Right now I'm in Rishikesh for a few days and I want to head in the direction of Lucknow, Allahabad, Chitrakoot and further on to Madhya Pradesh (Khajuraho/Orchha/eventually Mandu/Indore). I'm a bit ahead of 'schedule', which means that I there is a chance I'll be in Chitrakoot/Khajuraho/another town when Diwali is celebrated, which I guess will be nice, but I want to experience (my first) Diwali in a place where it is really celebrated (according to my limited information, these are the cities).
So I'm thinking of lingering somewhat longer in UP to visit one of the cities which are on route (Lucknow, Allahabad) to celebrate Diwali. Is it recommended to experience Diwali in a city compared to a somewhat smaller place like Chitrakoot? Or is it maybe even worth it to take a detour to Varanasi? I've been to Varanasi before, therefore I thought of skipping it this time, but from what I've heard it's a good place to celebrate.
I figured I have three options if I want to experience Diwali in a city:
Rishikesh - Nainital - Lucknow - Allahabad - Diwali in Lucknow/Allahabad - Chitrakoot and further on
Rishikesh - Lucknow - Allahabad - Chitrakoot - Allahabad - Diwali in Lucknow/Allahabad - Khajuraho
Rishikesh - Lucknow - Allahabad - Varanasi - Diwali in Varanasi - Allahabad - Chitrakoot and further
I'm not sure whether I have to backtrack to Lucknow to get from Chitrakoot to Khajuraho anyway, but in that case option two would stand out I guess.