India

Photography Tour of Rajasthan with Holi Festival, India

March 10th – 26th, 2017

This is an all new photo tour and workshop in one of the world’s greatest countries, INDIA! You can be assured we will travel in style and comfort while experiencing all the adventure and excitement of India’s grandest, most legendary highlights. Our tour will begin in Old Delhi in what once was called Shanjahanabad, the 17th century capital of a Mughal emperor, and is now the center of Delhi’s most captivating and chaotic street scenes. From there we will visit the 2016 springtime major Festival of Holi, and then the Taj Mahal, the pink city of Jaipur and it’s elephant riding, and the famous wild tigers of Ranthambhore among many other sites. Our photo journey will end in the city of Varanasi, on the epic Ganges River, Mecca for India’s Hindu population, where we will photograph an unparalleled human drama. If you enjoy landscape, wildlife, people, culture, or architectural photography, then this is the workshop for you!

View The Full Itinerary

10 March 2017: Arrival Delhi

Traditional welcome on arrival and transfer to hotel for overnight stay.

 

 

11 March 2017: Delhi

After breakfast, the first photo opportunity will be at Humayun Tomb. Humayun’s tomb is the tomb of the Mughal Emperor Humayun in Delhi, India. The tomb was commissioned by Humayun’s first wife Bega Begum in 1569-70, and designed by Mirak Mirza Ghiyas, a Persian architect chosen by Bega Begum

Later, we will take you to the Qutab Minar which is the tallest brick minarety in the world, and the second tallest minar in India after Fateh Burj at Mohali. Qutub Minar, along with the ancient and medieval monuments surrounding it, form the Qutb Complex, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Made of red sandstone and marble, Qutub Minar is a 73-meter (240 feet) tall tapering tower with a diameter measuring 14.32 meters (47 feet) at the base and 2.75 meters (9 feet) at the peak. Inside the tower, a circular staircase with 379 steps leads to the top

Afternoon (After Lunch) we will take you on a photo tour of Old Delhi. In the 17th century, the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, made his capital in the area that broadly covers present-day Old Delhi—he called it Shahjahanabad. Today, it is one of the city’s most crowded, chaotic and captivating areas, with a bamboozling orchestra of sights, smells, and sounds.

 

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Starting at the eastern (Red Fort) end of Chandni Chowk, we will visit the 16th-century Digambara Jain Temple. The focal devotional room (first floor) has images and statues of revered Jain figures such as Lord Mahavira and Lord Parasnath.

We will continue walking west until we come to the renowned Jalebiwala, a century-old sweet shop on the corner of Chandni Chowk and Dariba Kalan Road. There, we will pause to fuel up on delicious sticky jalebis (deep-fried syrupy “squiggles”).

There will be an opportunity to do a spot of shopping at the bazaar along Dariba Kalan Road, which has a focus on jewellery—mainly silver, but also some gold and costume jewelry.

Later we take you to the Kinari Bazaar. This bubbly bazaar specializes in wedding paraphernalia, such as glittering tinsel decorations and ornate bridal accessories.

Thereafter, our group will move to Paratha Wali Gali, a lane veering to the right, devoted to little eateries specializing in parathas (Indian-style flat bread). The aloo (potato) paratha is a traditional favorite, but for something a little different try the paratha stuffed with crushed almonds.

12 March 2017: Delhi– Mathura (Drive 185 Kms – 03 Hours)

After breakfast, we will drive to Mathura to enjoy the Hotel Festival and stay overnight at the hotel.

While Holi is celebrated in almost every part of India, Holi in Braj is especially famous. Braj is a historical region which covers the area of Mathura, Vrindavan and some nearby areas. Holi here attracts tourists and pilgrims from all over the world because of it’s special customs and traditions. Mathura is the birthplace of Lord Krishna, and Vrindavan is the place where he grew up in his childhood.

 

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14 March 2016:  Mathura – Agra (Drive 60 Kms – 01.5 Hours)

Morning drive to Agra, the city of Mughals. It offers massive monuments, majestic buildings, mausoleums, the fort, the palaces and popular arts and crafts, all vivid reminders of the capital in the 16th and early 17th centuries

Later in the evening, there will be a walking tour through the rural village of Kachhpura. This charming hamlet has many delights to revel in. It is over here that you get the true essence of an Indian village. Witness the colourful traditions and customs and interact with the village people. Enjoy their rich talents at the regaling performance of street play.

Later, we will head back to hotel for an overnight stay.

 

 

15 March 2017: Agra

In the early morning we will take in the stunning sight of the lavish Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The Taj Mahal (closed on Friday), is a poem in white marble, built by Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaj Mahal.

There will be a full day tour of Agra City, which includes Morning Agra market tour which is known for fabulous marble made handicrafts and soft stone inlay work. The Mughal were great patrons of arts and crafts. Agra’s major handicrafts product besides marble and Inlay work are: leather ware, brassware, carpets, Jewellery and embroidery work. Agra offers a variety of leather items including footwear, purses, bags and decorative items

Thereafter, there will be an opportunity to visit the shop of Sandal and rose wood items, brass and stone decorative pieces, embroidered rugs, stone inlay work, floor carving.

 

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After that you can see what Zardosi is a unique 03 dimensional thread work that originated in Agra during the Mughal region and has held on till today. In today modern era, artisans of Agra have perfected the art of creating wall hangings, table cloth and cushions covers made of Zardosi.

Agra is famous for its carpets and Dhurries. You can see nearby factory to see the process of creation of these items. The city has been center of making carpets and Dhurries since the Mughal days.

Later in afternoon, we will visit Agra Fort (Fort and Palace) situated on the West Bank of the river Jamuna. The Agra Fort resonates with rich Mughal architecture.

Later in the evening we will saunter through the inviting Mehtab Bagh and bask in the mesmerizing view of the Taj Mahal at sunset.

Overnight at hotel.

 

 

16 March 2017:  Agra – Jaipur (235 Kms – 06 Hours)

Morning drive to Jaipur. On arrival check in at hotel.

Jaipur was established by Maharaja Jai Singh II (1693-1743) and painted pink by Maharaja Man Singh II when Prince of Wales, later Edward VII, visited Jaipur in 1876. The Royal heritage of Jaipur lives in its architecture and culture. The city in pink is symbolic of the hospitality that reigned in the Rajput culture.

 

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Later evening will be a photo opportunity for street photography, environmental portraits and architecture in Jaipur. Included in our 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.

Overnight at hotel.

 

 

17 March 2017: Jaipur

This morning we visit Amber Fort, the former capital of the royal Jaipurs. Few fail to be moved by the dramatic Rajput grandeur of this hilltop fortress-palace 11 km north of Jaipur. Set on the dry wrinkled Aravali Hills, and surrounded by fortified battlements, the palace straddles two sepia-hued tundra hills overlooking Maota Lake, and its sprawling crenelated walls lattice the surrounding hills.

We will ride up to this hilltop palace on a caparisoned, painted elephant, passing through the ancient main gate where Maharajas of Jaipur have entered for four hundred years. You will visit the Hawa Mahal or Palace of the Winds, a five- storied structure of pink sandstone with semi-octagonal and delicately honeycombed windows overlooking the main street of the old city. It was built in 1799 so that veiled royal women could peer down unseen by the world through its 593 stone screens.

Later we will take to you to nearby village where the block making and block printing work is done in the morning. The sound of the muffled thud of the block on the fabric is so gorgeous, and the sharpness of the eye of the printers never ceases to amaze – the block always goes down in the right place. Along the street are tiny shuttered shops with men sitting in wood chips, with smiling faces, chip chip chopping at blocks, making the most intricate designs with the utmost precision.

Thereafter we will visit a handmade paper factory where you will see mass production of recycled cotton pulp paper. Here it is made with flower petals or leaves and is then cut and made into books, cards, and all kinds of stationary. Finally, on your way back to the hotel, you can visit a small pottery workshop. Jaipur is famous for its blue pottery and at this workshop you can see the intricate, labour intensive painting of the pottery.

Following lunch, there will be a tour Of City Palace & Observatory. The City Palace in the heart of the old city is a blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. The centre of the palace is a seven storied building called Chandra Palace, with fine vies over the gardens and the city. The palace lies in the heart of the city and occupies the whole central grid. The fortified wall has seven gates and was built for protection from invading armies and animals that lived in jungles which surrounded the wall that time. Next, we visit the Solar Observatory – an astronomical treasure house, with solar device that give accurate predictions till date. The Palace Of Winds, a five-storied structure of pink sandstone has semi-octagonal and delicately honeycombed windows overlooking the main street of the old city.

Later back to hotel for overnight stay.

 

 

18 March 2017: Jaipur

On this morning we will take you to the Anokhi’s roots lie in Jaipur, a city whose founders were enlightened patrons of the arts and crafts. Skilled craftsmen were invited to settle here and were ensured a secure livelihood. In the Jaipur tradition, Anokhi tries to maintain an open and honest relationship with its crafts persons. It helps them to work in conditions of their own choosing and commits itself to providing them with sustained work.

The hand block is carved out of wood and is the simplest of printing devices. Dyeing with vegetable colours is the oldest of colouring techniques. As pioneers of hand block printing for the export market, Anokhi has built on these for the last thirty years. It constantly seeks to create an environment in which traditional textiles have their place and value and to build a symbiotic relationship between the market and the design product – between skill and tradition.

Anokhi’s designs blend contemporary sensibilities with traditions of excellence. Its designers seek the bold and the striking, the graphic and the colourful, using modern printing techniques to keep pace with a demanding and fast moving world market, keeping the spirit of resurgence always alive.

For many years, Anokhi has also been developing products in specialised areas such as appliqué, embroidery, patchwork and bead work, which now constitute a significant part of its product range. Together with garments – Indian and Western in design – home textiles, sarongs and accessories, Anokhi offers a diverse and colourful selection of products.

Later in the afternoon we will take you to Elephant Village famous for Elefantastic, is lies in the depths of the jungles and on the peaceful hilltops. It is a wide and beautiful farm area, which is famous as a natural habitat of elephants and for elephant ride. It is located in the Amber, is the small and elegant town located 1 km from the Amber Palace. This beautiful place is the shelter of 24 elephants. There are 23 female elephants and only one male elephant live as a family.

It will be an amazing experience that you will visit royal city Jaipur by royal ride of elephant. You can explore complete area of this place. Your visit start from the warm welcome by the team of elefantastic and elephants. The elephant safari starts before sunset and end after dark. They will prepare your royal ride, wash the elephants, feed and water them. There is a huge gallery and collection about the elephant decoration. Colors, designs and traditional way of elephant decoration are really very fascinating and great of attraction of your visit.

After a traditional and delicious lunch, a wonderful elephant ride will start with our elephant rider or tourist guide. This trip starts from the visit of the jungle area. The area of Elefantastic is full with wild animals. This wonderful tour starts from the visit of aroma of nature, chippering of birds and sound of many wild animals. Golden birds, Black Shouldered kite, Peacock and Asian Paradise Flycatcher are the beautiful birds of this farm area.

 

 

19 March 2017: Jaipur – Ranthambhore

After breakfast, we drive to Ranthambhore. On Arrival, check in at hotel. After lunch, we will provide Sharing jeep safari at national park

Overnight at hotel.

 

 

20 March 2017: Ranthambhore

We will provide Morning and Afternoon jeep safari at Ranthambhore

Ranthambhore National park is spread over an area of 392 sq km. along with its nearby sanctuaries like – the Mansingh Sanctuary and the Kaila Devi Sanctuary. The park is majorly famous for its tigers and is one of the best locations in India to see the majestic predators in its natural habitat. The tigers can be easily spotted even during the day time busy at their ordinary quest- hunting and taking proper care of their young ones.

Ranthambhore is also counted as the famous heritage site because of the pictorial ruins that dot the wildlife park. Certainly, a visit to Ranthambhore National Park is a treat for every wildlife and nature lover. The time spend on watching tigers roaming around, verdant greenery, a gamut of other species of chirpy birds and animals is priceless and worth enough to be explored at least once in a life.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner at hotel.

 

 

21 March 2017: Ranthambhore

Today we again will provide Morning and Afternoon jeep safari at Ranthambhore.

Overnight at hotel.

 

 

22 March 2017: Ranthambhore – Agra (Drive) – Varanasi

(Overnight train Departure from Agra at 2200 Hrs and arrival Varanasi (next day) at 0900 Hrs)

Today we will provide a Morning Jeep Safari at Ranthambhore National Park. After Lunch drive to Agra railway station to board overnight train for Varanasi

Varanasi is referred to as ‘the city of temples and learning’, the holy city of Varanasi (Benaras), situated on the banks of the river Ganges in India, and is one the oldest continuously inhabited cities on earth.

Encapsulating the essence of India’s Hindu religion, Varanasi with it’s endearing faith, picturesque river ghats, and a way of life unlike any other in the country, Varanasi ranks amongst the most sought-after destinations on our India photography tours.

One of the holiest destinations of Hindu pilgrimages, Varanasi stands at the very center of the Hindu universe, offering the photographer a unique perspective to the soul of India.

 

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23 March 2017: Arrive Varanasi at 0900 AM

Meeting assistance on Varanasi railway station and transfer to hotel.

Varanasi is referred to as ‘the city of temples and learning’, the holy city of Varanasi (Benaras), is situated on the banks of the river Ganges in India, and is one the oldest continuously inhabited cities on earth.

Encapsulating the essence of India’s Hindu religion, Varanasi with it’s endearing faith, picturesque river ghats, and a way of life unlike any other in the country, Varanasi ranks amongst the most sought-after destinations on our India photography tours.

One of the holiest destinations of Hindu pilgrimages, Varanasi stands at the very center of the Hindu universe, offering the photographer a unique perspective to the soul of India

In the afternoon, you will be taken on a walk to the old part of the city – Bengali Tola. This is an excellent opportunity for you to get a glimpse of the symbiotic life of people. The tour will continue to the historic ritual bathing ghat called Dashaswamedh.

In the evening, we will watch the illuminated aarti ceremony that is performed at Dasahwamedh Ghat.

Overnight at hotel.

 

 

24 March 2017: Varanasi

Early morning we will take to you the Boat ride at Varanasi Ghats where you can witness of Culture, set of beliefs, customs, and practices that give a people a sense of collective identity, Varanasi epitomises India’s Hindu faith and culture. Central to culture are places where people tend to congregate; in Varanasi it is the river ghats.

For thousands of years, devout Hindus have flocked the ghats every morning to bathe in the holy river and absolve themselves of their sins. For thousands of years, priests have ceremoniously lit lamps every evening and performed elaborate rituals in worship of the holy river. For thousands of years, life in Varanasi has revolved around the river and the stone steps (ghats) that lead to it.

Witness and photograph the thousands of devotees, elaborate religious ceremonies and daily events at the ghats.

Afternoon we will take you to the Markets and Temples. The narrow lanes alongside the ghats bustle with activity of all sorts. Here you’ll find the ubiquitous tea vendor dishing out his milky fare in earthenware cups. Walk ahead and you’ll find customers bargaining with the flower seller over the price of garlands for the temple deity. Small shops sell colourful sarees… there is an unhurried pace to life here that will give you ample opportunities to photograph a true exotic marketplace in the heart of India.

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25 March 2017: Varanasi

After breakfast, there will be an excursion trip to Sarnath. Sarnath, a world famous Buddhist site is about 10 kms. from Varanasi. Buddhists worldwide look upon India as the land of the Buddha and a visit to this country means a pilgrimage to those places sacred to the memory of the Enlightened One.

After the Buddha attained enlightenment in Bodh Gaya he came to Sarnath. Here in the Deer Park, he delivered his first sermon, or in religious language, set in motion the Wheel of Law (Maha-Dharmachakra Pravartan.). On the day before his death Buddha included Sarnath along with Lumbini, Bodh Gaya and Kushinagar as the four places he thought to be sacred to his followers.

In time departure transfer to airport to board the flight for Delhi. Meeting assistance on your arrival at Delhi airport and transfer to hotel for overnight stay.

 

 

26 March 2017 Delhi departure

(Flight EK 511 at 0800 hrs)

In time departure transfer to International airport to board the flight for onward journey.

Price Information

Prices Valid from 01 January 2017 till 30th April 2017

 

PACKAGE PRICE INCLUDES:

1. Entrance fees of the scenic spots as listed in the itinerary.
2. Activities as listed in the itinerary.
3. Accommodations: Rooms based on single or double bed or a queen size bed; Single room supplement will be applicable if guest will stay in single room
4. All three meals i.e. Breakfast, Lunch and dinner at local city restaurant or enroute restaurant
5. English speaking guide service during the city tours mentioned in the itinerary. *Please note that your guide in each city or area will not fly/drive with you from one city to another.
6. Meeting and assistance by our representative on arrival/departure at Airport/hotel.
7. A/C Vehicle (Medium car) will be provided as per the program
8. Drinking water: 2 bottles of mineral water per person per day
9. Wet tissues in the vehicle
10. Domestic flight sector Jodhpur / Delhi and Varanasi / Delhi sector and train sector Delhi / Varanasi sector

 

 

PACKAGE DOES NOT INCLUDE:

1. Flight/Accommodation/Sightseeing not listed in the itinerary.
2. Visa Fee.
– India visa: Visa is requested to be obtained before your arrival. Please make sure that you have got your valid passport and visa before your entry to India.
3. Personal expenses such as room service, internet charge, laundry, drink, fax, telephone call, and camera fee in monuments, etc.
4. Travel insurance. Highly recommend to take your own insurance on or before paying us.
5. Optional activities
6. Wi-Fi in the hotel.
7. Excess Baggage Charges.

Hotel Information

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I have 30 years of experience

as a National Geographic photographer,
and now it’s your turn!

The photo workshops I teach are perfect for any photographer whether beginner or advanced.

I do not expect you to start at the level of a National Geographic photographer, but when you leave, you will feel like one! I am very good at seeing life in new and unusual ways, and I will be right there with you, ready to answer questions, offer technical advice, and suggest different artistic approaches. Also, the day is not over when the sun sets: the evenings will be devoted to a detailed critique of your images, working out technical bugs and offering ideas that will boost your photographs to a higher level.

This website was designed and is managed by Beyond The See

Raymondgehman@comcast.net

717-377-6721

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© 2016 Raymond Gehman. All rights reserved.

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