Dev Diwali or Dev Deepawali is one of the most celebrated festivals in Varanasi. It is celebrated on Kartik Poornima, 15 days after Diwali – the festival of lights. This year Dev Diwali will be celebrated on 27th November 2023.
On Dev Diwali, the Ghats of Varanasi come alive with millions of diyas (earthen lamps) and thousands of visitors from all over the world. All the Ghats from Ravidas to Raj Ghat and their stairs appear glittering and shining like a stairway to heaven.
The water of the Ganga reflects the light of the beautiful full moon while boats move to leave the trail of diyas behind. It is an ineffable sight that can only be experienced by being there and witnessing it.
And below are the six reasons why we think you should not miss it!
1. It is Grand
When we say grand, we mean it!
Video Credits: BrainWing Youtube Channel
It is so grand that it is impossible to witness all of it at once. The preparations start a week before the event takes place much of which only lasts for about an hour or two!
2. The City Comes Alive
The celebrations in Banaras are at their peak around this time!
Devotees from all over the world visit city to perform rituals at Ghats on Kartik Poornima. It makes an excellent opportunity for anyone who wishes to get a glimpse of India’s diverse culture.
3. Best Season To Visit Varanasi
Winter is the best season to visit Varanasi. Mornings are cold and days are sunny. The morning mist creates a surreal backdrop as people perform rituals at the riverfront. It’s a spiritual experience!
4. Evening Boat Rides
It is believed that on Dev Diwali Gods come down to take a bath in the Ganges. To welcome the Gods, ghats are decorated with millions of earthen lamps which If witnessed from a boat appears like a stars studded stairway to heaven.
5. Migratory Birds
Birds fly all the way from Serbia to Varanasi in winter. Birds such as northern pintail, reddish shelduck, Cormorant, bar-headed geese, golden pheasant, etc can be spotted at the Ghats. Tourists visit Varanasi to capture the beauty of these birds while they glide over the Ganges.
It’s okay if birds are not your thing, morning boat rides with a sip of tea are always fun here. Oh! and don’t forget to get a nice picture! 😉
Malaiyo is a local winter delicacy made from raw milk and dew drops. Yes, you read it right, dew drops! In winter one can find it everywhere in Varanasi but if you want to taste the real one then you will have to go deep into the streets around the Chowk area. The most famous one is the Malaiyo of Markandey which is in the Thatheri Bazaar near Gopal Mandir and is only available until 11 AM. It’s lip-smacking and delicious!
We wanted to keep this list short that’s why we didn’t put everything here. Otherwise, there are so many offbeat places to see and so many cool places to eat street food in Varanasi. But if you’re really that intrigued to visit then shoot us a message on Instagram (@VaranasiGuru) and we will try to help you plan your trip!
If you’d like to read more about Dev Diwali and its history, check out Dev Deepawali when gods descend to earth.