There are certain things in life that are so grand that you simply cannot come up with words for them. The reason why I am writing this post after a gap of 6 months is because I was unable to come up with words for something so grand and so beautiful.
Back in 2012 I heard about Dev Dipawali in Banaras and saw its pictures on a friend’s FB feed that looked really amazing. I decided to be a part of when it was going to happen next year and after keeping a track of the dates I was finally able to join the festival in Nov 2013.
I called up my friend Sais in Banaras and told him that I’ll be reaching there in the afternoon as the celebrations were supposed to start in the evening. Dev Diwali is observed on Kartik Purnima and popularly celebrated along the Ganga River banks in Varanasi, During the celebration, houses are decorated with oil lamps (Diyas) and colored designs on their front doors. Firecrackers are burnt at night, processions of decorated deities are taken out into the streets of Varanasi, and oil lamps (Diyas) are set afloat on the river.
I reached Mughalsarai station at 3 PM in the afternoon, after resting for sometime as Sais’s place we left for the ghat area where it was being celebrated and got stuck in a massive jam, it seemed that whole city was going there. We decided to take a walk and as we reached towards the bridge I could see ghats already being illuminated with diyas as the night started to fall.
Varanasi has around 84 ghats and from a birds eye view the scene could be spectacular. We walked from one ghat to another each of them shining with diyas and people celebrating. There was a huge crowd of Foreigners who were watching the celebrating with amazement. We finally reached the Dashashwamedh Ghat where the main celebration was taking place. A massive fire cracker show was going on at the ghat and a huge crowd was gathered around to watch the spectacular show. Sais has a long list of stories about this city and it was fun listening to a few.
After the trail ended, we returned to where we had started. After having some Banarasi thandai and snacks we decided to leave for home that ot my amazement there was no rikshawalah or auto-rikshaw around. After a wait for half an hour and walking around we found a rikshaw who dropped us near the bridge from where reaching home was another tough task.
Anyways, Dev Dipawali was an experience of a lifetime. People of Banaras and celebration was the treat for a traveler who has always seen this city in its quiet mood. Next morning I left for Patna planning my future travels that was going to be Banaras again after a week.