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HOLI FESTIVAL & LUCKNOW

Delhi, Lucknow, Agra, Holi Festivals, Vrindavan, Mathura​

RAJASTHAN

VARANASI

GUJARAT

PUSHKAR

HOLI

KERALA

The magical Holi Festival of Color, plus exclusive culinary events in Lucknow.

India is well-known for being a destination that will overload your senses. With the tastes, sounds, smells, crowds and sights everywhere you turn, it can be overwhelming. But in a good way. And with so many different places to visit in India, it can be hard to decide what to see first. So we’ve combined two unique and exciting locations that will provide you with plenty of sensory memories. We’ll visit Lucknow, the Culinary Capital, where many of India’s most famous chefs got their starts. And we’ll witness one of the most colorful festivals in the world, the Holi Festival of Color, when we travel to Vrindavan and Mathura.

Lucknow, the capital city of Uttar Pradesh, is home to some of India’s finest restaurants, plus many historical buildings from its colonial past. We’ll spend time with traditional dancers, plus students at a storied college, and even have dinner in the private home of a royal family. Our meals in Lucknow will be among the best you’ve ever eaten when dining on Indian food. And the experiences will also be visually beautiful too, allowing us to flex our food photography muscles.

Holi is a traditional Hindu festival which celebrates the beginning of spring as well as the triumph of good over evil. Known around the world for the colored powders that revelers throw on each other, leaving festival-goers coated in color by the end of the day. Holi is one of the biggest Indian festivals celebrated and has a special place in Indian culture. People from around the world visit India just to be a part of this mesmerizing festival. Holi in Vrindavan is especially famous because of its unique celebration. Famous for being the land of Lord Krishna, the region of Braj attracts pilgrims and tourists from all over India and the world during Holi due to its special cultures and traditions.

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.

Lucknow, the capital city of Uttar Pradesh, is home to some of India’s finest restaurants, plus many historical buildings from its colonial past. We’ll spend time with traditional dancers, plus students at a storied college, and even have dinner in the private home of a royal family. Our meals in Lucknow will be among the best you’ve ever eaten when dining on Indian food. And the experiences will also be visually beautiful too, allowing us to flex our food photography muscles.

Holi is a traditional Hindu festival which celebrates the beginning of spring as well as the triumph of good over evil. Known around the world for the colored powders that revelers throw on each other, leaving festival-goers coated in color by the end of the day. Holi is one of the biggest Indian festivals celebrated and has a special place in Indian culture. People from around the world visit India just to be a part of this mesmerizing festival. Holi in Vrindavan is especially famous because of its unique celebration. Famous for being the land of Lord Krishna, the region of Braj attracts pilgrims and tourists from all over India and the world during Holi due to its special cultures and traditions.

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.

Group Size

4 – 8 Guests

Experience | Difficulty

  • Beginner, amateur, enthusiast and semi-pro photographers
  • DSLR, mirrorless, compact or iPhone cameras
  • Moderate schedule
  • Travel by plane, private air-conditioned car or mini-van
  • No elevation changes and lots of walking
  • (non-photographers also welcome)

Weather | Sun

March – Temps 78/50 F 25/9 C Sunrise 6:53 | Sunset 6:14 (18:14)

Includes

  • Travel, landscape, architecture, and people photography
  • Professional photographer | guide
  • Photo walks & discussions
  • Small group size (4 – 8 guests)
  • 4 or 5-star hotels
  • Breakfasts
  • 10 Meals
  • Airport transfers
  • All entrance fees
  • Local transportation
  • Domestic flight

Travel Information

Arrival & Departure Airport: Delhi, India (DEL) – Transfer time to hotel 50min
Our adventure begins at 3 PM 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.

Accommodations

Delhi – The Imperial or similar
Lucknow – The Taj Mahal Hotel or similar
Agra – ITC Mughal or similar

Helpful Links

The Imperial Hotel New Delhi – by Michael Chinnici
Indian Women and their Love Affair with the Saree – by Renu Choudhary
6 Amazing India Photo Adventures – by Michael Chinnici
Taj Mahal Photo Tips – by Ian Robert Knight

 


Photographer Leader

Photographer Leader

Laurie Cohen

February 26 – March 8, 2020
March 2021 – Dates TBD

Photographer Leader

Photographer Leader

Michael Chinnici

March 2021 – Dates TBD

*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.

ITINERARY

HOLI FESTIVAL & LUCKNOW 12 DAYS

Day 1 | Delhi

We meet at our hotel in Delhi in the mid afternoon, where we will have group introductions and discuss the days ahead. We will talk about 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.

In the evening we enjoy our “Welcome Dinner” at one of Delhi’s best restaurants, where we can sample various dishes that India is renowned for. (D) 

Day 2 | Delhi - Kathputli Colony - Anand Parbat

Today we will spend a full day focusing on street, people and portrait photography in the Kathputli Colony. “Kathputli” literally translates into “Puppet”. A colony, which inspired Salman Rushdie’s award winning book, “Midnight’s Children”. This artists colony houses close to 3500 families including acrobats, magicians, puppeteers, storytellers, folksingers, painters, dancers and musicians. They are active artists who have been keeping the streets of Delhi alive with their performing art for over five decades. The colony is located in one of Delhi’s biggest and oldest slums, called “Anand Parbat”. These performers come from 14 states including Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh, They belong to diverse communities such as Adivasis, Muslims, Yadavs, Balmikis, Kushths, Nats and Bagris, among others.

These artists are ambassadors of Indian culture who perform at international events, and accompany Indian diplomats and bureaucrats overseas. Aziz Khan, whose rope trick made it into the Guinness Book of World Record in 1995, referred to his art as “their lifestyle and their identity”. Kathputli Colony is trying to hold on to these disappearing symbols of Indian culture and heritage that once adorned the courtyards of the Royals.

After breakfast we will head out to the colony where we will get “up, close and personal” with various artists, photographing them as they are performing in their home environment. We will walk the narrow lanes of the colony looking for amazing opportunities in this artist’s hub, including their humble homes. As is often the case in India, we can expect an army of curious and adorable children to follow us everywhere, begging us to take their photos, which will no doubt lead to amazing one-of-a-kind opportunities.

PWA Exclusive: After lunch we will be treated to an incredible opportunity with a portraiture session deep in the slum, using a temporary old styled studio, complete with a back-drop, lights, etc. Imagine a Puppeteer, Fire Eater, Acrobat, Magician, Folk Dancer and Musician lining up for a one-on-one session. Complete with traditional costumes, make-up and props.

In the evening we will return to our hotel for dinner. (B)

Day 3 | Delhi - Lucknow

Our day starts with a morning flight to Lucknow, about 75 minutes away by air.

Lucknow is the capital city of the state of Uttar Pradesh located in North India.  Lucknow, or Awadh as it was called earlier, is the “Culinary capital of India”. Many of the renowned Chefs who oversee kitchens of iconic and award winning gourmet Restaurants in India and abroad – Bukhara, Dum Pukht, to name a few – have their culinary roots in Lucknow. The “Nawabs” or the royal families, which ruled the erstwhile Awadh region for several centuries, elevated the status of this city by giving patronage to cuisine, architecture, culture and performing arts.

PWA Exclusive – Performing Arts  Live Kathak Dance Performance
Our first day in this historic city will be spent photographing one of India’s foremost classical dance forms “Kathak”.  We will head to Sanskriti Dance Studio in Lucknow and meet the very talented husband and wife duo Surbhi and Rajeev Shukla, who teach classical performing arts to budding dancers and musicians. Surbhi is an accomplished and trained Kathak dancer, while Rajeev performs on the Tabla.

The mesmerizing precise and pulsating footwork, as well as the graceful yet detailed carriage of the upper body, hand placements, and facial expressions demonstrate the diverse cultural influences of this dance form. It is one of the six classical Indian dance forms, which has its roots in the ancient storytelling practices of the yore. It originated within the Hindu temples, as a means of portraying the epic tales contained within the Mahabharata and Ramayana, Hindu scriptures. During the medieval period, the dance form became an established part of court culture, performing under the special patronage of India’s Persian Kings and Muslim Mughal rulers.

We will photograph the Kathak dancer while she is getting ready, pre-performance, when elaborate make-up is being applied, stunning jewellery pieces are being worn along with traditional musical anklet called “Gunghroo”.  As a final touch, the dancer dons exquisite hair ornaments along with a diaphanous veil covering her head.  These beautiful ritualistic preparations lends itself to a series of powerful visuals, which we will get exclusive access to photograph.

The high energy Kathak performance will be accompanied with rhythmic beats of the Tabla being played in the background.  When the dancer twirls with perfectly coordinated hand and footwork, we will be right there photographing her every move. The Kathak dancer’s beautifully designed costume will swirl, sashay and form a cascading wave with each foot movement, thus allowing us to photograph these lightning movements.

The highlight of this highly curated photo shoot would be a series of compositions, which will focus on the dancer’s facial expressions.  Pain, love, loss, happiness, anger, longing, yearning will be expressed silently by the dancer via her expressive eyes coupled with elegant hand gestures. (B)

Day 4 | La Martinière College - Lucknow Residency - Chowk - Culinary Walk

The La Martinière College is a Lucknow icon and an absolute architectural marvel. We will have an exclusive privilege of photographing the stunning and unusual architecture of one of India’s leading educational institutions. Additionally, there will be opportunities aplenty to photograph young adorable children as they go about their daily school routine. Established by a Frenchman, Claude Martin over 170 years ago, this distinguished college has had an incredible and fascinating history. The list of achievements, eminence, and distinctions are truly the stuff of legends. Spread across 200-acre campus, it is an educational and architectural marvel.

We will get a chance to meet young students, interact with them and take their photographs while they are out of their classrooms, during a break. Chatting, laughing, carefree hanging out with their friends. It is moments like these, which take us right back to our childhood, when life was carefree and so, so simple. Or we may even photograph them while they are engaged in sporting activities in the campus.  If we are extra lucky, our expert local Guide will get us access to some of the teachers, for a quick portraiture session.

After our college visit, we will be photographing the dilapidated ruins of The Lucknow Residency. The Residency is undoubtedly one of the most evocative and haunting monuments in the entire city of Lucknow. The historic complex bears testimony to the bloody carnage that ensued when the first war of independence was declared against the British Colonial Empire in 1857.

The sprawling British campus witnessed nothing less than 3000 deaths to keep the Union Jack flying. Yet the British could not defend their domain and the buildings were lost to the high spirited and enthusiastic Indians who fought until their last breath. The trees, bullet sprinkled walls, unusable canons, worn out firearms, all cry aloud with the burden of deaths that were witnessed here. We also visit the graveyard to pay homage to named and unnamed soldiers who gave up their lives in the defense of The Residency.

In the early evening we will proceed for a Heritage Photo Walk in the ‘Chowk’, the oldest market place of Lucknow, to appreciate and photograph the unique arts, crafts and the skilled artisans. The Chowk is full of interesting characters, historic buildings, and age old artisanal vendors who have been plying their trade for several centuries in the quaint alleyways of this historic Bazaar!

The people that you will see milling about, buying and selling, will be primarily from the local Muslim community. Men wearing traditional crisp white Kurta Pyjamas with long beards, women passing by in long black veils wearing tinkling glass bangles and anklets making musical sounds as they sashay down the serpentine lanes. Their kohl rimmed, fascinating eyes peering shyly behind the veils.

We will also get plenty of opportunities to photograph several artisans at work as we walk by. We will stop and photograph skilled embroiders, silver, gold jewelers using age-old ancient techniques to make exquisite intricate jewelry pieces. “Itar”, perfume sellers, “Warq” edible sliver foils and more. The place is like a veritable Aladdin’s cave, a treasure trove of interesting characters, fabulous for close up compositions, portraiture.

Another fascinating secret, which this Bazaar hides, is the ‘Gol Darwaza’. A place that was once a home to numerous ‘Kothas’, small entertainment studios where the dancing girls performed the famous “Mujra” to rapt rich patrons, noblemen in the evenings. Replete with stunning outfits, gorgeous jewelry, the beautiful dancing girls would enthrall and mesmerize the noblemen with their innate grace, dancing, singing and “Shayari” – Urdu poetary renditions.

Lucknowlicious – Heritage Food Walk

Be prepared for a complete sensory overload! When in Lucknow, how can the talk about food be left behind? We will have a culinary curator (Walk Leader) explaining the history, origins of some of the famous Awadhi street food that we will be tasting during this Lucknowlicious walk!

We will be walking down the narrow lane adjacent to Akbari Gate. We will be immediately assaulted with delicious smells emanating from every nook and cranny of this gourmet foodie paradise! Seekh Kebabs, Shami Kebabs, the ionic Tundey Kebabs, Raheem’s Nihari and Mobeen’s Pasanda Kebabs…. the list of Awadi dishes being freshly cooked in blazing tandoors, small charcoal open fires will get your taste buds on an absolute overdrive!!

The famous breads being freshly made right in front of our eyes will be another traditional cooking technique which has its origins in culinary capital of India. We will watch and photograph the famous Indian thin bread called “Roomali Roti” being deftly rolled out and then flipped in the air and then cooked in seconds over a round hillock shaped Tawa!

Deft hands making delicious Naans by sticking them into blazing Tandoors and then swiftly dousing them with butter and serving them with hot piping Seekh Kebabs with side servings of tangy salad of onion rings and assortment of Chutneys! Yes, you are in foodie heaven. Be sure to sample what is on offer. By now your taste buds will certainly go on an overdrive. (B)

Day 5 | Asif Imambara - Dhobi Ghat - Nawab Portraits - Dining at Kotwara House

After breakfast we will proceed to photograph the 18th century  ‘Asifi Imambara’. This monument was built as a relief measure for a devastating famine, in order to provide employment to the subjects of the state by Nawab Asif-ud-Daula. This is the world’s biggest hall that is devoid of any pillar support, wood, iron beams or concrete walls.

Our next, rather intriguing venue for the photography session would be the open air laundry on banks of the river Gomti. “Dhobis” are traditional Indian washer men who bring in hordes of colorful Chikan embroidered garments, for a washing, applying starch and ironing. To wash the dirt of these garments, the Dhobis swing the garment in the air and deftly bring them down on to the boulders lining the riverbank. Each moment is breathtakingly beautiful, be it the rhythmic sound of beating clothes on the boulders, the water being sprinkled artistically in the air, or the rows of colorful garments being hung up to dry in the sun. We will have the opportunity to take close up portraits of the Dhobis, get to know about their community and listen to their life stories. We will also get an opportunity to sample chilled a yogurt-based drink called “Lassi” or “Thandai” made of milk, dried fruits and saffron served in “Kullar”, earthen cups.

PWA Exclusive: Portrait Session with Nawab Jafar Mir Abdullah
After lunch we will have a special tea session with Nawab Jafar Mir Abdullah. He is the direct descendant of the Royal Family of Awadh. Nawab Sahab, as he is affectionately called, will regale us with incredible stories of his family tree, childhood and royal pastimes. We will photograph the Nawab Sabah in his living room surrounded by the relics of the past. This highly personal interaction will capture the real soul of this fascinating and highly sophisticated city.

PWA Exclusive: Curated Dining at Kotwara House
Today we will end the evening in absolute style!  We will be dining in the private home of the Royal family of Kotwara.  This very special curated dinner will have unique and secret recipes prepared to perfection by the their personal cooks.

Kotwara is  a fine example of how there are still some royal families that are tied deeply to their roots.  History of the Kotwara dates back to year 1009, thus making it one of the oldest estates in Awadh. While the estate is located in the region of Terai, the city home of the royal family is located within the palace complex of Kaiserbagh. The current royal family, Raja Muzaffar Ali and his wife Rani Meera Ali’s intense passion and involvement in the preservation of art, music, culture, cuisine and textile heritage of Lucknow is legendary!

Meera’s efforts and remarkable research on food and tastes is evident from her recent book, ‘Dining with the Nawabs’, and it is a true privilege to dine at Kotwara House in Lucknow on an exclusive pre-set menu. The menu for the guests is specially curated by Muzaffar & Meera Ali, while the food is cooked by their family cooks in small quantity, just for the diners of the day. If Muzaffar & Meera are in residence, they are happy to dine with the guests, else they remotely supervise this dining experience, opening their family home to us and their personal family cooks, whose ancestors have served the royal family of Kotwara, prepare a great meal based on the exclusive menu of the day. (B)

Day 6 | Flower Market - Vegetable Market - SEWA - Kotwara House

At the crack of dawn (0500 hrs) we will drive to the morning flower market in the old part of the city. The market caters to florists, flower decorators, temples, mosques and other shrines in and around Lucknow. Considered to be one of the biggest flower markets in the state, the early morning action here is a complete visual feast.

We will walk around the market, capturing early morning scenes as fresh flowers begin to arrive from neighboring farms and far-flung corners of India by morning trains.  The myriad of brilliantly hued flowers which are on sale is a complete visual treat!  The flower market is flooded with yellow marigolds, soft pink, red and white baby Roses, Tube Roses, Jasmine flowers and other exotic variety of flowers.  The incredible scent of the “Desi Gulab” (Indian Rose), will be wafting in the early morning air.  Absolute sensory overload!  Yes, there will be plenty of “Desi Gulab” sellers in the market for us to photograph with their heavenly wares. Plenty of interesting faces will be easy pickings for us to shoot against the mounds of flowers at every step of the way.  If time permits we will also head to the nearby wholesale vegetable market to photograph the vendors, buyers and people milling around the busy market place.

After a Masala Chai break, we will return back to the hotel for breakfast.

PWA Exclusive – SEWA: Personal Interactions with the Chairperson
After breakfast we will visit SEWA. SEWA stands for “Self-Employed Women’s Association” and is an autonomous organization of Chikan embroidery artisans – a unique style of embroidery, which has its origins in Lucknow. In 1984, 31 women came together to register an organization of women artisans under the 1860 Society’s Registration Act for “CHIKAN KARI.” SEWA-Lucknow was formed with a major agenda of doing away with the middleman and the organization to act as a platform from where the artisans would address the market directly. SEWA-Lucknow produces 184 different types of Ladies Garments, 22 types of Gents Garments which include children garments and 24 types of Home Furnishings.

We will have the privilege of meeting the current Chairperson of SEWA and personally interact with her. She will give us a brief presentation on the inspiring work that they have accomplished by empowering marginalized women and making them self reliant. We will photograph her in an exclusive session. We will also photograph the women who skillfully embroider exquisite Chikankari patterns on a variety of garments – a skill which requires immense patience and years of practice.

PWA Exclusive: Kotwara House
After lunch we will head to Kotwara House, home to the legendary filmmaker, fashion designer, painter, and poet. Muzaffar Ali and his wife Meera Ali are a creative power couple and a design institution. Their designer couture label “Kotwara House”, showcases the stunningly beautiful textile heritage of the city. The house is in the area of the erstwhile palace complex of Kaiserbagh and the very aura, interiors and artifacts that adorn their living space is no less than a living museum of sorts. We will have access to the living spaces of the house to understand how this creative couple live, work and eat. This rare privilege allows us to photograph the interiors of the house, brimming with antiques, coffee table books, period furniture, chandeliers, paintings and priceless artifacts.

The highlight of our exclusive session would be to venture into the workshop where the designer’s creative vision comes to life. Highly skilled workers hand stitch and embroider using timeless techniques to make bespoke, couture garments gracing the fashion runways of the country. Innate pride, which the designer duo has for their culture and textile heritage, gets reflected in the timeless classic garments that they design. Our time at Kotare House will be well spent photographing the talented craftsmen, women, while they are working. (B)

Day 7 | Agra

After breakfast, we will depart Lucknow for Agra via Expressway. The drive will take about 5 hours, with stops along the way.

In the late afternoon and early evening, we will be photographing the iconic Taj Mahal from several vantage points. Our objective will be to photograph the Taj as the sky changes color in the soft diffused light of the evening.

Holi Festival Overview
Holi, the festival of color, is celebrated every year on the full moon day in the month of Phalguna (February to March). However, the festival of Holi gets a distinct charm when celebrated in Vrindavan and the adjoining villages of Nandgaon, Barsana, the land where Lord Krishna spent his childhood. Vrindavan is a city located on the banks of River Yamuna and is a major place of pilgrimage in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. The festivities which take place here reach a fever pitch when Lord Krishna devotees descend on this temple town to celebrate the festival in a unique, traditional style on the streets and the various temples dotting the landscape. An estimated 500,000 pilgrims reach Vrindavan every year to play Holi. The occasion is celebrated with immense zeal and fervor, reliving the glorious legends of love associated with Radha and Krishna. (B)

Day 8 | Barsana Lathmar Holi – Radha Rani, Ladli Temples

After breakfast, we will head to Barsana, about 100kms away. It will be a full day session, pre and post lunch. Be prepared to shoot some incredible footage of this stunning, high-octane fun event. Rainbows of dry and wet colors will be splashed everywhere, covering everything with brilliant clouds of pink, yellow, red, magenta, and a myriad other colors. Perhaps one of the most photogenic scenes that you will ever shoot in your entire life! The celebrations which will take place all around you will present incredible opportunities for taking candid people shots smeared in a mélange of colors!

We will be photographing the festivities from different vantage points to ensure that we don’t miss out on any of the action unfolding all around us. The majority of our time will be spent photographing the celebrations in the Radha Rani Temple and the Ladli Temple nearby. We will also walk the streets of Barsana, where we will witness people playing Holi and in high spirits. Additionally, keep a look out for a row of colorful shops selling dry and wet colors, water balloons, and water cannons all in bright colors.

Lathmar Holi Overview
The origins of Lathmar have its roots in a fascinating folklore from the ancient times.  Legend has it that young Krishna once cribbed to his mother, Yashoda, about Radha’s fair complexion and he being dark. Yashoda teasingly suggested Krishna to color Radha in a playful manner. So one day, little Krishna went to Barsana (Radha’s village) from Nandagaon (where Krishna grew up) and coloured Radha and her friends. Radha and her gopis took offense, and chased Krishna and his friends with lathis, or sticks. From there, this evolved into the festival of Lathmar Holi. During the festivity, men from Nandagaon come to Barsana to apply colors and women beat them playfully with sticks.

Lathmar Holi is celebrated in the sprawling expanse of the Radha-Rani or Ladli Temple in Barsana. In this high-spirited battle of colors and sticks, men try their best not to succumb to the hands of Barsana’s women. Those who get captured are given a good thrashing by the women and are also forced to wear female clothing and dance in public – all in the spirit of Festival of Colors!

Back to our hotel in Agra for an overnight stay. (B)

Day 9 | Nandgaon – Nand Bhawan

Today, people will be playing the Lathmar Holi today at the adjoining village of Nandgaon. We will drive to this village to witness and photograph the festivities there.

The celebrations for this special and unique Holi will be at fever pitch. Fun, intoxicating, high spirits, intense devotion, playfulness will be at full display for us to enjoy and photograph – just make sure that you carry enough memory cards.

Thousands gather to witness and participate in the high-octane celebrations, which take place at Nandgaon on the second day of the Lathmar Holi.  Spectators also sing Holi Songs and shout Sri Radhey or Sri Krishna. While the women beat the men with lathis on the first day, the second day is celebrated differently. On the second day, the men invade Nandgaon and drench the womenfolk of Nandgaon in colors of ‘Kesudo’, and ‘Palash’ flowers.

In between the celebrations, participants sip ‘Thandai’, a milk based cold drink that is laced with ‘Bhang”, made of Cannabis.

Evening back to Agra for overnight stay. (B)

Day 10 | Mathura - Phoolan Wali Holi – Banke Bihari Temple

Today we will focus on photographing the Holi celebrations in and around the Banke Bihari Temple.

The Banke Bihari temple in Vridnavan celebrates a unique version of Holi which is not celebrated with conventional dry or wet colors, but with flowers, and hence the name Phoolon wali Holi (Flower Holi). Once the gates of the temple are opened, Holi is played with heavenly scented Indian Rose petals and Marigold flowers. However, unlike other Holi festivities, this is a short affair of just about 15-20 minutes duration during which the temple priests throw petals at the devotees.

The rest of the day will be focused on photographing street scenes of the festival, which are taking place on the streets of Mathura town. We will also go to the Pagal Baba Temple and Dwarkadish temples in the Holi city to capture the Holi revelry.

Evening back to Agra for overnight stay. (B)

Day 11 | Vrindavan - “Color Holi” Banke Bihari Temple

Our last day of the Holi festival photography session will be focused on capturing scenes in and around the Banke Bihar Temple in Vrindavan. Devotees and pilgrims from across the country come to Vrindavan to play Holi at one of the foremost temples devoted to Lord Krishna. During the festivities, the idol of Bihariji (another name of Lord Krishna, to which the temple is dedicated) is adorned in white clothes and is brought closer to the devotees to let them play Holi.

Celebrations commence by throwing colored water and pink powder called “Gulal”, a form of natural color made up of organic substances like flowers and Kesar. The priests of the temple sprinkle colors on the visitors. The atmosphere is made even more fun and lively with devotional songs being sung dedicated to Lord Krishna. The celebrations reach a fever pitch in the background as people dance to the songs being sung in the background.  This is a fitting finale to the four days of our Holi photo adventure.

We return to our hotel in Agra, to prepare for a Farewell Dinner. We will enjoy a wonderful evening of fun and laughter, while we recount our Holi adventures. (B) (D)

Day 12 | Delhi

We will have one last opportunity for a sunrise photo shoot of the Taj Mahal before breakfast.

After breakfast, we’ll check out from our hotel and drive to Delhi International Airport to board our departure flights. Guests who will depart later in the night, can opt for a day use rooms at the Aero city hotels near the international airport. (B)

(B) Breakfast, (L) Lunch, (D) Dinner, (E) Excursion

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

OPTIONS AND BENEFITS

Pricing

 

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.

Private Guided Adventures

 

We offer amazing private guided photo adventures, cultural tours and vacations for individuals, couples, families and groups. We can customize any of our published adventures, as well as others, to meet your individual needs, schedule, budget and interests. This may include the finest 5-star accommodations, business-class travel, and private guides and fixers who are able to make the impossible possible. If you are not interested in a photo-centric vacation, but you love our approach to private travel, we will be happy to design and deliver an amazing adventure focused on travel, culture and cuisine. Click here to request a quote. Feel free to call us at 1-888-834-0288 or contact us for more information.

 

Travel Insurance

We offer travel insurance through the internationally recognized Travelex Travel Insurance Company, as well as evacuation and medical transportation insurance through MedJet, one of the best in the industry.

The cost for travel insurance can be as low as 4% of the total trip cost, depending upon age and other factors. Knowing you have trip cancellation coverage can make a big difference should you have to cancel for some unforeseen reason. Travelex Insurance Services is a BBB Accredited business with an A+ rating. Click here to learn more about why you should consider travel insurance.

Rewards Program

Start earning points today and SAVE $200 - $900 off future trips!
Simply register for one of our amazing photo adventures and begin earning points today!

How The Program Works
For every adventure reservation you make with Photo Workshop Adventures, you earn valuable points which you can redeem on your next trip. This is a great way to save up to 8% off future trips. Our Rewards Program is designed with three tiers: Orange, Gold and VIP Members. Points may be applied towards balance payments on your next trip, or you may choose to accumulate points for a free trip in the future.

ORANGE REWARDS
All guests begin with our Orange Rewards Program (Level 1), which earns 4 points for every dollar you spend. You begin earning points immediately after your first trip. A $5,900 spend earns 23,600 points with a value of $236 USD.

GOLD REWARDS
With our Gold Rewards Program (Level 2), you earn 6 points for every dollar you spend. Orange Members who reach 120,000 accumulated lifetime* points (approx. 4-6 trips), automatically move up to Gold Rewards. A $5,900 spend earns 35,400 points with a value of $354 USD.

Additional Gold Benefits:

  • Earn up to double points during promotional events
  • Advance notifications for upcoming adventures and special offers

VIP REWARDS
With our VIP Rewards Program (Level 3), you earn 8 points for every dollar you spend. Gold Members who reach 350,000 accumulated lifetime* points (approx. 8-12 trips) move up to VIP Rewards. A $5,900 spend earns 47,200 points with a value of $472 USD, (8+/-% discount).

Additional VIP Benefits:

  • Earn up to double points during promotional events
  • Advance notifications for upcoming adventures and special offers
  • Ability to Gift or Transfer points to others
  • Receive complimentary airport transfers at the destination location*


Redeeming Your Points

Redeeming your points couldn’t be easier. You can always log in to your account to check your points balance. When you are ready to book your next trip, register and pay your deposit. When you go to pay your balance you will be given the option to apply your points and receive a discount.

THINK ORANGE Magazine

Subscribe to our Think Orange Magazine and eNews. THINK ORANGE is a wonderful mix of stories and tips related to travel, photography, adventure, culture, art, technology, cuisine, lifestyle, people and more. Our objective is to immerse you in a world you may only fantasize about. Raise your awareness and inspire your creativity. Perhaps even help make you a better photographer. We deliver similar experiential experiences that our guests enjoy on our photo adventures. Like all of our adventures, our blog is “photo-centric”, while also allowing you to experience all the nuances and cultural aspects of travel and adventure. Welcome to our world. We hope you enjoy. Our eNews is a great way to receive information about upcoming photo adventures, exciting new destinations, photography tips, special offers and more. Subscribe today!

Gift Cards

Give someone you know a Gift Card, good toward any of our Photo  Adventures, Photo Tours, Private Guided Tours, Online Courses, Prints or Merchandize. Our beautifully personalized eGift Cards and Certificates are delivered to you electronically. They are fully transferable and have a 2 year expiration date. They are available in any amount from $100 to $5000. It makes a great gift for anyone who loves photography, travel or adventure. Order now, or email for more information.

Combine-N-Save

You can SAVE up to $1200 by combining two or more back-to-back 6-Day or longer Photo Adventures. Call us at 1-888-834-0288 or contact us for more information.

Private Online Lightroom & Photoshop Tutorials

We offer private online Lightroom and Photoshop photo editing tutorials for individuals who would like to improve their post-processing skills. Each is customized to meet your individual needs, schedule, budget and interests. We provide you with one-on-one discussions using online connectivity. Many of our Photo Adventure guests select our online post-processing as an extension to their trip. Click here for more information.

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