Day 1: Tuesday, May 6. Depart from your home airport to New Delhi, India. Transfer to a domestic flight to Cochin, southern India on Day 2 where we will be met by our local guide (airport code: COK). Make sure you allow enough travel time to arrive in Cochin on May 7.
Day 2: Wednesday, May 7. You arrive in Cochin. You can rest from the long journey to India or you can spend some time shooting wonderful subjects in the area. The fishing nets make classic silhouettes against a bright sky or setting sun, and men bathing their elephants is an exciting thing to see and photograph. We will get to bed early this evening to rest from the long journey. Overnight Hotel Vivanta (by Taj Malabar), Cochin.
Day 3: Thursday, May 8. Today we drive east to Thrisuur. Jim has arranged to photograph classical dancers backstage while they apply their incredible makeup. They will pose for our cameras, and Jim will discuss how to use off-camera flash for more dramatic lighting. We can also photograph some of Thrisuur's beautiful temples, including Paramekkavu Devi Temple which is dramatically illuminated at night. Overnight Hotel Lulu International, Thrisuur.
Day 4 - 5: Friday, Saturday, May 9 - 10. This photography tour is timed to coincide with the fabulous Pooram Elephant Festival. Stunningly decorated elephants parade through a dense crowd in the street, and we will have elevated viewpoints to shoot the festivities, the color, and to be honest, the craziness of the festival. One of the advantages of a high shooting perspective is that even if we have a mid-day sun, the light will still be attractive. We will also try to get closeup shots of the elephants. Overnight Hotel Lulu International, Thrisuur.
Day 6: Sunday, May 11. We leave Thrisuur this morning and drive to the hill station, Munnar, situated on the Western Ghats. This is a range of mountains that boasts the highest tea plantations in India. Layers of tea estates, waterfalls, mountain mists and wildlife sanctuaries make Munnar almost surrealistically beautiful. We will photograph women picking tea leaves as well as the beautiful views of the lake below our hotel. If time permits, we can also visit the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary to photograph elephants, liontailed macaques, gaur, and langur. Overnight Club Mahindra Lake View Hotel, Munnar.
Day 7 - 9: Monday - Wednesday, May 12 - 14. We head toward Madura after breakfast. This is the third largest city in the state of Tamil Nadu, and it is the site of some of the most photogenic and stunning temples in India. The Meenakshi Amman temple is especially remarkable, and so is the Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal. We will also see and photograph a dance performance, and there will be some leisure time for independent photography, shopping, and exploring. Overnight Gateway Pasumalai Hotel, Madura.
Day 10: Thursday, May 15. Today we board a flight to New Delhi where we overnight. In order to fly to Bandhavgarh National Park for our tiger safari, we must travel through New Delhi. You will be at leisure to explore the city, shop, or work on your pictures. One suggestion is the new Akshardham Temple. At twilight it is incredible. Overnight.
Day 11 - 12: Friday, Saturday, May 16 - 17. We depart New Delhi this morning and fly to Bandhavgarh National Park for a tiger safari. We will seek out these relatively elusive cats in their natural habitat over a two day period. Like in Africa, you'll want the longest lens in your arsenal so you can fill the frame as much as possible with the beautiful Bengal tigers. The sambar, barking deer, and nilgai are also commonly seen in the open areas of the park. You will also have the option of visiting the ruins of Bandhavgarh Fort, believed to be about 2000 years old. Overnight.
Day 13: Sunday, May 18. After breakfast, we drive to Jabalpur. Here we take some spectacular shots of the Namada River at the Bheda Ghat where the waterfalls are stunning. We also shoot the remarkable Madhya Pradesh High Court Building, a colonial masterpiece in blue, and the awesome figure of Lord Shiva at Kachnar City. A unique fort that was built atop an unusual rock formation is Madan Mahal Fort. In low angled sunlight it's beautiful to see and to photograph. Overnight.
Day 14: Monday, May 19. We depart by a domestic flight to Delhi, and after transferring to our hotel you will have some leisure time to shop or photograph. Old Delhi is an incredible experience that all visitors to India should see, and nearby is the largest mosque in Asia, the Jama Masjid. Twilight is especially beautiful on the B'hai Temple and the huge Akshardham Temple. In the evening we transfer to the airport for a night departure home having taken some of the best pictures ever. You will arrive on May 20.
LAND PORTION COST: $5995 per person based on sharing a room.
INTERNAL AIRFARE COST: $320 per person
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT COST (to have your own room): $755
Tour cost includes: All lodging, internal flights from Madura to Mumbai, from Mumbai to Japalpur, and from Jabalpur to Mumbai, all land transportation, all breakfasts, all dinners, entrance fees to dances, ruins, temples, and national parks, photo instruction.
Tour cost does not include: International airfare and airfare from Mumbai (BOM) to Cochin (COK), visa fee, all lunches, and items of a personal nature.