A few years ago India started a campaign to increase the number of tourists wanting to travel to India. It was called: "Incredible India". India is a photo gallery, and one of the most spectacular galleries in India is Rajasthan. With its vivid blues, pinks, oranges and reds splashed across its buildings, landscapes, wildlife and people a potential photographic masterpiece exists around every corner. Rajasthan is truly a photographer 's dream.
One of the most incredible times to be in India is during one of its biggest days of celebration, Diwali the Festival of Lights. Diwali symbolizes the victory of light over darkness and at this time the country is ablaze of colour and fire with lanterns and candles adorning people's houses, diyas (floating candles) drifting down rivers and lakes and fireworks filling the night skies. Join us on this unique photographic tour to experience and photograph the incredible spectacle that is Diwali.
Following the arrival at New Delhi 's International Airport and hotel check in we will visit Swami Akshardham a hindu temple showcasing traditional Hindu and Indian culture, spirituality and architecture.
On day 2 we will explore the heart of Old Delhi with a walk around the narrow alleys of Chandni Chowk and its colorful aromatic Spice Markets.
Later we will visit the calm spiritual oasis known as Bangla Sahib Gurudwara which is one of the most spectacular Sikh houses of worship in not only Delhi but all of India.
After an early morning breakfast we commence our day by journeying to Mandawa. In the afternoon we willl explore this stunning city on a walking tour. Mandawa is known as an open air art gallery because of the colourful religious and erotic frescoes that adorn its palatial mansions. Every home here is beautified with vividly-painted murals that illuminate the arid landscape.
In the evening enjoy dinner and an overnight stay at the spectacular Castle Mandawa Hotel (see adjacent photograph).
After breakfast at the hotel we will head to Bikaner. On the way we will take the time to visit the fascinating Mata Karni Temple famous for its dedication to the rat Gods and a great photo opportunity.
Once we arrive in Bikaner we will head to the Raisar camp in the Thar Desert. Whilst visiting the camp you will have the unique experience of riding a camel through the sand dunes ,watching a live performance of local people such as musicians and Kalbelia dancers and dinner on top of a 70 ft high Sand Dune. Whilst in Bikaner we will be staying at the spectacular Laxmi Niwas Mahal Hotel. (see adjacent photograph).
After an early breakfast at the hotel we will take you to one of India's best preserved forts the Junagarh Fort. Revel in the architectural splendor, as you take an intimate look at this imposing fort and the photographic opportunities it presents.
Later in the day we travel on to the city of Johdpur. Jodhpur is an oasis in Thar Desert .The old city, founded in 1459 is surrounded by a 10 km long wall. The massive Mehrangarh Fort overlooks the city and the red sandstone mahal s within the fort form one of the most impressive complexes in Rajasthan. Jodhpur is also called "Blue City" because of the indigo-washed houses in the old city.
In the morning we will embark on a photographic exploration of the "Blue City". We will take in the Mehrangarh Fort arguably one of the most impressive and formidable forts in Rajasthan, set on top of 125m high hill overlooking the indigo houses below.
In the afternoon we will wander the quaint narrow alleys of the old town taking photo s of the colorful local people as well as visit a local Brah min (the highest class of Hindus in the caste system) family's home for a fascinating session of street photography.
After breakfast we will travel to the city of Jaipur. After arriving in Jaipur we will go for an evening photo shoot of the ornate Hawa Mahal. It is extremely intricate in its pink sandstone carving. Following that we will visit the vibrant "Pink City" Bazaar district.
After Breakfast we will travel just outside Jaipur to the ancient capital of Amber to see the fabulous Amber Fort. Enjoy the unique experience of an elephant ride to the top of the fort, before taking photos of the sprawling elaborate complex of courtyards and halls.
In the afternoon explore the gorgeous City Mahal, which is an overwhelming complex of exquisite mahal s , gardens and courtyards, decorative art and carved doorways.
In the morning we will travel for Agra. Along the way we will stop to photograph the Abhaneri Stepwell which was built over a thousand years ago and is one of the largest and most beautifully geometrically designed stepwells in India if not the world. As we get to closer to Agra we will stop at Fatehpur Sikri for a photography session at the abandoned capital city of the Mug ha ls. Even today it stands magnificent- with majestic Mahal s, and the five-tiered Panch Mahal.
Later in the day check into the hotel at Agra , the home of the Taj Mahal.
In the morning after breakfast at the hotel, we will proceed to the Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal is everything that has been said about it and more. Taking 22 years and 20,000 men to build, the white marble was quarried 200 miles away and was transported to the site by a fleet of 1000 elephants. This majestic building is truly one of the wonders of the world.
In the evening take photos of the spectacle that is "Diwali" the festival of lights. The festival gets its name from the row (avali) of clay lamps (deepa) that Indians light outside their homes to symbolize the inner light that protects from spiritual darkness.
In the morning we will continue the tour back to Delhi where we will board a flight for Varanasi.
Varanasi is the spiritual capital of India, the city of learning, and for Hindus the city of departure from this to eternal life .. After arriving in the afternoon we will explore the streets and alleyways of Varanasi to photograph the devotees and experience the fascinating street life. In the evening we will photograph the mesmerizing Aarti on the Ghats from boats on the Ganga.
Get up for an early morning boat ride to photograph a myriad of interesting people worshipping at the Ghats. One of the integral parts of the city is it's Ghats. Ghats are embankments made in steps of stone slabs along the river bank where people perform ritual ablutions. There are literally hundreds of Ghats in Varanasi so we will spend most of the day in and around the Ghats taking phograph s of this unique colorful, spiritual life.
Later in the day we will catch a return flight to the bustling city of Delhi.
This incredible 13 day photography tour to India includes air conditioned bus travel throughout Rajasthan, domestic return flights from Delhi to Varanasi, all excursions and entrance fees to museums ,forts and historic sites, tourist and photographic guides, all hotel accommodation, breakfasts and dinners for just $4290 Aus (per person)
(Single supplement $770)
For tour booking information contact :
Brisbane Photography Courses trading as World Photography Tours ABN 81797861178
Ptease note : The Itinerary may be subject to change depending on altered circumstances.