Featuring An Unforgettable Holi Festival Celebration
“This is India; the land of dreams and romance, of fabulous wealth and fabulous” poverty, of splendor and rags, of palaces and hovels, of famine and pestilence, of genii and giants and Aladdin lamps, of tigers and elephants, the cobra and the jungle, the country of a thousand nations and a hundred tongues, of a thousand religions and two million gods, cradle of the human race, birthplace of human speech, mother of history, grandmother of legend, great-grandmother of tradition…”
* Following the Equator,Mark Twain – 1897 *
120 years passed since Mark Twain wrote these words, but not much has changed since his visit. Life moves forward, the world is progressing, but India is still a land of contrasts, land of religion and the land of colors and many things are still the way they were thousands of years ago.
This photography workshop is recommended for adventurous travelers, with a passion for photography who want to view India through the lens of their camera and capture unforgettable images.
Our journey starts of photographing the capital Delhi, from there we will move towards Agra and will participate in Holi festival celebrations in the villages of Barsana and Nandgaon. This differs from the countrywide Holi celebration, here people follow old tradition and celebrate it the same as 1000 of years ago.
Of course, no photography trip to India is complete without visiting the “the monument of love,” the Taj Mahal. After 2 whole days of HOLI celebration, we will go to explore some of, off the beaten path places like Orchha and Khajuraho where will get lost between ancient temples and Jain architecture.
Upon arrival in Delhi, you will be met and greeted in the Airport by our representative and transferred to the hotel.
Flights arrive at various times of the day. We’ll come to pick you up from the airport and take you back to our hotel for check-in and orientation.
Arrival can be any time on March 12, 2019. Your room will be ready by 14:00. If you arrive early, we will be happy to request an early check-in. This is a long travel day for many, so the afternoon and evening are free for you to relax and prepare for the awesome journey ahead. We will meet for dinner at a gourmet restaurant, we will try some local dishes and get to know each other and talk about the upcoming trip
We will start our morning by visiting some of the most photogenic spots.
It will be Yamuna Ghat, Jama Masjid or Gurudwara Bangla Sahib depends on the weather and our local guide recommendation. There are many subjects to photograph in Delhi, but some are better than others on a certain day.
After Breakfast, we will head towards Agra, it will be a short 2-3 hours Indian train experience, it is impossible to go to India and not have at least a short ride. After arriving at Agra train station, we will check in to our hotel, have lunch and go to explore Agra Fort.
Built by Akbar as his citadel over the years 1565-73 in the finest architectural style. It is an almost perfect fusion between military might and lavish beauty. The fort, approachable through its two lofty main portals on the west and south, was successively occupied by three great Mughals— Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan—each of whom made significant structural contributions to this complex.
Shah Jahan died here, imprisoned by his son, gazing at the Taj Mahal he had built in memory of his wife. We will also have the opportunity of photographing the Taj from across the river at sunset, before returning to our hotel. After Dinner, we will prepare our gears for HOLI shooting, learn how to protect the camera and best practice, for shooting Holi in general.
Get ready for one of the craziest days of your life, the celebrations of Holi is something I, as travel photographer have never seen and enjoyed so much to experience.
We will finish breakfast by 8 am and we will head towards Barsana. Moving through the flood of people gathered there, we reach the Radhikaji’s temple to cover the celebration. Later we move to the place where the famous event of Lathmar Holi is to take place. Depart back around 6:30 pm and after a hearty dinner, we stay overnight in Agra.
On this particular day, the men of Nandgaon come to” Barsana. Their intention is to take over the temple of Shri Radhikaji. But the women of Barsana are reluctant to allow them to do so. They resist them with bamboo sticks. This is why here Holi is also popularly known as. Latthmaar Holi The men are unable to strike back. All they can do is to splash colors on the women. The men who are caught are rather unfortunate. The men are forced to clad themselves in women’s clothes, apply cosmetics and “.dance like ladies in front of every day.
We will finish breakfast by 8 am and we will depart for Nandgaon. Nandgaon is the twin village of Barsana and will cover the second part of yesterday’s celebration. The village is situated on a hill so expect a lot of uphill and downhill walking. We move to the hilltop temple and capture the initialization of the celebration capturing stunning pictures of colorful locals playing Holi and taking processions in the village. In the evening we move to the opening where people are gathering up to watch the story of Lathmar Holi unfold. Depart back around 6:30 pm and after a hearty dinner, we stay overnight in Agra.
“Just the reverse happens on the next day. The men of Barsana drench the women of Nandgaon. The air vibrates with holy songs on the occasion of Holi. These songs known as Hori are based on the conservations between Krishna and Radha.”
Rise early before sunrise and prepare for a truly spectacular sight, the legendary Taj Mahal. It is often said that Taj Mahal changes its colors by every minute depending upon the angle of sunrays and it is best seen either by sunset or sunrise. Sunrise, however, is the best timing for taking pictures of this monument under mild sunlight.
After a full breakfast, we will start our journey to Orchha (260 km 5-6 hours drive) The medieval city of Orchha seems to have frozen in time, its palaces and temples still retaining their original grandeur. Orchha had the distinction of being the capital of one of the largest and most powerful kingdoms of Central India.
Day 7 – March 18
After two crazy days and a long drive, we will take it easy that day. Orchha in the local tongue, literally meant “hidden place.”And indeed it is! This heritage town is where you will feel that you made it to the “real” side of rural India the most. Local pilgrims filled the town, a handful of other tourists around at the time, and no pushy touts lurking at every street corner. During the whole day, we will explore Orcha fort, Jhansi Fort, Ram Raja Temple, and Chhatris. Oracha has some of the most beautiful temples in India.
Day 8 – March 19
After breakfast, we will head to Khajuraho (170km 4-5 hours drive) The Khajuraho temple complex is a series of beautifully built and decorated buildings in Madhya Pradesh. Of the 85 temples originally built by the Chandela dynasty between 900 AD and 1130 AD, only 25 remain. Khajuraho has been designated as UNESCO World Heritage site and is highly worthy of tourist attention. Yet what really sets Khajuraho apart from other temples is the numerous erotic carvings, both inside and outside the temple, that depict men, women, and even animals engaging in lovemaking, orgies, and bestiality under the benign smiles of divinities. Khajuraho’s art is a manifestation of the essence of the philosophy of Indian aesthetics. The erotic sculptures of Khajuraho depicting Kama Sutra are unique in the world. The ones who enjoy photographing details will enjoy the most from that place.
After breakfast, we will head to Varanasi (410km-7-8 hours drive) On March 20, all India will celebrate Holi. So we will need to protect our cameras again.
Varanasi is a holy city, the center of Hindu culture. Like Jerusalem or Rome, Varanasi is an ancient city, one of the world’s oldest living cities it has survived the centuries because of its sanctified place in Indian religious life. It is seen as a holy land and o die in Kashi (Varanasi) ensures release from the endless karmic cycle of rebirth and suffering.
“Twenty-five centuries ago, at least, it was famous. When Babylon was struggling with Nineveh for supremacy when Tyre was” planting her colonies when Athens was growing in strength before Rome had become known, or Greece had contended with Persia, or Cyrus had added luster to the Persian monarchy, or Nebuchadnezzar had captured Jerusalem, and the inhabitants of “ M.A. Sherring
“Benares is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, “!and looks twice as old as all of them put together”
Mark Twain in his “Following the Equator”
On the first day we will start early morning with sunrise photography at Asi Ghat and straight after the ceremony we will go on a boat and photograph Hindu Holyman, Sadhu. Late Breakfast and rest until lunch After lunch, we will explore the back streets of Varanasi and as the sun starts to go lower we will move towards the banks of the Ganga river.
On the next day in Varanasi, we will start at sunrise, walking slowly and witnessing the life around the river. Early morning people will get into the water performing religious rituals. Will take our time to explore some of the hidden corners of the city, the small tea shops, markets, and the ghats, get ready for a lot of walking that day.
Varanasi is full of photographic opportunities, take a look at the gallery to get an idea of what is waiting for you.
Sunrise walk around the shores of Ganga river, breakfast and we will head to Both Gaya. (200km 4-5h) In Both Gaya, we will have a glimpse at Tibetan Buddhism, in India. Bodh Gaya is considered one of the most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites, it’s dominated by the ancient brick Mahabodhi Temple Complex, built to mark the site where the Buddha attained enlightenment beneath a sacred Bodhi Tree. A direct descendant of the tree sits within the complex today, along with six other sacred sites, including a lotus pond.
Sunrise shooting at Mahabodhi temple, and after breakfast, we will head to the airport and take Flight Back to Delhi to your hotel or connecting flight back to your country. “For the ones not flying out the same day, I will take you for a walk in Main Bazar, a place you can buy some souvenirs for your friends and family.”
In my workshops, I strive to make things easy so everyone can focus entirely on photography. This is the reason why the rates include everything during the tour: accommodation, transportation, all meals, and even tips to local people.
Cancellation fees will be determined with reference to the date on which notice of cancellation is received expressed as a percentage of the total price paid for the workshop.
|Unique Expertise||Local Experience||Small Groups||Ground Team|
|Gil is organizing his trips only based on personal experience.
The trip has been planned personally, the places we are going to visit, have been visited before and the main point of photographic interests were carefully selected in a way that you as a participant can get the most unique and fulfilling experience ever.
|In Gil’s workshops, there is a large amount of effort put on getting to know a place, interacting with its people and its culture. So you take home more than a set of photographs to frame on your nightstand.||Our group will never be beyond 8 people, that is the maximum amount of people to be able to run the tour effectively||Gil’s ground team support are either experienced agencies or photographers who organize similar trips on regular basis. They help with logistics and fill the gaps with photography assignments.|
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.