Varanasi Testimonials

Kedar Dhapre  (Mumbai) : Spiritual Varanasi 2019 

★★★★1/2

Kedar Varanasi Testimonials

I am a hobbyist photographer and started photography seriously almost 3 years back. Some time back I was searching for some videos on YouTube and came across videos by Jassi Oberai on his channel Xploring Light. I just got hooked onto it, because the way he explains everything is very simple, information he shares is very practical. He also gives you relevant advise in his videos which simplifies everything. His advise are very real and practical advise. That is when I decided to join this tour. I came to know about Rajneesh as well who is associated with Xploring Light. I also went through his page on Instagram. That is when I realised that this is the team I can join for a photo tour. Rajneesh has got thorough knowledge of Varanasi and he knows his subject very well. I had many queries and misconceptions which he cleared easily. He has been helping throughout the tour. He has immense energy and his knowledge about post processing comes in very handy. All in all this tour was fantastic. I am really happy. The stay location was ideal being very close to the main ghats and that made a huge difference because there is lot of walking involved in this tour. Thank you Rajneesh and Xploring Light for making every moment worthwhile.

Anian Nair (Mumbai): Spiritual Varanasi 2019

★★★★1/2

Anian Varanasi Testimonials

This is the first time I explored a tour with Xploring Light. I have done multiple tours with Toehold. I also did a small workshop with Mr. Raghu Rai who is my God in photography. I came to know about Xploring Light through Suvabrata who is a good friend. He spoke very highly of Xploring Light and I am very happy to join Xploring Light. It has been a very good trip. It was a 3 day trip. When I came in the first day, I was skeptical; I was not sure whether I will get great pictures like most photographers. First day was not great but second day onwards we created some great great images. Thanks to Rajneesh because he was always there guiding us. One good thing about Rajneesh is that he understands the photographer well, what the photographer needs. Typically for me, I need my space. I am slightly technologically challenged but from visual perspective I know what I want. Rajneesh understood that quite well and he actually let me be by myself and gave me that space I needed. Greatness about him is, when you are in a 3 day program, you have very little time to optimise what you need to shoot, Rajneesh knew exactly where we will get great pictures and that for a photographer is dream. He told us one day that we will go on a boat and I was not sure, because I felt on Ghats you should walk specially ion Dev Diwali morning. I was pleasantly surprised that boat gave you a better perspective and you could actually have a galore of visual because you are actually not in the crowd but still you are in the crowd. That was fantastic. My technical doubts were very well handled by the mentor. He cleared many of the cobwebs in my mind. Stay was very good, very well organised. I am very happy and I will recommend Xploring Light my friends who actually are wanting to take a photography tour. As for rating, I never give 5 to anybody. I leave 0.5 as a margin for improvement. As a photographer I rate myself 2.5 or 3 because then I improve. So I will rate it as 4.5 out of 5. Thank you Xploring Light and Rajneesh was this wonderful experience.

Marleen De Mol (Belgium / Singapore): Spiritual Varanasi 2018

★★★★★

Marleen Varanasi Testimonials

I always wanted to photograph the Pushkar Fair and when I found Xploring Light I decided to enrol in the Rajasthan, Pushkar and Spiritual Varanasi tours because they happened to be back to back.
Initially there was a little bit of worry joining an unknown company but this proved to be unnecessary – Jassi, Rajneesh and Sonali went above and beyond to make this a memorable experience for everyone.  It was clear that a lot of effort was put in the preparation of the tours – we were brought to great locations and good vantage points to maximise our potential for great shots.  The review sessions were very helpful in understanding why some shots were working and others did not make the mark; everyone learned regardless of level and skills.
Jassi’s hashtag is #PassionYourLife; his passion for photography, people and teaching shines through this whole experience!
There was great camaraderie amongst the participants; the atmosphere was fun and we shared lots of laughs.
I went home with great memories, new friends, better photographs and a better understanding of India, its people and its culture – much more than I hoped for!I highly recommend Xploring Light and can’t wait to join them on another tour!

Bijaya Padhee (Bhubaneshwar): Spiritual Varanasi 2018

★★★★★

Bijaya Varanasi Testimonials

I was chasing the Xploring Light for quite some time and finally could catch up with them in Varanasi during Dev Deepavali. I could not have known Varanasi, world’s most ancient place of cultural heritage, learning and divinity if it was not the Xploring Light. They take care. Whether it is photo art, portrait, heritage or religious rituals; all opportunities were explored. The mentors had done their research which helped to be in the right place at the right time. Wish to be in their company again.

Jennifer Poliakov (Tel Aviv, Israel): Spiritual Varanasi 2018

★★★★★

Jennifer Varanasi Testimonials

I had an amazing 4 days photo tour experience with Xploring Light in Varanasi during Dev Deepawali festival, which is actually my second time with Xploring Light (first time was during Holi festival 2018). As a female traveller, it is of importance to notice that Xploring Light’ instructors, Rajneesh and Jassi, are really looking after you, with much care and attention, from the very beginning to the very end, including departure, itinerary, accommodations administration etc. on the top professional level, directly involved in planning and designing the tour routes. I felt very privileged to be guided by Rajneesh’s professional photography skills, who closely guided me through the whole tour. It is of importance to notice that these guys are known for not only for their professional skills but also for their rare ability to create an amazing social ambience. And this is one of the reasons that they have so many costumers that keep on coming on their tours back again time after time. I would strongly recommend Xploring Light to everyone who appreciate professional photo tours with this most amazing company and to everyone who wants to have a once in a lifetime experience.

Puja Bansal (Agra) – Spiritual Varanasi Nov. 2017

★★★★★

Puja-1 Varanasi Testimonials

The Dev Deepawali Varanasi Photo tour was my second trip with Xploring Light. Every thing was planned meticulously, the stay , food, one to one guidance. Rajneesh, our mentor presented the city, its people, its varied cultures, and its food in a fantastic way. Being a small photo group we had lots of opportunities to really explore street photography in the winding and mysterious alleys of Varanasi. Our day would start at 4:30 in the morning to catch the sunrise at the ghats and end with amazing and breath taking Ganga Arti at Sunset.
The other participants were amazing and highly skilled. This is one of the other advantages of a photo tour that you make new friends who have similar interests and improve your photography skills in the process. Looking forward to my next trip with Xploring Light.

Sarah Richardson (New Delhi) – Spiritual Varanasi Nov. 2017

★★★★★

Sarah Varanasi Testimonials

This was my third tour with Xploring Light and it was another great experience. The tour leader Rajneesh knew where to be at what time and this made it much easier to navigate what could otherwise have been an overwhelming experience. As usual the tour was very well planned and organised, with lots of great opportunities for photography (not just the ghats but also the back streets and silk looms) and was conducted in a supportive and friendly manner. Highly recommended!

Garima Garg (New Delhi) – Spiritual Varanasi Nov. 2017

★★★★★

Garima Varanasi Testimonials

This was my second photo tour with Xploring Light and without a doubt, it was just as amazing as the first one. The best thing about Xploring Light is that they will ensure the entire trip runs like a well-oiled machine. The trip was helmed by Rajneesh who took not only took care of all the details (accommodation, food, ensuring good vantage points) but also makes sure to take out time to interact with the participants, especially those who are relatively new to photography. His technical know-how is something one can definitely benefit from. Other than these specifics, it’s always a delight to shoot with the Xploring Light team because participants tend to come from different countries and backgrounds. I would definitely travel with Xploring Light in future as well!

Supriya Suriyanarayanan (Bangaluru) Spiritual Varanasi

★★★★★

supriya Varanasi Testimonials

Varanasi has been a chosen destination for photographers for a while now. There’s so much to see, do & experience in Varanasi that your first trip there can be overwhelming, much like Varanasi overwhelms the senses with a curious blend of spirituality, history, arts & tourism. After having gone on 3 tours with Xploring Light in the past 1.5 years, I felt comfortable enough to entrust my Varanasi photography introduction in their very able hands.
And without any exaggeration, they did an exceptional job with the execution of their very first Spiritual Varanasi tour. As with every Xploring Light tour, the hotel, food and logistics left nothing to be desired. We were happy knowing we had the best options at our disposal. The itinerary made sure we spent enough time on the ghats, which is where most of the action was during Dev Deepavali.  It is my belief that to do photographic justice to a particular location, one needs to experience it first. And so, we visited interesting locations, met helpful locals, took a calming boat ride on the Ganges, relished local delicacies and even went saree shopping!
With regards to photography, Rajneesh was a mentor-par-excellence. He juggled the logistical complexities (despite us being bang in the middle of the monetary crisis) and his responsibility as our photo mentor effortlessly. He spent time with individuals solving our queries around all topics, helping us find the right crops to the exposure, to ensure we all came back with a few memorable shots. He gave us an interesting assignment of creating a photo story around the sights & sounds of Varanasi and it was interesting to see the various perspectives the photographers brought.
We had an interesting mix of participants in the group. And as a result, not only were we learning from our mentor, we were also learning from the established photofinishing the group. This is one of the most distinct advantages of traveling in a photography group.
All in all, for their very first tour to Varanasi, this was a very well thought out and executed tour. The Xploring Light standard has been consistently excellent all across the 4 tours I’ve been a part of. Looking forward to my next tour with the Xploring Light team!

Belinda Bath (Hong Kong) – Spiritual Varanasi

★★★★★

belinda Varanasi Testimonials

I first joined Xploring Light on their Holi Festival tour in March 2016. It was life changing for me and I couldn’t wait to join them again for another tour.
With the knowledge that I would be joining up again with friends from Holi I jumped at the change to join the Varanasi Festival Of Lights tour, it did not disappoint.
Xploring Light run the most well organised tour, everything is arranged for you so you get on with having a wonderful experience.
Varanasi was an incredible experience for me especially coming form a country without the depth of history that India has. It was a feast for the eyes and your senses and I can’t believe I got to witness something so special and beautiful.
I loved everyday of our three days together with each day being a new and exciting experience. The people in the tour were incredibly friendly and interesting and I loved bonding over a shared interest in photography. The food was incredible and the scenery was breathtaking.
I can’t recommend this tour enough for people who love to travel and have a keen interest in photography.
For me, its more than just taking pictures. It’s about the people you meet along the way and stories they have to tell, the history you learn and the friendships you make.
You will absolutely love joining Xploring Light on any of their tours.
I have to say a special thank you to Rajneesh for looking after us so well and his wonderful mentoring. I can’t wait to join another tour soon. with Xploring Light.

Luba Fein (Tel Aviv, Israel) – Spiritual Varanasi

★★★★★

Luba Varanasi Testimonials

The Dev Deepawali photo trip to Varanasi (2016) was my third tour with Xploring Light. While I knew what to expect, the company and its new photo mentor Rajneesh Panwar went above and beyond my expectations. First, on every photo session Rajneesh was busy looking for interesting frames and sharing his professional knowledge and random shooting ideas with the group, thus making ending up without good photos impossible. Second, the logistics were taken care of the best way possible. The success of the tour was questioned by the surprisingly announced monetary reform which left most of us, especially the foreigners, completely cashless. Yet the tour was organized and carried out by Rajneesh so professionally, that no needs or desires left unmet and only the endless queues to the banks reminded me of the ongoing financial crisis. Finally, this trip was an amazing social experience. Somehow every tour by Xploring Light turns into a college party which you enjoy no matter what your age and natural temperament is. I came back home from this wonderful tour with a huge bunch of good photos, lovely memories and friends for life. No need to ask whose tour I will book for my next visit to India 🙂