Many are the places in India that are known for their beauty-natural or man made. Some of these are more inviting to the camera’s eye than others-perhaps due to the unique landscape, or maybe because of a gathering of humans that is unlike any other. The myriad reasons bestow a unity of identity on these places-all are photography paradises in India. Here are twenty of them.
1.Chandertal Lake, Himachal Pradesh
Two gigantic Himalayan ranges stand like sentries on either side of the Chandertal Lake. The reflection of the drifting clouds across the sky cast on the water, the shore of the water spreading out to merge at the valley of a mountain, the uneven yet magical geometry of a landscape crafted by nature-you have many reasons to bring your camera to the Chandertal lake.
2.Suraj Tal Lake, Himachal Pradesh
Being the third highest lake in India, Suraj Tal lake is significant not just in academic lore but also in the photographer’s eyes. Snow capped mountains, glaciers and a pristine landscape clad in a silence as old as anything you can imagine-Suraj Tal Lake is where melancholic beauty is complemented by a unique glamour made possible by ice and water.
3.Pangong Lake, Jammu & Kashmir
The camera friendliness of Pangong Lake is already made evident in films like ‘Dil Se'(remember the song, ‘Satrangi re’?) and ‘3 Idiots'(the climax scene) among others.
Spread across an area of about 600 sq. ft, the stunning landscape for photos is contributed equally by the allure of the waters, the majesty of the mountains and the mineral-clad beauty of the bare earth.
4. Kashmir Valley, Jammu & Kashmir
If you go out to the Kashmir Valley, you will get to learn how a landscape can come across as a painting to the naked eyes. You blink for a while before the reality sinks in and the photographer in you eventually has a busy time.
With lush green mountains dotted with trees, valleys sparsely populated and mountains and lakes that are as much inhabitants of this land as the birds and the people,no matter the direction you point your camera in the Kashmir valley, you have something of beauty to photograph.
5. Zanskar Valley, Jammu & Kashmir
The azure Zanskar river winds its way across this valley made beautiful with mountain ranges and little hamlets. The Zanskar valley is magical to photograph during the winter time also when the frozen lake affords a trekking path to frozen waterfalls and small-sized caves.
6.Valley of Flowers, Uttaranchal
A national park located in the upper reaches of the Himalayas, the Valley of Flowers is a popular destination for photography enthusiasts.
It’s not so much the presence of an overwhelming number of flowers as the setting in which these flowers are found that makes the valley so camera-friendly. The juxtaposition of the snow-capped mountains with the vividly bright colors of the flowers in bloom during the summer is of particular interest in terms of photography.
7.Dodital Lake, Uttaranchal
Some places just take your breath away simply by the fact that they exist. The fresh water lake, Dodital Lake is an example, and its breath-taking beauty also has the power to render you speechless, which is exactly why a camera is such a great device to let others know how you feel about the place. The mountains and the surrounding areas soaked in a vibrant greenery offer many an interesting view for the photographer.
8. Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
Home to one of the oldest civilizations in India, Varanasi on the banks of the river Ganges is a fascinating destination for the photographer. The serenity of the river is met with the almost haphazard throng of people-a vibrant melange that constitutes sages, priests performing religious rites and the curious foreigners trying to make out what it is all about.
If you have a camera in hand and a will to move amidst a mass of individuals in a spiritual frenzy, this place which holds a special place in Hinduism is also a paradise for photography-a very crowded paradise, that is.
9. Desert of Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
Sand dunes that rise like figures out of a dream, the shadows cast on the sand by the passing camels, the forts and palaces that dot the earth like challenging the concept of uninhabitable-Jaisalmer is where a photographer discovers not just the beauty of the deserts but also realize the potential of the human spirit to brave the conditions put forth by nature.
Come nightfall and a gathering around a campfire when the natives hold cultural performances like the Lambada dance-yet another opportunity to photograph something magical- a red glow in the heart of the dark, human figures moving as fluid shapes on erath, lit by the moon in the sky.
10. Nuranang Falls, Arunachal Pradesh
At about a height of 100 meters Nuranang Falls may not be as high as many famous waterfalls in the world. However, what makes this a fascinating destination for photographers are lush green mountains that stretch across the landscape.
For photography enthusiasts, this is a view that looks almost untarnished by time, almost as if the entire landscape was created just the previous moment, so that the beauty to be captured by an artistic eye, one finger clicking the camera’s button.
11. Sela Pass, Arunachal Pradesh
Brown earth sprinkled with pure white snow, lakes that appear like fragments of a forgotten dream, and at about 13,800 feet you are much closer to the clouds that you may imagine. The Sela Pass is a great place for crafting some stunning photographs.
The high altitude also means that you get a very good view of the surroundings from atop here, opening up even more possibilities for taking some classy photographs.
12. Goecha La Pass, Sikkim
The Goecha La Pass in the Himalayan region serves as the base camp for those who are to climb Mount Kanchenjunga. Learning that probably brings to your mind images of slopping peaks and rugged earth, along with a mighty dose of snow. True, they are all here, but also present are plateaus that practically merge with the clouds, making them some truly astounding places to photograph.
Also, the rhododendrons that greet you on your trek through the pass make for beautiful subjects for photography. You may also point your camera towards the dramatic view of the Mount Kanchenjunga that you get from Goecha La Pass.
13. Majauli, Assam
An island formed by the Brahmaputra River, Majauli is famous for its beauty, and rightly so. A boat drifting across the placid waters, the golden sun’s rays falling in through the foliage in the evenings, the life and culture of the indigenous tribal population-the photographer is never in lack for subjects in Majauli.
Amazing photographs are also possible thanks to the avian population of Majauli- a place that is also popular for bird watching.
14. Sandakphu, West Bengal
Situated very near to the Singalila National park Sandakphu is a peak that is well worth the climb for the sake of beautiful photographs.
The leaves of the trees down below that dance in the wind in different colours put on a grand show for the camera lens. Some outstanding views of the Kanchendzonga Peak await you on top of the peak as well. Also, the tiny village on top of the peak is an amusing sight both for the human eyes and the lens. In other words, your camera has plenty of images-diverse in style and subject- to capture at Sandakphu.
If ever a photograph is required to go along with the entry for “Surreal” in the dictionary, it could be taken at Kutch. Since during the monsoon season Kutch-a shallow wetland-gets submerged, summer is probably the best time to visit as the receding water makes way for a salty barren land that is nonetheless beautiful and ready for photography.
16.Dudhsagar Falls, Goa
Come to Dudhsagar Falls to photograph another side of Goa-not the sandy beaches and surfing side but one that is equally, or perhaps, more beautiful. The Dudhsagar waterfalls are in fact tiered falls situated some 60 km from Panaji, Goa’s capital city.
The milky white water that flows down like it originates from a place where the color white has its permanent residence make for some interesting photographs, given the contrast the fluid makes with the mountain terrain which it courses through. Also the quiet yet domineering presence of the mountains is something that makes photography at the Dudhsagar Falls a rewarding experience.
17.Malshej Ghat, Maharashtra
Malshej Ghat, even though a popular weekend spot blessed with a vibrant greenery and peaks that are kissed by mists, has not been favored too much my photography enthusiasts. But there is no reason why this situation must persist.
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 crakes and flamingos make for colorful photographs you can also capture some amazing photos by visiting Naneghat Trek that offers magnificent views of the valley.
18. Kudremukh Shola Grasslands, Karnataka
The shoal grassland makes the Kudremukh peak a uniquely beautiful place to photograph. Home to a wide variety of animals including Malabar civet, sloth bear and spotted bear, the name of the peak means “Horse Face.” This is in acknowledgement to a particular segment of the peak that resembles the face of a horse.
The undulating hills covered in the beautiful grass on which the rays of the sun fall like a wash of golden color on an artist’s canvas make this one fantastic destination for photography.
19. Athirapally, Kerala
Athirapally, a riparian region-meaning a region between land and a river stream, is one of the best examples of the sensuous side of Kerala’s nature. In addition to the famous waterfalls that begs to be photographed with its stunning beauty, Athirapally also has a lush vegetation that is camera-friendly. One of the best places to capture photographs of natural beauty, Athirapally is just about 70 km from the city of Cochin.
The hill station of Wayanad is a must-visit for the photography buff because of the untainted look of natural beauty of Kerala that you experience here.With lakes, tea and coffee plantations as also trekking routes that wind through the unique hue of greenery for which Kerala is known, opportunities are plenty for some mesmerizing photographs.