Join me on a two-week photography tour and expedition to Rajasthan and the Camel Fair.
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This tour, like none other, visits locations such as Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Pushkar, Udaipur, Jodhpur, and many others.can be found here.
From bustling Delhi, straight to the heart of North India. Rajasthan, land of Rajputs and Maharajas, an epic photo adventure to fairytale palaces, magnificent forts, and of course the dizzying Pushkar Camel Fair.
This adventure is designed to guide you to the most stunning locations. The tour is open to all levels of photographic skills, from beginner to experienced. However, there will be no formal workshops or critiques. We will share knowledge and skills along the way, in the spirit of true adventurers.
Created by photographers for photographers and includes locations, not on any other tour.
Day 1 | October 28 – Delhi (D)
Namaste, Welcome to India. You’ll be greeted at the airport and then transferred to our hotel where you’ll meet the other guests, meet your tour leader and have your first Indian dinner meal.
Day 2 | October 29 – Delhi (B,L,D)
We’ll start the day photographing the Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India at first light. After breakfast, we’ll take a walking tour around the Khari Baoli, the famous spice market, and enjoy a bicycle rickshaw ride through the lanes of Chandni Chowk, the shopping center of Old Delhi. This afternoon we’ll see the India Gate and drive past the Parliament House. Later visit Bangla Sahib Gurudwara (Sikh Temple) and see the community kitchen and volunteers where they serve thousands of free meals every day to those in need, or anyone who wishes to eat. You can even pitch in and help by making some chapatis if you want!
Day 3 | October 30 – Delhi / Agra (B,L,D)
Today we drive to Agra, home of the world-famous Taj Mahal. Agra is one of India’s prime tourist destinations for precisely this reason, though its attractions also extend to an array of other impressive historical sights the Taj remains as one of the most remarkable architectural wonders of the world. With that in mind, we’ll photograph the Taj Mahal from different vantage points and under different lighting conditions. Upon arrival, we’ll check in and have lunch in our hotel. Later we will visit Itmad ud Daulah. This tomb was built in 1622; it is beautifully conceived in white marble, mosaic, and lattice. Our next stop will be Mehtab Bagh which is on the back side of the Taj Mahal separated by Yamuna River. This will be our first encounter with the Taj, and we’ll have the opportunity to photograph it at sunset light.
Day 4 | October 31 – Agra / Jaipur (B,L,D)
We’ll have an early start and reach the venue before sunrise. Few words can describe the magnificence of this monument. Marvel and take wonderful photos as the morning light and colors transform this stunning monument in the beautiful rising sun’s glow. We’ll return to the hotel for breakfast after thoroughly exploring the grounds and monument. We’ll then start our drive to Jaipur and will stop at Chand Baori Stepwell enroute. This is one of the largest stepwells in the world and also one of the most beautiful.
Day 5 | November 1 – Jaipur (B,L,D)
After breakfast, we will visit the Hawa Mahal (Wind Palace) for some photography. Then we’ll spend time in the oldest and busiest of markets in the walled pink city at Johari Bazaar, a real feast for the senses. Aromatic spices fill the air, while oxcarts, rickshaws, cows, bejeweled women and men with shocking pink turbans jostle through the labyrinthine streets. Just imagine street photography at its best. After lunch, we will visit the Elephant Village. Surrounded by the wilderness, the community is just a few hamlets housing the local villagers. There we will be introduced to elephants, the way of life of its caretakers, and have the opportunity to photograph them.
Day 6 | November 2 Jaipur (B,L,D)
This morning we will begin with an exhilarating photo tour to Amber Fort. Perched on a hillside, this is a beautiful and exceptionally well-preserved structure. We will descend the fort by jeep and walk around the lanes at the foothill, passing by shops and homes to complete a beautiful morning of photography. Later in the afternoon, we will proceed to the lake where you can photograph Jal Mahal (Water Palace). The lake is a thirst quenching place for animals including the (water) buffalos. If you are lucky, you can capture them with your camera while they are bathing.
Day 7 | Novmeber 2 – Jaipur / Pushkar (B,L,D)
Today we’ll drive to Pushkar. We’ll check in and have lunch in our hotel with some time for rest in the afternoon or enjoy a swim in the resort pool. Later at sunset, we will visit a marigold farm nearby. There we will have an arranged photo shoot with some local dancers in typical dresses over the mesmerizing and colorful backdrop. Just for us!
Day 8 | November 3 – Pushkar (B,L,D)
Up before dawn to photograph the herders with their camels at the Pushkar Camel Fair. Then we’ll be back at the hotel in time for breakfast. Later on, we’ll photograph the fairgrounds. Witness the group dance – various tribes show their local performance through dance. See the art and craft market with displays of local produce. After our mid-day break, we’ll head back to Pushkar Lake, where we will partake in a pooja ceremony (you can get blessed by an Indian holy man) on the holy ghats. We’ll also witness and shoot the Aarti ceremony and the opening festivities of the legendary camel fair.
Day 9 | November 4 – Pushkar / Udaipur (B,L,D)
Today we’ll drive to Udaipur, better known as the “Venice of the East,” but before that, we’ll have a second chance to photograph the camel herders as they start their daily chores. You might even get invited to have coffee with them. We’ll also have the opportunity to take an optional hot air balloon ride over Pushkar (for an extra fee). We’ll drive to Udaipur after breakfast. We’ll arrive in the afternoon, and will have the opportunity to capture blue hour from a rooftop overlooking Lake Pichola before dinner.
Day 10 | November 5 – Udaipur (B,D)
We will start our day with a walk through the street and the ghats. Visit the Sahelion ki Bari (the Garden for the Maids of Honour), an ornamental pleasure garden with fountains and marble kiosks. You’ll have some free time to wander the narrow streets near our hotel and have lunch on your own today. There’s a great restaurant overlooking the lake right across the street, or you can find something more to your liking. In the afternoon we will take a boat ride on Lake Pichola, which is fringed with hills, palaces, ghats, embankments, temples and offers spectacular views of the city.
Day 11 | November 6 – Udaipur / Jodhpur (B,L,D)
Today we’ll drive to Jodphur, home of the fantastic Megharant Fort and other magnificent jewels of Rajasthan. Upon arrival at the hotel, we’ll have some time to rest and later on, we’ll have a sunset photo shoot from a rooftop with incredible vistas of the city and fort.
Day 12 | November 7 – Jodhpur (B,L,D)
Prepare for an action-packed day, as we start our morning with a hike around the Rao Jodha Desert Park where we’ll shoot the Jaswant Thada. We’ll return to the hotel for breakfast and then continue to visit the Meherangarh Fort. Situated on a low sandstone hill it is one of the most impressive forts in Rajasthan. We’ll descend to the town by the back alleys and see the locals going by their daily activities. We’ll also have the opportunity to photograph the blue city. You’ll have time on your own to get lunch and explore. In the afternoon we’ll explore the area around the clock tower and visit the Sadar Market where you will meet traders of spices and pickles.
Day 13 | November 8 – Jodhpur (B,D)
We will take it easy today. After breakfast, we’ll visit and photograph the Jodhpur Railway station to see how the majority of Indians travel in non-metro cities. For Indians, in general, the railway is a lifeline. Here we’ll have the opportunity to photograph this activity. The station is now being used every day by around 156,000 passengers. You might opt to get your hand painted with henna (for the ladies) while in Jodhpur, and the afternoon is at your leisure.
Day 14 | November 9 – Jodhpur/Dechu (B,L,D)
We’ll head to the desert today, but before that, we’ll see an opium ceremony. It may seem an odd way to greet visitors, but the Bishnoi villagers of western Rajasthan are just being polite when they offer you a swig of opium. Which of course makes it rude to refuse not least because the ceremony performed by this isolated community is something to behold in itself. Then we’ll drive to Dechu and check in at the Samsara Desert Resort and Camp. Samsara is an alluring oasis amidst the endless dunes of the Thar desert. Tonight we’ll sleep in luxury tents, and we’ll have the opportunity to learn and practice some astrophotography..
Day 15 | November 10 – Dechu / Jodhpur (B,L,D)
Today, we’ll wake up in the desert. We will take a jeep ride to a nearby village, photograph the locals, see some pottery making, and the rural lifestyle around Dechu. We may meet farmers, goat herders, or see men picking peanuts. After lunch, we’ll drive back to Jodhpur where we’ll have our last and farewell dinner.
Day 16 | November 11 – Jodhpur / Delhi / Home (B)
Today we make our way back to Delhi by flight. You’ll be transferred to the airport for your flight home. You can certainly choose to stay for a time in India on your own if you’ve made other arrangements. As most international flights are after midnight, there are no accommodations booked for this day. So if you’re staying on in India, you’ll have to make sure you’ve got a place to stay ahead of time.
VARANASI 5-DAY PRE-TOUR EXTENSION
Day 1 | October 23 – Delhi
You’ll arrive in Delhi and be transported to the hotel where we’ll have our meet and greet and get to know one another. You can have dinner any time on your own in the hotel.
Day 2 | October 24 – Delhi / Varanasi (B,L)
We’ll depart Delhi for our flight to Varanasi and be transferred to our hotel where we’ll have lunch. In the afternoon, we will walk down the ghats and arrange to photograph some kids jumping into the Ganges river and flying kites. In the late afternoon, we’ll see the famous Aarti ceremony (lighting of many candles and religious ceremonies) on the main ghat. We will go by boat, but we’ll also do some photography from the ghat, closer to the action.!
Day 3 | October 25 – Varanasi (B,L)
Get up early today for a pre-dawn photo shoot of some Sadhus and Aghori holy men on boats. Sadhus are the painted face holy men of India you may have seen images of before. We will have 1-2 Sadhus per boat so everyone will get a chance to photograph them. Your tour leader will have some lighting equipment that you can try out as well (everyone can have a go) so you can learn a bit about using flash. We’ll photograph the Sadhus by one of the Ghats (seating on the steps or a platform looking at the Ganges) and make a stop across the river on a sandbar as well. This will be a spectacular morning and a likely highlight of the tour for many. Back to the hotel for breakfast before an arranged photo shoot (just for our group) with Krusti Wrestlers at a private gym. Free time for lunch and rest before an afternoon walk around Varanasi’s narrow lanes and markets for some street photography, unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Cows, sadhus, monks, ladies in colorful saris, water buffalo, and monkeys are all things you may see within just a block or two!
Day 4 | October 26 – Varanasi (B,L)
Today we will be going by boat to a fishing village in the early morning. Photograph the fisherman throwing nets at the river, then we’ll walk through the village where you’ll see faces of the many children that will be so overjoyed to see you. In fact, many will want their photo taken, or to get a selfie with you! It’s really quite an experience. From there we continue to a coal mine by car where we will have a chance to make portraits and photograph the miners. We’ll then head back to the boat to get back to the hotel. We’ll have lunch and rest up before a walk in the streets of the old town again. If time permits, you might want to get some of your images reviewed by the tour leader or get some processing tips during the free time.
Day 5 | November 27 – Varanasi / Delhi (B)
Last morning before departing Varanasi, we’ll have one last ride boat early morning to photograph activities and rituals of the ghats from the boats.