Making New Traditions: Where to Holiday this Diwali

For many, Diwali is all about the festivities—sweet treats, family gatherings and colourful rangolis. For others, it’s a long weekend waiting for a vacation. If you fall in the latter category, we’ve got you covered. , for food, culture, cities, and even for a luxurious stay.


For the Love of Food

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Watching the city wind down from the rooftop bar at Hotel Ajantha Seaview at Goubert Avenue (right) is one of Pondicherry’s loveliest sights; Khuzi paniyaram, a lentil stew with utterly yummy, spongy rice balls is a signature dish of chef Cougarbabu at Maison Perumal (left). Photos by: Jonas Gratzer

, it’s a veritable paradise for lovers of Euro-Med-Asian fusion,” writes Zac O’Yeah in his guide to food in the hip South Indian town. Also in the story: the best dive bars Pondicherry has to offer.

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For a Luxury Stay

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Noor Mahal’s Rajputana turret-like chhatris, Mughal domes and the unmissable Mughal scalloped arches, are designed to impress. Photo Courtesy: Noor Mahal

In Haryana’s hinterlands, Humaira Ansari finds herself at Noor Mahal, a luxury palace stay in Karnal. Her first impression? , airdropped in Haryana, with a layover at a Mughal hotspot.” A must-try is the tuni khatta meat at the Frontier Mail restaurant.

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For City Stories

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In anticipation of the 2019 Kumbh Mela, over 100 artists from India and abroad added a splash of colour to the city’s facades. Photo by: NurPhoto/ Contributor/ NurPhoto/ Getty Images

Allahabad, or Prayagraj as it is now called, has a storied heritage. “From being a historical hub of seminal Indian writers to being one of the four pilgrimage sites where the massive Kumbh Mela is held, Allahabad is a hotbed of tradition and excitement, waiting to entertain travellers with all it has to offer,” pens Kalpana Sunder, as she lays out a 48-hour guide to the city.

Plan here:


For the Culture Geek

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Performances by Anshuman Maharaj and Ram Mishra are one of the big draws of the bakery. Photo by: Harry Boeki

Benaras is steeped in classical music traditions, and caters to both—the aficionados familiar with every alap and newbies looking to hear their first raga. Chandni Doulatramani finds herself in four cozy cafés where the music is welcoming (and not daunting), and the food, good.

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For Immersive Travel

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Mornings in Maheshwar are beautiful and a boat ride down the Narmada offers wonderful views of the towering Maheshwar fort. Photo by: Hoshner Reporter

Madhya Pradesh is home to jungles and UNESCO sites, finger-licking street food and ancient art, and one way to explore the region is by visiting the Satpura range, or the Gateway to the Deccan. Follow Ambika Vishwanath and Hoshner Reporter’s trail to find mystic monuments in Mandu, spiritual haunts and mawa jalebis in Burhanpur, and secret stories in ghats by the Narmada in Maheshwar.

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For Those Who Want it All

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Relics from the 1944 Battle of Imphal including arms and ammunition, gear and supplies are on display at Moirang’s INA Museum (left); Local women cook badi, lentil-and-vegetable fritters, at Ima Keithel market (right). Photos by: Dinodia Photo/ Dinodia Photo Library (mural), Momo Irengbam (women)

Unravel Manipur, whose unassuming exterior hides a state of “mystery, age-old traditions, pristine natural beauty and eclectic food,” finds Shivani Kagti. From a floating homestay atop the pristine Loktak Lake and sangai-spotting at the world’s only floating national park, to art which tells a story at RKCS gallery, there’s something for everyone in this northeastern state.

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