Festival: Dev Deepavali, the second Diwali of Varanasi

The eternal guardian of nights shines with her whole beauty and strength. Below she looks at the divine city of Banaras. A divine evening it is. The evening, when stars descend to the Earth and decorate the ghats along the bank of holy river in the honour of mother Ganga.

15 days after the festival of Deepavali (or Diwali), on full-moon evening of the Kartik month of the Hindu Calender, the festival of Dev Deepavali is celebrated in the city of Banaras. The view before eyes is– Hundreds of thousands of diyas illuminating the entire river front, which spreads several miles. A never ending stream of men, women, children, old, young, natives, and tourists flows along the ghats. Boats laden with curious tourists making smooth and quick sail in the holy river. Various sounds, ranging from slow classical Indian music to modern dance music, religious hymns, bells echoing in the atmosphere. Fragrances of the clay lamps burning on organic oils, incenses are dissolved in the comfortably temperatured air. There are small tingling dots of lights everywhere you look at. The overall result is mesmerising and the evening may easily become an evening you will never forget.

Apart from the light decorations and colourful rangolis, various cultural events like classical music concerts are also held on the ghats. It is a big day for the city.

Dev Deepawali

Want to see with your own eyes?

If you want to be a part of the festival, make sure of the date. Like other Hindu festivals, date of Dev Deepawali is based on the Hindu calendar. Which means dates of the festivals are different every year in the Gregorian calendar. Check the date of next Dev Deepavali here.

Dev Deepavali 2016 will be celebrated on 14th November.

Be present at the ghats by 4:00 PM. Although, the main part of the festival begins by 5:30 when it gets darker, looking at the preparations is also a nice experience. You can even be a part of the preparing flock. Grab some powder colours, flowers, diyas and choose a nice spot somewhere on a ghats to lay out your own rangoli.

Walking along the ghats lets you have a close view of the beautiful light decorations, but you would not like to skip a boat ride on the evening of Dev Deepavali. The large view of the ghats decorated with more than a million earthen lamps is something to not miss by any means. However, it is a very lucrative day to the boatmen. They take this opportunity to multiply their day’s income to many times of the regular day income (which is not very much). Pre-booking a boat can be very helpful.

We got some pictures for you

7 comments

  1. Photos look awesome. Looking forward to witness the festival some day, maybe next year.
    If its a big festival, is there shortage of hotel rooms?

        1. Originally, guests houses were non-profit or very cheap accommodation. But nowadays guest houses are low to mid range by the prices. They are often run by families, and they can be more homely that hotels.

          In Banaras, guest houses near ghats are good for longer stays because you are staying closer to the main attractions.

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