Varanasi festivals- The stories of Dev Dipawali and Kartik Purnima
These Varanasi festivals like Dev Dipawali and Kartik Purnima will delight you no end. If you are in Banaras (Varanasi) right now, then you must immediately reach the banks of the Ganga. Fabulous sights and experiences await you.
Varanasi festivals- let’s explain some terms
The word Dev means god or gods. Dipawali means ‘ a row of lamps’. ‘Kartik’ is a month (roughly corresponding to October/November) of the Hindu calendar, while ‘Purnima’ refers to the night of the full moon. So here we are, Dev Dipawali is a festival of lights in honor of gods and is celebrated in October/November, each year. Of course, it should be a full moon night on the day of the festival.
I won’t give anymore gyan on this subject. Have a look at some of the images that I have sourced from Flickr.com. Thanks, Flickr.
Though the traditional Dipawali just passed us a few weeks back, the ancient city of Varanasi has its own version of this festival.
Isn’t this surreal? Can you see those people standing on the waters holding big lamps and praying to the gods in the sky?
And many thanks, Anoop Keshari for this wonderful snap.
Story of Dev Dipawali
There are two reasons why this festival is celebrated in Varanasi this day.
According to one story, Dev Diwali is celebrated to remember the victory of Lord Shiva over the demon, Tripurasur. This rakshas or demon was a combination of three demons, actually.
If you have been following my blog, you will remember that Lord Shiva is also considered as the God of Death. Varanasi is HIS city. It is Shiva who brings people alive and it is HE alone who takes away their lives.
Another story about Dev Diwali goes like this. One day, Sage Vishwamitra thought that the gods needed to be punished. He then decided to send his disciple, Trishanku to heaven and take over its affairs.
The gods became afraid and thought of preventing Trishanku from entering their kingdom. As Trishanku was preparing to enter the heavens, he was stopped mid-way by the devas or the gods.
Now Trishanku had nowhere to go. He stood suspended in the sky for many years. Vishwamitra would not let him come back to the earth and the gods would not budge, either.
Frustrated, Vishwamitra then decided to create a new heaven altogether. He had the yogic powers to do so after all!
When the devas came to know about it, they pleaded with the Sage and after some time, a solution was reached between him and the gods. So, Dev Diwali celebrates that particular occasion when a peace agreement was reached at between the devas and the Rishi.
It is said that on Dev Diwali, humans and gods celebrate the occasion together. Interesting, isn’t it?
Go to any part of Varanasi today and you will find all the homes lit up like this.
Now that you have read about this Varanasi festival, you must know about how to reach the city and where to stay.
How to reach Varanasi?
- Train- I would recommend that you take a train to this city. There is good connectivity to Varanasi with Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and other major Indian cities. Aggod website for making reservations is https://www.irctc.co.in/eticketing/loginHome.jsf
- Flight- If you don’t have time and would like to fly into Varanasi then there are a couple of online travel companies like www.makemytrip.com or Cleartrip. You can also book your tickets at Jet Airways, Indigo, Spicejet and of course, the state-owned Air India.
Where to stay in Varanasi?
- Taj Ganges- One of the best hotels in Varanasi is this property of the Taj Group. Book your rooms here- https://gateway.tajhotels.com/en-in/ganges-varanasi/
- You can also get other hotels in Varanasi on these sites- www.tripadvisor.in and www.oyorooms.com
So that’s it, folks. Did you like this article on Varanasi festivals?