Deep in the ancient Indian soil rests many a tale that sings of everything human and divine when you stir it up.
This Tour is an effort to gently brush aside the sands of time and experience the ageless beauty of Pushkar.
- A 3-night/4-day exclusive experience in one of the most ancient cities of India
- A soul-enriching exploration and photographic journey during the world-famous annual fair
- A productively satisfying time enjoying travel photography
- Extensive photography learning under the guidance of accomplished experts
- A wide spectrum of stunning events and experiences worth cherishing for always
Cradled by hills that roll far out into the horizon, Pushkar is a city of temples and stories of staggering ancientness — including those of the Trimurti. It is the one of the very few places where the deity Brahma is worshipped. Located in Ajmer, a district in the Indian state of Rajasthan, Pushkar is one of the five most sacred pilgrimage sites, and attracts travellers from across the globe, especially for its annual Camel Fair.
On the shore of Pushkar Lake lies one of India’s oldest cities. Legend has it that Lord Shiva wept so much over the demise of his wife, Sati, that his tears created one ‘Pushkara’ (Sanskrit for lake) at Ajmer, and another at Ketaksha. While the origin of the lake is associated with the God of Destruction and Transformation within the Trimurti, the origin of the city is associated with the God of Creation, Brahma.
Considered a holy lake by Hindus, the Pushkar Lake has found mention on coins as ancient as the 4th century BC. Surrounded by 52 bathing ghats and 500 Hindu temples, the lake attracts large numbers of pilgrims for a sacred bath, especially during Kartik Poornima. The view of the lake and the city from above the hills can be a breathtaking experience.
One of the world’s largest camel and livestock fairs, the annual Pushkar Fair is a major tourist attraction where men buy and sell camels, cows, sheep and goats. It is during this time we venture into this sacred town, to take in all the bustling activity and to make images that we cannot make anywhere else in the world.
The core focus of the Tour is on witnessing and capturing the grandiose affair of the Pushkar Camel Fair or Pushkar ka mela, where we will, amidst chaos, try to capture the stillness only a photograph can replicate even as the moods are as vibrant and exuberant as they can get. A silhouette of a camel against a sky drifting into sleep, a gentle gold sky above the golden sands of Rajasthan, portraits of villagers whose faces tell you stories that never need language, women dancing in whirling, vibrant skirts; men with their turbans and dhotis…these are some of the many moments of magic you will get to live and save for later to reminisce about.
Amidst all this, you will witness how the Pushkar Lake stands calmly day after day, night after night, doing nothing if not reflecting the world (or however much it can contain of it) making even the most still, resolute things shake gently in its rippling waters, while its banks throb with activity, with music, dance, joy, bargaining, and all moods festive. You can make images of this conflicting sight, and if the sky is a riot of colours when you are there, you have more reasons to be grateful for.
For when you’re in Pushkar, there’s no other place you’d rather be.
Please note: This Tour begins at Pushkar at around 11:00 a.m. on 4 November, and ends at Pushkar after breakfast on 7 November. Participants may choose to reach Pushkar by either air or road depending on their preference, but transport between your home and our hotel in Pushkar is NOT included in the Tour itinerary or cost. However, all required assistance will be duly provided.
4 November 2019, Monday
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 agenda by the Skipper. In the evening, we will set out for our first evening photography session at the fair.
5 and 6 November, Tuesday and Wednesday
These two days, we spend mornings and evenings at the Pushkar Fair, exploring newer, more innovative ways of making pictures, to find stillness amidst vibrant chaos. These will be interspersed with highly insightful sessions on photography by the Skipper. The evening sessions will be followed by a delicious dinner, before we retire for the night with dreams of vibrance.
7 November, Thursday
There will be a photography session at the Fair in the morning, followed by an image review session. We will checkout in the afternoon and return home with great storytelling photos.
- Per Person on Twin Share Accommodation
- Per Couple on Twin Share Accommodation
- Per Person on Twin Share Accommodation
- Twin-sharing accommodation in comfortable hotels
- All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
- Permits and photography fees
What’s Not Included?
- All airfare
- Transfer expenses between your home and Pushkar
- 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 as booking amount (not refundable)
- Remainder of the Tour fee by 10 August 2019
- 50% of the Tour fee on or before 30 August 2019
- 75% of the Tour fee between 31 August and 14 September 2019
- 100% of the Tour fee on or after 15 September 2019
Please note: The date of written (email) communication of intent to cancel is the date considered for calculation of the cancellation fees.
While Toehold Photo Travel is one of our most popular offerings, we work as a travel agency without bringing the photography guide element in to your travel. In short you would be using our travel experts service to just plan the vacation and execute it.
- Unlike a Photo Travel experience, your Vacation is completely personalised.
- The dates, style of travel, class of hotels and lodges, destinations, everything is tailor-made to suit your custom requirement.
- A Skipper or a photography guide doesn’t travel with you to guide you unless you decide to take our customised and guided photo travel experience.
So take advantage of the immense experience and field knowledge that we bring in to your Vacation’s planning without having to pay for our time and costs. Plus, we don’t charge an additional fee for our time and travel planning services.
What are the requisites to participate in this Tour?
Apart from interest in travel, 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 Pushkar on foot.
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.
I'm 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 sign up for an Art and Science of Photography Workshop right away!
What equipment do you suggest on this Tour?
A good wide-angle or ultra-wide-angle lens is a must (10mm to 18mm on crop sensor, or 14mm to 28mm on full frame). A short or medium fixed telephoto or zoom lens will help you make ‘compressed landscape’ images, abstracts and 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. Visit our Rental Store 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.
We had a lovely time during the trip. Thank you for all the efforts in making it memorable and fruitful! We look forward to being on another photo tour with you soon!
Thank you so so much for everything; you guys are the best skippers ever! I had an absolutely amazing time on the trip; everything was so well organised and taken care of. Can’t wait to go for the next one!
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!
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.
Fantastic experience and a great photography learning on this tour.