The festival of Diwali is rooted in historical and mythological significance. It is believed that on this day, Lord Rama, a Vishnu incarnate, had returned home after having spent 14 years in exile. The people of Ayodha, a kingdom to which he belonged, had thus, welcomed him warmly with diyas. They had illuminated the roads and their houses, in anticipation of his homecoming.
With passing years, however, the festival seems to have lost some of this authenticity. Despite government warnings and the looming risk of pollution, people indulge way too much in the customary tradition of bursting of crackers that subsequently gives rise to pollution. As a result, the months leading up to February are spent in an uncomfortable haze.
This Diwali, you don’t necessarily have to put up with this nuisance. If you are looking to break away from the fetters of pollution, here are some places you can head over with your family. Book your tickets today!
Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh
Literally meaning a resting place for pilgrims and travellers, this picturesque city is located in the state of Himachal Pradesh. It is almost 500 km away from the national capital and its polluted air. You can also drive down on your own. Though, it can also be reached via Pathankot — which is an overnight train journey from Delhi. Taxis are available at the Pathankot railway station to take travellers to Dharamsala and McLeod Ganj.
For those who love their lungs, this place is a must visit.
Not only is this town — located in the Ajmer district of Rajasthan — beautiful, it will also give you the much-needed breather this Diwali. Pushkar is about 418 km from Delhi, a distance that can be covered in roughly seven hours. A perfect place to unwind, it hosts tourists round the year.
And while you are here, check out the many temples and ghats in the city, in addition to the famous Pushkar lake.
The town of Neemrana in Rajasthan is some 126 km away from Delhi, and can be reached in 3 hours. A popular hilltop attraction, the Neemrana fort is a crowd-puller, especially around this time of the year. It is also a preferred destination-wedding venue. This is one place that can be reached in a jiffy, should you decide to participate in a smog-free Diwali celebration with family and friends.
With air quality levels that are satisfactory all throughout the year, Amritsar could be your Diwali weekend getaway. This time of the year, especially, the weather becomes welcoming, and has a wintry feel to it. Head over for some good food and great experience.
And while in the city, spend some time at the revered Golden Temple which looks magnificent in the evenings, besides doing other touristy things.