Also known as “Festival of Lights of the Gods”, Dev Deepawali is the festival of Kartik Purnima, celebrated in Varanasi. Celebrated after fifteen days of Diwali, Dev Deepawali is a tribute to river Ganga by the people of Varanasi. It falls on the full moon of the Hindu month of Kartika (November – December).

Being lit up with thousands of diyas and multicolored lights, the ghats of Varanasi, from Ravidas Ghat to Raj Ghat, is adorned by fanfare and feasts. The Hindus believe that on the day of Dev Deepawali, the gods descend on earth. Dev Deepawali and Diwali should not be confused with each other as both of them are festival of lights. Celebrated to honor the homecoming of Lord Ram, Diwali is illustrious. Whereas Dev Deepawali marks Lord Shiva’s victory over demon Tripuraisur.

Celebrated every year in Varanasi, this festival sparks with lots of enthusiasm. The entire city comes to live and the lakes, ghats, streets are all lit up by thousands of lights and diyas which makes the whole city glitter and looks stunningly gorgeous. Also observed as Tripura Purnima Snan, the main temple is illuminated with beautiful diyas and colourful flowers. Planned traditionally in Varanasi, the events for Dev Deepawali takes place with quite elaboration.

The ceremony starts with offering prayers and flowers. They lit-up lamps on every step of the staircase of the ghats of Ganga, as the sun goes down. Started in 1985 at the Panchganga Ghat, this tradition of offering lamps to the Ganga is called “Deepdaan”.

Tourists from all over the country and locals flock to Varanasi on this auspicious day. Numerous devotees come together to take a dip in the holy river Ganga. This is what makes this festival so popular. Done in a very grand and spectacular manner, the evening aarti at the river ghats is the most famous. On this night where the aarti takes place thousands of people, locals from all around and tourists come to watch. Ganga Aarti on Dev Deepawali in Varanasi beats the Ganga aarti in Benaras.

This festival is also most awaited event for the professional photographers as they wish to capture each and everything the city offers in its own unique way. Other than attending the evening aarti, people also take part in other activities like many people take a boat ride of the river which makes the best time for the boatmen as they earn fairly well during this time. You can relish the street food followed by the most famous Banarsi Pan.

Transportation and Stay –

While planning to take a trip especially during this festival, one needs to do the reservation months in advance before the Dev Deepawali starts. There are many options for accommodations which are available. From the best hotels, guest houses near river Ganga to a home stay are readily available, depending on your schedule.

Several options of transportation, like bus, trains and private cars are easily available according to your convenience.

Known as the City of devotees, Varanasi doesn’t disappoint to give a spiritual feeling which makes to come closer to one’s belief. If you wish to see the fallen stars on earth as they lit up the whole city with its brightness than Dev Deepawali festival will make your wish come true. It will give you an experience that you will never forget!

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By Abhishek Saraswat

Abhishek (@himalayan_gypsy) is a travel photographer and blogger known as Himalayan Gypsy over the internet. Academically from an engineering background and born the Himalayan valley of Dehradun, he found himself in love with nature and ever since he has been on a journey to travel India and showcase the beauty of the country through his pictures, motivating and encouraging people on the go to feel the same and also take responsibilities to conserve our rich heritage, culture and environment. He is a Certified Digital Marketer and a Travel Influencer who is efficient to create visually appealing content for Travel Brands, Property Owners, Cafes and other Product Shoots. He also specializes in running Facebook & Instagram Ad Campaigns for Brand Awareness, Brand Promotion and Online Reputation Management.

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