Important Fairs and Festivals in Varanasi
In the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, on the banks of the river Ganges lies a city of lights Varanasi, also known as Banaras and Kashi. Varanasi is the holiest of seven cities (Sapta Puri) in Hinduism and Jainism. There are many important fairs and festivals in Varanasi. The city is also known for its pilgrimage. The world knows it for its ghats that are built alongside the bank of holy river Ganga, it is said the city is a home to 84 ghats like Dashashwamedh Ghat, the Panchganga Ghat, the Manikarnika Ghat, and the Harishchandra Ghat, where pilgrims take bath in the holy river, Ganga, some cremate their loved ones here for salvation, and many other religious ablutions are performed by pilgrims.
Varanasi is believed to be one of the most religious cities of India, having a temple at every 1km and is home of Shiva. Among the 23,000 temples Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple, are some of the famous temples and are must place to visit in Varanasi. Of about 10kms from Varanasi, is a place Sarnath that is said to be a place where Buddha first taught the Dharma. Besides its religious beliefs, Banaras is famous for its silk weaving, carpets, crafts, and festivals and fairs! Alike entire India, Important fairs and festivals in Varanasi also celebrates some basic festivals like Holi, Diwali, Eid, Christmas, Makar Sankranti or Pongal in the south or Lohri in Punjab, Mahashivratri, etcetera, but there are some other festivals that Kashi celebrates at a grand level which is an icing on the cake for heritage walk tour Varanasi.
The city celebrates festivals all around the year, one after another. The festivals give you a whole different feeling of Spiritual tour to Kaashi. Some of them are Rangbhari (Amalaki) Ekadashi is one the important festivals celebrated in Kashi Vishwanath Temple; festival embarks the beginning of Holi. People of Kashi also call it Amalaki Ekadashi because they believe Amalaki, the offspring of Brahma, kills the sinful acts. Another festival celebrated by the locals and nearby cities is Bharat Milap.
It is held at Nati Imli in Varanasi. Bharat Milap is celebrated across Varanasi to celebrate the return of Lord Ram after the exile of 14 years and reunion with Bharat. People celebrate this festival in the spirit of the triumph of the honesty over evil influence, the festival is celebrated in the month of October and November, at Ramnagar fort and Nati lmli place in Varanasi and everyone enjoys this festival and fair with gratitude and worshipping Lord Rama.
Next comes the Budhha Mahotsav of Varanasi, which is held at Sarnath to celebrate the birth anniversary of Buddha, it is also known as Buddha Purnima and is held in May or April. Buddha scriptures are read and worshipped by the devotees of Buddha. Earlier, in the 16th century, Tulsi Dasa, a saint, started celebrated a festival on the banks of river Ganga, which is now known as Tulsi Ghat and the festival is called Nag Nathaiya. This festival is celebrated in memory of Krishna Leela. It is one of the important parts of Krishna’s life. On this auspicious day, Lord Krishna jumped into Yamuna River to kill Kaaliya Nag Nathan to protect people from its cruelty. People are gathered in groups at the tulsi ghat to see a boy who plays a role of lord Krishna to see him jump off from the kadamba tree at the banks of river Ganga and defeat the Nag. Krishna Leela was an act by lord Krishna to prevent good over evil, and Nag Nathiya Leela is also an example of same that tells the story that all evil must be punished.
One major festival in Varanasi and whole India is the Ganga Dusshera, which is celebrated on the 10th day of Jyeshta month according to Hindu calendar. However, people in Varanasi celebrate Ganga Dusshera a little bit differently from other parts of India, on this day people keep fasts. People take a dip in river Ganga. Authorities organize far on the banks of the river. The ghats are overcrowded as not only locals but pilgrimages also show up there to enjoy the atmosphere. Despite the crowd, people love visiting and take a dip in Ganga and a special Arti is also performed on the same day.
Dev Deepawali in Varanasi is another major festival in Varanasi. It is celebrated on the full moon of the Hindu month Kartik which is after fifteen days after Diwali and is known as Kartik Poornima. Dev Deepawali in Varanasi is that time of the year when the city seems like a home of the deities.
Another important festival celebrated by locals of Varanasi is Naak Katayya, it is celebrated in Chetganj to celebrate commemorate the nicking the nose of Supnakha (sister of Ravana) by the Lakshman (younger brother of Lord Rama). People of Chetganj perform dramas and scenes in the streets and show the victory of truth over lie.
Carnivals and festivals in Varanasi bring a lot of cheerfulness in the life of city dwellers and close areas of the Varanasi. So if you are planning to take a Kaashi Trip, you might want to visit when you can witness the beauty of festivals celebrated in Banaras.
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