Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh - Celebration
Varanasi Dev Deepavli Mahotsav
The Dev Deepavali is the Festival of Lights of the Gods in Kartik Poornima. Its celebrated on 15th day of Diwali, is a tribute to Ganga by the pilgrims and camping at riverside.. This Utsav celebrated every year at the holy city. India is a land of distinct flavors n colors; each region offers a unique experience to each visitors. On the 5th day of the Ganga Mahaostav, believes that Gods killed the demon Tripurasur, to celebrate the victory as Dev Deepwali and all the gods from the heaven descend on the earth to take a dip in the holy river Ganga at this grand occasion. In the evening more than 1000s people at 'Ganga-Aarti' is the attraction of this event. Almost all Ghats organize their own ceremony. After sunset all the steps of stairs in every inch of the riverfront of the Ganges and temples are glittering with millions of oil lamp.
Event is typically held at the Dashashwamedh Ghat, but has recently been shifted to the Ravidas Ghat. On this occasion, artists perform and making the celebration more eventful. Slow classical Indian music, religious hymns and bells echoing in the atmosphere, makes a wonderful scene to watch.. Most travelers and spiritual seekers visit at dream destination. The festival helps preserve the importance of Varanasi as the religious, cultural and traditional capital of India. Each and every ghats of Gange River are packed with the huge crowd of pilgrims.
“Put yourself in a state of mind where you say to yourself, Here is an opportunity for you to celebrate like never before, my own power, my own ability to get myself to do whatever is necessary.” – Anthony R.
HOW MAHOTSAV BEGIN
A huge gathering of devotees, when Ceremony starts with rituals are offering a prayer to Lord Ganesha Vandana. Capture here the essence of this vibrant and its overwhelming scenes of life on the ghats, where everyday life and a sense of devotion merge together. Almost all the ghats become full of crowd and delight. Statue of the Goddess Ganga is the center of attraction and offering of lit earthen lamps, known as deepdaan. The rituals performed by 24 young Brahmin priests and 24 girls and involve chanting Hymns, shell blowing, drum beating and brazier burning. People came from all over the world for beautiful and memorable experiences, seeking spiritual peace, meditating on the Holy River Banks and paying several visits to the temples and known as the city of temples.
DECORATION OF GHATS
The traditional plan of events for Dev Deepawali in Varanasi is quite elaborate and is followed religiously every year. Lamps decorated on Ghats along with flowers and rangoli. Bamboos with lanterns are made lamps stand. Grab some powder colors, flowers, diyas and choose a nice spot somewhere on a ghats. Light a lamp on the stairs of Ghat making it heavenly and divine. People starts gathering by the riverside before sunset to see the beauty of decoration with tiny earthen lamps and oil lamps are set afloat on the river. Houses are decorated with oil lamps and colored designs on their front doors. Firecrackers are burnt at night, processions of decorated deities are taken out into the streets of Varanasi.
WHEN IS MAHOSTAV RITUALS CELEBRATED?
The Mahaostav is celebrated on Dev Diwaliin the month of Kartik. It falls on the full moon of the Hindu month of Kartika (November - December). Dev Deepavali all the God come down from Heaven to take a dip in the Holy River Ganga. Best way to cover maximum Ghats are through Boat. Number of rituals performed on Dev Deepavali, celebrated on this occasion of KartikPoornima when the Ghats of Varanasi come alive with thousands of Diyas. Offering oil lighted lamps to Holy River Ganga is called “Deepdan”. Rituals performed consist of the KartikSnan, which consists of taking a dip in holy River. On this event, the ghats are completely lighted with diyas and flocked by pilgrims.
WHAT SHOULD NOT BE MISSED?
The festival is best enjoyed by taking a leisurely boat ride on the Ganges for 2-3 hours and walking along the ghats lets you have a close view of the beautiful light decorations. A festival gives a chance to see the popular cultural dance programs, classical music, boat race, local arts and crafts fair and martial arts. And Ganga Water Rally, runs between Allahabad-Mirzapur-Chunar-Varanasi.Visiting the land of Ganga the sight of million lamps some are fixed and some are floating being lit on Ghats. The large view of the ghats, buildingsand houses decorated with more than a million earthen lamps. Boat Rides are a common sport here that attracts many tourists and Pre-booking a boat can be very helpful. On this great occasion, lot of devotees take a dip early in the morning in the sacred water Ganges on this auspicious day, known as KartikSnan.
HOW TO REACH
BY AIR : Varanasi airport is well-linked to some of the major cities in India like Delhi and Mumbai. International tourists can board connecting flights from Delhi airport which is well-connected to all the major cities.
BY TRAIN : The Varanasi railway station is connected to major cities of India via rail.
BY ROAD : Varanasi is connected to major cities of Uttar Pradesh and neighbouring states by state-run buses. From the railway station, tourists can hire a taxi or a cab to explore the city.