Navaratri is finally here! And everyone is super excited. Kids are on a break from school, homes, and streets are lighting up, sales everywhere, festive sounds from temples, everyone’s dressed in their best – its the perfect time to experience the festive Indian vibe that is much loved across the globe. We’re probably a little late with this article, but meh! Better late than never, right?
If you’re in the midst of googling things to do during the Navaratri break, this article could give you some inspo. Now, before we begin, may we declare that is a list of places you can visit if you want to experience Navaratri the authentic way and not just things to do on an extended break. So, there!
Cannot make a list of Navaratri things without including Mysore Dasara, can we?
The Mysore Royal family traditionally conducts a 10 day festival in honour of Navaratri and people from around the globe arrive to witness that splendour. The Mysore palace lights up in all its grandeur, there’s a very regal procession and every part of the celebration glorifies the victory of Chamundeshwari over Mahishasura, the demon. Apart from events organized by the Royal family themselves, there are military parades, events, competitions and exhibitions that display local handicrafts and delicacies.
Each year, the celebrations get better than the previous years. So 2019 too will be no different. If you are already in Bangalore, Mysore is just a short ride away and is something that can be done without much planning!
Ah! Where do we even begin? Durga Puja is the one festival that fills up the entire city with colour and liveliness! Pujo Pandals pop up everywhere, people dress up and enjoy the festivities – it’s a time where everything is straight out of a fairytale! At the culmination of Durga Puja is a day where all the women step out to play ‘Sindhoor Khela’ where they dress up in traditional clothes and apply sindoor, the vermillion powder on each other’s faces.
Even minus the festivities, Kolkata is a city that’s known for its mouth-watering cuisine. During Pujo, the food takes a whole another level of awesomeness. And trust us when we say this, you cannot experience the same taste in a different city even though the recipe may be the same. For an authentic Pujo experience, head to Kolkata and hang around till the festivities conclude with the Durga idol being submerged in the Ganges.
For something uber grand and out of the world – head to Gujarat! Take part in some authentic Dandiya nights with the local people and enjoy the delicious food there. Trust us when we say this, the traditional Garba dance is something that beats the best disco you’ve ever been to. Dress up in some nice clothes, show up and soak up some culture!
This is an experience of a lifetime! It’s not just about dancing, eating and celebrating the victory of Goddess Chamundeshwari, it is about spiritual uplifting which comes from slaying your demons. The Dussehra in Varanasi showcases a mix of various aspects from different parts of the country. You get to see Delhi style Ramlila plays and some flavours from Kolkata style Durga Pujo as well.
Because the city as such has various communities coexisting, the Dussehra here is unlike any other. Head to Varanasi, visit some temples and come back enriched!
This beautiful town in Himachal takes a whole new avatar during the Navratras. With grand processions and a regal set up, the Kullu Dussehra draws people from across the country! The festivities typically last for an entire week and the main attraction is the procession with Lord Raghunath and the festivities conclude with a pile of wood being set on fire near the River Beas, symbolic of Ravan’s Lanka burning.
Kullu Dussehra is not just about grand celebrations, it is also about experiencing the culture of a state as beautiful as Himachal Pradesh. Shop from local craftsmen, enjoy some authentic food and come back much refreshed!