Bookings are limited for this India photo tour. Place your secure deposit online to reserve your spot instantly.
Colours of India
Photo Tour 2020
India is evocative of many images and colour seems to be a common element. Never is this more true than during the annual Spring festivities marking Holi. The locals refer to it as ‘Rang Leela’ which translates as ‘Colour Play’ and will often speak of ‘playing Holi’. There is a sense of joy, abandon and excess which plays beautifully and strikingly into the lens of any photographer. Join Matt Horspool & Terry Taylor on this once-in-a-lifetime India Photo Tour.
India is a fascinating land of contrasts yet Holi becomes a brief leveller as everyone is treated equally. This is literally the case as after a festive day of dousing in colours, everyone looks uniformly resplendent in the rainbows of powders and coloured water each has acquired to their bodies and clothes.
This tour will take you to the north of India, where Holi is most avidly celebrated. We will attend two spectacular pre-Holi events that are held one week in advance and are renowned for an intensity of colour and participation. Then, after a brief respite and exploring the Taj Mahal, we go further north to the unique festival of Hola Mohalla.
This festival is little known outside of India and is a wonderful opportunity for photographers. It takes place during the Holi period and is a joyous celebration of the Sikh religion, its martial past, devotional songs and cultural heritage. Hola Mohalla is an excellent opportunity to add something very different to your India portfolio and you will gain an understanding of why Sikhs proudly proclaim; ‘Singh is King!’
Your tour leader, Terry Taylor has been to India over 65 times. He has been leading tours in the sub-continent for 40 years, is a published and keen photographer and even keener host. He has taken to heart the ancient Indian motto: Atithi Devo Bhava – The guest is god. Terry is a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society, a member of the International Association of Tour Managers and his first-hand experience and contacts will ensure you receive optimal information, insights, guidance and opportunities.
3 – 13 March 2020
$6,500 AUD per person
Join Terry Taylor
and Matt Horspool to
Terry Taylor has been to India over 65 times. He has been leading tours in the sub-continent for 39 years, is a published and keen photographer and even keener host.
Don’t miss a shot
Be in the right place
at the right time
Terry is a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society, a member of the International Association of Tour Managers and has personally experienced the Barsana and Nandgaon Rang Leela festivals to ensure you receive optimal information, guidance and opportunities when you attend.
- A DSLR Camera with lens/lenses
- Spare batteries, there will be a long days with plenty of shooting.
- A sturdy tripod.
- Remote shutter release.
- Filters if you have them (Polarizer/Graduated/Neutral Density).
- Good walking shoes.
- Wet weather gear & a compact umbrella (rain will not hold us back).
- Your creative brains.
- Light breathable clothing is best.
- Good supportive boots. Waterproof would be best.
- Taj Mahal
- Holi Festival
- The Blue City
- Local characters
- Ancient architecture
Breakfast, lunch & dinner will be
provided each day.
Place secure deposit
Once you place your deposit through our secure booking platform your place will be reserved instantly. The team will then be in contact with you to provide you will all the information you will require and confirm your trip details. If you would prefer to make your booking with the team directly, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Day 1: Dehli
We arrive at Delhi and the evening will be a time of instruction and preparation of our equipment for the intense, riotous, colourfully saturated and unique Rang Leela festivities to be held over the next two days.
Day 2: Delhi – Barsana – Vrindavan
We depart Delhi to visit the small town of Barsana on the day it celebrates Lathmaar Holi. Initially we will photograph street scenes of increasingly festive and joyous locals who are throwing coloured powder, coloured water and all caution to the wind. This is a day when usual propriety, civility, deference and social strata are ignored in the name of playful abandon. The festivities culminate in the arrival of men from the neighbouring town of Nandgaon who are well-prepared with padded turbans, shields and some local ‘Dutch courage’. The beautifully dressed women of Barsana listen to suggestive songs sung by the visiting men and then proceed to beat the men with large bamboo ‘lathis’ and with great vigour. This is a feast of movement, colour, gaiety and tradition that will generously envelop the photographer.
We adjourn to the nearby holy town of Vrindavan to unwind, clean up and prepare for the next day.
Day 3: Vrindavan – Nandgaon – Agra
Today is spent in the town of Nandgaon. Again, street scenes of excited locals dousing each other in coloured powder and water as pilgrims file in for the main event. In the afternoon we enter the temple compound and immerse ourselves, literally in an incredibly intense and joyous colour festival. The frenetic activities culminate in groups of local menfolk sitting, singing songs to each other while they and all around are completely doused in great volumes of coloured powder and water until the whole scene is one of a uniform crimson and orange. Photographers have the choice of getting right into the centre of the colour storm, sitting on a parapet out of the line of fire but in a great vantage point, or both.
By the end of the day, your faces, clothes and hair will be completely multi-coloured broken only by the whiteness of your teeth from a smile that just won’t go away. Late in the afternoon we proceed to Agra, home of the Taj Mahal.
Day 4: Agra, Taj Mahal
We have the luxury of three nights in Agra to really develop a portfolio of Taj images that extend well beyond the standard, symmetrical ‘reflection shot down the central canal’ familiar to everyone. Your creative skills can come in to play as your experienced guides will lead you to a variety of excellent view-points to take advantage of different times of the day. We will also visit Agra Fort on the Yamuna River, built in the time of the Mughal emperors Akbar and his grandson, Shah Jahan, the creator of the Taj.
The Taj Mahal can be appreciated at any time of day, however, dawn provides the best opportunity to enjoy this phenomenon in its most peaceful mode. Our hotel is conveniently close to the Taj for our early morning venture.
Day 5: Agra
Agra is more than Mughal monuments. There are wonderful opportunities for street photography, cultural subjects such as local artisans creating masterpieces of marble inlaid with semi-precious stones, unique 3D embroidery, colourful bazaars and human-interest themes; one of which we will explore in depth.
Day 6: Agra – Delhi
After another chance to enjoy the Taj Mahal in the tranquillity of the early morning followed by a leisurely breakfast, we drive to Delhi and prepare for our next festive event, Hola Mohalla, the colourful and chaotic celebration of Sikh martial traditions, music and history.
Day 7: Delhi – Anandpur Sahib
This morning we proceed from Delhi to Chandigarh and drive to Anandpur Sahib a usually quiet town set in the Shivalik Hills, just south of the Himalayan range. Anandpur Sahib, the ‘place of joy and bliss’ is an important centre of pilgrimage for Sikhs worldwide. Beautiful white gurdwaras (Sikh temples) dot the location, devotional songs, rapturous groups and a strong feeling of cultural connectedness pervade the festival.
Day 8: Anandpur Sahib, festivities
As the throng of festival goers increases, mock battles, poetry and music contests, equestrian displays and night-long recitations contribute to the celebratory atmosphere.
Central to the festivities are the Nihangs, blue-clad Sikh warriors known as ‘crocodiles’. These proud and proficient wandering protectors of Sikh communities and temples represent a proud martial past. All wear turbans and carry an array of weapons, some modern and most an intriguing mix of medieval arms. One very photogenic subject are the Nihangs with outrageously over-sized turbans decorated with steel chakra rings, badges, beads and other ornaments.
Day 9: Anandpur Sahib, Hola Mohalla
Another full day of festivities.
Photographic opportunities include various mock fighting events, death-defying horse riding (standing on two galloping horses), tent-pegging, prancing horses, processions, langars (mass cooking and serving of free lunches), musical performances, throwing of colour powder, clusters of pilgrims and devotees, temple architecture, street photography, portraiture and candid vignettes.
Day 10: Anandpur Sahib – Delhi
We return to Delhi with heads full of memories, cards full of images and an affectionate appreciation of India’s penchant for spectacle and cultural celebration.
Day 11: Homeward Bound
We are transferred to the Indira Gandhi International Airport to depart for home.
All accommodation on twin-share basis in modern 4-5 star hotels in
Delhi and Agra and deluxe tents in Anandpur Sahib.
All meals including lunches
All transport in an air-conditioned luxury small coach.
All domestic flights
24/7 services of 2 x Fotoworkshops tour leaders/mentors.
Local guides in Agra and Anandpur Sahib
Protective camera covers etc for Barsana and Nandgaon
Comprehensive pre-departure information for India and especially for photographing Holi events.
All tips and gratuities for local guides, porters and service.
Items of a personal nature e.g. drinks, laundry, room service etc
Travel insurance – compulsory for clients on Fotoworkshops tours
*Tour itinerary is subject to change at the discretion of Fotoworkshops. Please read our Terms & Conditions for more information.
Imagine combining a dream holiday with your passion for photography. You will explore secret locations and gain new expertise in one of the greatest art forms ever created. With Fotoworkshops, you will be personally mentored by some of the most highly regarded professionals in the industry. A truly immersive experience that is sure to check off on the bucket list. Our itineraries and experience in handpicked locations will ensure you never miss an opportunity, you can capture everything from breath-taking waterfalls, wild bears, quiet and serene sandy beaches, snow-capped mountains, volcanoes, diverse and wonderful local people, streetscapes and ancient cultures – the list is endless.
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All of our Photo Tours require a moderate level of fitness. There are no major walks but where possible we would like our guests to be able to walk for about an hour if needed. Check with your tour guide before leaving and we can give you a better idea of any special fitness requirements you may need to complete the Tour.
If groups are not for you and you would prefer to travel by yourself or with a group of friends and family then we can accommodate your needs by customizing a Photography Tour to suit your individual needs, schedule, budget and interests.
We also offer private one or two day photo tours and workshops in many of our locations. Please or email us for rates and information.
Keep in mind travel insurance is a compulsory part of booking any of our Landscape Photography Workshops
How To Book
Simply place your $1000 deposit through our secure booking platform, Your place will be reserved instantly. The team will then be in contact with you to provide you will all the information you will require and confirm your trip details. If you would prefer to make your booking with the team directly, please email email@example.com
Place secure deposit