Nag Nathaiya is yet another important festival of Varanasi. Nag Nathaiya festival is a part of the Krishna Leela ceremony, a mythological tradition involving depiction of a famous episode in the life of lord Krishna. The Nag Nathaiya festival of Varanasi is held at the Tulsi Ghat. Lord Krishna jumps into River Ganga for Nag Nathan. The Nag Nathaiya festival is famous as Nag Nathaiya Leela. The Nag Nathaiya festival is held during the month of Nov-Dec and a large number of people gather to see the re-enactment.
The origin of Nag Nathaiya is traced back to the Mahabharata. According
to the Mahabharata, while playing, the young Krishna lost his ball in
the river. When the little Krishna dived into the river to get his ball
back, he was confronted by King Cobra, Kalia. Recognizing the strength
and power of Lord Krishna, King Cobra withdrew and lifted the little
Krishna to the surface instead. Much to the delight of his friends,
sitting on the hood of Kalia, Lord Krishna surfaced above the water.
A part of the Mahabharata legend, the Nag Nathaiya festival is re-enacted on the Tulsi Ghat at Varanasi.