Festival of Lights

Tour to Diwali and Dev Diwali

Immerse yourself in India’s festive spirit with this tour to not one, but two of India’s colourful festivals – Diwali and Dev Diwali. On this vibrant journey witness the illuminated cities, partake in joyful celebrations, and create lasting memories. From the bustling streets of Delhi to the serene ghats of Varanasi, this trip offers a truly enchanting experience of India’s rich traditions and ancient heritage.

As part of your tour to Diwali and Dev Diwali, stay in converted forts, some of which are hundreds of years old, former palaces that were once home to royalty, and revel in the festive atmosphere of India’s festivals alongside the local people.

19 Days


$8558 AUD*

Departure Date: 30 October 2024

OR CONTACT US for more information

Trip code: FLDD *from

TOUR TO Diwali and Dev Diwali HIGHLIGHTS

  • Experience the warm hospitality of a local Indian family as we join the for their Diwali celebrations
  • Be amazed at the festival of lights – Dev Diwali in the holy city of Varanasi as you witness the ghats lit by thousands of lamps and the nirvana of a traditional ganga aarti ceremony
  • Savor traditional Rajasthani cuisine with a food walk through chaotic Old Delhi, visit the serene Lotus Temple and wonder at Humayun’s Tomb
  • Absorb the sights, sounds and vibrant colours of India’s villages, as well as meet the real local people of this amazing country with visits to Bijaynagar and Deogarh.
  • Stay in stunning former palaces, old forts and traditional havelis, as well as experience these cities with enough free time to have your own adventure.

The Basics

Start: Delhi

Finish: Delhi

Trip style: Unique

Max group size: 15

Reasons you’ll love this tour

  • You want to visit India’s iconic sites & cities, as well as wanting to get to know the real India with visits to regional areas
  • You enjoy colourful local festivals
  • You want authentic experiences with the people in India and to make local connections
  • You’re happy to visit somewhere that is likely outside your comfort zone
  • You like trying new foods, especially if it’s something spicy
  • You’re looking for a place that could possibly move you spiritually.


Arrive in Delhi and make your own way to the trip hotel. Meet your trip leader and travel companions for a welcome meeting at 17.00 to discuss your tour to Diwali and Dev Diwali. After the meeting, head out into bustling Delhi to a local restaurant for a special dinner.

This morning after breakfast we will transfer to Agra. Upon arrival enjoy lunch at the hotel after check in.

After lunch we visit the magnificent Agra Fort, a stunning red sandstone fortress that boasts impressive palaces, audience halls, and breathtaking gardens. Later we will take a walk through the ancient village of Kachpura to see Humayun’s mosque and see paintings by the local girls under a community youth program.

Start your day by witnessing the breathtaking beauty of the Taj Mahal at sunrise. Marvel at the majestic mausoleum and soak in the serene ambiance of this architectural masterpiece.

Later return to the hotel for a quick breakfast, before embarking on a leisurely drive to Jaipur – land of the Rajputs. Jaipur is an exuberance of colour, dance and traditional arts and crafts, it is also known, as the ‘Pink City’.

Lunch today will be served at the Bhanwar Vilas Palace.

As evening descends, immerse yourself in the jubilant aura of Diwali, the Festival of Lights, celebrated with unbridled fervor in Jaipur. Participating in Diwali festivities with a local Indian family opens the door to an authentic encounter with this revered festival. Engage in age-old rituals, prayers, and customs that have been handed down through the ages.

During Diwali, Indian families extend their warmest hospitality to guests. You’ll be embraced as a member of the family, relishing home-cooked traditional feasts and sweets, and partaking in various revelries. Being part of a family celebration grants you a personal connection to the culture and its people.

Engage in conversations with family members, exchange anecdotes, and delve into the significance of each cherished tradition. Revel in the profound meaning behind the rituals and celebrations, gaining a deeper understanding of this cherished festival’s significance.

Return to the hotel for the evening feeling culturally enriched after the first festival of your tour to Diwali and Dev Diwali.

Taj Mahal Sunrise - tour to diwali and dev diwali
Taj Mahal Sunrise

This morning, visit the magnificent Amber Fort, which was built in the 16th century. Experience a jeep ride up to the fort. Sightseeing this morning involves 2-3 hours on foot and there are a number of steps within the fort.

This afternoon enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.

This afternoon, visit Jaipur’s City Palace complex with its various museums and the fascinating Jantar Mantar, the ancient astronomical observatory built by the Maharaja of Jaipur. We will also see the Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds), built in the 18th century.

Later explore the many facets of Jaipuri crafts such as semi precious jewels, colourful fabrics, woven carpets etc – watch artisans at work and enjoy souvenir shopping in this colourful city of Jaipur.

Today we have a full free day in Jaipur! You may wish to hop in a tuk tuk and see some more of the local sights on your own, do some shopping in the city’s extensive bazaars or just rest up at the hotel.

Our tour to Diwali and Dev Diwali continues tomorrow.

Today, we embark on a scenic journey from Jaipur to Bijaynagar.

Upon reaching Bijaynagar, settle into your hotel and take some time to refresh and unwind. The charming town of Bijaynagar offers a tranquil atmosphere, surrounded by rural beauty and a glimpse into the local way of life.

In the afternoon, get ready for a unique cultural experience as we take a captivating cycle or bullock cart tour of the nearby village. This immersive tour allows you to explore the heart of rural Rajasthan, interacting with friendly locals and witnessing their daily activities. Absorb the sights, sounds, and vibrant colors of the village, as you pass through winding lanes, traditional homes, and bustling markets.

During the tour, gain insights into the agricultural practices, traditional craftsmanship, and the rich cultural heritage of the region. Engage with the locals, learn about their customs and traditions, and capture memorable moments along the way.

After the tour, we will return to the hotel, where you can relax and rejuvenate amidst the serene surroundings. Enjoy a delicious dinner at the hotel, savoring delectable Rajasthani cuisine that tantalizes your taste buds with its unique flavors and spices.

After Breakfast, you will embark on a scenic drive to Jodhpur.

Upon reaching Jodhpur, you will have the afternoon free to indulge in leisurely and independent activities, allowing you to explore the charms of the ‘blue city’ at your own pace.

Tuk Tuk Jodhpur - tour to diwali and dev diwali
Tuk Tuk in the blue city of Jodhpur

This morning after breakfast, embark on an enriching exploration of Jodhpur as you visit two iconic landmarks, the magnificent Mehrangarh Fort and the serene Jaswant Thada.

After the tour, the rest of the afternoon is yours to enjoy at leisure, providing you with the opportunity to delve deeper into Jodhpur’s bustling markets, wander it’s blue streets, interact with local people or enjoy a meal in one of the cities chic restaurants.

After a relaxed breakfast you will be driven from Jodhpur to Deogarh.

Upon arrival, enjoy a leisurely afternoon at your own pace, where you can relax and unwind at your hotel.

Deogarh provides us with a valuable place to stop and pause on our tour to Diwali and Dev Diwali and exciting cultural experiences await tomorrow.

The day will be at leisure for you to rest or to indulge in a variety of optional activities on offer.

Activities on offer today include a guided walk through some of the local villages to experience local life, bird watching and a train trip into the Aravali Hills by a meter gauge train on a 1930’s British track (these activities are optional and will incur and additional fee).

Dinner will be served at the hotel.

After breakfast we will be transferred to Udaipur.

Enroute, visit the magnificent Ranakpur Temples, renowned for their exquisite architecture and intricate marble carvings.

After this cultural interlude, you will arrive in Udaipur, where you can enjoy a leisurely afternoon, allowing you to unwind and explore the picturesque city at your own pace.

For lunch, you will have the chance to savor local flavors and delicacies at a charming restaurant.

Ranakpur - tour to diwali and dev diwali
Intricate carvings on the Ranakpur Jain Temple.

Embark on a sightseeing tour of Udaipur, visit the majestic City Palace, an iconic landmark that offers panoramic views of the city and its shimmering lakes. Explore the grandeur of the palace complex, adorned with intricate carvings, beautiful courtyards, and ornate halls that showcase the opulence of the Rajput era.

Continue your journey to the Vintage Car Museum, where you can witness a fascinating collection of vintage cars, including classic Rolls-Royces, elegant Cadillacs, and luxurious Mercedes. Step back in time as you admire these well-preserved automobiles that once graced the roads of Udaipur. We will also visit Sahelion Ki Bari, a beautiful green space in Udaipur, known as the ‘garden of the maidens.’

Next proceed to the revered Jagdish Temple, a fine example of Indo-Aryan architecture dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Take in the intricate carvings and ornate sculptures that adorn the temple, and experience a sense of tranquility as you offer your prayers in this sacred place.

Today after breakfast you will be driven to the airport to board a flight to Delhi. Rest of the day will be at leisure.

After breakfast, embark on a half-day exploration of Old Delhi through a captivating food tour in its crowded markets. Begin at Jama Mosque, Asia’s largest mosque, offering a bird’s eye view of the transformation between old and New Delhi.

In the afternoon, visit Humayun’s Tomb, a majestic garden tomb built in the 1560s under the patronage of Emperor Akbar, showcasing the combined craftsmanship of Persian and Indian artisans. This splendid tomb, grander than any built before in the Islamic world, boasts a charbagh design with four quadrant gardens symbolizing the rivers of Quranic paradise, adorned with pools connected by channels. Enter through lofty gateways on the south and west,

Today after breakfast you will be driven to the airport to board a flight to Varanasi to experience the second festival on our tour to Diwali and Dev Diwali.

Enjoy a leisurely afternoon wandering this ancient city at on your own.

This evening, savor a delicious dinner at the hotel.

Embark on a memorable morning boat ride along the sacred Ganges River, immersing yourself in the mystical ambiance of Varanasi.

Continue to Manikarnika Ghat which is one of the most sacred cremation grounds in Varanasi, where Hindus believe that cremation here leads to salvation.

Later explore the sacred site of Sarnath, where Gautama Buddha delivered his first sermon. Discover the ancient ruins, tranquil monasteries, and serene ambiance of this significant Buddhist pilgrimage site, reflecting upon its historical and spiritual significance.

In the afternoon after lunch at a local restaurant, prepare for the extraordinary Dev Diwali Celebration, a grand event held during the auspicious occasion of Diwali in Varanasi. The entire city illuminates with countless diyas (oil lamps) that adorn the steps of the ghats and temples, creating a mesmerizing spectacle.

Immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere as you witness the breathtaking sight of the illuminated ghats and the divine Ganga Aarti ceremony. Experience the spiritual fervor as chants, hymns, and prayers fill the air, creating an enchanting ambiance.

Tour to Diwali and Dev Diwali
The illuminated ghats of Varanasi during Dev Diwali

Embark on a guided walking tour in the morning to explore the enchanting city of Varanasi, immersing yourself in its vibrant streets and ancient landmarks. In the afternoon, we will continue to witness the magnificent Dev Diwali Celebration.

Conclude the day with a peaceful evening at your hotel or with further independent exploration of the city.

We will head to the airport this morning for our flight back to Delhi.

On arrival we will visit the serene Lotus temple, known for its unique architecture and tranquil ambiance. We will also visit the Khan market to indulge in some last minute retail therapy before checking in to the hotel.

This evening we will have a special farewell dinner at an amazing, cultural venue in Old Delhi for you to say goodbye to your trip leader, travel companions and reflect on your tour to Diwali and Dev Diwali.

Your tour to Diwali and Dev Diwali comes to an end after breakfast this morning.

Tour to Diwali and Dev Diwali
Trip Map – Festival of Lights

Details – Tour to Diwali and Dev Diwali

Duration: 19 Days

Trip style: Special Interest – Festival

Group size: Minimum 6 / Maximum 15

Trip code: FLDD

Cost: $8558 AUD twin share

Single supplement: $2042 AUD


  • 18-nights accommodation in heritage and traditional-inspired hotels, former palaces, forts, and havelis
  • Meals as specified in itinerary (B = Breakfast / L = Lunch / D = Dinner)
  • Flights from Udaipur to Delhi one-way and Varanasi to Delhi return in economy class
  • Services of your Inverted Atlas trip leader and local guides      

Optional experiences (not included):

  • Deogarh: Bird watching
  • Deogarh: Village Ramble
  • Deogarh: Train trip into the Aravali Hills    

* Please note some optional experiences must be booked prior to travel. You will be given the option to add these experiences at check out

Trip price does not include

  • International airfares
  • Airport transfers on arrival and departure
  • Visa for India
  • Meals not included as per trip itinerary including drinks and mini bar
  • Additional accommodation before or after the tour
  • Items of a personal nature including but not limited to laundry, souvenirs, porterage etc.
  • Travel insurance – please note comprehensive travel insurance is a condition of travel with Inverted Atlas

Journey Rating – Journey

This tour to Diwali and Dev Diwali travels through a relatively well traveled part of India, a country that is somewhat accustomed to tourists and travellers. On occasion, you will find that the local people are very curious about you and where you come from and at times you may even feel like a celebrity. This trip does involve a lot of walking during the sightseeing, to get the most out of this trip you should be able to walk confidently across uneven surfaces and climb stairs.

Women are strongly advised to either wear a floor length dress or pants with a long kaftan over the top. While not mandatory, this will avoid causing offense culturally and prevent a lot of unwanted attention. To be culturally sensitive, men should wear trousers.

Good quality hospitals, pharmacies and other public amenities will be limited to big cities but should never be too far away.

A note about fitness

This tour to Diwali and Dev Diwali requires a good level of physical fitness. You should be able to walk up to 4km at times and manage uneven surfaces during sightseeing, which will sometimes be at an incline. In addition, you should be able to climb up to 200 stairs unassisted and use an eastern style squat toilet (beware if you have knee issues).

You will need to be able to carry your own luggage to and from the coach. (Due to OH&S regulations our trip leaders are not able to assist with luggage.)

In addition, you should be in good health, with no major chronic conditions requiring frequent medical attention. This trip sometimes travels through remote locations where the availability of a hospital or even phone reception to call an ambulance is limited. While all our trip leaders are required to have a valid first aid certificate, they are far from doctors and any assistance they are able to provide will be limited to basic first aid. For more information please see our booking conditions.

Single supplement

Traveling by yourself? No problem, we love single travellers and don’t believe in penalising them by charging half the trip price again for our single supplement. With us you are only paying the actual cost to have a room all to yourself. If you’re up for making a new friend, you can elect to share with another single traveller of the same sex and only pay the twin-share price (if available). The choice is yours!

Trip leader description

Accompanying you on your tour to Diwali and Dev Diwali will be your Inverted Atlas trip leader. Your trip leader is a logistics extraordinaire, keeps the trip running smoothly and ensures you have the best time possible on your trip. It is important to know that while your trip leader has the best job in the world, they aren’t actually on holidays, but rather they are there to make sure you have the best time while you are on your holiday! Your trip leader may at times need some time out so that they can complete back of house tasks that ensure everyone continues to enjoy the trip. It is also your trip leaders’ job to handle any issues (heaven forbid!) that come up while you’re on your trip like:

  • If you lose your passport or other travel documents
  • If there is a problem with your room at the booked accommodation – seriously please tell your trip leader don’t wait until you leave
  • If you become unwell and need to find a pharmacy
  • Assisting with restaurant recommendations or additional sightseeing during free time
  • Questions regarding the itinerary

Your trip leader will have some good local knowledge about the destination in which you are traveling, however they are not a ‘local guide’. You’re welcome to ask your trip leader anything about the trip and if they don’t know they will find out and get back to you. Other people you will meet along the way are ‘local guides’ who are generally available to the group in specific towns or at specific sites like national parks, temples or archaeological sites. These people are the local experts and will be able to answer any questions you may have about the history and culture of a specific site.

Itinerary disclaimer

This itinerary for this tour to Diwali and Dev Diwali, is correct at the time of upload to our website and we have composed it in good faith. From time to time we may elect to make changes before departure, if we are making a big change we will of course notify you, however if it is a small change this will be reflected in the final trip notes. So, make sure you download these prior to departure. Small changes prior to departure are usually made with the groups best interests in mind and come about due to liaising with our best resources – our past travelers and of course our trip leaders! The ability to change and evolve depending on what our travelers enjoy is what makes us such a great trip operator.

While we strive to operate our trips exactly to the letter of the itinerary, sometimes we may need to make changes on the ground while the group is on the road. This is all part of the adventure of traveling and we would ask that you come on your trip with an open mind and a good sense of humour because as much as we want it to, everything doesn’t always go to plan. In fact, these impromptu situations often make the best stories that you can have a laugh with your friends about later.

Age requirements

Minimum Age: 16 years

There is no shared accommodation on this tour to Diwali and Dev Diwali, and we will be traveling through a relatively well travelled part of the world, in this instance we would welcome everyone above the age of 16 years. Should you wish to bring younger children, please give us a call.

There is no upper age limit for this trip, but you should consider the above fitness requirements prior to booking. If you are 65 years or over, you will be asked to complete our Health Check Form and have your medical practitioner sign it to confirm you are in good health and able to participate safely on this trip.

Travel insurance

Please note that comprehensive travel insurance is a condition of travel with Inverted Atlas. Insurance must include provision for medical situations, emergency medical repatriation to your home country and personal liability at a minimum. Proof of valid travel insurance will be requested by your trip leader on arrival at the pre-departure meeting. Please have this paperwork available for them. If you are unable to provide proof of comprehensive travel insurance, you may not be allowed to join the trip and no refund will be payable.

Check out this article for more information about taking a tour of Diwali and Dev Diwali

What is the difference between Dev Diwali and Diwali?

Diwali or the ‘festival of lights’ is a celebration that takes place all over India. It holds immense cultural and religious importance, uniting people from diverse backgrounds in a spectacle of lights, joy, and festivities. Diwali is a captivating and harmonious festival that highlights the rich cultural heritage and religious diversity of India.

Dev Diwali or the ‘Diwali of the Gods’ is a local version of Diwali only celebrated in the holy city of Varanasi where the whole city and ghats are lit with lamps.

Diwali is observed on Amavasya, or No Moon Day, whereas Dev Diwali is observed on Purnima or Full Moon Day. 

What is Dev Diwali?

Dev Deepavali, is a unique and grand festival celebrated in the holy city of Varanasi, India. Falling on the full moon day (Purnima) of the Hindu month of Kartika, it is observed to honor and pay homage to the river Ganges and its divine significance. Dev Deepavali is an extraordinary celebration that showcases the soul of Varanasi, the spiritual capital of India. With its mystical aura, the festival epitomizes the city’s devotion to the river Ganges and its belief in the divine. Witnessing Dev Deepavali is a transformative experience, as it provides a glimpse into the age-old traditions and the spiritual fervor that have been an integral part of Varanasi’s cultural heritage for centuries. This divine celebration continues to inspire and touch the hearts of all those who become part of its sacred embrace.

Is Dev Diwali an auspicious day?

Also called the ‘Diwali of the Gods’ Dev Diwali is only celebrated in India’s most holy city – Varanasi.

During Dev Diwali the entire city, as well as it’s ghats are lit with small oil lamps, making it the entire city a spectacle.

Dev Diwali is also celebrated on the full moon and takes place 15 days after Diwali celebrations which happen all over India. Lord Shiva is worshipped during Dev Diwali.

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