Day 1. DELHI
Arrivals to Delhi. On arrival transfer to our hotel .
Day 2. DELHI– HARIDWAR
Early morning train to Haridwar. On arrival transfer by cycle rickshaws to our hotel on the river.
Our hotel is situated right in the middle of this pilgrimage city. Our ride will be through small lanes and by lanes of shops selling religious artifacts for the pilgrims.
Afternoon walking tour of its narrow streets followed by a visit to the ghats. Evening participate in the fire ceremony on the Ganges.
Day 3. HARIDWARD– RISHIKESH– HARIDWAR
Early morning, visit again the ghats to see the atmosphere of the morning.
Later, our visit to Rishikesh, the place where Beatles had come in 1960’s looking for nirvana! and its various Ashrams.
On the banks of the Ganges River, Rishikesh stands at the point where the Garhwal mountains rise abruptly from the Gangetic plains. Its many ashrams, some very clearly ascetic, some verging on opulent, continue to draw devotees and followers from around the world. The whole place is considered to be sacred, as it is believed that meditation here leads to attainment of salvation. There are a number of beautiful temple here and it is an area of astounding beauty.
Day 4. HARIDWAR– DELHI- VARANASI
Morning train back to Delhi. On arrival, transfer to the airport to catch the flight to Varanasi.
DAYS 5, 6, 7, 8 - VARANASI.
Early Flight to Varanasi.
We will be in Varanasi, calmly, with time to enjoy our stay in contrast to the hustle and bustle of Shamans, boatmen, pilgrims, cows, tourists, barbers, and fake Sadhus. We will cross to the other side of the river where no one normally goes, to admire the city from another perspective and witness the daily coming and going of pilgrims. We will stroll though the back streets of the ghats, the alleys, and discover temples outside the normal tourist route. We will meet people there, and wait for the certainty of the unexpected to happen.
On the mornings we will usually start at dawn in order to be at the place when the first prayers begin at the Ganges. It will nearly be night photography, with candle lights. Later we will be walking the Gahts. Each of them is different and worshippers from different regions come to pray their particular gods.
Depending on the day and the photographic opportunities it will be time for a break, some organisation of our pictures and eventually a photographic analysis and discussion of the work done. Later, when the light will be appropriate, we will walk in the old city with its narrow alleys. Only then the sun enters and transforms everything.
On the afternoon, again depending on the day, we will explore hidden places of the old city before the Arati ceremony before dinner. We will go down the sacred river in our boat and visit an “akhara”, a gymnasium where Kursty fighters train and compete. If we are lucky we will be able to make a photo coverage of their workouts.
Our days will be really busy reaching the Ghats to photograph, amongst remains of wreaths and cremation ashes, Brahmins offering ritual shaving, dressed bathing women. Bearded, hirsute Holy Men, bare feet, watching stunned families bathing dressed in bright Indian saris. Groups of pilgrims down the huge wooden barges. Then the calm of our hotel, attending dinner before the night ceremony. In the calm of "our" Ganges.
DAY 9.- FLIGHT VARANASI/DELHI
Free morning and hotel until 12:00. Later we will be taken to the airport to Delhi. Free Day in Delhi
DAY 10.- DELHI - INTERNATIONAL DEPARTURES