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Dev Diwali - a celestial happening. Lakhs of illuminated earthen lamps dot the stairs of various Ghats and adjoining majestic palatial buildings with an equal number seen floating gingerly on the holy waters of the River Ganges. There is a strong aroma of incense and sacred chanting of Mantras add a religious fervour to the occasion. Unique feature of Varanasi celebrated on the auspicious day of Kartik Poornima- fifteen days after Deepawali. For an outsider it is an amazing site, but for the devout Indian it is a time to worship the Holy Ganges. It falls on the full moon of the Hindu month of Kartika (November - December).
Dev Deepawali is also the culmination of month long Kartik Mahotsava, which starts frrom the day of Sharad Poornima. Many have described Dep Deepawali celebrations literally fit for the Gods. These celebrations have been recorded even by Ptolemy and Huang Tsang amongst others, when several million earthen lamps are lit at Sunset on the steps of the Ghats.
It is a very special River Festival of Varanasi and it is a must see for all visitors to the Holy City. The festival is best enjoyed by taking a leisurely boat ride on the Ganges from around 5.30 P.M. in the evening for 2-3 hours or by just walking on the banks of River Ganges.
This also coincides with the end of Ganga Mahotsva, which takes place at Rajendra Prasad Ghat (Dasaswamedh Ghat)for the previous three days.