Now Varanasi, the former Kashi is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together but still, the serenity remains intact. It is quite intricating for people to understand the value and significance of the place even after a thousand years of its contribution to the nation. It is said that Lord Shiva longed to live in Kashi and now people from all over the world are anxious to live here once in their lifetime. That’s the kind of beauty and peace it unfolds.
All of this can be together lived and revived during the celebration of Diwali in the city. Mind you Diwali is one of the biggest festivals of the city of Varanasi and also it has distinct significance from that of the entire nation. The real charm of Diwali can be seen after 15 days of the festival on the day of Kartik Purnima when heavens literally fall here. Do you know what makes Kashi so special? It is its simplicity and the fact that it is not making any efforts to grab people’s attention, it is not bringing new wonders into the scope of vision, all it is doing is showing the truth, the reality and the things which are already there from years gone by. It has this eternal light which intersects the Earth and that’s what makes it special.
The after-Diwali known as the Dev Deepawali is one of the main highlights of the land of tranquility and spirituality. The day is known to be as the Diwali of Gods and Gods come on the Ghats of Varanasi to celebrate their part of the festival. The sight is unbelievably divine at the Ghats of Varanasi which is anyway an epitome of calmness and direct connect with the Gods.
Dev Deepawali is celebrated in the honor of Lord Shiva who won over three demons namely Vidyunmali, Tarakaksha, and Viryavana, together known as Tripurasura. Lord Shiva won victory over them and destroyed the three cities made by the demons which are also the reason this day is called ‘Triporotsav’. Hence, it is believed that Gods come to celebrate the victory in the town of Lord Shiva every year in the month of Kartik which is November.
Since Dev Deepawali is the last day of celebration of Diwali and has immense importance and value for the holy land, the rituals are also quite compelling. The day starts with ‘Kartik Snan’, the holy dip in the river Ganges in the early morning. It is later concluded by the lighting of oil lamps on the steps of the banks of the river which is the decoration of immortality and can steal the show any day. Then 24 Brahmins perform 24 holy chants and Vedic mantras along with ‘Ganga Arti’. ‘Ganga Arti’ of Varanasi is a delightful sight which will hold your feet right there and will make you senseless and speechless for a while. A group of Brahmins holding large Artis in their hand and moving it to and fro in a united motion, it is a treat to the eyes. The vision will stay with you forever once you have witnessed the pomp.
Honestly, the celebration of Dev Deepawali is larger and grander that one would have thought or would have celebrated till today. Just visiting the place at this time will decontaminate all your thoughts and negativity within a split second and that is what Varanasi holds in itself. Everything about the place is extraordinary including this sedative festival which is still not known to many. I have been to the place and trust me, the memories stagger me sometimes and all I feel is peace and purity within myself. If visiting once can make this kind of an impact, I wish all of us to get a chance to dip in the sacred Ganges and feel the essence of it as much as possible.
Also Read: 7 unusual festivals in India that you got to hear about