The land of many paradoxes, India holds numerous different spots. Some are barren and fruitless and some spots are favoured with lavish greenery and shocking woodland. Unquestionably, our country is personified with its individuality of landscape, and is a photographer’s paradise. From its natural beauty to the rich culture and diverse emotions across the nation, there is a lot your lens can capture if it is at the right place at the right time.
So here’s a list of places you must travel if you love photography! Flinging open doors to a new world to explore behind the camera.
1. Himachal Pradesh
Considered among the most well-known visitor destinations on the planet, Himachal Pradesh is a standout among the lovely Himalayan states, with widespread magnificence. The panoramic view of Himachal Pradesh is stunning, particularly the part that resembles Switzerland’s geology. Khajjar, located 2000 meters above ocean level, at the foot of Dhauladhar is a photographer’s dream. The crystal clear waterway of Chandertal Lake, the “Sar Pass”, and the Rohtang Pass are viewed as other spots for landscape photography in India.
An undeniable photography haven, steeped in royal history, Rajasthan showcases colourful locals, grand palaces, havelis, festivals and a landscape as barren and harsh as it is beautiful.
Jaisalmer’s canvas of sand is dotted with camels, and is a favourite with photographers. The floating Lake Palace of Udaipur, forts in Jodhpur and Jaipur with sentries standing guard in traditional attire, and the Pushkar fair also offer rich pickings for your camera. The hazy morning and twilight lends itself to surreal images, but then this holds true for most of Rajasthan. Unquestionably, throughout the year, the state possesses its hypnotising landscape photography temperament.
3. Rann of Kutch
If you are looking for lots of colour, generous doses of history, exquisite carvings, intricate art, flaming flamingos, flying cranes and different migratory birds, then Kutch is the ideal place for you. The pristine beauty of nature comes alive in the warmth of the people, the delicious food of the land, colourful handicrafts and the beautiful Kachchhi melodies. The Rann of Kutch looks divine on a full moon night, the infinite white land stretched out meeting the sky.
4. Andaman & Nicobar
If white sandy beaches and pristine blue waters have excited you, be prepared to be awe-struck as you witness what the waters of Andaman hold for you! The rich reefs will surprise you with their varied offerings.
Colourful fish, sunken ships, prismatic sea life and some steeply undulating hills of raven volcanic lava make for an unusual diving experience. Think of this experience as that of getting a view of heaven underwater while experiencing one of the most beautiful places in India. These islands offer plenty of photography opportunities.
5. Kerala Backwaters
The backwaters are a beautiful chain of lakes and lagoons along the Arabian sea coast and definitely shouldn’t be missed. Ferries here will take you anywhere and you can even hire a houseboat to stay in. In the Kuttanad region of Alappuzha, you’ll also be treated to boat races, where you will find snake boats that can hold up to a hundred oarsmen. Thousands of fans line the riverbanks and cheer on their favourite teams which make for a great atmosphere. There are dozens of villages and communities throughout this area which you can visit and get a real sense of everyday life and culture in this interesting place.
With backwaters, forts, beaches, palm trees, fishermen, hamlets and churches, Kerala is one of the most photogenic places God ever made. You should be there with your camera dangling from your neck and vouchers of tour packages clutched firmly in your hands.
6. Living Root Bridges, Meghalaya
What seems to appear straight out of a fantasy movie, the Living Root Bridges have to be seen to be believed! Some of these roots are more than a hundred feet long and are strong enough to carry the weight of fifty people at one time. Located in Meghalaya, they are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site and you won’t stop clicking. Do carry an extra memory card and some battery backup.
‘Otherworldly’ is probably the most appropriate term to define the highest inhabited region of India. The scale of the multi-hued mountains is only really experienced when you whip out your regular wide-angle lens, only to find that what stands before you cannot be captured in its giddy entirety in one frame. The landscape changes from steep lunar rocks to white sands in the Nubra Valley and to placid blue water in the Pangong Lake. Tibetan Buddhist monasteries hang on steep rock-faces, so make sure you carry a sturdy tripod.
Ladakh touches the clouds. It has a sensational landscape, the air has a nip to it, the windows are misty all the time, the birds sing across the Pangong Lake and the silence of the monks at Buddhist monasteries inspires. Let’s see if your lens can capture all that!
8. Spiti Valley
Ladakh’s lesser-known neighbour, the cold mountain desert of Spiti is for travellers who dare to drift from tourist trails. Spiti’s postcard villages remain remotely tucked away in the lap of the mighty, barren Himalayas of Himachal Pradesh. It is here that you can hike along snow leopard and Himalayan wolf habitats, visit monasteries dating back over a 1000 years, sample a culture and cuisine different from the rest of India, and meet the kindest of people who live the harshest of lives. This is the world within a world, as Rudyard Kipling once described it.
It’s a great place for photographers to practise and hone their skills while exploring the beauty of villages and pristine sights of this environment.
9. Bandhavgarh National Park
Located in the Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh, the Bandhavgarh National Park has for its inhabitants tigers, sambar, nilgai, chousingha, and chinkara. Wide open meadows, steep terrain, and lush forests make the Bandhavgarh National Park an exciting place to photograph wild animals. The park is also reputed to be one of the best for tiger spotting in India, providing ample opportunities for wildlife photography enthusiasts.
10. Tadoba National park
With about 65 tigers, you have a fair chance of getting to capture some wildly beautiful expressions in the Tadoba National Park. Located in the Chandrapur district of Maharashtra the Tadoba National park offers elephant rides and gypsy safaris to take you closer to the stripes in the wild. Focus, and be rewarded with some roaring images!
Certain places offer photographers a chance to click something unique, such as monuments, historically popular places of interest, festivals, culture or landscapes. Some places, however, are able to offer everything in a nutshell. One such place is Varanasi. This region is best known for its religious reverence along with its bright culture, vivid hues, elaborate traditional, cheery locals, and ghats.
Defined by colours, unity in diversity, death and birth, indulgence and spirituality, this place is unique for photography. A trip to Varanasi can easily bring out the photographer in a person. In fact, even people who believe that they don’t need a camera will take one and click images of sadhus, priests, and ladies dipping into the holy water of the Ganges. Such is the mesmerising capacity of this place! Varanasi with its spiritual and vintage charm gives you some unique scenes. Uttar Pradesh’s biggest draw gets our votes for its deluge of 80 river ghats along the River Ganga.
Set like a jewelled crown on the map of India, Kashmir is a multi-faceted diamond, changing its hues with the seasons – always extravagantly beautiful. Cradled in the lap of majestic mountains of the Himalayas, this is a land where myriad holiday ideas are realised.
In winter, when snow carpets the mountains, there is skiing, tobogganing, sledge-riding, etc. along the gentle slopes. In spring and summer, the honey-dewed orchards, rippling lakes, and blue skies beckon every soul to sample the many delights the mountains and valleys have to offer.
Golfing at 2,700 m above the sea, water-skiing in the lakes and angling for prized rainbow trout, or simply drifting down the willow-fringed alleys of lakes in shikaris and living in gorgeous houseboats are some of the most favoured experiences. Throughout the ages Kashmir has remained another name for Paradise.