In a country with as many personalities, cultures, languages, religions and people as India, it’s difficult to encapsulate the entire country in one photo. But by travelling to these five locations and spotlights, you can attempt to create a fuller picture of the country. Grab your camera and your favourite photography equipment and hit the road to capture the marvel and spectacle that is India.
With over 3 million visitors to Agra, India each year, the Taj Mahal is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. It was created by the 17th century Mughal emperor Shah Jahan who built the Taj Mahal as a mausoleum for his beloved wife who died during childbirth. While there is the classic straight-on shot of the white-marble masterpiece, walk the grounds and around the building for equally breath-taking, yet unusual views.
The Golden Temple is legendary in India, and once you catch a glimpse of its intricate construction you’ll begin to understand why. Spiritually, the tank that surrounds the gleaming golden central shrine is said to have healing powers, and pilgrims come from across the world to bathe in its sacred waters. Visually, the Golden Temple appears to be floating amidst the Amrit Sarovar, or Pool of Nectar. There are intricately carved gold panels, a gold gilded dome and an inner sanctum that shimmers. Arrive early, around dawn, to capture photos without the inevitable crowds of tourists, pilgrims and locals who flock to the Golden Temple.
An annual event rather than a place, capturing images of this festival takes a little more timing than visiting the Taj Mahal or Golden Temple. The Holi Festival, which celebrates the triumph of “good” over “bad”, takes places across all of India from in February or late March depending on the year.
Dan from Cover-More went to India this year to take part in the Holi Festival and get first-hand knowledge of what it's like to be in the middle of the crowds throwing colours:
A rainbow of brilliant colours, genuine smiles, an overwhelming sense of community, and joyful celebrations make the Holi Festival a photographer’s dream come true.
Durga Puja is a celebration of the Mother Goddess and the victory of the Goddess Durga over the evil buffalo demon, named Mahishasura. The celebrations take place at the end of September and beginning of October for five days every year. Kolkata, India is the focal point of celebrations and the festivities associated with Durga Puja are elaborate and beautiful. The start of the festival produces elegant and stunningly decorated statues of Goddess Durga that are installed in homes and displayed on podiums throughout the cities.
At the end of the festival, the statues are paraded through the streets, with ceremony, music and dancing and then immersed in water. Photo opportunities abound as people interact with each other, with the statues of Goddess Durga and participate in traditional festival celebrations.
As the only list item that isn’t a place or a celebration, Rajasthani handicrafts have earned their spot on this list. Rajasthan is the largest state of the Republic of India and it is a place where all aspects of life are infused with a sense of artistry. Cultural traditions of the Rajasthani include highly cultivated classical music with a distinct style of dancing. The dancing is often paired with uncomplicated music and moves that depict daily life.
This area of India is famous for textiles, semi-precious stones and general handicrafts—including traditional and colourful art, furniture, fabric dolls, block prints, pottery, fabrics and more. Challenge your photography skills and capture the splendour, talent and skill that encompass Rajasthan, India.
As you plan your trip to India, perhaps considering participating in the Holi festival, or deciding to visit the Golden Temple, take the proper precautions to protect your technology, your camera and your photos from harm. Tailor your travel insurance plan from Cover-More Australia to meet your specific needs and to make sure you are safe during your holiday to India.
Disclaimer: Please exercise caution while travelling in India and always be sure to check Smarttraveller’s website for the most up-to-date precautions and travel advice.