INDIA                            January 23-February 10, 2020

Rajasthan is the most colorful, traditional, vibrant and exotic area of India. We have
coordinated this incredible itinerary to include two of India’s elaborate celebrations. The
republic day ceremonious parade on Rajpath, New Delhi - the parade showcases India's Defense
Capability, Cultural and Social Heritage. The desert festival in Jaisalmer is similar to the
Pusknar Camel festival, but with a lot less tourist and photographers. Set amidst the dramatic
background of golden sands dunes in the surreal Thar Desert, the festival is filled with three
days of multi-cultural performances; fire dancers, traditional dancers, camel races, musicians
with traditional instruments, turban tying competitions, camel polo games and more.

About the Tour

Guest Price

    $13,500 USD 

               Per person double occupancy

               International economy airfare                      INCLUDED

 

Single Supplement Optional

    $1,200 USD

 

Deposit

     $3,375 USD due at time of booking

 

Tour Guest Limit

    12 Guest Maximum

 

Registration Deadline

    90 Days before departure   

This price is inclusive of Round Trip economy class airfare from USA gateway city.

Tour Pricing Info

M&M Guide Photographers

    Mike Gulbraa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guest Pro Photographer

    Jeff Cable  www.jeffcable.com

Tour Leaders

Included

  • All photography instruction

  • International RT economy airfare from many USA gateway cities

  • All airport transfers

  • Internal airfare if applicable

  • Tour program and services for official 14 days

  • Local Experienced English-speaking guides

  • Double occupancy rooms (single rooms available with supplement)

  • All meals each day of trip

  • Any Admission fees as mentioned in the itinerary

  • All ground transportation in an air conditioned vehicle (within the tour itinerary)

 

Not Included

  • Any Passport and Visa arrangements

  • Early check-in, late check-out surcharge

  • Additional drinks and other personal expenses (alcoholic drinks, laundry, phone calls etc.)

  • Any services not specifically mentioned in the tour program

  • Tips for guides or baggage handlers

  • Airport Taxes

 

Accommodations

We often use local boutique hotels and other establishments that give us access to great photos, food, & transport.

We currently plan on using the following:

Delhi - Radisson Blu Marina - https://www.radissonblu.com/en/marinahotel-newdelhi

Bandhavgarh - Bandhav Villas - http://bandhavvilas.com/bandhav-vilas.php

Agra - Crystal Sarovar Hotel - https://www.sarovarhotels.com/crystal-sarovar-premiere-agra/

Jaipur - Shahpura House - http://www.shahpura.com/shahpura-house/

Jodhpur - Ranbanka Palace Hotel - https://www.ranbankahotels.com/

Jaisalmer - Fort Rajwada & Prince Camp on the sand dunes - http://www.fortrajwada.com/http://www.jaisalmerprincedesertcamp.com/

Tour Itinerary

Rajasthan is the most colorful, traditional, vibrant and exotic area of India. We have
coordinated this incredible itinerary to include two of India’s elaborate celebrations. The
republic day ceremonious parade on Rajpath, New Delhi - the parade showcases India's Defense
Capability, Cultural and Social Heritage. The desert festival in Jaisalmer is similar to the
Pusknar Camel festival, but with a lot less tourist and photographers. Set amidst the dramatic
background of golden sands dunes in the surreal Thar Desert, the festival is filled with three
days of multi-cultural performances; fire dancers, traditional dancers, camel races, musicians
with traditional instruments, turban tying competitions, camel polo games and more. Standing in
a sea of bright colorful saris, you will feel as though you have steeped back in time. We will be
treated to colorful ritual dances, masks and fire celebrations, cultural entertainers, light
painters, and candle light performances. This is one of the most spiritual, musical, journeys on
the continent. The diversity of photographic opportunities will be overwhelming. These
celebrations alone, would be enough to fill your hard drives with exotic imagery, but we have
also included visits to the most iconic forts, monuments, and fascinating markets of Delhi &
Jaipur; Amber fort, Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur-the blue city, Jain temples, Hawa Mahal (Palace
of the winds), Bandhavgarh wildlife park. This biodiverse park is known for its large population
of royal Bengal tigers, especially in the central Tala zone. Other animals include white tigers,
leopards and deer. The mix of tropical forest, Sal trees and grassland is home to scores of bird
species, including eagles. To the south are the remains of the ancient Bandhavgarh Fort. There
are photographic opportunities around every corner so we planned enough time in our schedule
to take advantage of the unexpected. This incredible itinerary is the perfect mix of exotic
performances, iconic locations, adventure, and extraordinary photographic opportunities, led by
passionate photographers diverse in their photographic talents.


Day 1, SAT- Jan. 25: ARRIVE DELHI Arrive in Delhi, sprawling on the banks of the River
Yamuna, the capital of India, typifies the soul of the country. The legacy of that past survives in
the many monuments left behind by the regents, each a chronicle of the glory of its time and an
imprint of each ruler's character. We’ll be met on arrival by our local representative and transfer
to HOTEL. Rest of the day is at leisure to adjust to time difference, jetlag etc.  (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)


Day 2, SUN- Jan. 26: DELHI- Republic day celebration Rise early this morning and take the
pre reserved VIP seats to photograph the colorful parade. The parade along the city’s ceremonial
boulevard Raj Path, showcases Indian culture and the country’s achievements in the fields of
science and technology. The celebrations, which mark the day the Indian constitution
Comprising over 25 marching and mounted contingents in their colorful uniforms, battalions on
decorated camels, horse cavalry, President’s ceremonial guards, The military parade is followed
by a colorful cultural parade. India's rich cultural heritage is depicted in the form of tableaus
from various states. Each state depicts its unique festivals, historical locations and art. This
exhibition of diversity and richness of the culture of India lends a festive air to the occasion. In
addition to cultural performers and 1200 schoolchildren, India's Republic Day Parade in New
Delhi is the most spectacular regular parade in the world. You will also have the opportunity to

photograph thousands of people who come from all parts of India to see the parade in their
traditional costumes.
New Delhi Tour Tour of New Delhi this afternoon includes a drive along Rajpath to photograph
the Parliament House, President's Palace and India Gate, a memorial to India's soldiers. Continue
to Humayun's tomb, forerunner to Taj Mahal. Also visit the Baha’i Lotus Temple. Your final
stop is at the Qutab Minar and ruins of Hindu temples destroyed during the Qutabshahi period. (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner) 

Day 3, MON - Jan. 27: MUGHAL HISTORIC HERITAGE WALK (OLD DELHI) & OLD
DELHI SIGHTSEEING Experience the newest Delhi attraction- metro train to Chawri Bazaar
in old Delhi. The train stations itself offers great opportunity to shoot people. Arriving in
Chandni Chowk, the market of Mughal Royalty, board tricycle rickshaw and our photo tour of
Delhi begins. We will shoot at the Khari Baoli (spice market), which is situated close to the
Fatehpuri Mosque built by Fatehpuri Begum (one of the wives of Shah Jahan). The market has
been operating since 17th century. Photograph the Town Hall, built in 1865, though the
construction began five years earlier, when Mughal ruler Bahadur Shah was still in the Red Fort.
The solid looking building looks quite British even today, the Town Hall was and still is one of
the biggest landmarks in the Walled City of Delhi. Next visit and photograph Gurudwara
Shishganj Sahib: where the 9th Sikh Guru Teg Bahadur was beheaded during Aurangzeb’s reign.
On to Ballimaran and walk past Mirza Ghalib’s Haveli (Museum) at Gali Qasim Jaan. Ghalib
was the greatest poet of India who wrote in Urdu and Persian. A writer so prolific that one can
quote Ghalib describing almost every possible situation or mood - from mundane to esoteric. All
this while you pass by many narrow streets full of shops doing brisk business. Watch how a
particular kind of merchandise is sold only in Specific Street as the Indian merchants have long
practiced guild trading. Walk past Jogiwara which connects to Kinari Bazaar, the street gets its
name from `gota’ and ‘kinari’ which are used to adorn exquisite women’s garments. Visit
Parathe wali Gali famous for succulent ‘parathas’. Next we photograph shoppers the Dariban
Kalan which is the famous silver market. Also visit marble domes and slender minarets of the
Jama Masjid and photograph the Red Fort across the city . Your last stop on tour is Mahatma
Gandhi Memorial at Raj Ghat.
This afternoon we will visit and photograph Delhi Haat, established to encourage arts and crafts
in India. A single venue that provides all kind of product like crafts, music, cultural festival and
dance etc. A full exotic display of products that includes handlooms, handicrafts, woodcarvings,
camel hide footwear, drapery, fabric made clothing, gems, beads ornaments etc. Popular with
locals who come here to shop for handicrafts which include sandalwood and rosewood carvings,
brass ware products, metal ware, jewelry made from gems, camel hide footwear etc. The
manufacturers and artists are given opportunity to showcase their products on rotational basis
that changes every 15 days. Photograph the families shopping and also the craftsmen working on
their products. INA Market., is known as the food bazaar of Delhi frequented by locals to buy
Fresh seafood, meat, spices, vegetables, fruits etc. The market, which lies across the street from
Dilli Haat, offers a unique experience to mingle with locals and also offers great photographic
opportunity. In the evening visit the "Lok Tarang, - National Folk Dance Festival" organized by
the Ministry of Culture, Government of India as part republic day celebrations. This festival
provides a unique opportunity for people to witness colorful, vibrant and authentic folk dances

drawn from various parts of the country. Photograph the vibrant dancers at one venue without
having to travel to far flung states of India.  (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)


Day 4, TUE -Jan. 28: Delhi/ Bandhavgarh National Park Fly this morning to Jabalpur and
continue overland to Bandhavgarh, known as the White Tiger territory. Stop enroute to visit and
photograph the villages, rural markets and if you are lucky, you may see a celebration, a temple
festival or village fair enroute. There are more than 22 species of mammals, and 250 species of
birds that call the park home. Many migratory birds can be seen during the winter months,
including the steppe eagle and a variety of wildfowl. After settling in embark on an evening
photographing safari with expert game rangers. HOTEL (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)


Days 5 & 6. WED/ THU- Jan. 29 & 30: BANDHAVGARH NATIONAL PARK
Bandhavgarh national park’s topography varies between steep ridges, undulating, forest and
open meadows. The density of the Tiger population at Bandhavgarh is the highest known in
India. Former hunting preserve of the Maharaja of Rewa is a famous natural hub for white tigers.
During the morning and afternoon game drives you may see White Tigers, Bengal tigers,
Leopards, Sambar, Barking deer, Nilgai, Wild boar, Gaur, Chausingha and Chinkara, the Asiatic
jackal, Bengal fox, Sloth bear, Rattle, Grey mongoose, Striped Hyena, Jungle Cat, Wild Pig,
Spotted Deer, Egret, Lesser adjutant, Sarus crane, Black kite, Crested serpent eagle, Black
vulture, Egyptian vulture, common peafowl, Red jungle fowl, dove, Parakeet & more.
We’ll embark on full day safari with picnic lunch. Another day we will have early morning
and later afternoon safari and spend the day photographing and visiting the Bandhavgarh
fort. Bandhavgarh is a place of mythological and legendary significance. The ancient
Bandhavgarh Fort is of great importance as it is believed to have been gifted by Lord Rama to
his younger brother Lakshmana. 'Bandhav' in English means brother and ‘Garh’ means fort.
Hence the name, Bandhavgarh. Bandhavgarh dates back to 2000 years ago and you will find
several man made caves with inscriptions and rock paintings.  (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)


Day 7, FRI- Jan. 31: BANDHAVGARH/ DELHI /AGRA After an early morning game drive,
you will be driven to airport where you will board flight to Delhi and continue overland to Agra,
where no other historical monument has evoked as much awareness and admiration as the Taj
Mahal. Upon arrival late this evening check in.  (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)


Day 8, SAT- Feb. 1: AGRA Rise early this morning to photograph Taj by sunrise. Built by
Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan between 1631-52, as a tomb and memorial to his beloved wife
Mumtaz Mahal (Jewel of the Palace). Early morning is the best time to photograph the
monument of love die less crowds and ease to walk around the gardens surrounding Taj and take
pictures from various angels. Return back to Hotel for Breakfast. After a brief rest tour Agra Fort
built by three of the greatest Mughal emperors. You will have opportunity to photograph Taj
Mahal and the river from the Fort. After Lunch, we have option to travel to the back side of the
Taj Mahal and photograph it &/or visit the local market to photograph the daily life. Revisit the
Taj Mahal this time by sunset.  (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)

Day 9, SUN – Feb. 2: AGRA / FATEHPUR SIKRI / BHARATPUR / JAIPUR You may
want to visit Taj Mahal this morning by sunrise on your own or explore the local markets. Late
this morning travel to Jaipur stopping enroute at Fatehpur Sikri, a deserted capital city, built by
Emperor Akbar in 1569 and abandoned 15 years later due to severe water shortage. Within the
city, you will tour the Diwan-I-Aam or Hall of Public Audiences, located just inside the gates,
the north east end of the deserted city. There is a large open courtyard surrounded by cloisters. It
is here that Emperor Akbar came before the people each morning. It is believed that Akbar
played chess, using slave girls as the pieces. Diwan-I-Khaas or the Hall of Private Audience is a
two storied building. The exterior of the hall is simple but the interior is fascinating. A stone
column stands in the center of the hall supporting a flat topped throne. From the four corners of
the building, there are stone bridges leading across the throne. Panch Mahal or Five Story
Palace is a five storied building and the architecture is Persian in style like a Buddhist monastery.
The palace was probably used by the ladies of the court and originally had stone screens on the
sides and its dome is supported by four columns. Palace of Jodha Bai is named after Jehangir's
wife Jodha Bai. This palace is a fine blend of Hindu columns and Muslim Cupolas. Inside the
palace is the Palace of the Winds where the walls are entirely made of stone lattice work.
Birbal Palace was the residence of Birbal, who was Akbar's favorite courtier, famous for his wit
and wisdom. Miriam's House also known as the Golden House was Akbar's Christian wife from
Goa. Ankh Michauli is where the emperor played hide and seek with the ladies of the harem and
was probably used for storing records. Sheikh Salim Chisti Dargah is the tomb of Sheikh Salim
Chisti, originally built of red sandstone but was later rebuilt in white marble by Jehangir.
Continue to Bharatpur for an early Dinner before boarding express train to Jaipur. Meeting
assistance upon arrival and transfer to Hotel. Jaipur, owing its name, foundations and careful
planning to the great warrior, astronomer, Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II.  (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)


Day 10, MON- Feb. 3: Jaipur- Amber fort & City tour We will start our day at the Hawa
Mahal, known as the palace of the winds. We will then go to the ancient capital of Amber,
ascending the Palace Fortress on the back of a gaily-caparisoned elephants. After lunch, tour the
City Palace, once the formal residence of the royal family, built in a blend of Rajasthani and
Mughal architecture. Continue to Jantar Mantar, the largest of Jai Singh's remarkable
observatories. Its complex instruments, whose setting and shapes are scientifically designed,
represent the high points of medieval Indian astronomy. This evening, we will visit the markets
of Jaipur where the people are dynamic and colorful, with pink turbans and saffron odhinis.
Camel buggies and elephants share the streets with cars and buses. We have plenty of time to
take advantage of any spontaneous photographic opportunities en-route.  (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)


Day 11, TUE- Feb 4: Jaipur - Morning Walking Photography Tour- Jaipur offers a dazzling
immersion into the riches of traditional India. Since its foundation in 1727, royal family and
nobles of Jaipur had been patronizing various craftsmen and artisans in Pink City. Many of these
traditions continue to this day, making the modern day Jaipur a favorable destination to witness
India’s rich Arts & Crafts. Traditional methods are still used to produce valuable and highly
prized items. Observe and photograph the local artisans like Silversmiths, Bangle makers at
work. Mingle and talk with locals whilst sampling some of the regions culinary delights
(optional) try Samosa, Kachori, Kulfi and Lassi. Sample sweets from some of the city’s most
popular Mithaiwala’s (Indian sweet makers). Meet a local family and experience Indian

hospitality. It’s a great way to explore Jaipur like locals do and learn about rich art traditions of
this fascinating city.  (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)


Day 12, WED- Feb. 5: Jaipur/ Jodhpur
After Breakfast we will travel to Jodhpur by air via Delhi. Arrive and check in at Hotel.
Depending on selected mode of travel, we may be able to visit the Mehrangarh Fort this
afternoon, which has been called one of the grandest sights in India. From the courtyard we see
the fantastic latticework that covers the sandstone walls and balconies. We will see the
beautifully decorated dancing hall, the royal bedroom, jewel-studded robes, ornate baby cradles,
solid silver elephant seats and palanquins. Photograph the blue city from the vantage point of the
fort up on the hill.  (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)


Day 13, THU- Feb 6: Jodhpur
Today we immerse ourselves into the culture of the Bishnoi villages and learn about their 19
principles. The men are colorfully dressed against colorful homes made of mud and cow dung.
We will meet the village elders and witness an opium ceremony. Famous for pottery, they will
demonstrate their skills and you will have the opportunity to join in. We will stop by the Gudha
village where we will see wildlife roaming around the village; Antelopes, Fazelle, Dumessille
crane, and more. Next will be the Salaws, known for their weaving of magic carpets. Lastly we
will stop by a shepherds village; a perfect place to photograph traditional village life. We will
return to our beautiful palace to reflect on the day. We will have the late afternoon and early
evening to explore and photograph this fascinating city.  (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)


Day 14, FRI- Feb. 7: Jodhpur / Jaisalmer After breakfast, we will travel overland to Jaisalmer
with plenty of time to stop enroute to take advantage of any photographic opportunities. Upon
arrival check into our Hotel. After a brief rest we will visit the Desert festival to participate and
photograph the event.  (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)


Days 15 & 16, SAT & SUN- Feb. 8 & 9: Full days at the Desert Festival We will spend the
next two days at the exotic Desert festival in the picturesque Thar Desert. The desert will come
alive with brilliant color, camel races, camel polo, traditional processions, folk dances, music,
turban wrapping contest, cultural events, and more. Villagers will be dressed in their best and
brightest, as will their camels. One evening, we will embark on a brief camel safari, through the
Thar desert, exploring a totally new world of serenity. We will have the opportunity to
photography the camels up on the dunes at sunset. Upon arrival to our basic camp, we will get to
interact with the local villagers who will have millions of stories and experiences to share with us.
One morning we will rise early to photograph Jaisalmer fort, the people going about their
morning, and the city, which is slowly waking with the sunrise. This ancient old city was once
completely surrounded by an extensive wall. We will pass by beautiful mansions or havelis, built
by the wealthy merchants of jaisalmer, and visit some finely carved jain temples.  (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)


Day 17, MON- Feb 10: Jaisalmer/ Delhi/ Depart for home.  (Appropriate meal(s) before departure)

Helpful Info

What To Take  (These are only suggestions, they are NOT required!)

Our list of Recommended Gear for your Photo Tour

·       2 camera bodies—the same manufacturer that will fit all your lenses

·       Camera battery charger and cords

·       CompactFlash/SD Cards (bring as much memory as possible. At least 40 gigs)

·       Card Reader for file transfer

·       External hard drives for back up (we recommend a minimum of a 500GB drive)

·       Black Rapid camera strap

·       Extra batteries (lots!)—best packed in checked luggage even when traveling abroad

·       Lenses (Depending on the tour) Medium telephoto, Fixed, Wide angle & Macro lens that give you a wide range

          of length. 10mm to 500mm if possible

·       1.4x  or 2x teleconverter for the telephoto—same brand as lens

·       Tripod and head

·       Flash—strobe with automatic TTL fill flash capabilities or Reflector

·       Photo backpack

·       Lens cloth and cleaning fluid

·       Blower ball for dust

·       Circular polarizing filter

·       Grad ND filters

·       Rain sleeve for camera and lens

·       Cable or electronic shutter release

·       Laptop computer (travel size such as a netbook)

·       Current version of Photoshop or Lightroom

·       International power adapter

·       Multiple plug power strip & adaptor to gain electric outlets in your room for simultaneous downloading & recharging

·       Sensor cleaning supplies

 

 

GUESTS SHOULD PACK LIGHT.  YOU MAY BE EXPECTED TO CARRY, ROLL, SCHLEP, AND/OR OTHERWISE TRANSPORT YOUR OWN BAGS AT ALL TIMES AND IN ALL PLACES ON THIS TRIP.  LAUNDRY SERVICES ARE ALWAYS AVAILABLE.  M&M RULE OF THUMB IS ONE BAG FOR CAMERA GEAR AND ONE 20-22"" ROLLER FOR YOUR CLOTHES AND TOILETRIES.  INVEST IN A TRAVEL TRIPOD - BENRO (http://www.benrousa.com/products/travel-angel-ii/) HAS MANY OPTIONS AVAILABLE.  MEDICAL DEVICES SUCH AS CPAP MACHINES ARE EXCLUDED FROM THIS RECOMMENDATION.  PACKING LIGHT WILL MAKE YOUR TRIP MUCH MORE ENJOYABLE.

 

 

Tour Difficulty = Moderate

Easy = less than 2 miles walking/day and little climbing; Moderate = up to 5 miles walking per day with some climbing; Strenuous = more than 5 miles/day of walking and several climbing/hills/rough terrain expected.  You should know your health and ability to carry your gear in hot, cold, humid, and dry conditions and be able to walk 5 miles or more per day and make climbs in elevation of up to 1000 feet in gain and be OK climbing many steps or steep terrain.

 

 

Cancellation Policy

Pursuant to Clause 2 under Enrollment: If you need to cancel within a stated refund period, M&M Photo Tours, Inc. may allow you to apply all monies paid to a future trip, within 12 months.  We must receive written notification (E-mail is accepted) of your cancellation and your desire to apply the funds to a future trip.

 

We strongly recommend that you purchase trip cancellation insurance as this policy is strongly adhered to. The purchase of travel insurance covering baggage, accident/life and trip cancellation is highly recommended.  M&M Photo Tours, Inc. reserves the right to cancel any trip/tour/group due to insufficient registration at any time.  In the even of such cancellation, those with reservations shall be notified as soon as possible and a full refund of trip payment will be given.  It is agreed by registering for any M&M Photo Tours, Inc. tour that M&M Photo Tours, Inc.   assumes no responsibility for refund or additional expenses incurred in preparation for a trip.

 

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance is suggested. Follow these links to buy travel insurance.

www.travelguard.com or www.insuremytrip.com

 

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Booking Terms & Conditions

 

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