Wild & Cultural India 2019

INDIA

The Great Rajasthan

The Holi festival

Taj Mahal

Tigers and leopards

March, 13 days
18-30, 2019

Leader : Panos Laskarakis

Introduction - The eye of the Tiger

Wow!!! This trip is made up, to include everything of the heart of India! What else than the Great Rajasthan and the others majors symbols of this subcontinent, like Taj Mahal and tigers!

Every part of this epic trip has scheduled to be with the best sightings at the right time!
In Rajasthan, see the best historical cities and traditional villages during the days of Holi (colorful) festival. Admire the plenty of wildlife included the most amazing big cats of the planet like the tiger and leopard, in the most famous National parks! Absorve the atmosphere around the Taj Mahal during the sunrise and the full moon nights as well! Enjoy the transition bettween the tradition, the culture, and the wildlife at the same time, getting pictures of street style, traditional people, portraits, cityscapes, festivals as well as the great wildlife of India! Every kind of photographic action will be taken place on this trip.

Yes, this is your lifetime trip!

Participation - Is This Trip For You?

Participation applies to passionate wildlife photographers of every skill level

-wildlife video filmmakers
– BUT also to every traveler, who has true passion for nature, adventure and culture.

Safari is a unique activity for everyone and of every age! After your first safari you couldn’t help falling in love with nature and wildlife as well!

Highlights

  • In the heart of the Holi festival at the best locations of India.
  • Visiting Taj Mahal during sunrise and at night under full moon
  • The Blue and the Pink worldfamous towns of India
  • Safari leopards at the incredibly luxurious JAWAI Leopard Camp
  • An Exclusive, Compact, Tiger-Focused Game Drive- which has been designed to maximize success in best zones of Ranthambore National park , which is one of the best tiger sightings in the world.
  • The most experienced professionals local guides as logistics

Travel information

Legends’ Camp Mara

I highly recommend you to arrive one day before (17/03) the trip, relaxing at Holiday Inn airport hotel at Delhi.
Day 1
18.3.2019: Arrive Delhi – Agra

By Road: 220 Kms, 3-4 Hrs

Our meeting will be 9.00, 18 March at arrivals of the airport Indira Gandhi International Airport. Gurgaon.
After our meeting we will reach Agra (3 hours driving).
Relaxing and overnight at Agra at DoubleTree Hilton Garden.

 

Day 2
19.03.19: Agra-Taj Mahal

Early in the morning process to visit Taj Mahal at sunrise – perhaps one of the best times to take photos and visit the monument!
Later in the afternoon proceed for sightseeing tour of Agra visiting Agra fort and Itmadullah’s Tomb.
AGRA FORT – Built by the famed Mughal emperor Akbar in 1565 AD, the fort is pre dominantly of red sandstone. Ensconced within is the picture perfect Pearl Mosque, which is a major tourist attraction.
Visit Itmadullah’s Tomb built by Empress NOOR JEHAN in memory of her father (The interiors of which are considered better than the Taj).
Evening enjoy and taking photos Taj Mahal in full moon night.
Overnight at Agra at DoubleTree Hilton Garden

Day 3-4
20/21.03.19: Agra – Mathura – Vrindavan – Agra

By Road: 2 Hrs one side

Early in the morning proceed for excursion tour to Mathura – Vrindavan and villages, enjoying the amazing Holi Festival. Full day Photographic action.
Overnight at Agra at DoubleTree Hilton Garden.

 

Day 5
22.03.19: Agra – Fatehpur Sikri – Ranthambore

By Surface: 270 Kms, 5 Hrs

Visit Fatehpur Sikri
Continue drive to Ranthambore. Reach and check into hotel
Vivanta by Taj hotel
Afternoon proceed for our first tiger jungle safari.

 

Day 6-7
23/24.03.19: Ranthambore

Morning and afternoon proceed for tiger jungle safari into the Park.
Overnight stay in Ranthambhore.
Vivanta by Taj hotel.

 

 

 

Day 8
25.03.19: Ranthambore – Jaipur

By Surface: 150 Kms, 3-4 Hrs

Morning proceed for tiger jungle into the park.
After breakfast transfer to Ranthambore, Enroute visit Fatehpur Sikri. The deserted, sandstone city, Emperor Akbar built that as his capital and palace in the late 16th century is an exhilarating experience. It a veritable fairytale city and its “ruins” are in pristine conditions …
Later transfer to Jaipur, reach Jaipur and check into hotel.
Overnight stay in Jaipur.
Samode Haveli, Jaipur.

 

Day 9
26.03.19: Jaipur Sightseeing and photographic action street, portrait and culture photography

After breakfast go to the sightseeing of Pink City Photographic tour.
Amber Fort Palace: – Amber is the classic romantic Rajasthani fort palace. Its construction was started by Man Singh I in 1592, and completed by his descendent Jai Singh I. Its forbidding exterior belies an inner paradise where a beautiful fusion of Mughal and Hindu styles finds its ultimate expression. Enjoy Elephant Safari here.
City Palace: – A delightful blend of Mughal and traditional Rajasthani architecture, the City Palace sprawls over one-seventh of the area in the walled city. It houses the Chandra Mahal, Shri Govind Dev Temple, and the City Palace Museum.
Jantar Mantar: – This is the largest and the best preserved of the five observatories built by Jai Singh II in different parts of the country. This observatory consisting of outsized astronomical instruments is still in use.
Hawa Mahal: – The ornamental facade of this “Palace of Winds” is a prominent landmark in Jaipur. Their five-storey structures of sandstone plastered pink encrusted with fine trelliswork and elaborate balconies. The palace has 953 niches and windows. Built in 1799 by Pratap Singh, the Mahal was a royal grandstand for the palace women.
Evening free for Photography tour.
Diner at one traditional reusterant of town
Overnight stay in Jaipur.
Samode Haveli, Jaipur.

 

Day 10
27.03.19: Jaipur – Jhalana Leopard Camp – Jodhpur

By Surface: 285 Kms, 5 Hrs

Morning after breakfast check out and visit Jhalana Leopard National park for a morning leopard safari.
Later transfer to Jodhpur, reach Jodhpur and check into hotel.
Hotel RAAS, Jodhpur

 

 

Day 11
28.03.19: Jodhpur

By Surface: 150 Kms, 3-4 Hrs

Full day Photography tour-street photography.
Morning proceed for jeep safari to Bishnoi village to explore the rural life.
Later proceed for the sightseeing tour of Jodhpur, also known as the gateway to the desert beyond and a home of the Rathores of Marwar, you will be visiting the Mehrangarh Fort. The fort rises up a hilly scarp and is believed to have been built on the advice of a hermit. Inside the Fort are a number of palaces added by successive rulers. In this palace you would see different miniature paintings & cradle room. After this, you would visit Jaswant Thada Memorial.
Relax in the hotel and visit the museum of UMAID BHAWAN PALACE.
Overnight stay in Jodhpur.
Hotel RAAS, Jodhpur

 

Day 12
29.03.19: Jodhpur – JAWAI Leopard Camp

By Surface: 155 Kms, 3 Hrs

After photoaction in sunrise we will take breakfast and transfer to Sujan leopard Camp, reach and check in at the lodge.
We will have an experience of an extraordinary photo leopard safari and culture in a spectacular area around an amazing luxurious lodge!
Overnight stay in Jawai.

 

Day 13
30.03.19: Safari around JAWAI Leopard Camp – Jodhpur – Delhi departure

After relaxed breakfast transfer to Jodhpur airport for the flight to Delhi, upon arrival in Delhi you will be received by our representative and transfer to International departure Gate to board flight for home!

Cost:

4750 EUR Double Sharing per person
Single Sharing per person – 850 EUR Supplements

 

Deposit:

1500 EUR per person sharing
1800 EUR per person single

 

  • Please notice! The deposit is not refundable!
  • Please notice! The outstanding balance will be requested 90 days before the trip
  • If you are a single person who wants to share the room with someone else ( in order to have the sharing price) please let me know.
  • But in case that someone else takes your place after you cancel your workshop
    booking, I will be complacent to fully refund your money!

 

Exceptional Value for Your Travel:

Get the most out of your trip – thrills, frills and adventures bespoken
While we are coming at the optimal time to see tigers, this is otherwise an off-peak trip, meaning your cost is lower than for most India tours. Take advantage of great value pricing for an exceptionally high-quality small-group trip—when tiger sightings are best!

There is limited space available for this workshop only 6 persons, so if you are excited of
becoming a witness of this trip you have to hurry!!!

 

Included:
  • Meet and assist by company representative in each destination.
  • Accommodation on 01 double room in each hotel.
  • Sightseeing tours as mentioned in the travel plan.
  • Nice and comfortable A/C TOYOTA for all transfers & sightseeings.
  • Daily buffet breakfast in all hotels as listed below.
  • Entrance, monuments fees are included.
  • Internal air tickets for the domestic flight is included.
  • Mineral water in the transport during the whole tour.
  • Toll taxes, driver allowance, and parking are included during the tour.
  • All prevailing taxes like luxury tax in all hotels and expenditure tax wherever applicable.
  • Private professional wildlife photographer & guide Panos Laskarakis
  • Full day private safari in NP.
  • Camera Charges, Forest Entry Fees, Guide
  • Charges, Jeep Charges In National parks
  • Visiting Taj Mahal at a night with full moon.

 

Excluded:
  • International airfare and other transportation between your home and Delhi, India.
  • Any kind of personal expenses, extra meals, starters & Drinks (Alcoholic, Mineral, Aerated etcetera)
  • Visa, travel insurance.
  • Any kind of optional tours.
  • Tips, Insurance, Laundry, Phone Calls.
  • Anything not mentioned under the category “PACKAGE INCLUSIONS” Optional pre-/post- safari tours and meals or accommodation before or after the safari (we would be happy to arrange any and all additional overnights or extensions).
  • Any lunch, accommodation and transportation to Holiday Inn airport hotel at Delhi in 17 March 2019

Be ready

Leader: Panos Laskarakis
Locations: Agra – Mathura – Vrindavan – Ranthambore National park – Jaipur – Jodhpur – Jawai area
Duration: 12 nights (13 days)
Dates: 18/03/2019 to 30/03/2019
Domestic flights: Jodhpur to Delhi
Group size: Min 2 Max 6 persons
Arrival & Departure: Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi

 

Climate:

Dry season, the temperature touches the high of around 35°C and the low 22°C but from my personal experience the temperature inside the park is 3-4 degrees lower

 

Camera Gear:

Must have telephoto Lens mostly but you need lens from 16 to up 1000mm with converters! If you have 2 camera bodies is better. One crop and one full frame with High shutter speed and high ISO. About compact camera I recommend big zoom and High shutter speed as well. Except the tripod, I highly suggest monopod and bean bags.

 

Backpack:

This should be able to carry all of your camera gear.
Do not forget your Laptop.

 

Clothes:

It sounds strange but early morning in the jungle you will need a light fleece. The rest clothing must be very light , short and white , durable in dust , in UV rays and absorbent to the sweat. I suggest very light not open shoes or light boots! Summer hat and sun glasses are necessary as well as sunscreen and moisturizing creams! For the night we will need only anti mosquito creams and… swimwear for the pool!

  • I highly recommend you to have travel insurance and cancelation insurance as well.
  • Please let me know about your international flight details
  • Check out for your visa.In order to issue your visa , your passport must be valid at least for 6 months
  • Should be useful while your arrival at the Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi to convert some money in Indian rupees (50 rupees and 100 rupees bill).

Agra - Taj Mahal

Agra is a city, with a population almost 2.000.000 people and located 206 kilometers (128 mi) south of the national capital New Delhi which straddles a large bend along the holy Yamuna River.

It is a major tourist destination because the legacy of the Mughal empire has left a magnificent fort and a liberal sprinkling of fascinating tombs and mausoleums. Many splendid Mughal-era buildings, most notably the Tāj Mahal, Agra Fort, and Fatehpūr Sikrī, all three of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Agra is included on the Golden Triangle tourist circuit of India.

There’s also fun to be had in the bustling chowks (marketplaces).

The great Taj Mahal described from poet Rabindranath Tagore as a teardrop on the cheek of eternity! It is a monument of love built by Shah Jehan in 1630 for his Queen Mumtaz Mahal to enshrine her mortal remains. She died giving birth to their 14th child in 1631. For twenty-two years 20,000 men labored day and night to build this masterpiece, which has held the world of awestruck ever since.

The Taj was designated a World Heritage Site in 1983 and looks nearly as immaculate today as when it was first constructed – though it underwent a huge restoration project in the early 20th century.

For our team is the best opportunity to admire and create something very special behind from our photographic lens from the best locations at the best time of light ,even in the sunrise and even while the rise of the full moon in the background., just when the silver moonlight, illuminates nicely the white marbles and the reflections in the stillness of the waters, presents this incredible monument in all its majesty.

Mathura - Vrindavan (The heart of Holi Festival)

Located in the western part of Uttar Pradesh, Mathura is a jumble of never-ending lanes teeming with folks, rickshaws, and glittering shops. The city is dotted with magnificent temples, most of them dedicated to Lord Krishna, the city’s presiding deity and its first citizen. These temples depict various phases of Lord Krishna’s life, taking the devotees back to the divine era. Mathura is an important pilgrimage destination of the Hindus and is one of the seven sacred cities of India. Lord Krishna was born around 5000 years ago on this land as an 8th child to Mata Devaki and Vasudeva in the prison cell of the tyrant Kansa, Lord Krishna’s maternal uncle. The land is daubed with an enchanting culture, which is enough to capture your heart and touch your soul. Vrindavan is a holy town in Mathura and is the most significant pilgrimage site in the Braj region, attracting around 500000 pilgrims every year. It is believed that Lord Krishna spent his childhood here. Even the dust of this holy place is said to be sacred and devotees are often seen smearing it on their forehead. It is believed that Vrindavan was lost over time, until the 16th century when it was rediscovered by the saint from Nabadwip, Chaitanya, Mahaprabhu, who traveled to Vrindavan in 1515.

 

THE HEART OF HOLI FESTIVAL

Mathura the birth place of Lord Krishna
The tradition of playing colors on Holi draws its roots from a legend of Radha and Krishna. It is said that young Krishna was jealous of Radha’s fair complexion since he himself was very dark. He narrated his woe to mother Yashoda, who teasingly asked him to color Radha’s face in whichever color he wanted. In a mischievous mood, Krishna applied color on Radha’s face. The tradition of applying color to one’s beloved is being religiously followed till date.

People from all corners of India, rather, world gather at Mathura-Vrindavan every year to feel the essence of Holi in the land of Krishna. People relive the legends of Holi associated with Radha and Krishna and play pranks the young Krishna played with the cowgirls called gopis. The underlying feeling of this fun-frolic was love and devotion. Even today, romance can be experienced in the very atmosphere in the Krishna-nagari. One just needs to breathe in this air and drench oneself in the feeling of love and romance. Myriad colors of Holi are simply a facade on this. Celebrations Continue for a Week.

Ranthambore National park

Ranthambore National park in May is one of the best places to see the tigers in India! Contains a huge variety of animals, birds, and reptiles within it. Primarily the population consists of…
Animals: Tigers, Leopards, Striped Hyenas, Sambar deer, Chital, Nilgai, Common or Hanuman langurs, Macaques, Jackals, Jungle cats, Caracals, Sloth bears, Black bucks, Rufoustailed Hare, Indian Wild Boar, Chinkara, Common Palm Civets or Toddy cat, Coomon Yellow Bats, Desert Cats, Fivestriped Palm Squirrels, Indian False Vampires, Indian Flying Foxes, Indian Foxes, Indian Gerbilles, Indian Mole Rats, Indian Porcupines, Longeared Hedgehogs, Ratels, Small Indian Mongoose, Small Indian Civets and Common mongoose.
The amphibian species only consist of the Common India Toad and the Common Frog.
The park is most famous for its tigers.
The park also has a large number of marsh crocs Reptiles: Snub Nosed Marsh Crocodiles, Desert Monitor Lizards, Tortoise, Banded Kraits, Cobras, Common Kraits, Ganga Soft Shelled Turtles, Indian Pythons, North Indian Flap Shelled Turtles, Rat Snakes, Russel’s Vipers, Saw-scaled Vipers and the Indian Chamaeleon.

Jaipur: The Ancient Pink City, Rajasthan

Jaipur has a rich history of a clan of rulers who lived in magnificent forts and palaces. But, that’s not only what the capital of Rajasthan is famous for. The entire city of Jaipur is painted in the color pink and there’s a really interesting story behind this. Here’s all you need to know about the ‘Pink Paint Culture’ of one of the most hospitable cities on the planet.

The reason behind the terracotta-pink color of the city was the influence of a king named Sawai Ram Singh. In 1876, Prince Albert and Queen Victoria visited India and, since pink was considered the color of hospitality at the time, Maharaja Ram Singh had the whole city painted pink to welcome the royal guests. Lord Albert was said to have described Jaipur as the ‘pink city’, hence creating the name Jaipur is known as today.

The Blue City, Jodhpur

The second largest city in the Indian state of Rajasthan, this “Blue City” is a mesmerizing collection of azure abodes that soothes and delights anyone that beholds it.

In the city of Jodhpur, a sea of boxy indigo houses stretches for more than 10 kilometers along the walls of the historic walled old city. A blue pigment coating on a house used to indicate that a Brahmin—the priests of the Indian caste system—dwelled there, but over time the color became a badge of identity for non-Brahmins, too. It’s also said to have insect-repelling abilities.

Situated on the edge of the Thar Desert, Jodhpur is also called the “Sun City,” named for the overwhelming amount of bright and sunny days it experiences. It is home to famed forts, palaces, mausoleums, gardens, lakes, and towers, making it a hotspot for tourist activity. Since its founding more than 500 years ago, the city has earned renown for its textile industry, exquisite furniture shops, delectable cuisine, and bustling bazaars, among many other attractions.

But above all, visitors aren’t likely to forget the eye-catching color coating the houses, creating a luscious blue sea in the arid Indian landscape. A view from the top of the looming Mehrangarh Fort, one of India’s largest forts from the 15th century, lets visitors overlook the bountiful, striking blue for which the city is known.

India’s Leopard Hills of Jawai

Jawai, India’s Leopard Hills is one of the few places in India where one can easily sight leopards and the picturesque locations of Jawai hills and dam are also home to other wild animals and migratory birds.

Jawai Hills is a picturesque location in Pali district of Rajasthan, surrounded by Jawai Bandh, grasslands, riverbed and grazing ground. The Hills of Jawai were shaped by lava millions of years ago and now the natural caves and rock shelters of Jawai Hills are home to leopards and Indian striped hyena.

Professional wildlife photo tutorial fest by Panos Laskarakis

I am a professional outdoor nature photographer who cooperate with the most experienced professionals’ local guides as logistics and understands the local culture and ethics wherever I conduct tours. I have won many awards for excellence. I also specialize in organizing workshops and outdoor photography tours a learning experie nce for the amateurs and would-be lens men. Being awe stricken by India and its wild heritage I began to organize wildlife photo tours and soon mastered the endeavor.

So, I am glad to lead you as a private group of photographers or passionate travelers into the wild wonders of India and I will focus strictly on your improvement as far as wildlife photography is concerned as well as your needs, your demands and your relaxation! You don’t have to worry about anything. Just enjoy your experience. So take your passion and make it happen!

For photographers, the tutorial includes two major parts. The first concerns the outdoor wildlife photography, when I am planning to show you my new skills, techniques and my photographic behavior in the wild. The second is about the seminars in our lodge areas, during which I will share my knowledge with you on your preparation before the safari and your future wildlife photography as well. We will spend most of our time and effort on safari with new photographic activities and get qualitative images. I will make a much more enjoyable and in depth wildlife photographic experience for you.

Responsible Tourism - Local Communities

When you are involved in a responsible photo tour you are empowering the locals, their economy and the inheritance. These are the vital aspects of conservation anywhere in the World. From a precarious downfall to a steady rise of the wild animals population in Kenya has been an encouraging development and will lead to a permanent conservation of the species.

The biggest percent of these big cats in the wild are found in Kenya. By participating you will be auguring much needed conservation practice that will set a stunning example for the rest of the World.

Responsible tourism leads to responsible attitude that saves energy, sustains resources and augurs best practices to make a carbon footprint free world. As tour operator a great emphasis is accorded to green eco-friendly practices. Join Panos in his endeavors.

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Contact

Please do not hesitate to contact with me.

Men in charge: Panos laskarakis

Mobile phone: +372 54072874

Email : laskaraki77@yahoo.gr or info@panoslaskarakis.com

Come join me to explore an extraordinary wildlife photographic safari, as well as the hidden treasures of East Africa!