The Indian festival of Diwali is like Christmas, Guy Fawkes Day and Halloween, all rolled into one. It is an unbridled celebration of joy and happiness, a carnival of boundless revelry and fun where almost a billion people celebrate together in almost as many ways.
The highlight of this festival is the mela – a word that can be loosely translated to mean a fairground. Let us have a look at the most famous Diwali Melas in India.
If you thought India was all about Royal Maharajas and gaily decorated elephants, you were right. Diwali in Mysore has everything one could ever hope for. Bejewelled pachyderms, turbaned kings, delicious sweetmeats, sky-full of firecrackers and glittering lights.
The sleepy metropolis of Kolkata is one of the most exotic places for Diwali Melas in India. Here, Diwali is the time for Kali Puja or the worship of Kali, the dark and mysterious goddess. Expect a lot of music and dance, food and of course happy and smiling faces.
Goa is wonderful any time of the year. But during Diwali, it is truly special. This is the time when the giant effigy of the demon Narkasur is burnt. Add to this the typical Goan spirit – music and dance, wine and beaches. Another big attraction – gambling, round the clock! This is one of the sunniest and most popular Diwali Melas in India.
Just like Mysore, Jaipur too is known for kings and queens, forts and palaces. Apart from hosting a spectacular Diwali mela, Jaipur is a great place to shop. Whether it is for exotic Indian costumes or custom jewellery, Jaipur has it all. The big highlight – millions of lights twinkling on every building in the city.
Delhi definitely dazzles during Diwali. Millions of lamps twinkling on the rooftops of houses, brilliant show of firecrackers, sizzling pubs and restaurants, Delhi is a must visit for one of the best Diwali melas. Not to be missed is the Ramlila – a grand operatic spectacle where the mythic hero Ram slays the demon king Ravana.
This is probably one of the oldest living cities in the world. And of course host to one of the most beautiful Diwali Melas in India. This chaotic city gets a life of its own during the insane celebration of floating lamps and firecrackers, laughing children and screaming loudspeakers. Definitely the place to go to if you are looking for true spirit of India.
Be ready to shop, dance till the wee hours of the morning, gorge on heavenly food and share joyful time with the locals. Just remember, Diwali is essentially a festival celebrated with the whole family. And Indian families are always willing to open their hospitable doors to everyone during this amazing festival