Top Places to visit in this festive season

Places to Visit During Festivals: A Durga Puja & Diwali Guide

The Covid – 19 pandemic arrived as a bane to our traveler spirit. However, with the pandemic gradually turning into an endemic and large-scale vaccination drive throughout the country, travel is slowly gaining momentum. Additionally, with the festive season just months away, states are steadily opening their doors to tourists and travelers. Since most of our workplaces offer holidays during Durga Pujo and Diwali, they are perfect opportunities to plan a long pending vacation. Hence, we have listed 12 states of India, where you can visit during this festive season. Nevertheless, don’t forget to practice caution and follow every safety precaution regarding Covid – 19. So, here goes the list of places to visit during festivals.

1. Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal is known as the Land of Dawn – lit Mountains. The state is comparatively less explored. But there is no end to its nature’s bounties and breathtaking spectacles.

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Tawang Monastery.
Source-Wikipedia. Photo by Vikramjit Kakati

There are 12 tourist circuits throughout Arunachal. The most popular among them are:

  1. Bhalukpong – Bomdila – Dirang – Tawang: This route is characterized by snow – capped peaks, glacial lakes, valleys and vibrant monasteries.
  2. Itanagar – Ziro – Daporjio – Aalo – Pasighat: Green valleys, picturesque paddy fields, rivers and diverse tribes and their culture are found along this route.
  3. Aalo – Mechuka: The centre of attraction is Mechuka, which is dubbed as Shangri La of India.
  4. Roing – Mayudia – Anini: This track is known for the stunning Dibang valley and Seven Lakes trek.
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Way to Bumla Pass.
Pic courtesy Dr.Ajoy Biswas

Visit Dr.Ajoy Biswas’s Instagram profile for more of his beautiful works here.

2. Meghalaya-

Meghalaya is one of the most beautiful states of India. Known as the “ abode of clouds”, the landscape here is truly ethereal.

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Seven Sister Waterfall.
Photo by Dr. Devlina Talapatra

Check out the following places in Meghalaya:

  1. Shillong: The capital city has Umiam Lake, Ward’s Lake, Elephant Falls, Shillong Peak, Laitlum Canyon, Mawphlong.
  2. Cherrapunjee: Also called Sohra, it is home to amazing waterfalls such as Nohkalikai, Seven Sisters, Wei Sawdong and Dainthlein. Visit Mawsynram, the wettest place on earth, from here.
  3. Nongriat: It is renowned for the Double Decker Living Root Bridge.
  4. Mawlynnong: This is the cleanest village of Asia. Also, there is another living root bridge near this village.
  5. Dawki: This small town, located near the Indo-Bangladesh border, is known for the crystal clear water of Umngot river.
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Dawki River.
Photo by Mondakranta Saikia on Unsplash
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Living Root Bridge.
Pic courtesy Debayan Goswami
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Double Root Bridge,Meghalaya
Photo by Dr. Devlina Talapatra

We sincerely thank our dear friends Debayan and Dr. Devlina Talapatra for the beautiful pictures. Dr. Devlina is also an avid blogger. She has two beautifully written blogs and Don’t forget to check them out!


Sikkim will leave you speechless, thanks to her stunning natural vistas. Gorgeous glaciers, verdant valleys, abundant waterfalls, fickle clouds, ravishing Rhododendrons – at every bend of Sikkim’s winding road, a surprise is certainly waiting for you.

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Astounding scenes from North Sikkim.

Places to visit during festivals in Sikkim are:

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A rain soaked Yumthang Valley.
  1. North Sikkim: The USP of this part of Sikkim is the Gurudongmar Lake (17,800 feet). It is one of the world’s highest lakes. In addition, Yumthang (renowned as Valley of Flowers), Kala Patthar, Lachen, Lachung, Thangu valley and Naga Waterfalls are other attractive destinations here.
  2. East Sikkim: This is comparatively less explored than the other two parts of Sikkim. Zuluk is the primary draw of East Sikkim. It is known for the zigzag road with 32 hairpin bends, famously called Zuluk Loops. Thambi Viewpoint, Gnathang Valley, Tukla Valley, Kupup Lake and Tsongmo Lake are the other places of interest here.
  3. West Sikkim: Pelling is one of the most popular tourist destinations of West Sikkim. Besides, it is famous for offering breath-taking views of Kanchunjunga. Ravangla, Yuksom, Kecheopalri Lake, Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary and Kanchunjunga Falls are the important highlights of this circuit.
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The thrilling Zuluk Loops.

4. Kashmir-

Known as “paradise on earth”, the beauty of Kashmir is matchless. Also, it features highly on the bucket list of every Indian who loves travelling.

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Dal Lake
Photo by Divya Agrawal on Unsplash

The most famous travel destinations in Kashmir are:

  1. Srinagar: The capital of Kashmir has Dal Lake, Wular Lake, Indira Gandhi Tulip Garden, Shalimar Bagh, Nishat Bagh, Yusmarg
  2. Gulmarg: Gulmarg is surrounded by snow – covered Himalayas. It is known for winter adventure sports, especially skiing.
  3. Pahalgam: Ine of the most beautiful places of Kashmir, Pahalgam is the base camp of Amarnath. Aru Valley, Betaab valley, Lidder river, Chandanwari are some of the intriguing places here.
  4. Sonmarg: Sonmarg is a scenic place, which serves as the base camp for many treks in Kashmir. It is home to scenic lakes and snowy glaciers.
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The incredibly beautiful Sonmarg Valley
Photo by YASER NABI MIR on Unsplash

5. Himachal Pradesh

This Indian state is magical. The snow-clad Himalayas, scenic valleys, sparkling rivers, pine forests make Himachal a dream destination.

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Pine forest inside Hadimba Devi temple, Manali.

We have listed a few of the spectacular places to visit during festivals in Himachal:

Jalori Pass
The snow – laden Jalori Pass in Tirthan Valley.
  1. Kullu: Manali, Solang, Rohtang Pass, Hampta Pass, Deo Tibba, Naggar, Manikaran, Khirganga, Parvati valley, Tirthan valley.
  2. Kangra: Dharamsala, Mcleodganj, Bir Billing, Jwalaji.
  3. Chamba: Dalhousie, Khajjar, Chamba.
  4. Kinnaur: Kalpa, Sangla, Chitkul, Rupa valley, Nako, Chango
  5. Shimla: Shimla, Fagu, Chail, Narkanda, Kharapathar, Sarahan, Srikhand Mahadev.
  6. Solan: Kasauli, Barog, Kali ka Tibba
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Picturesque Jibhi.


Rajasthan is the opulent land of palaces, forts, and the Thar desert. It is also one of the most popular tourist destinations in India.

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The fabulous Hawa Mahal of Jaipur. Pic Courtesy Ashis Majumder
Thar Desert
Thar Desert gleaming during sunset. Pic Courtesy Ashis Majumder

Some of the major places to visit in this beautiful state are:

  1. Amer Fort, Hawa Mahal, City Palace, Nahargarh Fort in Jaipur.
  2. Lake Pichola, City Palace, Fateh Sagar Lake, Jaisamand Lake in Udaipur.
  3. Golden Fort, Thar Desert, Gadisar Lake in Jaisalmer.
  4. Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur.
  5. Junagarh Fort, Karni Mata Temple and Lalgarh Palace in Bikaner.
  6. Chittorgarh Fort, Padmini Palace, Vijay Stambh, Meerabai Temple in Chittorgarh.
  7. The fort in Kumbhalgarh.
  8. Pushkar Lake, Brahma Temple, Savitri Temple in Pushkar.
  9. Ajemr Sharif Dargah and Adhai Din ka Jhopra in Ajmer.
  10. Dilwara Temple and Nakki Lake in Mount Abu.
  11. National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries such as Ranthambore, Sariska, Bharatpur.

The photos of Rajasthan are contributed by our multitalented friend Dr. Ashis Majumdar. Check out his works here.

Bada Bagh at Jaisalmer. Pic Courtesy Ashis Majumdar


Gujarat is one of those few states in India, where you can experience everything. Hills, seaside, wildlife, sky–kissing temples, historical remains – you name it and Gujarat has it all.

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The spectacular Sun Temple of Modhera.

It’s hard to list all the places in a go. Yet, here are a few of the places to visit during festivals in Gujarat:

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Exquisite panels at Rani ki Vav at Patan.
  1. Historical places: The remains of Sultunate period in Ahmedabad, Sun Temple in Modhera, Rani Ki Vav in Patan, Lothal and Dholavira for checking out Harappan ruins, Vadodara for the spectacular Laxmi Vilas Palace, Bhuj for Aina Mahal and Prag Mahal Palace.
  2. Wildlife: Gir National Park for Asiatic Lion, Velvadar National Park for blackbuck, Little Kutch Wildlife Sanctuary for India Wild Ass and Flamingo, Marine National Park near Jamnagar.
  3. Temples: Somnath Temple in Somnath, Dwarkadhish Temple and Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple in Dwarka, Akshardham Temple in Gandhinagar, Jaina temple complex in Palitana.
  4. Nature: The unique Rann of Kutch, Mandvi beach near Bhuj, Saputara Hill Station.
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A Sambar spotted inside Gir National Park.

8.Madhya Pradesh-

The fame of Madhya Pradesh rests on its exquisite temples and tiger reserves.

For the photos of Madhya Pradesh, we decided to use some photos taken during our family trip to Madhya Pradesh in 2008. It is really amazing how digital restoration can bring old photos back to life!

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Sanchi Stupa in 2008

The following places will give a complete experience of this gorgeous state:

  1. Kandariya Mahadev Temple, Lakshman Temple, Dulhadeo Temple and a host of other temples in Khajuraho.
  2. Upper Lake, Sanchi Stupa, Bhimbetka Caves, Jama Mosque and Moti Mosque in Bhopal.
  3. Jahaz Mahal, Rani Rupmati’s Pavillion, Baz Bahadur’s Palace, Hindola Mahal, Champa Baoli in Mandu.
  4. Gwalior Fort, Jai Vilas Palace, Man Mandir Palace, Saas Bahu Temple in Gwalior.
  5. Orchha Palace, Chattris, Chaturbhuj Temple in Orchha.
  6. Dhuandhar Falls, Marble Rocks, Bhedaghat in Jabalpur.
  7. The hill starion of Panchmarhi.
  8. National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries, for instance Bandhavgarh, Kanha, Pench, Satpura and Panna.
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Mandu in 2008


Goa is the sunshine state of India. It certainly appeals reach every kind of traveler. Goa’s reputation indeed rests on its countless beaches. Along with the sea, there are also many imposing forts and cathedrals dating back to the Portuguese reign.

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Mesmerizing sunset from Chapora Fort.

The places to visit during festivals in Goa are as follows:

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Colorful streets at Fontainhas in Panjim.
  1. Beach: In north Goa, you can go for the lesser known beaches such as Arambol, Ashwem and Mandrem and also the popular ones like Calangute, Baga, Anjuna, Vagator, and Candolim. South Goa has some of the most beautiful and peaceful beaches such as Majorda, Cavelossim, Betalbatim, Cola, Butterfly, Palolem, Varca, Mobor and so on.
  2. Forts: Goa is home to some commanding forts such as Aguada, Chapora, Reis Magos, Sinquerim, Cabo de Rama and Tiracol.
  3. Church & Cathedrals: Old Goa has a treasure trove of church and cathedrals. Hence, it received the tag of UNESCO World Heritage Site. Basilica of Bom Jesus, Se Cathedral, Church of St. Francis of Assissi, Church of Our Lady of the Mount, Church of St. Cajetan and others.
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The pristine interior of Se Cathedral.


The beauty of “God’s Own Country” is extraordinary. Kerala’s charm, in fact, lies in its lush greenery, tea gardens, spice and coffee plantations, backwaters, and sea beaches.

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Sunrise in the midst of tea gardens in Munnar.

Include the following places in your itinerary for a memorable vacation in Kerala:

Athirapally Waterfall
The majestic Athirappilly waterfalls.
  1. Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Kovalam beach, Poovar Island, Neyyar Dam in Thiruvananthapuram.
  2. Tea gardens, Ripple fall, Ponmudi Dam, Echo Point, Top Station, Eravikulam National Park, Marayoor, Muniyara caves in Munnar.
  3. Athirappilly falls and Bhagavathy Temple in Thrissur.
  4. Backwaters in Alappuzha and Kumarakom.
  5. Periyar National Park and Idukki Dam in Thekkady
  6. Banasura Sagar Dam, Wildlife Sanctuary, Soochipara Falls, Chembra Peak, Edakkal Caves in Wayanad.
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Scenes from backwaters of Alappuzha.

11. Andaman & Nicobar Island-

The Andaman & Nicobar Islands are an archipelago of about 300 islands. During the British era, Andaman was infamous as the “Kalapani”. Indian revolutionaries and freedom fighters were exiled here. At present, they are however renowned for exotic beaches, coral reefs, mangroves, and rainforests.

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Nicobar Island.
Photo by Nabil Naidu on Unsplash

Include the following places in your itinerary for an all-round experience in Andaman:

  1. Beaches: Radhanagar, Elephant and Vijayanagar beaches in Havelock; Corbyn’s Cove, Chidiya Tapu, and Wandoor beaches in Port Blair; Diglipur and Karmatang beaches near Mayabandar; Laxmanpur beach in Neil Island, Aves Island beach.
  2. Coral Reefs: Jolly Buoy and North Bay Islands.
  3. Natural wonders: Limestone cave, mud volcano and mangroves in Baratang Island, Barren Island volcano, Mount Harriet in Port Blair.
  4. Historical places: Cellular Jail, Ross Island, Viper Island.
  5. Other places: Chatham Saw Mill, Anthropological Museum, Samudrika, rubber plantations – all in and around Port Blair.
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Havelock Island.
Photo by tatonomusic on Unsplash

12. Tamil Nadu-

The southernmost state of India is mainly known for Dravidian – style temples with ‘gopuram’. Tamil Nadu has also got its fair share of hills and beaches.

Temple of Thanjore
Shore Temple in Mahabalipuram

So, here we have listed some of the must-see places to visit during festivals in Tamil Nadu:

  1. The Shore Temples of Mahabalipuram.
  2. Meenakshi Amman Temple of Madurai.
  3. Brihadeswara Temple, Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Royal Palace and Art Gallery of Thanjavur.
  4. Ramanathswami Temple, Adam’s Bridge and Pamban in Rameswaram.
  5. Vivekananda Rock Memorial, Thiruvalluvar statue, Thiraparappu Falls and Tanumalayan Temple of Kanyakumari.
  6. Nataraja Temple in Chidambaram.
  7. Kailashnath Temple, Ekambaranath Temple, Varadaraja Temple of Kanchipuram.
  8. Hill stations such as Ooty, Coonoor, Yercaud, Kodaikanal, Mudumalai and Yelagiri.
Temple of Tamil Nadu
Marvel of Dravidian style of architecture

Photos of Tamil Nadu are contributed by our dear friend Jayabrata Mondal.

So, here ends our list. You can surely modify the itinerary as per the duration of your leave. Moreover, it is quite impossible to cover an entire Indian state at a go given the scarcity of our leaves. Hence, you can include or exclude some places or others as per your preference.

Also, don’t forget to tell us which of the above places you want to visit. Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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