Diwali, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

Diwali is celebrated over a five-day period from the 13th day of the dark half of the Hindu month Ashwina to the 2nd day of the light half of Karttika (late Oct / early Nov). Derived from the Sanskrit term dipavali, or row of lights, the festival is observed with particular enthusiasm by members of the merchant communities and honors Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth (in Bengal the goddess Kali is worshipped. More on that here). During the festival, small earthenware lamps filled with oil are lighted and placed in rows along the parapets of temples and houses and set adrift on rivers and streams. This commemorates the return of Rama (an incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu) to Ayodhya and his coronation as king after 14 years in exile. The fourth day-the main Diwali festival day-also marks the beginning of the new year according to the Vikrama calendar. Merchants perform religious ceremonies and open new account books.

Diwali is a time for visiting, exchanging gifts, decorating houses, bursting firecrackers, feasting, and wearing new clothes. Gambling is encouraged in this season, [ostensibly] to invite good luck for the year ahead and in remembrance of Lord Shiva and Parvati's games of dice on Mount Kailasa. Diwali is also an important festival among members of the Jain community, many of whom belong to the merchant class. For the Jains, the day commemorates the passing into Nirvana of Mahavira, the most recent of the Jain Tirthankaras, or saints. The lighting of the lamps is explained as a material substitute for the light of holy knowledge that was extinguished with Mahavira's passing.

Diwali 2006


C-Scheme neighborhood

SMS Stadium

Australia vs. England Cricket game

Rajmandir cinema hall

Johri Bazaar (LMB)

Nehru Bazaar

MI Road

Paanch Batti square

"Gold Palace" store

Mini Taj

Pyramids of Egypt

Leaning Tower of Pisa

Statue of Liberty


Puja shrine at home

Diwali puja

Patakhas (inside)

Spinning top

Diwali 2004

Paanch Batti square

Yes, the "family restaurant" has made it to Jaipur as well!

Johri Bazaar

Inside the walled city

Jewelry shop

The peak season for jewelry merchants

Laxmi Misthan Bhandaar

The numero uno sweets shop in Jaipur

Birla temple

Mall 21

A new shopping mall in Jaipur

Chandpol market


Nehru Bazaar

One of the many streets inside the walled city

C-Scheme neighborhood

Rajmandir cinema hall

A Jaipur landmark

Sangaaneri gate

One of the many entrances to the old pink city

Earthenware oil lamps

Festival shrine at home

Beaming Ms. in new clothes

Family & friends

Firecracker shop

Firecrackers ...

or patakhas

Marketing laris

Firecrackers ... 1




Fireworks ... 1





Mithai shop

On Diwali day all one could see was dozens of jostling customers


All made with pure desi ghee



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