Varanasi – Photographing Karthika Poornima/Dev Diwali Festival and Ancient Traditions

Travel Photography Tour of Varanasi - November 21 to 24, 2018

  • Join us in Varanasi, a photographer’s paradise, to witness and photograph a visually extravagant festival celebration! This mentored photography tour also takes you through the river-front and bylanes that offer incredible people and street photography opportunities.

    Dev Diwali is a festival celebrated two weeks after Diwali, on the evening of Karthika Poornima (Nov 03). Varanasi Celebrates Dev Diwali with magnificent display of lamps on the three-kilometer long line of steps leading to Ganga. We have scheduled this tour along with Karthika Poornima (Dev Diwali), a festival day when every inch of the ghats facing the river are glittering with the light of oil lamps. You will see celebrations everywhere, with long line of oil lamps along the river bank and fireworks lighting up the sky. It is a sight that you will never forget, and would want to record everyone of those fine moments in your camera.

  • Dates – Nov 21-24 2018

    Price – ₹28,350/- per person

    Max participants: 8 only

Overview – Varanasi Photography Tour

Photographers throng Varanasi from all over the world to capture the essence of India’s beliefs, traditions and religious life. Darter Photography now takes you on a mentored photography tour of this ancient city – to an India that has refused to change with time. Prepare for a photographic journey to the ghats and galis of Varanasi, where much of what Mark Twain described over a hundred years ago can still be witnessed unchanged. Join us to learn what it takes to photograph the memorable moments of everyday India, life in the small lanes of Varanasi, its celebrations in the steps leading to the Ganges, its people who have a firm belief in roots and traditions that have remained unchanged for millenniums.

This photography tour has an intense focus in solving the eternal dilemma in photographing people on the streets, the ethics of photographing people outdoors, the thought process related to seeking permission with your subjects, breaking away from the fear of photographing people and learning to create the mood that reflects your own thoughts with the help of your camera. This ultimate photography tour, aimed at capturing lives around us, will not only make you a better photographer, but a better person in appreciating, understanding and documenting the cultural fiesta that unfolds around us all the time.

Join us in learning to capture the essence of this vibrant, ancient city and its overwhelming scenes of life on the ghats, where everyday life and a sense of devotion merge together to form a cornucopia of photography opportunities.

Tour Highlights

The four day mentored photography tour to Varanasi is designed to provide sufficient time to understand, immerse in and photograph the life along the bank of River Ganges and the narrow lanes of the old city next to the ghats. Tour calendar also includes photographing Dev Diwali Celebrations along the ghats. Please note that the festival is on the day of arrival and we begin the tour directly with photographing Dev Diwali Celebrations after checking in to the hotel and initial introductions.

The tour calendar includes intense photography sessions indoors, field sessions that help you apply from the indoor sessions into practice, guidance and assistance in photography by our mentor and daily image reviews. Expect this to be a rigorous course that not only takes you through the joys of permanently capturing the essence of Varanasi’s streets, but also helps you to learn and appreciate what we see around us and get an in-depth understanding of the place we are travelling in.

The four day tour calendar includes the following activities with the guidance of your mentor.

  • Dev Diwali Celebrations on that ghats.
  • Morning boat rides on the Ganges.
  • Long walks along the ghats, witnessing everyday life and pilgrim activity along the river, usually culminating with photographing the evening Ganga Aarti.
  • Walks in the narrow lanes adjoining the ghats where the ancient city unfolds itself.
  • Indoor sessions on travel, outdoor and street photography.
  • Image critique sessions.

Your Take Away From This Tour

This photography tour will give you a better understanding in the following areas of travel, outdoor and street photography.

  • The beginning
    • quick and easy overview on the camera controls and composition techniques
  • Travel photography
    • understanding the scope and definition
    • preparation and homework
    • portraying the essence of a destination
    • making compositions that tell a story
  • Street photography
    • photographing strangers
    • the art of seeking permissions & making conversations
    • capturing the moments and the environment
    • understanding suitable camera setting and making the best of your time
  • Compositions
    • catching the magic of the moment
    • assessing and catching the magic of light
    • capturing the essence of the place

All the above topics will be dealt in depth with indoor sessions as well as in practice. Regular image critique from your photography expert will aid you in becoming a better self-critic and help you in assessing your own images.

Tour Price

The price: Rs.28,350 / US$447 per person.

The cost includes:

  • Accommodation on twin sharing basis and breakfast on all days. Single travellers will be paired with another traveller of the same gender. If you require single supplement, please add Rs.6,750 / US$110.
  • Pickup from airport / train-station on the day of arrival.
  • Two boat trips on the Ganges.
  • Guided walks on the lanes and ghats of Varanasi.
  • Photography sessions and services of your photography mentor.

The cost does not include:

  • Transport from your location to Varanasi
  • Lunch, dinner, bottled water and other any other food and beverages other than breakfast.
  • Short-distance transport, typically made on cycle-rickshaws.
  • Transfer from hotel to airport on the day of departure.

Photography Mentor

Photography mentor: Arun Bhat

Arun Bhat

Accomplished, award winning travel and landscape photographer Arun Bhat’s works have been used by publications in India and across the world, all the way from Japan to USA. He is a professional photographer who has extensively travelled across India, creating some of the finest imagery of India’s culture, landscapes and heritage sites.

His experiences and images of Varanasi are widely recognized, and his photographs and stories of this ancient city have been published in travel and architecture magazines.

Having explored the corners of the old city of Varanasi and having observed every aspect of life on the ghats from early morning to late in the night for several days, Arun’s expert guidance will come handy in finding the right locations and the time of the day for photographing the splendors of Varanasi. See his works on Varanasi at

Photographs from Varanasi

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Varanasi Photography Varanasi Photography Varanasi Photography Varanasi Photography

Varanasi Photography Varanasi Photography Varanasi Photography Varanasi Photography

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To register for this tour, please write to us at or call 9880006460 (Arun) / 97400 83260 (Shreeram). You may also fill in the form at the bottom of this page.

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