What was started as a tradition by the Peshwas of Pune centuries ago, Ganesh Chaturthi is still one of the most cherished festivals of India. Every year in September, the 11-day celebrations are carried out not only in different parts of India but abroad as well. This year the festivities begin on September 2, that will be succeeded by other major festivals such as Durga Puja and Diwali.

Ganesh Chaturthi celebrates the birth of the elephant-headed god, and the best places to witness the authentic fervour are Goa, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh. The celebrations in Mumbai and Pune however, remain unmatched. When you think of Ganesh Chaturthi, think pandal-hopping, eating delicacies such as modaks and waiting for hours in queue to get Ganesha darshan. 

According to a survey by Thomas Cook (India) Ltd, travel enthusiasts around the country are missing no chance of availing a micro-break, thanks to tons of long weekends that the festivals present us with. Indians are maximising their extended weekends to fuel their passion for travel which has witnessed a growing demand of approx. 31% for domestic destinations from both metros as well as tier 2 and tier 3 cities.

While the southern and the western cities have extended weekends with the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi falling on a Monday this year, a lot of millennials, young professionals, and childfree couples are maximising this opportunity with overnight getaways to destinations like Goa, Lonavala, Matheran, Mahabaleshwar, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Jaipur, Hampi, Coorg, and Munnar among others.

International destinations with easy visa facilities (both e-visa and visa-on-arrival) are also on the traveller’s radar. Destinations include Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Yas Island, along with Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia’s Bali, Thailand, Hong Kong, Macao and Sri Lanka amongst others.

While Maharashtra observes the highest influx of travellers during the renowned festival of Ganesh Chaturthi every year, travellers today are open to immersing themselves in a range of authentic and unforgettable local experiences across the country.