Wednesday

All for Indra (God of the sky)



Kartik Poornim (Dev Deepawali)  is a festival only celebrated in Varanasi and only celebrated on the full moon of each November. It is a time when the town is filled with lights. The long steps from the town to the Ganga rivers edge are filled with oil candles, while the houses are covered with long strands of electric lights. 



















Deepawali celebrates the sky. It offers lights to the mighty air above with a reflection of stars on the ground. 

That evening among the extra chaos of the streets we decided to take a boat to see all of the lights from afar. 
The scene was magnificent, lights covered everything and ceremonies were preformed at every ghat. 



















Deepawali is also a very auspicious time to be cremated, and so the burning ghats were filled with tall fires as numerous families gathered to witness the burial by flame. 
(No one is to take pictures of the burning ghats)

Our boat ride became exciting as the night passed and boat traffic increased. Giant motorboat  were making huge waves for our little rowboat. The moon pulled the waters of the Ganges and our boatman struggled against the current, sweating and stripping off layers or cloths. At one point Laney walked the length of the boat to pour some water in his mouth. Finally after a long battle with the tide and congestion we made it back to the dock. The rest of the night we spent perched on a step, high above the chaos, and watch the festival goers move through the ghats like a herd of salmon swimming upstream. 



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