Diwali, India.

Come celebrate India’s festival of the lights.

If there’s one place that knows how to celebrate a festival, it’s India. From grand city events to simple village melas (fairs), India’s jam-packed festival calendar is as rich and diverse as its traditions and topography.

A star attraction on the Indian festival stage is Diwali – a joyous celebration that, broadly speaking, celebrates the triumph of good over evil. Experience unforgettable nights in luxe heritage forts and opulently restored Havelis, using every imaginable mode of transport. And our handpicked collection of boutique hotels, gourmet dining spots and secret photographic locations will bring you the best India has to offer.


“These tailor-made trips by firms like Creative Escapes give visitors an insider’s perspective of the countries they are touring, with local experts guiding them through unique experiences, in-the-know restaurants and places not normally open to the public, such as private vineyards and kitchens. While the hotels are top-notch and transportation is comfortable, these holidays are for those seeking something more—the acquisition of knowledge and new skills.”


There’s really only one place in India to celebrate Diwali, and that’s Rajasthan. With its wild desert scenery, ancient sandcastle forts, pastel-coloured cities, dust-speckled light and its swathes of scarlet, fuschia and marigold textiles, India’s largest state is sure to induce a bout of wanderlust – and its rich visual texture a perfect match for the festival of light.

Located in the north-west of India and covering an area roughly the same as Germany, Rajasthan is relatively easy to get to, and travel around. It offers outstanding value for money and, arguably, has the most tightly packed collection of cultural sights of any Indian state, thanks to the legacies of the Rajput warriors and Mughal emperors. Yes, it can be noisy and frenetic, but, for soft adventure and sheer spectacle, Rajasthan is hard to beat.

Craft incredible travel photographs at the most famous festival in India, Diwali
Shoot Jaipur’s iconic Hawa Mahal, and the opulent Amber Fort in dusky light
Capture the famous Taj Mahal from our secret vantage point at dawn
Learn reportage black-and-white photography aboard an overnight express train
Witness the ganga aarti, myriad candle-lit flower rafts floating on the Ganges
Try out portraits of saddhu’s, in our portable studio aside the river
Capture ‘atmosphere’ of thousands of hindu pilgrims bathing in holy water


From touchdown into Delhi, we’ll whisk you off to our 15th-century fort in rural Rajasthan for some well needed R&R, chance to recover from the long flight. and ease you gently into the frenetic hubbub of India – the perfect start to your Diwali India Photography Tour. We’ll start by reviewing some of the in camera techniques to prepare you to shoot in some of the epic locations on our Rajasthani odyssey – from the richly coloured Jaipur bejewelled in its Diwali attire, the low-light positioning of the Taj Mahal at dawn, and the energy from hundreds of pilgrims rushing to bathe in the Ganges at Varanasi.

Each, a new set of techniques to add your your repertoire. Then a dinner on the terraces in palatial surroundings, the perfect start to our Indian adventures.

Today, we venture into some of the surrounding villages around Neemrana to witness the preparations for Diwali – then the following day it’s a short hop to Jaipur, the regal capital of Rajasthan. Late afternoon, we’ll take a trip towards the Amber Fort, a truly beautiful palace atop a hill overlooking Jaipur. We now skip the decorative elephants leading you to the top in light of many recent concerns about animal cruelty – instead weave a route by Jeep to the top. The tour is an event itself,  an exploration to shoot the opulent interiors of the Fort; from the tiny Siladevi Temple, with inlaid silver doors, to the maharajah’s apartments and the Sukh Niwas (Hall of Pleasure); carved marble relief panels into ivory-inlaid sandalwood doors and a channel that once cooled water right through the room. From the Jai Mandir you can photograph the fine views from the palace ramparts over picturesque Maota Lake below or capture the melee ‘reportage’ style all around you. Finally, we descend again by jeep and return to our haveli for some rooftop sundowners and catch the celebrations of Chota Diwali, and kick back to watch the sun gently falling over the horizon.

Then it’s Diwali day. We”l start with a rickshaw ride around Jaipur with the Pink City Rickshaw Company, an initiative that supports local women from low-income communities to earn a living, then come afternoon, we dive into the myriad backstreets of the city, tour the technicolour spice markets, observe the stunning pink architecture of the Hawa Mahal and get to grips with shooting high energy street scenes in saturated colours – and towards dusk take part in religious pooja to goddess Laxmi in the evening, followed by fireworks. Along the way, we’ll stop for a few snacks – or chaat – tasty Indian street food featured by Gordon Ramsay. Our stunning haveli (or Indian mansion) is in the plush central district and its breezy verandahs and pool provide solace from the energy of downtown Jaipur. Here we will round of the day reviewing our creative hard work from the last few days, then dine on an open-air terrace, waiters buzzing around bringing local delights for you to try.

Today, we depart the pink city and head south, to a rural festival completely off the tourist trail, Ghas Bheru. The celebrations include local magicians performances, painted bullock carts race and a visual procession through the town – to bring happiness and wealth to the coming year. You’ll lunch at the farm with local family and meet with Gurjar, Meena, & Bheel tribes – chance to shoot imagery of local dress in a unique setting.

The next day we’ll take a walking tour of Bundi, famous for its bangle makers and brass pottery but the real attraction is the stunning wall painted Chitrashala. There are also number of incredibly detailed stepwells and the summer palace of Bundi Sukhmahal where Rudyard Kipling once stayed.

Today we head to Agra – the home of the Taj Mahal. Starting at dawn, we’ll board the Shatabdi Express for a four hour early morning journey north, chance to shoot incredible reportage images of all classes of Indian society. A short drive later, we arrive in Agra in time to visit one of the icons of India at sundown – the Taj Mahal – the magnificent mausoleum which epitomises the golden age of Mughal architecture and the reign of Shah Jahan. After finding our spot for shooting the best images, we’ll retire to our haven poolside and sample a modern interpretation of Indian cuisine.

After a restful nights sleep, we’ll rise extra early, locate our secret location to take some incredible images of the sun rising over the Taj Mahal, and shoot away in a sea of orange light, before heading off early afternoon to the buzzing Agra station, chance to capture modern Indian life in a classic documentary style. Early evening, we’ll board our sleeper train to Varanasi, meeting locals from all walks of life and shooting some memorable documentary and portrait images, before drifting off to the gentle, hypnotic movement of the train travelling through the night.

Arriving just after dawn, we’ll transfer directly to our plush heritage hotel close to the banks of the Ganges, and take some time to unwind in the lovely surroundings. We’ll hold some 1-on-1’s today to give you a detailed personal review of where you are at, then head out towards dusk for our first look at the Ganges, and the Ganga Aarti, a spiritual ritual using fire as an offering, usually made in the form of a flower raft with a lit candle, that’s floated off down the river. It’s a truly incredible spectacle and a photogenic wonder.

Next day, we spend the early morning on board our private boat, touring the ghats to witness the hoards of Hindu pilgrims bathing in the Ganges river’s sacred waters. You’ll observe funeral rights, and tour the winding backstreets, home to over 2,000 temples, including Kashi Vishwanath, “Golden Temple’, dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. This is one of India’s most beautiful, crazy, colourful and chaotic places; it’s a veritable smorgasbord for any photographer and an experience you’re not likely to ever forget. Together, we’ll develop a final portfolio of images, ready to show on our final nights exhibition; be that portraits of expressive sadhus, saturated reportage shots of Hindu pilgrims bathing in the river, richly coloured night shots of dusk at this most spiritual of places or the everyday humour of this bizarre city – or the incredible visual spectacle at the Satua Baba Ashram. The possibilities are truly endless. Along the way, we’ll be there to assist your production, edit your best and then prepare for our exhibition show and final night’s celebration.

Our 11-day pilgrimage takes in the photographic highlights of this picturesque state, from world renowned festivals, to iconic buildings and one of the most visually stunning places in all of India.

Tour Details.

08 – 19 November  2024

11 days. 10 nights. Starts in Delhi, ends in Varanasi, India.

£2995 / £395 single supplement

Price includes 
10 nights boutique accommodation at listed hotels (or similar)
11 days tuition from our UK-based professional photographer
Overnight sleeper from Agra to Varanasi
All transfers to and from the airport
Boat ride on Ganges
All transportation between shooting locations
Dusk aarti on the shores of the Ganges
Multiple 1-on-1 tuition sessions

Price excludes flights & meals.


There are direct flights from the UK into Delhi from British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Air India. Prices start at around £600. You will also need a one way ticket from Varanasi back to Delhi at the end of the trip, prices start at £50. Do note the dates for the festival means you could arrive and/or stay on either side of the tour, to experience more of India – our ground agent is on hand to assist should you opt for a longer tour.

“A wonderful way to travel& see the world with excellent photography teaching and direction. An opportunity to get off the tourist trail and into the heart of the country’s people and culture and develop your photography skills whether a beginner, hobbyist or professional.”

Anil Iltas, Salisbury


Simply complete the form to book a trip of a lifetime.


Package includes
10 nights boutique accommodation at listed hotels (or similar)
11 days tuition from our UK-based professional photographer
Overnight sleeper from Agra to Varanasi
All transfers to and from the airport
Boat ride on Ganges
All transportation between shooting locations
Dusk aarti on the shores of the Ganges
Multiple 1-on-1 tuition sessions
Price excludes flights & meals.

Additional information
Single Supplement - £395

Yes, No


17 – 26 October, 2025

Privacy Preference Center