15 Things to Do in Hampi

Have you ever contemplated the range of things you can do in Hampi?  Like peeling off your sunglasses and filling your eyes with the natural hues of its ancientness, testing how greedy you are for glorious stories and details, and fifteen other things…   1. Walk these pillared corridors and listen to the melodies that thrum deep within…

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A New-Year Call

Nostalgia stays, to grey our evening sky, in the yellowing of our windowsill in the dusk, like the last blooming birdsong of the day. It stays so we can look forward to living more beautiful moments until they become memories that visit on such evenings again. And our calling is also travel, to explore, because that…

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An Imperative Confluence of Passions for the Sake of Art

“To have an eye for detail that doesn’t miss to acknowledge the synergy that brings it all together: the models, the location, the garment, and all the glitz and the glamour, not to capture a moment that already exists, but to capture a moment that is carefully crafted, a moment that is made. To put…

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The Top Toehold Moments of 2015

As 2015 approaches its expiry date, we pulled out our rose-tinted glasses, and through a pair of moderately moist eyes, looked fondly back at the goings-on of the year.  And from hunting Mustelidae to leopards feigning nonexistence, we found many ‘Toehold moments’ (moments that make you go: “Crikey, look!” or “Blistering barnacles!” or equivalent), while Mother Earth was busy…

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The Human Interpretation of Wildlife Stories: Samyukth Sridharan

Samyukth Sridharan – a man who has stories to tell, with a wit that engages a listener. His photographic journey was triggered by a tiger tail, he says and chuckles, and before you recover from a giggle, he resumes:… “It all happened on a safari in Ranthambhore about five years ago, when I spotted a…

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Moments of Inspiration Repeat Themselves: Ruta Kalmankar

Moments of bliss need not be grand, says Ruta Kalmankar, but can be as simple and quiet as they can get, and they exist irrespective of our disregard. Not too often does one notice how inspiration strikes when least expected, and in the simplest of forms, but Ms Kalmankar does, and always so. It all started…

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Photography – An Art, A Shadow That Only Grows: Venkatesh T. S.

The world is overwhelmingly vast and in the blur of all things, it’s an immense pleasure when we do not miss out on a story, especially when its essence is contained in its very simplicity… This is one such tale, and our protagonist this time, is Toehold Patron, Venkatesh T. S. Being a software engineer, he…

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Big Cat Week – A Feature

As Big Cat Week is awaited with bated breath, the Toehold Photo Tour, which takes you to the overwhelmingly beautiful land of the Mara with all its charismatic feline denizens, is all set to leave you speechless with its enormous range of wild beings. And to prepare you for the spellbinding experience, here are a…

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Hampi September 2015 Trip Report

When the Tour took them to where the ruins reflect and echo age-old splendour, like veins run and thrum with tales beneath their hard skin weathered by rains, the sun and the winds… Where even stones sigh, in the sheer joy of storytelling. Hampi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  A land of crystallised timelessness. The journey from…

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Ranthambhore April 2015 Trip Report

So many things in lassitude you learn: observe, appreciate, and cherish. It’s not until you gather your senses and hear the winds stir with a dreamlike intention, making the grass sway, that you brace yourself to confront the gaze of Krishna, the mother of three cubs. Nestled in the woods of Zone 3 of Ranthambhore…

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The Sheer Joy of Being Present: Radhika Kochhar

The pleasure of controlling a tool that allows us to bring something creative to the world, even if it’s an imitation of the world itself, is something deeply personal and universal at the same time. When Ms Kochhar bought her first camera, a Canon 1100D, she was making images mainly in auto mode, whenever she…

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Lessons taught, lessons self-learned: Neelu Pilania

“We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.” said John Dryden. Neelu Pilania’s passion for birding and wildlife was an interest ingrained in her childhood.  In her own words: “When I was little, my family went on tours into the wild regularly. I have been to Ranthambhore and Gir multiple times with…

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Of Special Days and Everydayness: Zhayynn James

That’s how it all began – a gifted DSLR camera, a search for photography courses on the internet, and a relentless love for the art that only rises with zeal and dedication. When Zhayynn James received a DSLR camera as a gift from his loving wife, he did not know anything else apart from the…

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All Things Rajasthan

Even the winds and the storms try to stand still in vain and create dunes in these deserts; where men wear colourful turbans and women wear silver, but the sands wear gold. Mawa kachori and malpauas will tickle your taste buds; lassi and chaas in the unglazed kulhads calm a parched throat under an impossible sun.…

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Self-discovery through Photography: Chander Ramsay

His first Toehold-Photo-Tour was Kabini-Bandipur.  Since then he has never looked back at travelling on his own or turned his back on Photo Tours. “There is so much more to travelling with a bunch of like-minded people than driving an air-conditioned car,” begins Mr Ramsay while sharing his experiences on Toehold Tours, “because it works…

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The Mantra for Making Good Images

While reviewing our Tour participants’ images and sharing feedback on what could’ve been done better to make them kick butt harder, a common objection we hear is: “But there was no time!  Can we really think about all that in the heat of the moment?” Well, if you want to make great images, you must. But is there a…

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Bandhavgarh March 2015 Trip Report

The forest was biding its time to be held by a shivering moonbeam.  It was a world brimming with lyrical metaphors… The Toehold troupe reached Bandhavgarh, accompanied by Skipper Phillip Ross, and settled in at the hotel.  Sleep didn’t come easy, in the wake of the exciting times anticipated over the days to come. With permits…

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All is Fair

Beware! You might go high on the explosion of colours between an incredibly blue sky and the golden sands. You’ll see camels and horses and other livestock lined up to be traded, but their pulse just as wild as ever, and skin just as gleaming. While the air seems rigid with bargains on one side,…

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What’s the World but What the Stories Tell of It?

“Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet,” said Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh.  He knew what it meant in essence.  Do you? We believe that every bit of this Earth is sacred; and this thought almost has a spiritual connotation with a scientific exactness to it because this planet is our only…

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Passion Gives Form to the Inexpressible: Mohan Thomas

When photography helps you express the ineffable… Photography has been more than a hobby for Toehold Patron, Mohan Thomas; “It’s been a way of expression,” says Mohan, who reveres it as an art. Mohan’s journey of making pictures started in 1999, when he started to preserve special moments with a click. But this habit soon turned…

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