Feat. music festivals and fireworks displays worth planning your trip around
With October being the month of Diwali holidays—you can get a nine-day-long reprieve if you plan right—it makes sense to make the most of them with a blissful vacation. Here are few hot destinations in India for your travels:
With the fading of the monsoon, expect a cool mountain breeze, clear blue skies, and great views of the shy Kanchenjunga. If you’re in the mood for adventure, go white-water rafting on River Teesta.
There’s no better time to be in the city of joy than during Durga Puja (15–19 October), its biggest festival. Visit the colourful pandals of goddess Durga, and dig into some great Bengali food too. Choose from these two walking tours for a peek into the city.
Catch the best of Rajasthani music, dance, storytelling and folk art at Jodhpur RIFF (24–28 October), held in and around Mehrangarh Fort. This year’s highlights include legendary folk singer and sarangi maestro, Lakha Khan Manganiyar, Shafi Sopori and Hidayat Husain Khan and boot camps on Kalbeliya and Ghoomar dances. While many events of the festival have free entry, you’ll need to buy tickets for some.
The shacks are up and open, and it’s safe to hit the beaches—be it on foot, kayak or banana boat. Because peak season won’t be until November, you see fewer crowds everywhere. Plus, you can score great bargains on stays, even at plush resorts. The end of monsoon makes it a good time to trek through the hills, forests and valleys of the Western Ghats and end your adventure with a beach side barbecue. October is also considered as Goa’s mackerel season, so seafood lovers, you know when to go.
Bir and Billing, Himachal Pradesh
It’s the season to soar! About five hours from Shimla, India’s best paragliding destination is waiting for you. The gorgeous views of low green hills and tea gardens beneath you are another treat altogether. Follow up your flight with a visit to the Buddhist monasteries and Tibetan settlements nearby for a deep-dive into Tibetan culture.