Varanasi, Nov 23: Preparations for the Dev Deepawali festival, a unique blend of spiritualism and nationalism which is celebrated on Kartik Purnima day on the world famous 84 Ganga ghats here, are in full swing.
Dev Deepawali mahasamiti founder president Narain Guru yesterday said over ten lakh earthen lamps would be lit on the stairs the ghats of Ganga, besides lakhs of 'deepdaans' in the river.
The event, celebrated by Ganga Sewa Nidhi (GSN) every year on Kartik Purnima, is observed singularly by GSN as the 'Martyrs Commemoration Day' to immortalise the gallant soldiers, who attained martyrdom, while safeguarding their motherland.
With the active support of GSN, Central Air Command, Allahabad, helicopter drops flowers at the replica of India Gate at Dashswamedh Ghat, the central ghat of the holy city.
On this day, GSN honours the bravemen with 'Bhagirath Saurya Samman', which is followed by the divine Ganga 'maha arti' and a music feast.
Dev Deepawali has a mythological legend. The first ruler of Kashi (Varanasi) Debodas being annoyed with Gods and Goddesses, banned their entry into Benaras.
The Gods and Goddesses, however, in disguise thronged the city for a holy dip at Panchaganga, where five rivers confluence with Ganga. After some time, the ruler lifted the ban and Gods came to the temple town to celebrate their victory with lights on Kartik Purnima.
According to another holy myth, the Gods observed victory day on Kartik Purnima to celebrate the killing of demon Tripurasur. A large number of tourists congregate for Dev Deepawali here to capture the unique and often bizarre sights of the event.