INDIA

PUSHKAR CAMEL FAIR

November 2 - 15, 2019

Nov 20 - Dec 3, 2020

VARANASI (add-on)

November 15 - 19, 2019

December 3 - 7, 2020

Travel, Street, People, and Landscape Photography

Includes

  1. -14 or 18 Days

  2. -Only 4-8 Guests

  3. -Photographer | Guide

  4. -5 Star Luxury Hotels

  5. -Pushkar Luxury Tent

  6. -Breakfasts + 9 Meals

  7. -Local Guides

  8. -Local Transportation

  9. -Train To Agra

  10. -Domestic Flight

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PHOTOGRAPHY ADVENTURE VACATIONS

Pushkar Camel Fair

Rajasthan, Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Pushkar, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer

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Witness camels, musicians, magicians, dancers, acrobats and snake charmers.

India Pushkar Camel Fair Photo Adventure Vacations – Inspire, Create and Learn.

Imagine weaving the vibrant and colorful culture of the Pushkar Camel Fair into a classic Rajasthan journey which includes the famed Golden Triangle. Could it get any better? The annual fair is a one-of-a-kind experience, and one of the most famous and oldest fairs in all of India.

The fair attracts and astonishing 50,000 camels. It's a fascinating and peculiar sight, and a great opportunity to witness a 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 around the holy city of Pushkar appear infested with camels as far as the eye can see and the population of Pushkar swells to over 200,000 people, with an influx of pilgrims & camel traders.

Our adventure also includes a wonderful selection of destinations throughout Rajasthan including Agra and the Taj Mahal, Jaipur, Jodhpur and Jaisalmer.

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.

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.


 PHOTO ADVENTUREAbout.html


Group Size



4-8 Guests


Experience | Difficulty



Beginner, amateur, enthusiast and semi-pro photographers

DSLR, mirrorless, compact or iPhone cameras

Busy 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  |  November 2-15/19, 2019

Laurie Cohen  |  November 20 - December 3/7, 2020


Weather | Sun



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


Includes



Travel, landscape, people and architecture photography

Professional photographer | guide

Photo walks & discussions

Small group size (4-8 guests)

5 star luxury hotels

Deluxe Tent Camp in Pushkar

Breakfasts + 9 meals

Local guides in every city

AC train Delhi to Agra

Domestic flight Jaisalmer to Delhi

Airport transfers

All Entrance fees

Local transportation


Accommodations



Delhi - The Imperial or similar

Agra - ITC Mughal or similar

Jaipur - ITC Rajputana or similar

Pushkar - Orchid Tent Camps or similar

Jodhpur - Ajit Bhawan or similar

Jaisalmer - SuryaGarh or similar


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 Visa Map to find out.


Helpful Links



> The Imperial Hotel New Delhi - by Michael Chinnici

> Indian Women and their Love Affair with the Saree - by Renu Choundhary

> Suryagarh Jaisalmer - by Michael Chinnici

> 6 Amazing India Photo Adventures - by Michael Chinnici

> Taj Mahal Photo Tips - by Ian Robert Knight


Price



INDIA “RAJASTHAN & PUSHKAR CAMEL FAIR” 14-DAY PHOTO ADVENTURE

Photo Adventure Vacation | November 2-15, 2019:  $10,995

Photo Adventure Vacation | November 20 - December 3, 2020:  $11,495


INDIA “VARANASI” 5-DAY EXTENSION

Photo Adventure Vacation | November 15-19, 2019:  $3,995

Photo Adventure Vacation | December 3-7, 2020:  $4,395


Single Supplement:  $1800 (Pushkar Fair - Rajasthan)  $600 (Varanasi)

(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.






RAJASTHAN & PUSHKAR 14 DAYS


Day 1 | Delhi - Chandni Chowk - Lotus Temple

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 - Old Delhi - Chandni Chowk - Markets

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 colors, 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 (Train) - Taj Mahal - Agra Fort

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 (The Pink City) - Hawa Mahal

Dawn photography at the Taj Mahal. After breakfast we will drive to Jaipur. 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. 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 into 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 - Markets - Amer Fort - Step Well - Monkey Palace

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 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Bapu 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. Finally, we’ll visit a local step well for a model shoot, and the Monkey Palace, an abandoned palace overrun by hundreds of monkeys, before we end our day. (B)

Day 6 |  Jaipur - Pushkar - Camel Fair

Next we depart for Pushkar, and the Pushkar Camel Fair, 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 in the Hindu lunar month of Kartika (October/November). The town will be jam-packed with tribal people from all over Rajasthan, pilgrims from all over India, and filmmakers and tourists from all over the world. For our 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)

Days 7, 8 and 9 |  Pushkar - Camel Fair

We will spend two full days and a morning taking in all the festivities of this amazing event. We’ll be staying at a luxury tent camp right in the heart of the Pushkar 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 our days at the fair, we will spend time walking through Pushkar’s main bazaar, which sells everything from Indian chai to tie-dye. Pushkar’s main street 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. Our photography opportunities at the fair and in the city will also include sunrise and sunset shoots. This is a magical time to photograph the fair, and will make for amazing memories. (B) (L) (D)

Day 10 |  Pushkar - Jodhpur (Blue City)

After our final breakfast in Pushkar, we depart for our drive to Jodhpur. We will enjoy lunch along the way and arrive in Jodpur by the afternoon. After settling into our hotel, we will take an evening photo walk of the old city. (B)

Day 11 |  Jodhpur - Mehrangarh Fort - Bishnoi Village - Old City

We are up early to Jodhpur city which includes Mehrangarh Fort and Jaswant Thada and Old Town.

The most magnificent fort in Jodhpur is the Mehrangarh Fort. It is situated on a 150m high hill. Rao Jodha, the then chief of Rathore clan, constructed it in 1459. There are a number of attractions within the fort like several palaces, galleries, a museum, temples and so on. Nothing beats the view of the Blue City from Meherangarh Fort. A winding lane leads up the 125 meter high hill, upon which the ancient fortress is built. The walls are 36 meters high in places, providing additional elevation to appreciate just how many of the houses in Jodhpur are blue. Not all cities deserve their sobriquets, but anyone looking out over the flat roofs of Jodhpur, from the perspective of the Meherangarh will realize that the term "the blue city" is well deserved.

Later we will take you to Bishnoi Village by jeep, located 22km outside Jodhpur city. Bishnoi Village is a must. The villagers of Bishnoi are hardcore worshippers of nature. You’ll experience the amazing cultural life of Marwar – the original community of Rajasthan. You’ll gain insight into what life in rural Rajasthan is like.

When we return to the Blue City we’ll focus on the older quarters of Jodhpur. Here, under the centuries old protection of Meherangarh Fort, whose foundations were laid on the orders of the city’s founder, Rao Jodha, in 1459. Later we will take you to Chhipawadi, inside Jalori Gate which is famous for colorful people. The people are engaged in the profession of applying colors to any type of cloth. Chhipa means to print and so the place is now called Chhipawadi and the people are known as Rangraze. (B)

Day 12 |  Jodhpur – Jaisalmer (Golden City) 

After breakfast, we’ll drive to Jaisalmer. Jaisalmer is a former medieval trading center and a princely state in the western Indian state of Rajasthan, in the heart of the Thar Desert. Also known as the "Golden City," it's distinguished by its yellow sandstone architecture. Dominating the skyline is Jaisalmer Fort, a sprawling hilltop citadel buttressed by 99 bastions. Behind its massive walls stand the ornate Maharaja's Palace and intricately carved Jain temples. In the evening we will do a sunset shoot of Jaisalmer Fort. (B)

Day 13 |  Jaisalmer – Jaisalmer Fort - Sand Dunes 

Today we begin the day with sunrise shoot over beautiful Gadissar Lake. You will wonder how so much water came into this desert. The little pavilions forming tiny islands offer a beautiful foreground against the pink sky reflecting in the water. After we’ll return to our hotel for breakfast.

After, we’ll explore the narrow streets of the dominating Jaisalmer Fort. Locally known as Sonar Quila - rising from the sand, the mega structure that merges with the golden hues of the desert ambience and the setting suns in its most colorful shades gives it a wonderful look. It’s simply magical, the bastions envelops a whole townships that consist of palace complex, various security sources, and the havelis of rich merchants carved with an incredibly light touch. Several temples and the residential complexes of the armies and traders are placed strategically on the trade route, from where the ancient caravans passed en-route passing all the riches for the prosperity.

Later in the afternoon we will drive to the Sand Dunes.Upon arrival we will check into a desert camp. The dunes are among the largest that you will see. We’ll explore photographing the local people, camels and the dunes, especially as the sun gets low on the horizon and bathes the golden sand in its golden rays. After the sunset we head back to Jaisalmer for an overnight stay.

In the evening we will enjoy a wonderful “Farewell Dinner” to celebrate our past two weeks together. (B) (D)

Day 14 |  Jaisalmer - Delhi (Flight)

After our morning breakfast we depart for Jaisalmer Airport for our flight to Delhi where we will bid you farewell. If you are continuing on to our Varanasi Extension, we will be staying in Delhi overnight before departing for Varanasi. We urge you to extend your stay in India and make good use of everything you will learn on our photo adventure. (B)


VARANASI 5 DAY


Click here to go to the Varanasi page for more details and photos.

Day 1 |  Delhi - Old Delhi

Arrival in Delhi. Whether you are arriving from India or elsewhere, or if Varanasi is an extension to one of our other India Photo Adventure. Day one is an arrival day in Delhi. Transfers will be arranged to take you to our hotel. In the afternoon we will explore Old Delhi markets and streets followed by a “Welcome Dinner” at our favorite Indian restaurant. After we’ll rest up and prepare for a very busy schedule for the next 4 days in Varanasi. (D)

Day 2 |  Varanasi - Sanarth Museum - Aarti Ceremony

After an early 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’ll set out to explore the amazing alleys and streets of Varanasi. In the evening we will board a private boat to witness and photograph the thousand-year-old Aarti Ceremony during which worshippers pray near the water by the light of candles and lanterns. This is an experience you will never forget. (B)

Day 3 |  Varanasi - River Ganges - Widows of Varanasi

Today 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.

Next we will experience an emotional visit with the Widows of Varanasi. Varanasi may be colorful and move at a frenetic pace, but the city harbors a darker secret – it is home to 38,000 widows, a marginalized and forgotten population, of which the majority live in poverty. Abandoned in the city and shunned by society, many seek refuge in the different ashrams for widows. When widows are thrown out of their households, they come to Varanasi because it is a holy city. It is the favorite city of the Hindu deity Lord Shiva, and they believe that if they die there they will go straight to heaven. Widows call it Moksha – when the final release from reincarnation is gained. A significant portion of the widows in Varanasi are aged between 20 and 45, along with elders. Poverty and disease, including HIV infection, are some of the main reasons young women are being widowed at such a young age. But cultural practices, namely child marriage, are a major driving force behind this problem in India. Girls are often married at an early age, sometimes as teenagers to much older men. When the men die, the women are left as widows. India has the highest number of child brides in the world. Poverty, dowries, gender expectation, tradition and a lack of educational opportunities for girls are the reasons behind this problem.

Our afternoon and evening will be spent exploring and photographing more of Varanasi. In the evening we will witness one of the Aarti prayer ceremonies taking place along the banks of the Ganges. You’ll be able to get up very close to the high priests waving Yak-tail fans and performing rituals during the ceremonies. (B)

Day 4 |  Varanasi - Bathing Ghats - Bengali Tola - Sadhus

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 waterfront 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. Along the way we’ll set up several photo sessions with local Sadhus. In the evening we enjoy a wonderful “Farewell Dinner” at a favorite Varanasi restaurant. (B) (D)

Day 5 |  Varanasi - Delhi

After breakfast we transfer to the airport to board our return flight to Delhi for your connecting flight home or book a later departure hotel room and rest up. (B)

May all who come as guests... leave as friends®



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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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