Photo holidays and tours in fantastic places
So much to see, so much to shoot… here we pick out just a few of the most vibrant photography destinations we currently visit — but there are dozens more described in the itineraries of our India photography tours.
Famously, Varanasi is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. If we ignore legend and myth (which we do at our peril), sober historians agree that when you walk here you do so in the footsteps of the untold millions who have trodden the same stones for over 30 centuries.
Varanasi (also known as Benares) is the religious capital of India and is sacred to many communities. It's a revered place of pilgrimage for Hindus, who believe the city was founded by their deity Lord Shiva and who have made it one of their seven sacred cities.
At an altitude of 4,595m (15,075 ft) in the Himalayas, not too far from the Tibetan border, sits the lake of Tso-Moriri, a large and mind-bogglingly beautiful teardrop of melted Himalayan snow.
A calm expanse of water 19km (12 mi) long, 3km (1.9 mi) wide and barely 40m (130 ft) deep, Tso-Moriri is the centrepiece of the Rupshu valley which cradles the lake in mountains six kilometres (20,000 ft) high.
Tso-Moriri has quietly acted as a receptacle for Himalayan snowmelt and natural spring water over the millennia. The lake's water ought to be pure and sweet, but because Tso Moriri is a closed lake — the water flows in but has no outlet — evaporation over the centuries has left it saturated with natural salts washed down the mountainsides with the snowmelt…
Pushkar has been a holy place and a destination of pilgrims since time immemorial. It’s one of India’s oldest settlements, and that’s saying something in a country so richly embedded in antiquity. Centred around a lake sitting in a vast natural amphitheatre — a bowl surrounded on three sides by hills and by sand dunes on the fourth — Pushkar is venerated and visited by thousands of Indian pilgrims throughout the year.
Pushkar is so holy that pretty much all of it is sacred — and worth seeing, any time of the year. The water is holy, the tiered steps leading down to the lake are holy, and there are more than 500 temples (!) in and around the town — including the only temple in India dedicated to Brahma.
Agra sits on the banks of the river Yamuna in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India, only a couple of hundred kilometres south of India's capital, New Delhi. Although it can be argued that all Indian cities make fascinating photography destinations, Agra would have had relatively little to distinguish it from a dozen other competitors had it not been for a sad love story set over four hundred years ago.