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Coming up next month: my photography tour to Varanasi - "Photographing Karthika Poornima/Dev Diwali Festival and Ancient Traditions". Last ONE SLOT AVAILABLE! See http://www.darter.in/photography-tours/travel/varanasi/

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On a beautiful morning in Ladakh...
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Pashmeena goats standing on thick snow in the highlands of Ladakh. Are they wondering where did all the grass go?!
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Pretty much everyone in Kyrgyzstan knows how to ride a horse...

In the mountain regions, much of local commute happens on horse back and you learn to be comfortable with horses at a very young age. These children were enjoying a riding session with their horses, and they seemed to be as comfortable as sitting on a couch. The horses listened to them obediently and the boys knew how to command them.
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I had been dreaming about meeting the eagle hunters of Central Asia for many many years now... Finally, I met this fine pair--the eagle and the master--in the valleys of Kyrgyzstan two weeks ago. Rustan's golden eagle is a young fellow, weighs about 5 kilos and will add three more kilograms as she grows up. This astoundingly strong girl has a wing span of about 5 feet and talons that are as large as human hands. A look at the strong talons is sufficient to instill a lot of respect and fear towards the bird.

She was taken from the nest at a very early age and was trained by Rustan's family to hunt small animals--mostly hares and foxes--and bring them back to the master. They have a lifespan that is almost as long as humans. But interestingly, the eagle hunters keep them only for about twenty years and subsequently release them to live in the wilderness. Releasing them back is perhaps a practice that helped sustain the population of free living birds in the times when eagle-hunting was a widespread tradition in Central Asia.
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How to dive in style..!

An image from my recently concluded travel photography workshop.
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Our Rajasthan photography tour... (Oct 28-Nov 5, 2017) - www.darter.in/photography-tours/travel/rajasthan/
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At Hampi, India.
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