Northern India, colorful and authentic!
This part of India has a remarkable identity. You imagine yourself in a world where time stood still. A cultural treasure room where the real beauty lies in the characteristic people themselves. Appearing happy when you approach them and almost always willing to be photographed. With an amazing picture as result and a twinkle in their eyes when you let them see themselves on your photo. That’s what makes travel photography so special! The mutual satisfaction of these short meetings with someone who’s live you’ve captured forever.
The northern part is busier than the south and this has its charm. It’s a real experience driving in a rickshaw through the streets where cows, pigs, camels, horses and carriages, scooters and rickshaws zigzagging try to find their way. And that’s only the traffic. This part of the country has so much to offer. I’ve picked out some of the best for you.
What can you expect?
I’m always happy to be back on Indian grounds. And to see my good friend Kapil, one of India’s best guides. It was with a reason that he was mentioned in the top 5 best travel guides worldwide in 2018, a ranking given by travelers. Repeatedly we traveled through India together, scouting special locations for travel photography. He has a gift for tracing the real and pure India and he completely understands what a photographer is looking for. He has visited the Netherlands and his familiar with Dutch culture. It’s a good cooperation with this professional.
I gladly share some highlights and I invite you to come along and experience this country for yourself. I have no doubt that you too will cherish northern India and remember this again and again.
2700 year old Varanasi, also known as Benares, is one of the oldest cities in the world. A personal favorite that I look forward to every time. In the Hindu religion this is one of the most important Pilgrim places. Here, you experience the real India. You only have to stand in the streets for 10 minutes and you’ll be amazed by what you see passing by, pure India. You’ll see a lot of Holymen who, as the name states, are holy in India. Unique in their existence. Just like the Aarti Ceremony that takes places daily in the “ghats” on the banks of the river Ganges. A ritual performed by seven young priests, with sounds of ancient instruments that move you. Take a moment to just be still and take it all in, before you grab your camera and capture this immersive ceremony on film.
The “Taj”, as the majestic Taj Mahal is popularly called, is a fabulous palace. Build between 1632 and 1648 as tribute to and last resting place for Mumtaz Mahal, wife of the fifth emperor of the Mughal Empire. It is with a reason that this place is one of the seven wonders of the world. You can watch this building from multiple sides and because of its symmetry it’s evenly beautiful from every side. Obviously it’s a touristic highlight, but you really want to see this with your own eyes. It’s a true gem for photographers.
Jaipur, capital city of Rajasthan and better known as the pink city, is another pearl representing authentic India. In 1876 the city was painted pink as a sign of hospitality for the visiting prince of Wales. The bazar, the flower market, the Galta Ji monkey temple, the Amber and Nahargah fortresses are just a few of the highlights. Just like city palace, water palace and the famous Hawal Mahal palace, also known as palace of winds. It has everything for characterful photos.
Pushkar, once a year home of the Camel Fair, is a hippie town from the past. There’s still a special vibe which creates a comfortable atmosphere. You’ll find a lot of Holymen wondering around town or hanging around the holy lake. According to their religion, every Hindy has to come to Pushkar at least once in their life, to clean themselves in the holy lake and wash away sins and sickness. At night you can see sacrificing rituals in one of the 52 ghats around the lake. A place where you can feel culture in a way that’s only possible in India. The Camel Fair is a festival known worldwide and a real attraction for photographers. The combination with Pushkar makes it an ideal destination for photography.
Ranthambore National Park is one of the most famous tiger reserves in the country. The park is a delight in itself with beautiful landscapes, nature and jungle. The park is divided into sections and in every section you’ll find Bengali tigers and leopards. You can feel the excitement in the jeep when the first tracks are traced. Focused and filled with anticipation you stare into the jungle, who will spot them first? And once they appear in front of your camera there’s nothing but respect for the elegant predators. An intense game drive experience you have to experience for yourself!
Remote villages, a visit to people’s homes and a local school shows you the real day to day life. This not only provides you with characterful portraits, but you also get to know the real India. Friendly as they are, they really open up if the feel your intentions are honest. And they love to see the photos you took of them. A big smile and twinkling eyes, enjoying the little things in life. You just want to be a part of this.
Travelmarks photography.. your experience!
Versatile and traditional Southern India!
Let me take you to this amazing world of ancient traditions that stole my heart with its versatility and pureness.
Want to know if this goes for you too? If you check some of the following points, chances are it does.
What has Southern India to offer?
- Ancient traditions that are still lives with full intentions
- Characterful people who have life engraved in their faces
- Colorful festivals
- A culture rich of rituals for prosperity
- Knowledge of cooking with tasteful herbs
- Rain forests that are a home to a diversity of wildlife, such as the Indian elephant, Bengali tiger and leopards
- World’s largest tea plantations
- The famous backwaters
- Mountain areas with peaks above the clouds
- Located on the gorgeous south and west coast
Together with my business partner in Kerala, Destination Oryx, I went on a 14 day search for the best places for photography…and we succeeded! It’s nice to go out with experts that will take you to places tourists normally don’t come. Here you’ll experience India at its purest.
I love to share some of the highlights and I invite you to allow yourself this experience and join me on a tour. I have no doubt that you too will love southern India!
Het is fijn om met experts op pad te gaan die in staat zijn om je mee te nemen naar plekken waar de gemiddelde toerist niet komt. Hier ervaar je het echte India in zijn puurste vorm.
Ik deel graag enkele hoogtepunten met je en nodig je vooral uit om mee op reis te gaan en jezelf deze ervaring te gunnen. Ik twijfel er geen seconde aan dat ook jij Zuid India, dat je meevoert, in je hart zult sluiten!
• In Churuturuty, I had the honor to be invited to a family that lives of a puppet show for 13 generations already. Until today they still study 400 year old manuscripts, written on banana leaves. A giant collection with hundreds of characters, one even more beautiful than the other, are formed by oil lamps behind a curtain. Accompanied by traditional music, it’s an impressive show that takes you back to times long gone.
• Martial arts, ‘a day with masters’. A combination of some kind of conservatory for music and elegant martial arts, decorated with traditional clothing and instruments. This study impresses, the sounds of old instruments guide elegant movements that follow each other seamlessly. It’s a joy for your senses, something to experience for yourself.
• Along the coast and inland waters, you can see old fishing methods that are brought in by Chinese fishermen. Large nets on a pole construction are put into the water and once full, they’re brought up by six strong men to secure the catch. On the spot, the catch gets sold by a rambling auctioneer. A sight to capture in the gorgeous evening or morning light. A good reason to get up early.
• Early morning on a bumpy rocky road, heading to a mountain top to get a treat from mother Nature. During the dawn of the morning, when mist clears up and mountain tops are shown in the first rays of sunlight, for a moment you are speechless. This is nature at its best! I cannot think of a better way to start my day.
• Talking about nature. With Hadlee, a wildlife spotter, you’re guaranteed a day filled with excitement. He has a way of spotting wildlife that is almost un-human. Driving through tea plantations and rain forests, which are a feast for the eye and camera by the way, he regularly hits the breaks to show us some wildlife. Elephant or frogs, he finds everything. It’s a real feast to be joining him.
• Remote villages, a visit to people’s homes and a local school shows you the real day to day life. This not only provides you with characterful portraits, but you also get to know the real India. Friendly as they are, they really open up if the feel your intentions are honest. And they love to see the photos you took of them. A big smile and twinkling eyes, enjoying the little things in life. You just want to be a part of this.
• Drifting on a private boat in the backwaters is something that belongs in this journey. These typical floating homes are a decoration for the already beautiful backwaters. Floating on small boats through narrow channels, getting closer to the villages and their local inhabitants; this scenery brings you unique photos. It’s so nice waking up with the first sunrays on the water, the smell of a delicious breakfast and the boat floating silently on the water.
• Without a doubt, the highlight is in joining the Theyyam ritual. This age-old ritual is a tradition that villagers still believe in. It’s an impressive spectacle where Theyyam, in the embodiment of a God, comes at night to bring the village prosperity. You never know how the rituals will go, you can feel the tension in the village. Normally this isn’t something you get to see as a tourist. It’s a real honor to be invited and surely a must to experience it yourself!
Travelmarks photography.. your experience!