How to Celebrate Diwali in Delhi If You Are a Visitor?

Diwali in Delhi
Diwali in Delhi

The streets are getting overcrowded, the alleyways are already bustling and highways are crammed with vehicles. When such scenario turns up in India, one can be sure of some massive event or festival at the doorstep. Yes, it is. This time it is Diwali, the Festival of Lights.

Conjure up pictures of the glittery capital city with its every street, nook and corner and every house being lightening up with vivid and vibrant lights. Diwali is already knocking at the doors and people are all set to make it a happening festival, once again. If you are by any chance traveling to this part of the world and want to see how Delhiites mark this up, you should be a part of the festival this time.

Diwali Mela in Delhi – Visit Dilli Haat, INA:

Delhi Mela at Dilli Haat
Delhi Mela at Dilli Haat

Okay, you have missed fairs and carnivals of Janakpuri Dilli Haat. You can still witness the extravaganza of INA Dilli Haat. It is ending on 11th November. Diwali Mela at Dilli Haat is teeming with exclusive gift items and decorative items to adorn houses. Buy candles, floating diyas, rangoli stencils, vandanwar, handicrafts and handlooms for your home. Other things to spot are food delicacies, camel rides and other invigorating rides. Cultural programs are held by the Sahitya Kala Parishad and Punjabi Academy.

No Cracker, Only Diyas:

Only Diyas
Only Diyas

Be a part of CM’s initiative to make Delhi a pollution free city and celebrate this Diwali by lighting up diyas, brightening up your house. Cracker is certainly not the only to bring happiness, joy and sparkle in your life.

Embellish Your Home with Decorative Items:

Diwali Home Decor
Diwali Home Decor

Next I would recommend you to revamp your house using Diwali lamps, candles, glass lamp, rangoli, flower decoration and diya decoration. This is a mere list of items to transform the look of your home.

Do Diwali Puja:

In India, it is a tradition to do Diwali puja. You are not at home native place. That’s fine. You can still do the puja in Delhi. The traditional ritual is performed at every house to drive away evil spirit and bring happiness and ecstasy.

Give & Receive Giveaways:

Sweets are offered. Gifts are exchanged. Diwali sees love, bonding, blessings, respect and affection amongst people. Giving gift on Diwali is also a tradition, which continues till today.

Places to Visit in Delhi on Diwali:

Delhi Attractions
Delhi Attractions

Winter has made its presence felt in Delhi. It’s slowly settling down at least for coming 3 to 4 months. Well, that’s not going to thwart the plans of avid travelers. Anyway, it is Diwali time and travelers are already on high spirit.

Why I Don’t Want to Celebrate this Year Diwali?

 

Diwali in Delhi.jpg

This is that week of the year when people forget all worries, dreariness and monotony of life and venture out on a journey full of fun, jolly and gaiety. Life seems to be so easy-going and relaxing when meeting with friends, relatives and families. City centers, alleyways, narrow lanes and streets – in short every nook and corner of India, including rural and urban areas are brighten up with vibrant and colorful lights. Even the sky looks so glittering as the crackers go high up in the air diffusing diverse colors, offering a perfect visual treat.

Diwali is not just about fireworks and mouthwatering food delicacies, but endearing the feeling of togetherness. Being away from native place for several years did not lessen my zeal, excitement, fervor and enthusiasm for this festival. I’ve mastered the art of celebrating festivals alone (kind of). 😉

A Year with Exception – Diwali in Delhi:

Festival of Lights, Not Festival of Smoke
Festival of Lights, Not Festival of Smoke

This year is an exception. I see no exhilaration in me to rejoice considering the increasing air pollution in Delhi. A few months ago in last May, air pollution in Delhi became the talk of the town for becoming the most polluted city on earth. The city was literally engulfed by toxic smoke coming coal-fired power plants, dust coming from construction sites and huge emissions from vehicles. A place that has become unhealthy to stay, how can I think of absorbing myself in fireworks and whole night crackers?

Appeal from the CM:

Say NO to Crackers
Say NO to Crackers

I’m apprehensive about what the authorities are doing. I mean this is true that every year, they adopt certain measures to restrict the air pollution (air in Delhi is hazardous), but in vain. Authorities take initiatives to check the acute problem of air pollution, speak about the problem, and make similar pitch, only to be heard or fell on deaf ears. This year the Chief Minister himself comes out and appeals not to convert Festival of Lights into Festival of Smoke.

Charismatic Delhi – The India Gate

Picture2
The India Gate

Kids playing around, friends chilling out, families picnicking, couples rekindling love and patriots becoming more patriotic – when all these are found at one spot, you must be conjuring up images of the India Gate. I see them all as I approach this historic site. Though chaotic in nature as the surroundings are occupied by large number of people, you will find some space for yourself, solitude in nature.

WP_20150503_020

Rambling lush lawns, long narrow canals, colorful flowers, beautiful fountains, imposing structures, expansive areas and wide streets are some of the main attributes of the India Gate. Sooner I come out of the Central Secretariat Metro Station; the delightful sights of couples, families and youngsters completely inundated in the water activities. A summer evening at the India Gate is pretty much relaxing and unwinding.

Since the distance from Central Secretariat Metro Station to India Gate is less than two kilometers, I prefer taking an evening stroll along the canals in the lawns, seeing the crowd at their best playful acts. Indeed, watching a large number of crowds indulged in outdoor activities is a delightful sight.

Top 10 Activities at the India Gate:

If you ask me to name one destination that can keep you thrilled, keep you occupied the whole day, my answer would be the India Gate. And why not? The iconic structure, which is a war memorial, is India’s one of the most intriguing tourist attractions. For Delhiites, the India Gate is a regular spot for fun. For international travelers, it’s to witness and admire India’s glory.

Universal Picnic Spot for Everyone:

Relaxing Crowd in a Laid-back Environment
Relaxing Crowd in a Laid-back Environment

The expansive greenery, well-manicured lawns on both sides of Rajpath well complemented by canals mostly adorned with boats offer a plenty of space for families and friends to spend some quality time away from home. The vibe it produces is so enthralling. Come once, the captivating sight will entrap you and would not let you go back easily. Pack your picnic basket, filling it with essentials like food and beverages, tableware, cleanup (paper towels and trash bags) and other miscellaneous items that you need.

Boating:

1
Want a Ride?

2

It is true that Delhiites don’t have access to beaches. So what? They can do other water related activities. One such is boating. India Gate boating is very much famous amongst couples, lovers, kids and families. Do not forget to take a snap of yours keeping the imposing Arch on the backdrop. Anytime throughout the day is an awesome time for boating. Those who are in love, go for a romantic boat ride in the dusk and rekindle the momentum.

Here’s the Youtube link of boating video.

You Don’t Need a Cricket Ground to Play the Game:

Cricket at India Gate
Cricket at India Gate

Are you a diehard cricket fan? Then you don’t need a cricket ground to play your best short. Even I have played cricket with my brother and other guys in the narrow lanes and alleyways. Visitors who are in group should not afford to miss this fun. Oh, your group comprises beautiful girls who consider themselves so delicate and frail? I don’t think that is a problem. Even cricket is very much admired by girls. Ask your friend, I’m sure she won’t turn her back.

Here’s the Youtube link of funny cricket match video at India Gate.

Walking on Rajpath:

IMG_0219

Not the type of visitor who would simply sit back and relax? If so, then why not prefer a romantic walk along with your sweetheart hand-in-hand on Rajpath with India Gate embellishing the background? Feel the aroma of love when it is drizzling on the most celebrated street in New Delhi. No, you cannot afford to miss. What a feeling! Isn’t it?

Have Meetha Pan & Get Your Picture Drawn:

IMG_0239
Take One
WP_20150503_002
He is a genius.

Look at the panwala! How meticulously he’s performing his job. I take a pause and see him moving his hands so fast, serving his customers diligently – nah, not a single customer returns empty handed. Have a meetha pan, and move forward till you reach the wonderful guy who sees you and draws your picture. He’s a real professional.

Pamper Your Girlfriend’s Moods with a Long, Tiring Photo shoot:

Your girl is likely to tempt you to capture her many moods. That’s not a bad idea I guess because there is no better location that India Gate. Show your creativity and capture shots that are beyond the imagination of your girl. I’m sure your sweetheart will go gaga over your ingenuity. Why would you ask a professional photographer when you can take overwhelming pictures and save a few hundred bucks?

Watch the Sunset, Followed by Carnival-like Evening:

1

Swarming with hordes of visitors and hawkers, India Gate creates carnival-like scenery as the Sun moves to the other part of earth. Witness the marvelous sunset like nowhere in Delhi (well, I cannot guarantee a breathtaking sunset like at the Taj Mahal, yet it is no less than that). Budding photographers always wait for this time of the day so that they can have some fantastic pictures to their name.

Watch a Candlelight March:

They say if you sneeze in Delhi, the entire country catches the cold. Do not try and make out its literal meaning. Since Delhi is the heart of this vast subcontinent where media has its home established, no matter how big or small an event or protest happens it reaches to the nook and corner of the country. And when in Delhi, especially at the India Gate, you can spot hordes of people go candlelight vigil on the Rajpath, demanding justice to the victims.

Be a Live Spectator to President’s Speech:

Our President is a great orator. Witnessing his articulation is a real treat. Be fortunate enough to appreciate India’s first citizen delivering public speech at Rastrapati Bhavan, only a few kilometers away from your fun spot. You never know you might get the first news than India’s leading daily.

Admire the Iconic Structure of India Gate:

IMG_0240

Wow, you covered almost all major activities. There is still one left. You got to admire the majestic arch structure and go gaga over the aesthetic artwork of this magnificent war memorial. The majestic monument was designed by the most famous war memorial designer Edin Lutyens, whose feat also lies in building some of the most impressive war memorials in Europe. He has built 66 war memorials in the continent, Cenotaph constructed in 1919, being the most known after World War I. While constructing the India Gate, Edin had the shape of the Arc de Triomphe. The massive structure stands tall up to 42 meters and spans over 30 feet. The flame, which is known as the Flame of the Immortal soldier or Amar Jawan Jyoti, under the shrine of the structure is ceaselessly burning since 1971, commemorating the immortal soldiers who lost their lives during the wars.