With just a few days left for the grand festival Durga Puja, celebrations have already begun in West Bengal. This festival is celebrated during Navaratri. This year, Durga Puja 2019 begins on October 3 and will go on till October 8. However, Durga Puja 2019 celebrations in Kolkata start early, with Durga Mahalaya on September 28 and Visarjan (immersion of the idol) on October 8.

The festival is not just about rituals, it is also about food, extravagant pandals and mesmerising idols. Many people assume that Durga Puja is only celebrated in West Bengal, but you're wrong. Although it is one of the most important festivals in West Bengal and Assam, the rest of the country too gives it equal importance. 

Also read: Durga Puja 2019: Here's how Kolkata is getting ready (In pictures)

Here are some cities in India that you can visit during the five-day-long Durga Puja festival this year. Kolkata apart, these seven places are some of the best destinations that showcase unique and best pandals..

1) New Delhi and NCR: 
Delhi holds the first place in the list from CR Park to Mayur Vihar or even Noida and Ghaziabad. The city lights up during the Navaratri season. However, no Bengali in Delhi misses the classical ‘Daaker Saaj’ idol of Delhi Durga Puja Samiti, which is the oldest organisation in town since 1910. 

2) Mumbai:
The best place in Mumbai to enjoy Durga Puja pandals is Balkanji Bari of Santacruz. Bollywood actress Rani Mukherji's family hosts this pandal. In these pandals, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes are served to the devotees. From Aishwarya Rai to Katrina Kaif to the Ambanis, the who's who of Mumbai are seen attending these pandals to seek the blessing of Durga. Last year, we saw Sushmita Sen performing dhunuchi dance with her daughter at Anurag Basu's Durga Puja.

3) Bengaluru:
Not just north India, the southern parts of the country too enjoys Durga Puja. And Bengaluru is an important destination for the same. Some hottest destinations to visit in Bengaluru during this time are Indranagar, Bellandur, BBMP Ground, HSR Layout, Koramangala, Sarjapur, Electronic City, etc. Bengaluru has a large Bengali population. Hence, there is no surprise that the city has several Durga Puja pandals.

4) Chennai: 
If you are in planning to visit Chennai during Durga Puja, do not miss the pandal at Besant Nagar’s Bengali Association. Here are a few more places to visit during puja like SMCA Durga Puja, Besant Nagar, The Bengal Association Puja, T Nagar,  Dakshini Society, Anna Nagar, Ramakrishna Mission Puja, Mylapore and DCPCA – Dakshin Chennai Prabasi Cultural Association, Kelambakkam, OMR. 

5) Guwahati: 
Like Kolkata, Assam too has many beautiful pandals. The Bishnupur Puja committee organises the largest Durga Puja in this region. In 2017, a 100-feet tall Durga idol was made with jute and 5,000 bamboo poles. It was an eco-friendly Durga, created by local artisans and organisers, who even staked claimed for its entry into the Guinness Book of Records.

6) Lucknow: 
This city has one of the oldest pandals called the Bengali club of Shivaji Marg. It is said that in 1938, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose visited the Durga Puja pandal. Other locations to visit during the puja are Sahara States Durga Puja, Latouche Road Puja Sansad and Mitro Sangho Committee, Model House Park.

7) Bhubaneswar: 
According to reports, as many as 178 Durga Puja pandals were made in the capital of Orissa last year. The Pandal of Rasulgarh is famous for its Maha Saptami ritual, which is unique here when compared to other places. Here, the whole celebration focuses more on the rituals and the process rather than entertainment.