INDIA – WILDLIFE & CULTURES OF NORTHERN INDIA PHOTO TOUR 2025
US$13,063 / person sharing
21 Mar – 03 Apr 2025
Penny Robartes and ORYX Photo Tours are proud to present a carefully crafted and exciting photo tour to key architecture, cultural and wildlife sites in Northern India.
Our tour to magical India takes place in March which falls around the beginning of spring and is a great time to photograph the magnificent Bengal Tiger. India of course has many highlights, but the Bengal Tiger is unquestionably one of them! As spring progresses, temperatures in Ranthambore National Park rise and animals, most notably tigers, seek out water sources to slake their thirst and stay cool in the ever-growing heat. In addition to game drives to search for Bengal Tiger and other wildlife, working the waterholes is a good way locate our primary quarry.
We also visit the iconic Taj Mahal, Red Fort and colourful Varanasi on this tour, all of which adds an experiential blend of cultural elements to the wildlife highlights of Ranthambore and offers an amazing overview of India.
Why This Photo Tour Is For You
Today is set aside as an arrival day in bustling New Delhi – India’s second most populous city, and one of the most densely populated on earth. You will be met by a representative and driven through to your lovely accommodations for the night. This evening during dinner, Penny Robartes will discuss the upcoming India photo tour in detail.
This morning we will head to Indira Gandhi International Airport for our flight to Varanasi (approximately 1,5 hours). After arrival in Varanasi, and baggage collection, a representative will meet you before transporting you to your hotel.
After check-in and lunch we will explore and photograph Varanasi (Benares or Kashi), the oldest living city in the world and the city that has been the ultimate Hindu pilgrimage for ages. Hindus believe that one who is graced to die on the holy land of Varanasi will attain salvation from the cycle of birth and re-birth.
During our time in Varanasi, we will enjoy an early morning boat ride on the river Ganges to witness the sunrise over the river and Ghats (the broad flight of steps leading down to the water) and also to observe the devotees taking a holy dip and offering morning prayers.
The city is an experience the likes of which you will find nowhere else in the world! It is also one of India’s most photographed cities, particularly its Hindu pilgrims, worshipers and bathers on the Ghats situated along the banks of the Ganges (Ganga) River.
According to legend, the city was founded by the Hindu deity Lord Shiva several thousand years ago, thus making it one of the most important pilgrimage destinations in the country.It is also a general held belief that it stands on the weapon “The Trishool” (Trident) of Lord Shiva. It is one of the seven sacred cities of the Hindus, and many Hindu scriptures, including the Rigveda, Skanda Purana, the Ramayana, and the Mahabharata, mention the city.
A dip at any of the 84 sacred Ghats of the Ganges is believed to wash away the sins of mortals. The city is a centre of learning and civilization and for over 3000 years Varanasi has been a symbol of Hindu renaissance.
Knowledge, philosophy, culture, devotion to gods, and Indian arts and crafts have flourished here for centuries, and it is aptly called the “Cultural Capital of India”. Varanasi was previously an industry centre famous for its muslin and silk fabrics, perfumes, ivory works and sculpture, while today it is a noted centre for fine silks and brocaded fabrics, exquisite saris, brassware, jewellery, woodcraft, carpets, wall hangings, lamp shades, masks of Hindu and Buddhist deities, Zari work, stone inlay work, glass beads and bangles.
After a final morning’s photography excursion and a delicious breakfast, we will fly back to Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi.
After breakfast, we will drive from Delhi to Agra, which is approximate a 4-5 hour drive. Agra is the home of arguably the world’s most famous and spectacular historic building, the Taj Mahal! This morning we will visit this architectural masterpiece, the name of which literally means “Crown of Palaces”. This India Photo tour highlight is a World Heritage Site and is famous for the elegance of its design, its extraordinary translucent white marble dome, its mathematical symmetry and the immense numbers of intricately carved and inlaid semi-precious stones that adorn its walls. This is without a doubt one of India’s most iconic and impressive sites, and this afternoon we will take advantage of the soft afternoon light, which is optimal for photography.
This morning we will again visit the Taj Mahal as the sun comes up for golden hour photography. We will explore a different side of the Taj Mahal and the photographic opportunities the sun-rise side of the building has to offer.
This afternoon we will visit the historical Agra Red Fort, located in the centre of the city and serving as a monumental reminder of the fascinating history of the region. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is more accurately a 94 acre walled city and was constructed in the 16th century. Visiting this architecturally spectacular complex is fascinating and from here we will also be able to enjoy views of the shimmering marble Taj Mahal.
Our India photo tour continues as we travel from Agra to Jaipur, which is an approximate 4 hour drive. The afternoon is set aside for some relaxation at the hotel (activities to be confirmed).
This morning your local guide will collect you from your hotel where you will depart Jaipur for Ranthambore, which is approximately a 4-hour drive. Upon arriving, we will check in and after lunch, make our way into the park for afternoon game viewing
Located in the Sawai Madhopur district of south-eastern Rajasthan, Ranthambore National Park is one of India’s largest parks, protecting over 380 square kilometres (almost 1400 square kilometres including the buffer zone).
Dominated by the 10th century Ranthambore Fort, which sits atop a plateau 700-feet above the plains, this scenic reserve contains good concentrations of herbivores such as Spotted Deer, Sambar and Wild Boar; which are the Tigers primary food source.
Although the Tiger population of the park is small, quite a few are habituated to the presence of tourists, and this afternoon will be our first opportunity during this tiger tour in India to photograph this cat, often regarded as the most spectacular of all the world’s felines!
We will use open-top jeeps to explore the park for Tigers, enjoying the prolific bird life of the area as we explore. The rangers will be on the lookout for telltale signs such as pugmarks or scat in the road and will be ever alert for the alarm calls of Sambar, Spotted Deer (Chital) and Hanuman Langur.
With luck, these signs will lead us to a Tiger padding along a dusty track or sprawled out in the dappled sunlight of a bamboo thicket. Looking into the amber eyes of this, the largest of all the cats, undoubtedly ranks as one of the world’s ultimate wildlife experiences.
If we are exceptionally lucky, we may even be able to see (and photograph!) a Tiger on the famous Fort at Ranthambore!
Besides the main target of obtaining an unforgettable Tiger experience, Ranthambhore hosts an exciting cast of supporting mammals. The Leopard population is healthy and although they can be harder to find than Tiger, we hope to be able to view these beauties. Striped Hyaena prefer the park outskirts and areas nearer to our lodge and we will make an effort to find them. Sloth Bears roam the park in small numbers, and we may be fortunate to encounter these versatile creatures. Other predators include Indian Wolf (rare), Golden Jackal, Indian Fox, Jungle Cat, Ruddy, Indian Grey and Small Indian mongoose.
The default herbivores are the elegant Spotted Deer or Chital, and much larger Sambar. Less common are Indian Gazelle or Chinkara, and Nilgai. Sounders of Wild Boar are frequently encountered as are the dainty Indian Palm Squirrel and troops of often tame Southern Plains Grey Langur, and we can dream of spotting an Indian Pangolin.
Photographic opportunities in Ranthambhore National Park abound and range from spectacular scenery, impressive Banyan trees, ancient forts and ruins, Tigers and other wildlife, to birds that are often comically tame!
Today, our wonderful photographic tour sadly comes to an end. After a final morning’s photography and breakfast we will fly back to Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi and here is where this the photo tour concludes.