Akashdeep at Varanasi in Kartik Mahina – Lamps Dedicated to Soldiers and Ancestors

Akashdeep is dedicated to soldiers who lost their life in combat, dead ancestors, parents and relatives and is observed in the Kartik Mahina as per traditional North Indian calendar in Varanasi and along the banks of Ganga River. Akashdeep 2013 begins on October 18 and ends on November 17. During the month-long ritual, lamps or diyas are lit along the banks of Ganga River and also floated on the River Ganga in Kashi. Today, Akashdeep is performed mainly for the soldiers who lost their life defending the country.

Popular belief is that Akashdeep lit during Kartik Maas (month) will lighten the path for the souls of dead ancestors to reach heaven.

It is believed that Akasheep was first lit in honor of dead soldiers of the 18-day Kurukshetra war in the Mahabharata.