Upcoming Festival

Dev Deepavali, Varanasi

Varanasi, the oldest living city in the world has quite quintessentially some strange and ethereal feel about its existence. The serenity and tranquillity that it offers is unmatched and beyond words. Anyone who tries to get into a debate finds himself sounding like a nincompoop, as the history and culture is so deep and vast that it is impossible to decipher the entire in one lifetime.

This city has a lot to offer those who visit here which includes a peek into its culture, festivals, mouth-watering local cuisine, relics & temples, spirituality and of course it's warm hearted people ever brimming with joy and effervescence.

One of the major festivals celebrated here with great fervour is Dev Deepavali on the auspicious occasion of Kartik Poornimaheld in the month of Kartik and falling on full moon night. This festival commences with chanting of holy Vedic mantras by the priests as part of a ritual to please and welcome God. This is accompanied with fire crackers and sparkling Diyas seen at the Ghats. This festival is celebrated each year in Varanasi on the fifteenth day of Diwali as mark of respect shown to Holy Ganges by pilgrims. It is celebrated and observed by the people with loud trumpet blasts amidst overwhelming emotions.

In Hindu religion, Dev Deepavali is celebrated with a strong belief that the Gods from heaven descended on Earth as on this day to eradicate demon Tripurasur and his army of asuras. Dev Deepavali hence commemorates victory of the Gods over asuras. On this occasion each and every Ghaton the banks of holy river Ganga are packed with pilgrims who send diyas floating on water. They flow thousands of Diyas (also known as earthen lamps) in the holy water of Ganges for their Gods according to their rituals beliefs. Since this festival draws attention of millions of devotees and pilgrims every year, adequate security arrangements are made by the state government for safety purpose.

This programme starts with Ganpati Vandana, followed by garlanding the deity. Dev Deepavaliis then presented by 21 Brahmins and 41 girls loudly chanting Vedic mantras in harmony. After Deep-Daan, the Maha Aarati is held at Dasaswamedh Ghat which becomes the main attraction for the day. This is followed by a cultural program where in dance performances by famous personalities of Varanasi are presented. The event is named Nritya Ganga. All other Ghats namely Assi Ghat, Suparshvanath Ghat, Boondiper Kota Ghat, Panchganga Ghat, Kedar Ghat, Ahilya Bai Ghat, Man Mandir Ghattoo witness great crowd and resonate an immense feel of spirituality in the air. A 12-ft statue of Goddess Ganga becomes the centre of attraction on this day.

Pilgrims have a gala time in boats travelling over the Ganges andenjoy being ferried from one point to another to experience utmost pleasure emanated during this festival. Another chief attraction is the Kartik Snan, where devotees and pilgrims take a holy dip early in the morning in the waters of holy Ganges. This is symbolic to washing away sins committed and starting afresh with the blessings of Almighty. Many people organise Akhand Ramayan followed by bhog at their homes, thus inviting near and dears in family and neighbourhood. The festival also is instrumental in bringing families and communities together and helps build a feel of brotherhood.

On this auspicious occasion, the Ganga Seva Nidhiorganises and manages a program dedicated to the martyrs of the Nation. The war memorial Amar Jawan Jyoti at Dashashwamedh Ghat is duly decorated with flowers and garlanded with utmost reverence and respect for the all those who laid down their lives for us while protecting the Nation against enemies during various wars and intrusions.

Varanasi is well connected as it has an International Airport which receives all major flights round the clock. Besides, there are innumerable hotels in all categories to suit the liking and budget of one and all.

This festival is definitely worth experiencing at least once in a lifetime…!