This amazing photography workshop offers you a unique opportunity to explore some of northern
India and Rajasthan’s most spectacular places and visit Pushkar’s famous camel fair. Be assured that this will be a special photo journey that you will never forget.
We begin our photographic journey at the iconic Taj Mahal, one of the new 7 wonders of the
world, but we will also see it from a different angle, crossing the Jamuna river at early dawn.
On our way to Jaipur, the legendary capital of Rajasthan, we will stop at Fatehpur Sikri – the “City of Victory”. Built during the second half of the 16th century by the Emperor Akbar, Fatehpur Sikri was the capital of the Mughal Empire for only about 10 years. The complex of monuments and temples, all in a uniform architectural style, includes one of the largest mosques in India, the Jama Masjid built
in the 17th century. The mosque and its surrounding shrines are one of the finest examples of
the Mughal architecture. In Jaipur we will visit some of its cultural pearls – Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds), the stepwell of Panna Mian Ki Baori, and we will visit nearby Amer fort.
Pushkar is a beautiful and important pilgrimage spot for the Hindus, which has the only temple of Lord Brahma in the country and one of only a few in the world. Pushkar lake is considered sacred; it has 52 ghats and pilgrims can be spotted there, performing various rituals and to pay their respect to their local deities and other Hindu gods. Hindus visit Pushkar year-round to take a dip in the redemptory waters of the lake, but there is one particular day when bathing here is believed to relieve devotees of all their sins. This is the time of Kartik Purnima (12th November) when Pushkar hosts thousands of celebrating devotees, following prescribed bathing rituals on the lakeside and worshiping gods in Brahma Temple.
This religious festival is also the time of the famous Pushkar Mela (also called Camel Fair). Hordes of herders from all over Rajasthan gather to parade, race and trade more than 40,000 animals. The sights of camel races, moustache competition, camel trading and other fascinating events is a life-time photo opportunity.
The picturesque town of Mandawa was founded in the 18th century and was inhabited by rich merchant families. Mandawa’s havelis are one of the lesser known Indian tourist sites. Havelis are beautifully decorated ancient palaces, some completely intact, some in ruins and some still inhabited by the locals. Visiting them is like a time-machine journey and offers thousands of fantastic opportunities for keen photographers.
This more classical tour of Northern India and Rajasthan – spiced with the legendary Camel Fair – is a unique opportunity to take images you have only dreamed of.
Nikon Ambassador Arne Hodalič is the photo editor of National Geographic Magazine Slovenia. Originally studying biology in Ljubljana, his first trip to India in 1989 changed his professional career when his photos were published in a prestigious Swiss magazine, Animan. Since then he has travelled the world on photo-assignments. He is also a passionate adventurer and cave diver, participating in numerous sailing, mountaineering and caving expeditions. In 2008 he received an honorary doctorate at the University of Ljubljana, becoming a lecturer in photography and photojournalism. His photos and photo stories have appeared in books, exhibitions and many of the world’s most prestigious magazines, among others National Geographic Magazine, Life (USA), Time, Figaro Magazine, GEO, Paris Match, Marie Claire, Die Zeit, Cosmopolitan and Stern.
We recommend to arrive one day early to get over your jetlag and adjusted to the local climate.
If you wish, Better Moments can help you to book a hotel room.
If you have arrived one day early, you can use the day to explore New Delhi with your camera. Although the city itself may not be India’s most beautiful, its narrow alleyways, bustling markets, colors, and people are a street photographer’s delight.
Tonight, we will all have dinner together and Arne Hodalic will introduce the workshop and present “His India” – his beloved country. In 1988, he visited India for the first time and he has been going back to work on photo assignments ever since. Because of his extensive experience and knowledge of the place, he will be the perfect guide to all the “India newcomers”.
After breakfast, we will travel to Agra, where we will visit Agra’s famous Red Fort. The historical fort was built in the 16th century and served as the main residence of the emperors. We will focus our photography on the fabled splendors of the Mughal imperial age – keep your eyes peeled for the decorative elements made of white marble, gold and precious stones.
The evening is reserved for an interior visit of the spectacular Taj Mahal complex. The white marble mausoleum was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will try to capture both traditional views and unusual angles of one of the most visited Indian monuments.
We will have dinner at the hotel and then share the photos taken during the day. Arne will give advice on how to improve your images.
Very early in the morning, we will cross Jamuna River to take photos of Taj Mahal from a different angle and in a very special, soft morning light.
Back at the hotel we will have breakfast and then travel to Fatehpur Sikri – the “City of Victory”. Here we will visit the extremely photogenic Jama Masjid, a 17th-century mosque and UNESCO World Heritage Site. A visit to Fatehpur Sikri is proof that India is not just about Hinduism: we will have the chance to take unique photos of one of the most sacred Islamic shrines – the tomb of Salim Chishti, where devotees ask for the blessings of the saint and seek fulfillment of their wishes.
After visiting Fathepur Sikri, we will continue to Jaipur where we will stay for the night.
Jaipur is the capital and the largest city of the Indian state of Rajasthan. The enthralling city bursts with color and chaos and provide plenty of photo opportunities. We will walk through the busy streets and vibrant marketplaces and practice our street photography and portrait skills under the guidance of Arne. We will visit the eight-story stepwell of Panna Mian Ki Baori that was used for water harvesting and now is a charming photo subject. We will also stop by the famous Hawa Mahal, the Palace of the Winds, which was built in 1799 as part of the women’s section of the enormous City Palace to allow the ladies of the royal court to watch the life on the streets. It bursts 953 windows covered with delicate latticework that provide a unique photo subject.
In the afternoon we will ride elephants to the nearby Amer Fort. The bright yellow colored fort contrasts with Maotha Lake and surrounding thick forests and allows for memorable photos.
After dinner, Arne will review the photos taken during the day and give a presentation about street and travel photography.
Rise and shine! Early in the morning we will go back to Hawa Mahal – Palace of the Winds – to take photos from Wind View Café’s balcony on the opposite side of the street. The balcony offers royal views as the soft morning light falls upon the palace. Afterwards, we will visit Hawa Mahal from the inside. The mahal’s interior has been described as “having rooms of different coloured marbles, relieved by inlaid panels or gilding; while fountains adorn the centre of the courtyard” – so have your camera ready!
From Jaipur we will travel to the ancient city of Pushkar, a spiritual pilgrimage destination for Hindus boasting 400 temples and 52 ghats. We will go for an evening stroll around the famous Pushkar lake, the sacred lake of Lord Brahma. Each year, thousands of pilgrims are drawn to the lake to gain spiritual distinction and attain salvation by taking a dip in its holy waters. On the way, we will stop in one of the traditional clay brick production sites to take photos of the hard manual work that is performed in such a factory.
Tonight, we will have dinner at the hotel. Afterwards, Arne will share photos he has taken during our trip so far.
Today, we will take photos of the morning rituals of Kartika Purnima at the lake. On the day of the full moon in the month of Kartika, Hindus believe to be relifed of their sins by bathing in the lake’s holy waters. An exciting event to photograph and a great opportunity to practice your travel and portrait photography skills.
In another part of town the famous Pushkars’ Camel Fair is helt – hordes of herders from all over Rajasthan gather in Pushkar to parade, race and trade more than forty thousand animals. The fair is also known for its moustache competitions – be prepared to be stunned and remember to have your camera ready.
After this exciting day, we will go back to the hotel for dinner and Arne will critic the photos taken during the day.
After the breakfast, we will drive from Pushkar to Mandawa. Mandawa is a fantastic photo opportunity as there is a lot to take pictures of – people, frescoes, wandering cows, busy markets, the fort and especially traditional havelis, which are townhouses or mansions with historical and architectural significance, often beautifully decorated by artists. We will visit some of the havelis and explore those ancient palaces from inside.
After dinner, Arne will give a presentation about his life as National Geographic photo editor.
We will spend the morning exploring more of Mandawa and putting Arne’s advice on street photography to use.
In the afternoon, we will drive from Mandawa to New Delhi, where we will have a farewell dinner.
After breakfast, a transfer will take you to the airport for your return flight and assistance with the boarding formalities.
Thanks for choosing Better Moments for your workshop.
7 – 15 November 2019
Number of guests: 8-16
Local transport: Private bus included
Exertion level: Easy
Accommodation: Hotels are included
Meals: All meals are included
Transport to/from workshop
destination: Not included
Visa and taxes: Not included
Alcoholic beverages: Not included
Travel insurance: Not included
Thanks for choosing Better Moments for your workshop.
€ 4,495 in shared double room
€ 4,795 in single room
All prices are per person.
Groups sign-up a group of 4+ participants and receive a group discount.
Better Moments is a member of the Travel Guarantee Fund, your guarantee that traveling with Better Moments is a safe experience.
Indira Gandhi International Airport, situated 16km to the southwest of Delhi, is the main gateway for the city’s domestic and international civilian air traffic.
Visitors to India must obtain a visa from an Indian diplomatic mission unless they come from one of the visa-exempt countries or a country whose citizens may obtain a visa on arrival, or an e-Visa online. An application for e-Visa must be made at least four calendar days in advance of the date of arrival and can be made as early as 120 days in advance. The visa is valid for 60 calendar days from the date of arrival.
November is characterized by alot of sunshine as well as little rain and low humidity. The weather is pleasant and there is warm, brilliant sunshine during the day. Average temperature in November 28 °C, with a high of 30 °C (day) and a low of 26 °C (night).
Indian rupee (INR)
India has no national language. Hindi, with the largest number of speakers, is the official language of the government. English is used extensively in business and administration and has the status of a “subsidiary official language”; it is important in education, especially as a medium of higher education.
Check with your doctor which vaccinations or medications are recommended for this destination. Remember to plan well ahead with vaccinations. Allow up to six weeks to receive the full course, as some vaccinations require more than one dose, and some should not be given together.
India can be a challenging destination, especially for first-time visitors, due to poverty being omnipresent and bureaucracy quite irritating. A ‘go with the flow’ attitude is advisable if you want to enjoy the Indian ride. With India boasting dramatic terrain, beautiful wildlife, a wide array of flavorful dishes, and even more sacred rituals and festivities, be assured you won’t get bored.
Basis of rates:
All prices are quoted in Euro (€). The prices are based on current tariffs and are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances. While we will do everything possible to maintain the listed prices, if it is necessary to levy a surcharge, we reserve the right to do so, and notification will be given at the time of final invoicing.
A deposit of €1000 is required at the time of booking. Final payment is due no later than 150 days prior to departure. For reservations made within 150 days of the departure date, full payment is required when the reservation is accepted. In order to participate in a Better Moments workshop the participant must have made full payment prior to the start of the workshop.
The payment terms can be stricter when the workshop includes chartered ships or planes, and any variation will be communicated clearly on the invoice.
Cancellations and refunds:
All cancellation notices must be received in writing and will become effective on the date, which the letter is received by Better Moments. There is no cancellation charge until 150 days before departure, however we will deduct an administration fee of €300 from the repayment of the deposit. The cancellation charge between 150 and 120 days before departure is €1000 (i.e. the deposit). Cancellation charges less than 120 days before departure are expressed as a percentage of the total price, and are as follows: 119 – 90 days before departure 25%; 89 – 60 days before departure 50%; 59 – 30 days before departure 75%; 29 days or less before departure 100%. This policy also applies to pre- and post-trip extensions. Any airline tickets issued are subject to the carrier’s refund policy. Leaving a workshop in progress, for any reason whatsoever, will not result in a refund, and no refunds will be made for any unused portions of a workshop.
We reserve the right to cancel a workshop because of inadequate enrollment that makes the trip economically infeasible to operate, or because of good-faith concerns with respect to the safety, health, or welfare of the participants. If a workshop is cancelled prior to departure, you will have a choice between a full refund or a credit towards a future Better Moments workshop equivalent to amount paid. If we cancel the trip in progress, you will receive a pro-rata refund based on the number of days. We are not responsible for any refund for airline tickets, hotel accommodation, etc. purchased by the participant. In the event of the specified photo expert being unable to attend due to illness or other circumstances beyond our control, a photo expert of the same standard will be provided. If this is not possible, then the workshop will be cancelled and the provisions above will come into effect.
In order to participate in a workshop you are required to have comprehensive insurance coverage for personal accident and injury, medical and repatriation costs during the workshop. In addition we strongly recommend that you arrange cancellation and travel insurance covering the loss, expenses and damages arising from, including but not limited to, the cancellation of the holiday (whether in whole or in part), loss of baggage and personal money and belongings, as well as flight cancellations and delays.
The itineraries and staff presented in this catalogue are subject to modification and change by the Better Moments workshop or its designated tour operator. Every reasonable effort will be made to operate programs as planned, but alterations may still occur after final itineraries are sent.
You must be in good physical and mental health. Any physical condition or treatment requiring special attention must be reported in writing at the time of booking. By registering for a Better Moments workshop, the participant certifies that he/she does not have any mental, physical, or other condition or disability that would create a hazard for him/herself or other participants. Better Moments and its designated tour operator reserve the right in their sole discretion to accept, decline to accept, or remove any participant on a Better Moments workshop and the tour operator reserve the right, without penalty, to make changes in the published itinerary whenever, in their judgment, conditions warrant or if they deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of the participants.
If you have special requests, e.g. dietary, cabin number, bedding type, airline seat or other requests, you should inform us of these at the time of booking. We will advise the relevant supplier of your requirements, but we cannot guarantee that such requests will be met, and will have no liability to you if such requests are not met.
We reserve the right to take photographs or videos during the operation of any workshop or part thereof and to use the resulting photography, videos, or recordings for promotional or commercial use. If the participant prefers that his/her likeness not to be used, he/she must notify us in writing prior to departure.
Better Moments and its designated tour operator and tour administrator shall not be held liable for (a) any damage to, or loss of, property or injury to, or death of, persons occasioned directly or indirectly by an act or omission of any other provider, including but not limited to any defect in any aircraft, watercraft, or vehicle operated or provided by such other provider; and (b) any loss or damage due to delay, cancellation or disruption in any manner caused by the laws, regulations, acts or failures to act, demands, orders, or interpositions of any government or any subdivision or agent thereof, or by acts of God, strikes, fire, flood, war, rebellion, terrorism, insurrection, sickness, quarantine, epidemics, theft, or any other cause(s) beyond their control. The participant waives any claim against Better Moments and/or its designated tour operator and tour administrator for any such loss, damage, injury, or death.
Better Moments and its designated tour operator and tour administrator shall not be liable for any air carrier’s cancellation penalty incurred by the purchase of a non-refundable ticket to or from the participant’s Better Moments workshop departure city. It is the sole responsibility of the participants to organize their own transportation to and from the meeting point as described in the workshop itinerary, e.g. airport, hotel, and to ensure timely arrival. The participant should not book flights and/or hotel accommodation until Better Moments have issued final confirmation for the workshop. In the event of late arrival it is the responsibility of the participant to join the workshop, and to carry all associated expenses. Better Moments is not liable if the participant misses any portion of, or the entire workshop as a result of the delay. Baggage and personal effects are at all times the responsibility of the participant.
Other terms and conditions may apply to some workshops, and details will always be provided with pre-trip mailings. By making the deposit payment, the participant agrees to the terms and conditions and the responsibility statements herein on behalf of all the individuals included in the booking.
“We have been on a trip of about ten days through India, the North part of India, and it’s been a fantastic experience. We have seen everything and everything. You start up in the North, and we drove, we had a flight, and we have seen so many things. To be honest, very impressive things. The Taj Mahal is something you need to put on your bucket list, but we have also seen very sad and dirty things.
Everybody has something to offer to the group, so we learn from eachother, we share things, we have workshops in the evenings where we talk about what went well, what went wrong… and we see a lot of different styles, a lot of different techniques. And that is the good thing about this trip, it is really all about photography…. Photography of the brilliant, incredible India!”.
Peter Dorr, The Netherlands. He has participated in the Ethiopia, the Silk Road, and the India workshops with Better Moments.