Every year September 27 is observed as the United Nation’s World Tourism Day. Introduced in the year 1980, the day aims to create awareness about how tourism affects social, cultural, political and economic values worldwide.
September 27 was chosen as the WTD very strategically. It marks the end of high tourist season in the northern hemisphere and the start of the tourist season in the southern hemisphere. For India, however, where tourism has seen an enormous boom in the last few years, September-October is a one of the best seasons for travel. Cool, pleasant weather with minimal rainfall in most part of the country makes it an ideal time for travel. Also with the many festivals like Dussehra, Durga Pooja, and Diwali usually happening around this time making it most colourful and fun time to travel. And to tip your travel decisions, schools all close for holidays giving it a perfect excuse to see an India of myriad of colours. Here’s our top 5 list of places to visit during the Dussehra holidays, excluding Mysore, Kolkata, and Kullu (see our older blog).
The Medieval Capital of the Vijayanagara, Hampi in Karnataka is listed as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Although it is essentially a religious destination, it is also a place of stunning ruins and great architectural beauty. The city abounds in monuments, ancient market streets, palace basement etc. The city’s rocky landscape also provides a great experience for rock climbers.
For a royal treatment head towards Rajasthan, which bewitches its tourists with captivating lakes and luxurious palaces. But, during the season of Dussehra, Kota is the place to be in Rajasthan. Kota becomes a riot of colours with shops of all kinds, cultural performances and colourful locals vying for your attention. The burning of Ravana’s effigies proclaims the victory of good over evil.
What comes to your mind when you think of Dussehra? Dandiyas raas and garba right? The birthplace of this dance fever, Gujarat comes alive during the ten days of Navratri festival with its cultural programmes attracting thousands of visitors from all over India and world. While all other cities in India have their own dandiya raas programmes, it is in Gujarat do you experience the real deal, and also only in Gujarat, the dandiya-raas is done for all nine days.
The capital of India becomes abuzz with festival fever during the ten days of dussehra celebrations. Ramlila maidans are erected on one side of the city and the other side sees a huge crowd for the Durga pooja. The enactment of the great epic Ramayana takes place in various parts of the city with the last day seeing the effigies of Ravana, Kumbakarna and Meghnath burnt down. October is also a good time to travel to Delhi before the cold sets in. Lots of fireworks and cultural events mark the function.
Renowned for its handicrafts, Bastar is also famous for its unique way of celebrating Dussehra. Here it is not the celebration of the return of Lord Ram to Ayodhya after killing Ravana, but rather the festivities revolve round the tribal goddess Maa Danteshwari (Goddess of teeth). The one-of-a-kind dussehra celebrations is a must see on any tourist’s agenda.
“Wonderful list, but, Dussehra has already begin. How are we going to book tickets now?” many of you may wonder. Don’t worry. There are many last minute deals that travel websites have up their sleeves just for last minute planners. Check expedia.co.in, arzoo.com, ezeego1.com, makemytrip.com, yatra.com to get fantastic hotel and air/train tickets to these destinations during the dussehra holidays. For more discounts and cashback rebates, go through pennyful.in and avail unbelievable concessions.