INDIA

RAJASTHAN

Jan 26 - Feb 3, 2018

Jan 25 - Feb 2, 2019

PUSHKAR FESTIVAL

Oct 28 - Nov 5, 2017

November 15 - 23, 2018

VARANASI (add-on)

Additional 4 days added to the above dates.

Travel, Urban, Landscape, Architecture and People Photography

Includes

  1. -9 or 13 Days

  2. -Workshop Adventure

  3. -Photographer | Guide

  4. -Small Group Size

  5. -Fine Hotels

  6. -Breakfasts + 9 Meals

  7. -Local Transportation

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PHOTOGRAPHY ADVENTURE VACATIONS

India’s Rajasthan

Delhi, Agra, Taj Mahal, Jaipur, Mandawa, Varanasi

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India may be the most colorful and flavorful country you ever experience.

India Photo Adventure Vacations – Inspire, Create and Learn.

India bristles with a mind-stirring mix of landscapes and cultural traditions. Your journey through this intoxicating country will blaze in your memory long after you've left it’s shores. Spirituality is the common thread that weaves it’s way through the vast and complex tapestry that is contemporary India. The multitude of sacred sites and time-honored rituals are testament to the country's long, colorful, and sometimes tumultuous, religious history. And then there are the festivals! India hosts some of the world's most spectacular devotional celebrations – from formidable city parades celebrating events on the religious calendar, to simple harvest fairs that pay homage to a locally worshipped deity.

The moment you start to think you’re right on the precipice of unravelling one of India's deep mysteries, she has an uncanny way of reminding you that it would take more than just a few lifetimes to do so. Indeed, demystifying India is a perpetual work-in-progress. And that is precisely what makes the country so deeply addictive. The constant exploration. The playful unpredictability. And knowing that, just when it's least expected, you can find yourself up close and personal with moments that have the power to alter the way you view the world and your place in it.

This adventure is designed not only to guide you to the most photogenic locations carefully planned for the best light, but to aid you in mentally visualizing a scene before capturing the decisive moment. Our aim is to raise your awareness and spark your creativity, so that you not only go home with images to be proud of, but use your new found skills to improve and expand your photographic technique in general. Apart from the technical aspect of learning your camera settings and capabilities, you will learn how to turn an ordinary image into an extraordinary image by using your own creativity.

In addition, you will become knowledgeable on how to survey the landscape, utilize and approach your environment, photograph people indigenous to the region and the cultural considerations and challenges of photographing in a foreign country. Our time together will include individual and group discussions, inspiring ideas and great fun. We cannot think of a better country to express your creativity than India.


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Group Size



6-8 Guests


Experience | Difficulty



Beginner, amateur, enthusiast and semi-pro photographers

DSLR, mirrorless, compact or iPhone cameras

Moderate schedule

Travel by private air-conditioned car, train and mini-van

Minimal elevation changes and lots of walking

(non-photographers also welcome)


Photographer | Guides



Laurie Cohen  |  October 28 - November 5/9, 2017 (Pushkar Camel Festival)

Laurie Cohen  |  January 26 - February 3/7, 2018

Laurie Cohen  |  November 15-23/27, 2018 (Pushkar Camel Festival)

Laurie Cohen  |  January 25 - February 2/6, 2019


Weather | Sun



November - Temps 82/55 F  28/13 C  Sunrise 6:34 | Sunset 5:36 (17:36)

February - Temps 75/50 F  24/11 C  Sunrise 7:10 | Sunset 6:00 (18:00)


Includes



Travel, urban, landscape, architecture and people photography

Professional photographer | guide

Photo walks & discussions

Small group size (6-8 guests)

Fine hotel accommodations

All meals in Pushkar* (Pushkar Camel Festival)

Breakfasts

5 lunches and 4 dinners

Elephant ride in Jaipur

AC chair car in train for Delhi – Agra and Pushkar - Delhi

Airport transfers

All Entrance fees

Local transportation


Accommodations



Shangrila Hotel or similar - Delhi

ITC Mughal or similar - Agra

ITC Rajputana or similar - Jalpur

Ananta Spa & Resort or similar - Pushkar

Vivaana Hotel or similar - Mandawa

Radisson Hotel or similar - Varanasi (optional extension)

Jaypee Vasant Continental or similar - Delhi (optional extension)


Travel Information



Arrival & Departure Airport: Delhi, India (DEL) - Transfer time to hotel 50min

Our adventure begins at 11 AM on the first day and ends at noon on the last day.

Travel Visa: A visa may be required depending on your nationality. Go to VisaMapper for more information.


Optional Extension



Post add-on: Varanasi 4-day extension (see below for details)


Price



INDIA “RAJASTHAN” 9-DAY PHOTO ADVENTURE

Photo Adventure Vacation | January 26 - February 3, 2018:  $5,395

Photo Adventure Vacation | January 25 - February 2, 2019:  $5,795

Single Supplement:  $1200


INDIA “RAJASTHAN” & PUSHKAR CAMEL FESTIVAL” 9-DAY PHOTO ADVENTURE

Photo Adventure Vacation | October 28 - November 5, 2017:  $6,995

Photo Adventure Vacation | November 15-23, 2018:  $7,395

Single Supplement:  $1600


INDIA “VARANASI” 4-DAY EXTENSION

Photo Adventure Vacation | November 6-9, 2017:  $2,495

Photo Adventure Vacation | February 4-7, 2018:  $2,195

Photo Adventure Vacation | November 24-27, 2018:  $2,695

Photo Adventure Vacation | February 3-6, 2019:  $2,395

Single Supplement:  $600


(Optional) Early Arrival Hotel Room:  $350

(Optional) Late Departure Hotel Room:  $350


Deposit:  $1000


CLICK TO CONVERT CURRENCY




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*All prices are per person and based on double occupancy. Please select single occupancy for a private room. For your convenience we offer optional early arrival and late departure accommodations so you can extend your stay before or after the trip. We typically stay in boutique hotels in the 4-star category. Not all destinations offer these types of properties. We look for unique hotels which offer cultural, historic and/or authentic features. Depending on the size of the group, smaller boutique hotels may have limited room inventory. In some countries or in remote locations, we may be limited to lodges or branded chain hotels. Breakfast is included only if included in our room rates.






INDIA’S RAJASTHAN 9 DAYS


Day 1 | Delhi

Upon meeting at our hotel in Delhi, we will enjoy our group introductions and discuss the days ahead. We will have lunch at one of our favorite Indian restaurants where we will discuss over lunch our individual photographic styles, preferred subjects, techniques and level of experience. We will also talk about what to expect over the coming days, and how to achieve our photographic goals. After lunch we will wander around the neighborhoods of Delhi to capture it’s people, architecture, markets, colors and chaotic streets. Delhi's chief "sight" is it’s street life. The teeming bazaars of imagination lie in "Old" Delhi, the city of the Moghuls, established in the 17th century and still largely Muslim: the immense Jama Masjid (Great Mosque) dominates the quarter. It’s main thoroughfare, the tumultuous Chandni Chowk, abuts the Red Fort, whose pristine lawns and lofty Moghul audience halls offer a tranquil haven. To the south, British-built New Delhi is a fascinating contrast, radiating out from the boutiques and cafés of Connaught Place: here, the dusty alleys are replaced by broad, arrow-straight boulevards and four-square monuments. The imperial mall, Rajpath, leads to the mighty arch of India Gate, designed by Edwin Lutyens in the 1920s, and now the focus of New Delhi's passeggiata. In the evening we enjoy our “Welcome Dinner” where we sample various dishes that India is renowned for. Before returning to our hotel, we will head towards Nehru Place to capture the magnificent Lotus Temple, constructed in white marble. This site is especially photogenic at night. (D)

Day 2 | Delhi

After breakfast, we will head out to capture environmental portraits and general street photography in Old Delhi’s Chandni Chowk. The main street of Old Delhi is as crowded today as it was during the time of Shah Jahan who built the market in 17th century. Apart from being one of the most popular streets in the world, it is also the oldest and busiest market of Delhi. Chandni Chowk is a great place for photographers as the hustle and bustle of the market makes for very interesting photographs. Capturing the colors, sounds and sights of the lively market are a challenge for any photographer. Located nearby is Khari Baoli (the spice market), which will be a great site to capture the colours, textures and patterns of the local produce sold. After lunch we will head out for some interesting architectural photography. Located in South Delhi in Chhatarpur, the Shri Adhya Katyani Shakti Peeth Mandir is the largest temple complex in India. Created completely out of marble, this is a stunningly beautiful temple that will fill any photographer’s heart with delight. Some great religious and architectural photography can be done at this location. In the evening we will head out for some low-light shooting to capture the atmosphere in Old Delhi’s neighborhoods before returning to our hotel. (B)

Day 3 | Delhi - Agra

In the morning, we leave Delhi by train and arrive in Agra - the site of the world famous Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal of Agra is one of the Seven Wonders of the World, for reasons more than just looking magnificent. It's the history of Taj Mahal that adds a soul to its magnificence: a soul that is filled with love, loss, remorse, and love again. This fascinating monument is an example of how deeply a man loved his wife, that even after she remained but a memory, he made sure that this memory would never fade away. After arriving to our hotel, we will head out to explore Agra. Our day will also include a visit to the Dayal Bagh temple, which has some of the most intricate marble carvings found on the globe, the Agra fort and the beautiful Shah Burj. Agra has various masterpieces of architecture, which make for wonderful backgrounds for portraits of the locals, as well as detailed shots of the buildings themselves. (B)

Day 4 |  Agra - Jaipur

Dawn photography around the Taj Mahal. After breakfast we will be met by our local driver with vehicle, and drive 230km to the city of Jaipur. This will be our base for the next 2 days. After sampling some of the cuisine of Rajasthan for lunch, we will head out for a late afternoon visit to some of Jaipur’s markets and bazaars. Architecture plays a big part of our stay in Jaipur, and we will be visiting various sites in the late afternoon light. Jaipur, also known as “The Pink City” is chaotic and congested, though it still has a habit of tickling travelers pink. Stunning hilltop forts and glorious palaces fit like footprints from a rich royal past, candyfloss-bright turbans blaze a trail through brilliant bargain-filled bazaars, and fluttering saris catch the eye.. After checking in to our hotel, we will head towards Jaipur’s most distinctive landmark. The Hawa Mahal is an extraordinary, fairy-tale, pink sandstone, delicately honeycombed hive that rises a dizzying five stories. It was constructed in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh to enable ladies of the royal household to watch the life and processions of the city. Inside it’s barely a building at all, only around one room deep, with narrow, delicately scalloped walkways. It’s still a great place for people-watching from behind the small shutters. The top offers stunning views over Jantar Mantar and the City Palace one way, and over Siredeori Bazaar the other. After sampling some of the cuisine of Rajasthan for lunch, we will head out for a late afternoon visit of some of Jaipur’s markets and bazaars. Architecture plays a big part of our stay in Jaipur, and we will be visiting various sites in the late afternoon light. (B)

Day 5 |  Jaipur

Day five focuses on street photography, environmental portraits and architecture in Jaipur. Included in our day is a visit to the impressive City Palace which is located right in the centre of the Old City. A complex of courtyards, gardens and buildings, the outer wall was built by Jai Singh, but within it the palace has been enlarged and adapted over the centuries. There are palace buildings from different eras, some dating from the early 20th century. Despite the gradual development, the whole complex is a striking blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. Adjacent to the City Palace is Jantar Mantar, an observatory begun by Jai Singh in 1728, which resembles a collection of bizarre sculptures. The name is derived from the Sanskrit Yanta Mantr meaning ‘instrument of calculation’, and in 2010 it was added to India’s list of World Heritage Sites. Papu Bazar is a famous market in Jaipur and there are other markets located nearby: Indira Market, Nehru Market & Sanjay Market have a unique style where all the shops are of the same size & style. The whole market is very symmetrical and a particular street is known for a specific item. (B)

Day 6 |  Jaipur - Pushkar (Camel Fair - November)

After our hotel checkout we depart for Pushkar, one of the highlights of our itinerary. Pushkar has a magnetism all of it’s own, and is quite unlike anywhere else in Rajasthan. It’s a prominent Hindu pilgrimage town and devout Hindus should visit at least once in their lifetime. The town curls around a holy lake, said to have appeared when Brahma dropped a lotus flower. It also has one of the world’s few Brahma temples. With 52 bathing ghats and 400 milky-blue temples, the town literally hums with regular pujas (prayers) generating an episodic soundtrack of chanting, drums, gongs, and devotional songs. Pushkar is world famous for it’s spectacular camel fair, which takes place here in the Hindu lunar month of Kartika (October/November). During this period the town is jam-packed with tribal people from all over Rajasthan, pilgrims from all over India, and filmmakers and tourists from all over the world. For the first day in Pushkar, we will relax and wander around at our own pace. We cannot think of a better place on earth than to just absorb the sights, sounds, aromas and tranquility than this location. It is the ideal place to relax and to just become acquainted with the wonderful people here. (B)

Day 7 |  Pushkar - Mandawa

After breakfast we drive to Mandawa. On arrival we check into our hotel. Mandawa, founded in the mid 18th century, was once a town inhabited by the rich merchant families. The wealthy and dominant merchants constructed massive havelis, adorned with beautiful wall paintings, for the purpose of their residence. However, with time, the merchants moved on and migrated to other areas, leaving the beautiful havelis in the shadows of anonymity. Still, the magnificence of these havelis did not diminish and now they have become a major tourist attraction of the city. (B)

> Pushkar Camel Fair (November Only)

Today we will head out to visit the camel fair. An astonishing 50,000 camels converge on the edge of town for the annual Pushkar Fair. It's a fascinating and peculiar sight, and a great opportunity to witness an old traditional style Indian festival. The original intention behind the Pushkar Camel Fair was to attract local camel and cattle traders to do business during the holy Kartik Purnima festival, held in Pushkar around the full moon in the Hindu lunar month of Kartika. The camels are dressed up, paraded, shaved, entered into beauty contests, raced, made to dance, and traded. A huge carnival is held, with an array of musicians, magicians, dancers, acrobats, snake charmers and carousel rides to entertain the crowd. The sand dunes appear infested with camels as far as the eyes can see and the population of Pushkar swells to over 200,000 people, with an inflow of pilgrims & camel traders. During the day, we will also spend time walking through Pushkar’s main bazaar, which sells everything from Indian chai to tie-dye. This main street is one you will pass through often, and is set back from the lake. We will also visit some of Pushkar’s temples such as Rangnath temple, Varah temple and Savitri temple, which is set on a hilltop. This site offers spectacular views over the town and lake. At sunset we will enjoy capturing the lake and surrounding architecture. This is a magical time to photograph, and will make for a memorable end to the day. (B)

Day 8 |  Mandawa

After breakfast we enjoy a full day of photography and sightseeing of Mandawa which includes havelis in Mandawa, all of them adorned with beautiful wall paintings. Some of the main havelis are: Hanuman Prasad Goenka Haveli: This haveli has a painting depicting Indra Dev on an elephant and Lord Shiva on his vehicle, Nandi bull. Goenka Double Haveli: This haveli, with two gates, has its portico adorned with elephants and horses. Murmuria Haveli: The paintings of the haveli include a train with a crowded level crossing, with crows flying above it. Another impressive picture is that of Nehru on horseback, holding the national flag. Jhunjhunwala Haveli: The haveli is decorated with a striking gold leaf painted room. Mohan Lal Saraf Haveli: The picture of a Maharaja stroking his moustaches beautifies this haveli. In the evening we celebrate our amazing 9 days together with our “Farewell Dinner”. (B) (D)

> Pushkar Camel Fair (November Only)

We will have an early morning walk by the lake with our cameras. Pushkar lake in the morning is a magical experience when the sun starts rising. Capturing pilgrims at dawn, with the Brahma temple in the background is an awesome site. It's the only temple dedicated to Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe according to Hindu mythology, in all of India. The beautiful marble temple is famous for its four-headed idol of Lord Brahma. It's decorated with silver coins and a silver turtle on it’s black and white checkered floor. Pilgrims come to this festival to bathe in the holy waters of Pushkar's lake and be absolved of their sins. The two days around the full moon are considered to be the most auspicious time of the year for bathing in the lake. Those who bathe on the day of the full moon are said to receive special blessings. Today is a special day, as it’s the religious festival [Kartik Purnima]. Thousands of pilgrims will bathe in the lake, and will make for amazing images. In the evening we celebrate our amazing 9 days together with our “Farewell Dinner”. (B) (D)

Day 9 |  Mandawa - Delhi

After our morning breakfast drive to Delhi, we exchange information and bid you farewell. We urge you to extend your stay in India and make good use of everything you will learn on our photo adventure. You may also join us in Kerala India after our Varanasi. (B)

> Pushkar - Delhi (November Only)

After our morning breakfast we will take the train back to Delhi, exchange information and bid you farewell. We urge you to extend your stay in India and make good use of everything you will learn on our photo adventure. (B)

VARANASI 4 DAY EXTENSION


Varanasi, also known as Benares (Banāras or Kashi), is an Indian city on the banks of the Ganga in Uttar Pradesh, 790 km (490 mi) southeast of Delhi. It is the holiest of the seven sacred cities (Sapta Puri) in Hinduism, Ravidassia religion and Jainism, and played an important role in the development of Buddhism. Some Hindus believe that death at Varanasi brings salvation. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Varanasi is also known as the favourite city of the Hindu deity Lord Shiva as it has been mentioned in the Rigveda that this city in ancient times was known as Kashi or "Shiv ki Nagri".

Includes


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Travel, landscape, architecture and people photography

Professional photographer | guide

Photo walks & discussions

4 days | 3 nights

4-star hotels

Airport transfers

Domestic roundtrip flight, Delhi to Varanasi

All Entrance fees

Local transportation


Day 1 |  Delhi - Varanasi

After breakfast we transfer to the airport to catch our flight for Varanasi. After checking into our hotel, we visit the Sarnath (the Deer Park) where the Buddha preached his first sermon and Sanarth Museum. In the afternoon we explore Varanasi. In the evening you will witness and photograph the thousand-year-old Aarti Ceremony during which worshippers pray near the water by the light of candles and lanterns. (B)

Day 2 |  Varanasi - River Ganges

On Monday we are up early to take a sunrise boat cruise on the River Ganges, and the opportunity to capture vivid photographs of devoted Hindus bathing in the river. These photos of Hindus offering their prayers against morning sunlight make the journey quite rewarding. After we return to our hotel for breakfast. Our afternoon is spent exploring and photographing the ancient city of Varanasi. (B)

Day 3 |  Varanasi - Bathing Ghats - Bengali Tola

Today we begin even earlier. Our guide meets us at our hotel before sunrise, so you can witness the amazing spectacle which takes place on Varanasi's water front at the start of every day. The principal attraction of Varanasi is the long string of bathing ghats, which line the west bank of the River Ganges. Ghats are the steps which lead down to the river from which pilgrims make their sin-cleansing dip in the holy river and on which bodies are cremated. A boat ride on the Ganges at dawn, when it is full of pilgrims, is an amazing experience, and our guide can explain to you the various rituals taking place. Leaving the boat after passing the most important Ghats, we will continue on foot for a fascinating exploration of the narrow lanes of the Bengali Tola area of Varanasi, one of the oldest continuously inhabited places on earth. Here we will pass countless small temples, shrines, and traditional shops. Our guide will provide a unique insight into this most fascinating of cities, which would otherwise be incomprehensible to the outsider. This evening, we will once again witness the thousand-year-old Aarti Ceremony during which worshippers pray near the water by the light of candles and lanterns. (B)

Day 4 |  Varanasi - Delhi

After breakfast we transfer to the airport to board our return flight to Delhi. After Varanasi you may want to consider joining us in southern India on our Kerala Photo Adventure. (B)

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NOTE: We reserve the right to change hotels based on availability and pricing. Not included in your rate are alcoholic beverages, unscheduled meals, travel to and from our destinations, airport transfers, travel insurance and any optional excursions you may choose to book on your own or as a group. Breakfast is usually included unless it is not offered in our hotel package. As is standard in the travel industry, all accommodations are based on double occupancy. Please choose the private room / single supplement option if you prefer your own room. Double occupancy can only be offered if you are traveling with a guest. We reserve the right to change events and schedules throughout the itinerary due to adverse weather conditions or complications that may arise that are out of our control. Our number one priority is always the safety of our group.






 

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