Do not confuse Dev Deepawali with Diwali, though both are festival of lights but are extremely different in rituals. Celebrated every year in the sacred city of Varanasi, Dev Deepawali or Dev Diwali, marks Lord Shiva’s victory over demon Tripurasur and comes after 15 days of Diwali. Therefore, the festival is also known by the name of Tripurotsav and is observed on the day of Kartik Purnima (the full moon day for the Hindus).
On this auspicious day, a large number of devotees come together to take a dip in the holy Ganges. They pray to goddess Ganga and offer flowers and light clay lamps or diyas in the evening. This act of offering lit-up lamps to the Ganga is called Deepdaan. As the sun goes down, every single step of the staircases at Varanasi ghats glitter with thousands of diyas, which look absolutely gorgeous. Besides the ghats, all the temples in the city are also beautifully lit by the lamps.
Quick facts about Dev Diwali Varanasi
Dev Diwali Varanasi – rituals that follow
Dev Deepawali in Varanasi is an experience worth remembering. During this celestial manifestation, every corner of the city comes alive with bright colours and glowing diyas. It looks like stars have fallen down on the Earth to make the city all the more beautiful. People are also of the view that on the day of Dev Deepawali, all the Gods descend to Varanasi to bathe in the Ganga River, a fact that makes this festival extremely popular.
The main ritual of this festival involves taking a bath in the Ganges also called ‘ kartik snan’ and performing deepdan to the river goddess in the evening. Later, the famous Ganga aarti of Varanasi is performed on the banks of the river in the evening, which is a spectacular spectacle! Pilgrims, travellers and tourists from all across the globe flock the city during this period to experience the grandeur of the festival.
The patriotic side of Varanasi’s Dev Diwali
Besides being a significant religious festivity, Dev Diwali is also the occasion when the city remembers the martyrs. The Ganga Seva Nidhi organises a program during this time, wherein wreaths are laid at the Amar Jawan Jyoti on the famous Dashashwamedh Ghat. This is followed by a closing ceremony performed by the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force officers; the Bhagirath Shourya Samman awards are also conferred later on.
Plan your trip for Diwali in Varanasi
If you wish to partake and experience the magic of Dev Diwali Varanasi, you must start planning months before as all the prime hotels get booked. This festival is a major draw and gets packed with travellers and devotees. The vivid colours on the ghats and the sight of thousands of people lighting lamps and diyas on the ghats look absolutely breathtaking. It is the best time for the boatmen as they earn fairly well this time of the month.