Diwali is good and bliss and fun, and, sadly, a lot of noise as well. If last year’s Diwali left Delhi choked from smog for days after, and the noise from all the firecrackers had you in a spot, it is time to plan a getaway. Escaping noise and smoke, both still a part of Diwali, is exactly what you need. More so as Diwali 2017 also rings in a long weekend, perfect for some vacation time and a silent yet gorgeous celebration time.
If I have your attention, read on, for I’m sharing some of the quaintest, quietest places to visit in India during Diwali. Destinations that are perfect for celebrations of a different kind altogether.
- Landour, Uttarakhand
Quiet, solitary, dreamy, cosy and home to Mr Ruskin Bond, Landour lies at around 280 km from Delhi. It is your go-to place if zero noise and smoke, coupled with an almost wintry Himalayas is what you are looking for this Diwali.
Read my quick guide to Landour if this one has your attention.
2) Alchi, Jammu & Kashmir
Alchi lies in Ladakh, some 66 km from Leh and an entirely different world altogether. While Leh will also be hosting thin crowd around Diwali, Alchi can be your dream hideaway with its apple and apricot orchards, wildly-flowing Indus, warm people, deep blue skies and the very ancient Alchi Monastery. All just an hour’s flight from Delhi.
3) Dapoli, Maharashtra
At just 215 km from Mumbai, Dapoli is great for nature lovers. Quite off the tourist circuit, Dapoli has a few stay options, including some much sought after treehouses (yes!). Bird-watching, mountain climbing or just lazing around in Dapoli might just be the coolest Diwali plan this year!
4) Ramgarh, Uttarakhand
If that view from your room’s window for this Diwali is all that you are eager for, head to Ramnagar. As Nainital’s lesser known cousin, Ramgarh beats all the crowd yet offers a perfect hideout from the rather noisy Diwali days.
5) Kumarakom, Kerala
Kumarakom blends luxury so well with solitude that it makes for a very heady cocktail! While Alleppey turns quite touristy around this time of the year, Kumarakom is usually a touch-and-go on most people’s itinerary. But it is where you can check in at some of the country’s most luxurious properties this Diwali and call it a staycation.
- Stunning photos from Kerala if you loved reading this!
6) Pahalgam, Jammu & Kashmir
Srinagar has the Dal Lake, Gulmarg has the gondola rides. But Pahalgam has all the solitude and natural bounty in the world that you can think of. If a cosy, wooden cabin, evenings by roaring bonfires and rounds of kahwa are enough to incite your fancy, run to Pahalgam. Thank me later.
7) Kalpa, Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh
If Himalayas are what you worship, there can be no place better than Kalpa to do these prayers this Diwali. Set high up in the Himalayas, Kalpa will welcome you with millions of shooting stars, glorious views of the Kinner-Kailash mountain range, amazingly-friendly locals, hotel-restaurants serving everything from wood-fired pizzas to Nutella-laden waffles and thousands of pine trees. Do not skip.
Click to read my Kinnaur Spiti roadtrip and photos.
8) Nubra, Jammu & Kashmir
Yes, yes. I am still in Ladakh (my head, or is it heart?) but that is not a reason why it has made another appearance in my list of Diwali escapes here. The sand dunes of this cold desert are where you can camp (you must), or send some floating lanterns up in the sky! While most of the stays are budget properties, there are some really lavish camps as well. Choose.
Tell me if these are your ideas for places to visit during Diwali or you have found another hidden secret better than these; would love to know! For more travel inspiration, follow me on Instagram! Or Twitter.