Varanasi, India

Ghats of Glory

When the sun rises over the quivering waters of the sacred Ganga, when the gossamer evenings eventually meet the dark and the holy lamps are lit to restore their golden glory, when silence conceals itself at the epicentre of all the bustling human activities, witness every ephemeral thing revelling in its own transience and transcending into your timeless memoryscape.

Veer inwards in Varanasi.


21 to 24 November 2018


Rajiv Shyamsundar

Why go on a Toehold Tour?

Planned to maximise

photo opportunities

Led by ace


Over 100 years'

collective experience

Hands-on assistance

on and off the field

Image reviews

and presentations

Photography gear

on rent

Tour Highlights

  • A three-night/four-day exclusive experience in one of the world's most ancient continually inhabited cities
  • A soul-enriching exploration and photographic journey in the city of spiritual significance
  • A productively satisfying time enjoying street, travel and portrait photography
  • Extensive photography learning under the guidance of accomplished experts
  • A wide spectrum of stunning events and experiences worth cherishing for always

How is it?

One of the most ancient cities of the world – and a continuously inhabited one at that – is aptly called the 'spiritual capital of India', in which meet the ancient and the new India in a breathtaking way.

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What you will see and photograph

An inevitable sensory overload – the streets, the temples, the ghats, the Ganga aarti, and the local people and their lifestyle – and all the bustling human activities that you can experience only here.

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About your Skipper

Rajiv Shyamsundar

With a flair for eclectic photography-genres ranging from portraiture to architecture and fine-art to landscapes, young Rajiv Shyamsundar uses the camera as a palette of myriad hues.

It was awesome experience, i really enjoyed all company and the place. It was well planned and executed. One of the best experiences of my life! - Ravindra S R, Bangalore
On behalf of the group, let me thank you and the Toehold team for organizing the trip so well. Am sure all of us enjoyed each and every moment of the trip. - Pranshu and Payal Joshi, Mumbai
We had been to Ladakh several times in the past, but this photography trip was interesting for us. - Anil and Gauri Borkar, Mumbai
Fantastic experience and a great photography learning on this tour - Sahil, Mumbai

Please note: This Tour begins and ends at Varanasi. Participants may choose to reach Varanasi by either air or road depending on their preference, but transport between your home and our hotel in Varanasi is NOT included in the Tour itinerary or cost. However, all required assistance will be duly provided.

DAY 1   21 November 2018, Wednesday: Arrival at Varanasi and checking into the hotel by 11 am

Upon arrival, participants are checked into the lodge. After lunch that day, there will be a briefing session on the city and photography and the Tour Itinerary. In the evening, we will set out to explore the city, and watch and photograph the glorious Ganga aarti at the main Dashashwamedh Ghat.

DAY 2   22 November, Thursday: Sightseeing and photographing in the ghats

The holiest of the seven sacred cities is always brimming with action and is no less a miracle set in motion. We will head towards the ghats early in the morning, to be there to see and photograph the sun rising over the river Ganga and the following morning rituals that happen on the ghats.

We return to the hotel for breakfast and rest for a while. After lunch, we again head towards the ghats for photographing the place enamoured by the golden evening light. At night, before dinner, we will have a session on photography.

DAY 3    23 November, Friday: Sightseeing and photographing both the ghats and the streets of Varanasi

Our morning routine will remain the same as we go to the ghats again. In the evening, however, we will walk on the streets of Varanasi for street and portrait photography. Banaras and its streets are bound to beguile us as we head out with a camera to make some memories.

DAY 4    24 November, Saturday: Departure from Varanasi

There will be a photography and image review session in the morning, and if time permits, we go out to explore the city. We will checkout in the afternoon and return home with great storytelling images.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the requisites to participate in this Tour? Apart from interest in street, travel and portrait photography, a minimum level of fitness is essential. If you're unsure of your fitness or suffer from a known illness, please consult your physician before signing up for this Tour.
  • Why is fitness required for this Tour? A minimum level of fitness is essential as we explore Varanasi on foot, walking on the streets and along the ghats by the river Ganga.
  • Who can be a part of this Tour? Any individual above the age of 18 (unless accompanied by a parent or guardian) who has the requisite fitness to complete the Tour can participate.
  • What equipment do you suggest on this Tour? A good wide-angle or ultra-wide-angle lens is a must (10mm onwards). A short or medium fixed telephoto or zoom lens will help you make 'compressed landscape' images, abstracts and do candid people or street photography (70mm to 200mm). You may also bring along a portrait lens, such as a 50mm, 35mm or 85mm lens, to make high-quality portraiture. A full-frame (35mm) camera with compatible wide-angle and fisheye lenses will allow you to make the most of the opportunities. If you do not have appropriate equipment, there is no need to fret. Toehold offers an exhaustive array of cameras and lenses for hire, so you can always hire what you need. Click here to see what we offer.
  • How different are your Photo Tours from ordinary tours? Unlike travel agents who plan your holiday from a remote destination to places they sometimes haven't experienced themselves, Photo Tours offer a comprehensive toehold to experience a place through the guidance of a professional photographer. The common ingredients in all our Photo Tours are fun and a lot of learning and knowledge sharing. Besides, most or all of our Tour participants are photography enthusiasts, which keeps the group in harmony and helps make your experience focussed.
  • I am a newbie in travel photography. Am I eligible? Absolutely! This Tour is meant for fledgling as well as experienced photographers. Beginners get all the advantages of learning on and off the field from Toehold's eminent Skippers. In fact if you are a newbie, you should jump on this terrific learning opportunity and sign up right away!
INR 28,250 *
Couples ††
INR 54,400 *
Toehold Patrons
INR 26,700 *

* 5% GST Extra

Per Person on Twin Share Accommodation

†† Per Couple on Twin Share Accommodation

Toehold Patrons: Customers who have participated in at least three previous Toehold Photo Tours
  • Twin-sharing accommodation in comfortable hotels
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and hot beverages (coffee and tea)
  • Permits and photography fees
  • All airfare
  • Transfer expenses between your home and Varanasi
  • Any kind of personal expenses or optional tours, extra meals and beverages ordered
  • Insurance, laundry and phone calls
  • Bottled water and soft drinks
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • All applicable taxes
  • Anything that is not included in the Inclusions list
  • At least 50% of the Tour fee at registration for provisional reservation
  • Remainder (100%) latest by 10 September 2018 for confirmation
  • 25% on or before 6 August 2018
  • 50% between 7 and 17 August 2018
  • 75% between 18 and 31 August 2018
  • 100% on or after 1 September 2018

Please note: The date of written (email) communication of intent to cancel is the date considered for calculation of the cancellation fees.

Terms and Conditions

  1. Participants who have a medical history of blood pressure, heart-related problems or asthma are advised to seek medical advice before enrolling for this Tour.
  2. Fitness to complete the Tour is the only criterion for participation.
  3. Toehold Travel & Photography Pvt Ltd. shall not be responsible for injuries, damages, or losses caused to any traveller in connection with terrorist activities, social or labour unrest, mechanical or construction failures or difficulties, diseases, local laws, climatic conditions, abnormal conditions or developments, or any other actions, omissions, or conditions outside the travel partner's control.
  4. All clients travelling with Toehold Travel & Photography Pvt Ltd. must complete and sign a reservation form and the " Release of Liability, Assumption of Risk & Arbitration Agreement" form.
Bookings Closed: Please note that bookings for this Tour have been closed. Please get in touch with us if you have questions.