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Diwali, one of the most popular festivals in the country is celebrated all over India including the state of Maharashtra. The festivities are slightly different in different parts due to the regional differences in tradition. In Maharashtra, the festival begins with Vasu Baras where the calf is worshipped by people especially in the villages. Like in other parts of the country, Dhanteras on the first day when people buy new things including expensive items like car, jewellery, gold, etc. It is believed that doing so makes one prosper more. The second day is celebrated as Narak Chaturdashi when Krishna killed the demon Narakasura. People wake up and take a bath before dawn and then effigies are burnt to mark his defeat. The third day is the actual Diwali celebrations when firecrackers are burst. It is also the day when Lakshmi Pujan is performed at home. People visit each other to exchange gifts and sweets. The fourth day is celebrated as Diwali Cha Padwa where the wife prays for her husband’s health and longevity. The husband pampers his wife by gifting her something. The fifth and the last day of Diwali is celebrated as Bhau Beej in Maharashtra. This is mostly for brothers and sisters where the sister prays for her brothers’ health and he in return the brothers shower her with gifts and blessings. The festival is celebrated all over Maharashtra but if you want to pick a place to see the festivities, here’s a list of five places to visit. Also Read - Suzuki Motor Resumes Operations in Gujarat Plant



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Mumbai



The financial capital of India, Mumbai celebrates Diwali on a large scale with the festivities lasting all five days of the festival. Sales and offers begin days in advance when people buy new clothes and things for themselves and their loved ones. On the day of Diwali, they visit each others’ homes and give them these gifts. Offices remain closed but many have celebrations a day before where employees dress in their best attire and enjoy good food. Laksmi Pujan is also performed at home on Diwali and then firecrackers are burst by children. There are several Diwali parties organized in different parts of the city. Some of them are invitation-only private parties which are mostly thrown by celebrities while many restaurants and pubs also host Diwali-themed parties for their guests. Many people also celebrate Diwali in their homes by drawing rangoli and preparing yummy food. You can see fireworks in the sky in the evening.

Purushwadi

A tribal village in the interiors of Maharashtra, Purushwadi is only 220 km away from Mumbai and has its own unique way of celebrating Diwali. These days, the village also attracts tourists from the city to witness the festival of Diwali. The village is also known for its fireflies but these live only for two months of the year and unfortunately are not around during Diwali season. The villagers build a bonfire and children go from house to house singing traditional songs. The women make colorful rangolis outside their homes. In the evening, everyone gathers around the bonfire and they cook a simple meal over it and enjoy amongst themselves. If you want a quietier, rustic Diwali, visit Purushwadi.

Ganpatipule

Ganpatipule is a sleepy, temple town that has a beautiful white sand beach. It is usually quiet during the rest of the year but on festivals, pilgrims flock to Ganpatipule to pay their respects at the temples here. Diwali is also one of the times when you see a large number of people in this town. If you are planning to visit Ganpatipule during Diwali, we advise you to book your accommodation at the earliest as there are limited accommodation options here. You can enjoy Diwali by the beach and pay a visit to the various Ganpati temples in Ganpatipule. The climate gets pleasant by evening and makes for a nice time to hit the beachside.

Pune

Pune is another great place to visit Diwali if you want to see how the festival is celebrated in a traditional way. The celebration is on for all days ending with Bhau Beej when sisters and brothers meet each other to exchange gifts and blessings. You can be sure of trying some yummy food in the city during Diwali. From sweets to local delicacies like chiwda, poha, chakli, shakkar pare, you will find it all during the festive season. Pune also has many temples which many visit to pay their respects a day before Diwali. The celebration is similar to that in Mumbai but you will find more traditional way of celebration as Maharashtrians are in a large number in Pune.

Mahabaleshwar

If you want to celebrate Diwali in the midst of nature, you should visit Mahabaleshwar which is a popular hill station in Maharashtra. The locals celebrate Diwali with much pomp and fervor as they burst firecrackers and light up their homes with lamps and diyas. You will find a kandil outside most homes and a rangoli adorning the entrance. Sweets are made using ghee and dry fruits are consumed to prepare for the winter.  If you are a tourist, you can explore the various sightseeing attractions also. The Venna Lake offers boat rides while there are points like Table Land, Wilson’s Point, etc from where you can get a bird’s eye view of the city. These are also great spots to see fireworks in the evening.

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