If you want to be a photographer, first leave home.
One cannot deny that India, the land of mystery and diversity, has umpteen places that make for great photography subjects. However, there are a few which are more inviting to the camera’s eye than others; perhaps because of their exquisite beauty or because of their vivid culture. Here are 15 such amazing places that you and your camera will fall in love with, right at the first frame:
1. Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
Mark Twain once wrote, “Varanasi is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together.” Just take a single trip here with your camera and you’ll understand why every word of his is so true. Visually, the holy city has everything a street photographer desires; from colourful traditions to equally colourful people.
2. Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh
Tucked away in the far reaches of Himachal Pradesh, the beautiful Spiti Valley is a desert mountain that gives a moonscape view of the Earth. Take a trip here and you’ll definitely come back with incredible pictures and a hint of the fascinating Tibetan culture. Also, don’t worry if you run out of memory. The valley is known for imprinting itself on the hearts of travellers.
3. Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh
Khajuraho is a bucket list worthy place for those who love architectural photography. The ancient city has beautifully crafted temples, forts and monuments which have been standing tall since ages. Not to forget the world-famous erotic sculptures of Kamasutra. Looking at the current trend, you must capture them before they get censored or worst case banned.
4. Havelock Islands, Andaman & Nicobar Islands
As soon as you get off from the cruise, you'll realize that you've never seen so many hues of blue and green together in one frame. But don't just go trigger happy on its beaches, try and save a few memory cards so that you can capture the charm of its quaint cafes and shacks.
5. Dawki, Meghalaya
Meghalaya, the pride of India’s North-East is must visit for its pristine landscapes. The mountain state is filled with loads of scenic places but the border town of Dawki will give you pictures like no other. Near this quaint town flows the splendidly clear river of Umngot. Its bluish-green water is so clear that you can see the river bed!
6. Athirapally, Kerala
One of the best places to visit in Kerala, the Athirapally Waterfalls will blow your mind and your lens. The enormous waterfalls in the languid beauty of nature are something you'll look back more often than not!
7. Thar Desert, Rajasthan
Give yourself a break from all the greens and invest your time clicking a few shades yellow! The Thar Desert of Rajasthan is perfect for capturing wonderful silhouettes in varying compositions, with vast stretches of the sky in the backdrop. Also, while you are at it, don’t forget to adjust the white balance to capture the true colours.
8. Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand
It’s not so much the presence of an overwhelming number of flowers as the setting in which these flowers are found that’ll make you go click-click-click. The juxtaposition of the snow-capped mountains with the vividly bright colors of the flowers is a sight that can only be best described through a nice panoramic photograph.
9. Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
At first, the extreme temperatures of Jaisalmer will make you feel that the place is just uninhabitable. But the moment you see the local Kalbelia dancers and camels creating gorgeous silhouettes at sun-down, you’ll snap out of the tiredness and only concentrate on framing your masterpiece.
10. Kutch, Gujarat
If ever you’re participating in a contest for which the theme is “Surreal”, just pick up your camera bag and head out for the Great Rann of Kutch. Why? Because during the monsoons, the Kutch becomes a shallow wetland. And during summers when the water recedes, it becomes a salt desert that’s just breathtakingly beautiful in all its barren glory.
11. Malshej Ghat, Maharashtra
In addition to the beauty of the landscape that is known for gorgeous waterfalls, there are also the myriad varieties of birds native to the region. While cranes and flamingos make for colorful photographs you can also capture some amazing photos by visiting Naneghat Trek that offers magnificent views of the valley.
12. Ranthambore, Rajasthan
First things first, you’ll need a lot of courage to shoot here. That’s because the moment the tigers come out to prowl, your jaw is going to be right at the floor (God forbid if one decides to roar). The trick is to establish the relation that they are the performers and you are the admirer. And just in case you’re not too keen about testing your guts, Ranthambore can also surprise you with its historical wonders.
13. Hampi, Karnataka
The green wet plains, the steep boulder hills, the intricate stone architecture, Hampi is an architectural photographers delight. Suggestion: While you are here, try capturing the ruined city in all its glory through HDRs and long exposure shots.
14. Badami, Karnataka
The region of Badami is one of those few places in the world where travellers and explorers can revel in the beauty of rock cut temples and caves. The best part about visiting this place is that it isn’t just about photography, but also about capturing the essence of Indian history and culture.
15. Agra, Uttar Pradesh
Last but not the least, this list cannot be complete without a mention of the city that is home to one of most photographed monuments of the world. The majestic view of the Taj Mahal can make anyone rub their eyes to come to terms with its beauty and grandeur. Of course, after you’ve done your fair share of it, don’t forget to capture the landmark of love in all its glory.