Dev Deepawali 2022 Celebrations in Varanasi, India

Varanasi is a place frozen in time. Popularly referred to as being older than history itself, Varanasi is also known as Kashi, the holy abode of Lord Shiva. Based on the banks of the River Ganga, Varanasi is a microcosm of India's religious and spiritual heritage. The ghats (steps leading to the river) along the banks of the River Ganga, the Viswanath Temple (dedicated to Lord Shiva), and the narrow lanes lend this city a charm that is distinctive and exclusive. Festivals are an integral part of the cultural legacy of this place. Unarguably the most popular among them all is the Dev Deepawali Festival.

Diwali and Dev Deepawali: how are they different?

Diwali is celebrated throughout India to mark the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after the battle in Lanka. It is popular as the festival of lights. Ayodhya has registered its place in the Guinness Book of World records by lighting up 15.76 lakh diyas in 2022. The grand celebration was held on the occasion of Chhoti Diwali on the 23rd of October, 2022, across 37 ghats on the banks of River Sarayu. Dev Deepawali has been the spiritual predecessor to this event. 80 ghats on the banks of River Ganga are illuminated on the day of Kartik Poornima (Full Moon day in the Hindu month of Kartik) in Varanasi every year. Dev Deepawali literally translates to “The Diwali of the Gods”. It is believed to be the time when Gods and Goddesses descend upon the earth for a holy dip in the River Ganga.

The Mythology

The significance of the day is seeded in Hindu mythology. It is believed that Lord Shiva had slayed the dreaded demon named Tripurasura. And the Gods celebrated Diwali on the day of his victory over evil. On this day, pilgrims take a holy dip in the Ganga. Also, they set earthen lamps afloat on the river (the ritual being called Deepdaan). Hence, the festival is also observed as Tripura Purnima Snan. In 2022, Dev Deepawali is being observed on the 7th of November, Monday.

The tradition of lighting the lamps on the Dev Deepawali festival day was first started at the Dashashwamedh Ghat. Pandit Kishori Raman Dubey (Babu Maharaj) was the pioneer who initiated the festival in 1991. As dusk sets in, all the ghats of Varanasi, from Ravidas to Rajghat, glitter and shine with millions of earthen lamps. While the sky is illuminated by the moon in its full glory, the river reflects the light of the diyas to create an aura. Pilgrims and tourists come to enjoy from far and wide to witness this amazing beauty.

Apart from the gorgeous aarti at the Dashaswamedh Ghat, houses are decorated with lamps and lights, firecrackers are burnt at night, and processions of decorated deities are taken out into the streets of Varanasi. Boat ride along the riverfront in the evening is popular among tourists. With all the ghats lit with lamps and aarti being performed, the ghats appear like star-studded stairways to heaven.

Other attractions of Varanasi

When in Varanasi, tourists must also visit the following places:

Kashi Viswanath Temple: the recently renovated Kashi Viswanath Corridor is a mega temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple stands on the western bank of the holy river Ganga and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, the holiest of Shiva temples. Shri Vishwanath (just like Lord Jagannath) literally means Lord of the Universe.

Sarnath: Located about 10km from Varanasi city, the Deer Park in Sarnath is where Gautam Budha first taught Dharma. As per Buddhist religious belief, Sarnath is one of their four principal pilgrimage sites.

BHU: Banaras Hindu University is a collegiate and research university. It was declared an institute of eminence by the Government of India. Tourists visit the campus and also pay reverence to Lord Shiva worshipped in a temple modeled after the Kashi Viswanath Temple.

Ramnagar Fort: Located near the eastern bank of River Ganga, Ramnagar Fort is a sandstone structure that tourists visit on a day trip from Varanasi. The Ramnagar Fort was built by Kashi Naresh Maharaja Balwant Singh in 1750. Inscriptions on the outer ramparts of the fort date to the seventeenth century. The fort palace is decked up in a vibrant and colorful manner during the one-month-long Ram Lila festival where different episodes of Ramayana are enacted.

The Food: Besides these sites, Varanasi is also famous for delicacies that entice food lovers across the spectrum. Paan, Thandai, and Chaat are particularly famous in Varanasi. Malaiya is one sweet delicacy that is scarcely available and immensely pleasant. After boiling milk in big iron pans known as Kadhai, vendors leave it out in the open overnight. As the morning sun starts warming up the cold ground, dew drops start forming on the liquid's surface. Sugar, saffron, and cardamom are blended and whisked until most of the milk has become a lighter-than-air foam. The melt-in-your-mouth frothy delicacy is one item that is available only in the winter.


Every festival is celebrated with great zeal and positivity across India. But only a few traverse beyond the boundaries of religion and attract tourists from all across the globe.

Varanasi is an epicenter of religious tourism for Hindus in India and perhaps the best time to visit the city is during Dev Deepawali. The city comes alive in an avatar that is vivid, colorful, and thoroughly enjoyable. Hot air balloons have also been introduced since last year. The scale and grandeur of Dev Deepawali in Varanasi have grown multifold and so has the popularity of the event. However, the sacred foundation of the celebration has not been compromised. The mystical city of Varanasi is a land of eternal bliss that will keep attracting souls looking for divinity and solace.



An honest SCORPIO who is crazy about movies, and overly passionate about travel.
Believes in immortalizing the moment, either by way of the photograph or literal documentation of the journey.

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