Dev Diwali, Festival of Lights


Magical and unforgettable, Dev Diwali “the Diwali of the gods”, is celebrated in Varanasi, India’s spiritual capital. It falls on the day of the full moon, 15 days after Diwali. For this festival thousands of diyas or oil lamps deck the ghats of the city of Shiva in honour of Ganga, goddess of the river. Legend has it that on this day the gods come down to earth to bathe in the Ganges.

The day of Dev Diwali begins early in the morning with a sacred dip (Kartik Snan) in the holy waters of the Ganges. In the evening, a Maha Aarati is held at the Dasaswamedh Ghat; this is becoming the day’s main attraction.

This festival draws thousands of worshippers and tourists. Almost all the ghats like Assi Ghat, Suparshvanath Ghat, Boondiper Kota Ghat, Panchganga Ghat, Kedar Ghat, Ahilya Bai Ghat and Man Mandir Ghat are jam-packed.

The Ganga Mahotsav festival, starting three days before Dev Diwali and lasting five days, is a cultural festival with a programme including Indian classical music and dance concerts.

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