During the first full moon of November, India’s Pushkar Fair, Asia’s largest camel and livestock market springs to life in the sleepy, picturesque, lakeside town of Pushkar. An ancient religious town, in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan, provides an almost surreal backdrop for this unique event. Photographing Pushkar Fair is a once-in-a-lifetime event. Few photo opportunities can match the volume or diversity of image possibilities, it’s almost impossible to bring enough film or memory cards to capture it all. You’ll feel as though you’ve stepped back in history as you walk among camel herders and their encampments among the rolling sand dunes.
The Pushkar Fair is, in itself, enough to justify an expedition, but on this trip we will also be visiting other fascinating destinations such as Delhi, Agra, home of the Taj Mahal, Jaisalmer, Jaipur and Jodhpur. In Delhi, the heartbeat of Northern India, we’ll have time to explore ancient forts, wander the markets, and experience the history surrounding both the old and new sections of the city.
Agra, home of the incredible Taj Mahal, the brilliant white marble jewel of India. Built by Shah Jahan, taking 22 years to complete, the Taj is a marble memorial to his beautiful wife Mumtaz Mahal. Apart from its stunning design balance and perfect symmetry, the Taj is also noted particularly for its elegant domes, intricately carved screens and some of the best inlay work ever seen. An undisputed gem to photograph.
Jaipur is known as the Pink City because of the extensive use of the locally abundant pink stone, which was painted in honor of the visit of the royal consort of Queen Victoria. Jaipur thrills the soul with its massive forts, magnificent palaces, exquisite temples, and lush gardens.
Sitting at the edge of the Thar Desert, Jodhpur is dominated by a massive fort in the middle of town. Jodhpur is affectionately referred to as the “Blue City” because of the indigo-colored house lining the fascinating winding streets of the old town. We’ll have a chance to photograph the homes from the mighty Mehrangarh Fort, high above the buzzing city.
Jaisalmer, rising out of the heart of the Great Indian Desert is the quintessential India of your dreams. With the oldest living fort in the world, the city is a mass of intricately carved buildings, facades and elaborate balconies. Its temple, fort and palaces are all built of beautiful yellow stone. Exploring this fascinating city could be a photo destination in and of itself.
Located far from the cities and paved roads, our luxury encampment at Manvar allows us to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the Indian desert, while being in close proximity to fabulous photo opportunities. In the evening after a dusty jeep safari, we retreat to Manvar to enjoy more delicious Indian cuisine and wonderful culture and dance performances under the stars.
Luni is a feudal town where centuries old traditions still permeate the local lifestyle. Like looking through a window into history, Luni and the surrounding Bishnoi villages provide yet more fascinating, photogenic subjects.
India is a fascinating country with incredible photo opportunities and wonderfully warm people, but it can be emotionally and physical exhausting. India challenges you with extremes: one minute, India will cradle you in comfort, the next it will smack you in the face with heat and poverty. During the day our group will be “out in the thick of it” not just shooting the action, but being part of the action.
During most nights, we’ll be able to relax and recover from the day’s excitement in clean, comfortable hotels that remind us that we are in India rather than a US city. Our hotels are rich in atmosphere, and many are photo-shoots in themselves. We’ll dine at restaurants that provide delicious, healthy, flavorful meals and sometimes even sip tea from roadside kitchens.
India a destination that is best suited for truly adventurous, flexible and enthusiastic travelers; whose desire is to experience off-the-beaten-track places and come home with images and stories to ponder for decades.
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