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India’s biggest festival, Diwali, gets underway today with Dhanteras. Considered to be one of the most auspicious days in the Hindu calendar, Dhanteras or Dhanatrayodashi marks the beginning of the 5-day festival of Diwali. Called the Festival of Lights, Diwali festivities are marked by the lighting of lamps or diyas. On this happy occasion, people clean and decorate their homes, exchange sweets and presents with friends and family members, and put up decorative lanterns and lights in their houses, buildings, shops and vehicles. All these festivities begin with the day of Dhanteras, which is considered to be the ideal day to buy gold, silver and kitchenware. Most people plan major purchases for the day of Dhanteras on account of this belief. Dhanteras 2017 falls on October 17 and marks the beginning of Diwali 2017 celebration in India. While all of India celebrates this day with great devotion, the Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi has special plans for this day. Also Read - Varanasi Student Develops 'Anti-Covid-19 Robot' To Crackdown on Lockdown Violators & Maintain Social Distancing

On Dhanteras, which falls on the thirteenth lunar day of Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) in the Ashwin month of the Hindu calendar, A puja is held at the Kashi Vishwanath temple in honour of Goddess Annapurneshwari. The temple dedicated to Goddess Annapurneshwari in the temple complex is opened only once a year for this puja. As a result, devotees flock the Maa Annapurnesheari mandir on the day of Dhanteras to pay their respects and offer their prayers and gratitude. The Annapurna temple has a golden idol of Goddess Annapurneshwari which is visited by several devotees from India and abroad on the day of Dhanteras or Dhanatrayodashi. Idols of Goddess Lakshmi and goddess Bhumi Devi are places on either side of the idol of Goddess Annapurneshwari in the temple. Special arrangements have been made at the Kashi Vishwanath temple for senior citizens and people with disabilities to offer prayers to Goddess Annapurneshwari today. The temple will remain closed for internal prayers till 12 noon. After this, the temple will be opened for devotees and will remain open till 11 pm. VIPs have been allotted the time slot of 5 pm to 7 pm to visit the Annapurneshwari temple. Also Read - Don’t Treat Coronavirus on Your Own, Cooperate With Health Professionals: Top 10 Quotes of PM Modi

Varanasi is one of the most religious spots in India and is a great place to witness Hindu culture and tradition in all its glory. Every year, it is visited by several devotees and tourists alike. Dhanteras and Diwali is a big deal all across India and Varanasi too puts its best foot forward during this time.