Despite being a frontrunner in advancements and globalization, India holds steadfast to a number of traditions and festivals, each more colorful than the last. Diversity seeps into every feature of the country– landscapes, languages, culture and spiritual beliefs. The love for festivals and celebrations is the thread that ties the country together from the snow-capped mountains in the north to the tropical shores in the southern half. One such festival that enjoys pride of place in India’s history and heritage is Kartik Purnima, also spelled as Kartika Purnima by many.
About the Festival
Kartik Purnima is, to many Indians, an important day in the most sacred time of the year. It falls on the day of the full moon (Purnima) during the month of Kartika which is the eighth month in the lunar calendar followed by Hindus. For Nepalis and Bengalis, Kartika Masa is the seventh month and not the eighth.
If you have ever wondered ‘Kartik Purnima kab hai’ according to the Gregorian calenders used internationally, here’s your answer. Kartika Masa typically overlaps October and November every year. While the exact date of Kartika Purnima changes depending on when the full moon appears, trends over the years have shown the auspicious event falling somewhere in November.
How is it Celebrated
Since Kartik Purnima is the most auspicious day of the year for many devotees, a variety of celebrations and festivals are tied to the advent of this day. Kartika Purnima is said to be closely tied to Prabodhini Ekadashi, the day that ends the four-month slumber of the Lord Vishnu according to Hindu scriptures. Prabodhini Ekadashi occurs before Kartika Purnima; fairs that begin on the former day culminate in song, dance and general merrymaking on the day of Kartika Purnima.
One of the most important rituals to take place on the day of Kartika Purnima is the ritualistic bath in a holy river, usually the Ganges. Devotees from all across the country, indeed the world, flock to the Ganges and Varanasi to take a dip in the sacred waters and purify their bodies and souls. This can be carried out at any time of the day; however, many opt to dip in the waters at sunrise or in the evening at the time of the moonrise.
Charity and non-violence are crucial orders that are followed on Kartika Purnima. Devotees flock to temples to offer an assortment of foods to the gods in celebration, while yet others donate cows, provide food for priests and seers, and fast in honour of Kartika Purnima.
The History of the Festival
Kartika Purnima is also known as Tripuri Purnima and Tripurari Purnima. This name stems from the legend of Tripurari and his enemy, the demon Tripurasura. According to tales of yore, Tripurasura had taken over the world by defeating the gods and created three new cities in space, which he named Tripura. Lord Shiva, in the form of Tripurari, shot a single arrow and vanquished both the demon and his three cities. The overjoyed gods were said to have declared that day as the day of illuminations.
It is also believed that Kartik Purnima is the day that Lord Vishnu returns to his home country from his long stay in Bali. This is why Kartik Purnima is also often called Deva-Deepavali or Deva-Diwali.
For Jains, Kartik Poornima one of the most auspicious days and is marked by the Shri Shantrunjay Teerth Yatra, a massively important religious event in the life of a Jain follower. Thousands of devotees flock to Palitana, a pilgrimage center, and the Shatrunjay foothills to begin their holy walk.
How to Get There
Kartika Purnima is celebrated with pomp and fervor across the country. Rajasthan hosts the Pushkar Fair at this time– a multi-day cultural carnival and livestock fair that is also known as Kartik Mela. If you’re planning a trip to Pushkar in time for the fair and Kartika Purnima, redBus has you covered. You can hop on board luxurious sleeper and non-sleeper buses from anywhere in the country to get to Rajasthan. Buses ply from Jaipur to Pushkar, Gurgaon to Pushkar, even Haridwar to Pushkar if you want to top off a pilgrimage with celebrations.
Devotees looking to visit Varanasi and the Ganges for their ritual Kartika Purnima dip can also use redBus filters to book a comfortable ride from any departure point. Depending on which bus operator you opt for, you can choose from a variety of pick-up and drop-off points to make your travels that much more convenient. The redBus filters also allow you to sort buses by price, comfort, and availability, so you end up making the best choice in time for your Kartika Purnima celebrations.
Kartik Purnima images have you feeling like you want to be a part of the festivities? Even if you plan to visit a Kartika Purnima celebration anywhere in the country at the very last minute, redBus has got your back. The redBus app allows you to book seats on a bus just a few hours before departure. With the boarding point navigation feature, you can find your way to the pick-up point no matter how unfamiliar the city. The “Track My Bus” option, if applicable to your chosen bus operator, lets you keep an eye on the bus while you’re waiting for it or if you have loved ones on board.
Where to Stay
Kartik Purnima is a wildly popular day of celebrations so you’ll need a place to stay while you soak in the festivities. Whether you’re in Varanasi, Rajasthan or Tamil Nadu in time for Kartika Purnima celebrations, you can book yourself into hotels befitting your budget. These destinations all host a range of hotels, from five-star luxury to pocket-friendly. Even if you travel alone or with family and friends, you’ll find an accommodation that best suits your priorities.
Here’s a handy tip: if you book a trip with redBus, you’ll be guaranteed the best price on your ticket. That means you’ll have a lot more cash in hand to splurge on a relaxing stay. Happy Kartik Purnima and save travels!
NOTE: In light of the recent Coronavirus pandemic, we at redBus would like to urge you to take all necessary precautions when you travel and follow every instruction provided by your local government. If you're not planning on traveling, practice social distancing and stay indoors to help slow down the spread of COVID-19 or the Coronavirus disease and prevent it from spreading any further. Stay safe!