air. They have been banned in Delhi for the past few years because of the noise and air pollution.

The other days of the five days are quiet because they involve doing various 'poojas".
Jaya is offline  
Jun 8th, 2009, 12:15 PM
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I agree with Cicerone that Udaipur or Jodhpur are the best choices. Delhi is just too huge. If you don't have friends or family there to celebrate with there won't be much to do.
Jaya is offline  
Jun 10th, 2009, 02:13 PM
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Thanks, that is really good information. I didnt know about the shopping on the 15th, this helped a lot in making my plans.
jtgarland is offline  
Jun 10th, 2009, 10:31 PM
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Apart from Jodhpur & Udaipur, already alluded to, I would recommend either Oberois Cecil or Wildflower Hall. Wildflower Hall has Deepavali Celebrations for about an hour for their in-house guests. Since the hotel is located at Charrabra, which is about 10 miles above Simla, the noise pollution will be minimal. You shall have your fun & sleep peacefully as well!
Top crowds in India celebrate Deepavali, by holding card parties beginning about 15 days before the actual festival. These are a treat to be invited to, continuing till wee hours…great socializing, wines & dinners!
Singing of lovely ditties in praise of the lord Narayan, seem to have gone out of fashion, for none of the young ladies, I know, can recall a word!!
Very best for your plans!
vp_singh is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2009, 02:32 AM
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If you can, since you would be in Rajasthan, try to be in Jaipur, the Pink City on diwali. The city is all decorated and its all full of life till late night. You can drive to Nahargarh, the fort for an amazing view. But you must not miss on Jaipur during the diwali period i.e. as Jaya said, 5 days long. try to be there for atleast one evening. Believe me, you will take along lovely memories. All the very best!!
Mumbaiite is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2009, 03:11 AM
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I was in Jaipur last year for Divali,on an invitation from a friend.In the evening the ladies of the house lit oil lamps,a ceremony followed,prayers offered to the goddess,unlimited supply of home made sweets(burfis)did the rounds,followed by a sumptuous dinner.An unending variety of vegetarian fare.A very elaborate spread.
This was followed by a display of fireworks.The whole family & a few invited friends like me go involved.Went on quite late ino the night.
Our host drove us up towards Amber fort.The view from up there overlooking the pink city,lit up was fantastic.
Would second Jaipur.
inquest is offline  

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