ART OF SEEING Workshop Oversea -Rajasthan During Pushkar Fair 2006
26 Oct – 4 Nov 2006
Pushkar is a little town in Rajasthan, built around a small lake at the edge of the desert. The lake is sacred to Hindus, and every year in the second week after Diwali (what we in Singapore call Deepavali), thousands of pilgrims converge here to bathe in the lake. Traditionally, this pilgrimage has also drawn cattle and camel traders to Pushkar, so that today the festivities is better known as the Pushkar Camel Fair. This is truly one of India's epic events; up to 200,000 pilgrims, holy men, entertainers, merchants and camel traders converge here along with 50,000 or so camels. The camels are bought and sold, raced, wrestled and entered into beauty contests; there are spontaneous outbreaks of traditional Rajasthani music and dance; and bazaars sell all sorts of goods, essential and otherwise, to villagers who trek here from all over the state for what is their highlight of the year. The Pushkar Fair also attracts visitors from all over the world, selling out hotel rooms not only in Pushkar, but for all the major cities in Rajasthan for the week before and the week after the Fair. In Pushkar itself, hotel rooms sell for up to 5 times the rate they command outside the Fair week. This year, however, we've blocked rooms in Delhi, Ranthambore, Khimsar, Jaiselmer and Jodhpur in anticipation of the fair; in Pushkar itself, we've reserved accomodation for the 29th and 30th of October in deluxe tents (which are fully furnished with beds and attached bathrooms). With the guidance from photography instructor Steven Yee who leads the trip, this could be the trip of your lifetime. We will try to ensure that comfort and safety are not compromised, which is why we select relatively good hotels as well as flying by Singapore Airlines. If you look at the program, you will know that the trip is worth the every cents paid. Rajasthan is one of the most memorable states in India to visit at any time; but there's surely no better time than to take in the magnificent spectacle which is the Pushkar Fair. Price per person: Twin Sharing $3500 Single Room $4300
PROGRAM 26 Oct Singapore - Delhi Depart Singapore Changi Airport at 1855, on Singapore airlines flight SQ408 to Delhi. Arrive at 2155 local time (meal on board). You will be met by your tour escort and overnight in New Delhi in Crowne Plaza Hotel. 27 Oct Delhi – Jaipur Breakfast at hotel, followed by checkout of hotel at 9am. Tour of New Delhi, visit Jama Masjid (1hr) and Humayun Tomb (1hr). Have lunch in New Delhi and be driven 260 km (4 hours) to Jaipur. Checkin to Mansingh Hotel Jaipur for 2 nights. 28 Oct Jaipur Jaipur, capital of Rajasthan, is known as the ‘Pink City’, for the colours of the buildings in the walled old city. Founded by Maharaja Jai Singh II in 1727, it is today a buzzing metropolis of wild contrasts – camel carts compete with cars and motorcycles; traditionally dressed Rajput men complete with bright turbans and huge mustaches sit at modern roadside restaurants. We start the day with a drive to nearby Amber, for a visit to its huge fort-palace, complete with an ascent uphill to the entrance on elephant back. After lunch, visit the Old City, beginning with the City Palace complex, part of which is still the residence of the family of the last Maharaja. We also make a photostop at the Hawa Mahal, one of Jaipur’s landmarks. Little more than a façade, it was built to enable ladies of the royal household to watch processions from one of its many honeycombed sandstone windows. Later visit the Jantar Mantar, or Observatory. Jai Singh had a passion for astronomy and this observatory is a fascinating collection of what appears to be sculptures, but are in fact instruments to observe and measure heavenly bodies. In the evening, drive to visit Nahargah Fort for a glorious sunset view. 29 Oct Jaipur – Pushkar Free morning at leisure in Jaipur do some street photography or go shopping. After lunch, drive 170 km (3 hours) to Pushkar and check-in to tented accommodation for 2 nights – these are large tents, furnished with beds and attached bathrooms. 30 Oct Pushkar Begin the day before dawn for a short climb up to the temple, one of very few dedicated to Brahma, the creator. From here there is a marvelous view of Pushkar, the holy lake, and the early morning activities of pilgrims and traders visiting the town for the fair. Descend to join them in one of India’s epic events. Each year, this little town at the edge of the desert comes to life, as over 200,000 people flock here, bringing with them some 50,000 camels and cattle. The original purpose was for pilgrims to bathe in the holy lake, but this gathering of people also brought in traders, and along with them musicians, mystics, comedians and tourists in the only event of its kind in the world. It is a noisy, carnival atmosphere, truly a feast for the eyes. 31 Oct Pushkar – Khimsar After breakfast today, drive 3 hours to Khimsar, where we will be staying at Khimsar Fort. This 16th century fort at the edge of the great Thar desert was home to the Maharajas of Khimsar, and is today one of the great heritage hotels of India. In the afternoon, take a ride in camel carts into the Thar desert, and experience sunset among the beautiful sand dunes of the desert. Have a traditional Rajasthani dinner around a bonfire in the dunes, before returning to the Fort for the night. 01 Nov Khimsar – Jaiselmer After breakfast, set off for Jaiselmer (285 km 5 hours). Golden Jaiselmer, rising like a mirage among the dunes of the Thar Desert, is a photographer’s dream. Once the base for all caravans crossing the desert, its magnificent fort overlooks a city of merchant’s mansions, or havelis, decorated in traditional Rajasthani style. A walk through the labyrinth streets and bazaars will convince you that this is a
place that should only exist in the imagination. The Fort and old city is made of the local sandstone, and appear to glow at sunset, hence the name ‘Golden City’. On arrival, check-in to the Rang Mahal Hotel for 2 nights. The rest of the afternoon is free to wander through the streets to photograph the havelis. 02 Nov Jaiselmer Start the day with an early morning visit to Jaiselmer fort. Afternoon free to walk around the city on your own or with your escort (street photography & bazaar shopping). In the late afternoon, drive out to the sand dunes at Sam, for a camel ride into the dunes to photograph the desert sunset. 03 Nov Jaiselmer – Jodhpur After breakfast drive to Jodhpur (290 km 5 hours). Check-in to the Fortune Umed Hotel. Jodhpur is called the ‘blue city’ for the colour of the buildings in the old city, and is dominated by the massive Mehrangarh fort, topping a rocky ridge right in the middle of town. Visit Mehrangarh Fort. From here you can clearly see where the old city ends and the new town begins; the view over the blue buildings is one of Rajasthan’s most spectacular sights. Also visit the Jaswant Thada, a cenotaph, or marble memorial to Maharajah Jaswant Singh II, and three other cenotaphs nearby. 04 Nov Jodhpur – Delhi – Departure Optional early morning visit to Mehrangarh Fort again. Later visit the immense Umaid Bhawan Palace, still the Maharaja’s residence and also containing a luxury hotel and museum (1-1.5 hours). Visit the local bazaar before transfer to the airport for your departure flight on Jet Airways flight 9W3312 at 1400, arriving Delhi at 1520. On arrival in Delhi, you will be met and taken out for dinner, before check-in at the International Terminal for your return flight SQ407 departing at 2135 for Singapore. 05 Nov Arrive Singapore Arrive in Singapore at 0630. End of tour. Tour includes: • Return economy airfare from Singapore to Delhi • One-way economy airfare from Jodhpur to Delhi • Photography instructor as tour leader with guidance to direct certain angles • Hotel accommodation at hotels indicated or similar • Full board meals • Experienced tour escort accompanying from arrival until departure • Local English-speaking tour guides at site • Transportation for tours and transfers by private vehicle • Entrance fees and charges • Airport Taxes, fuel and security charges of S$238 Tour excludes: • Personal expenses including drinks, telephone and laundry • Camera fees required at some monuments (average 50 rupees) • Indian visa ($80 for Singapore passports, free application) • Tips and gratuities
Art of Seeing Workshop Oversea – Rajasthan 26th October to 4th November 2006
APPLICATION FORM Please kindly fill up this form and have it sent to The Photographic Society of Singapore with the fee latest by 12th Sept 2006, as we need to secure the air tickets and hotel rooms.
(Note: One person to fill one form)
Name: ____________________________________Passport: ______________________________ Passport Expiry: ____________________________Nationality: ___________________________ Contact Number: ___________________________ (Hp) ___________________________ (Office/Home) Email: ____________________________________________________________________ Gender: _________________________PSS Membership No.:_________________________ Pls circle: Twin Sharing $3500 Single Room $4300
Total Amount Payable: S$________________________ Mode of Payment: (Pls circle) Cash / Cheque / VISA / Mastercard
Note: 1. Cheque to be made payable to “The Photographic Society of Singapore” 2. You are strongly advised to purchase your own travel insurance. 3. A trip briefing will be conducted one week prior to departure. 4. Fees paid are non-refundable. Air tickets issued are non transferable. 5. Fees inclusive of the instructor fees and crash course in photography.
__________________________ Signature of Participant / Date ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Administrative Purpose Date submitted and paid:_________________________ Receipt Number:_____________________ Received by:_______________________