Architecture, food, lifestyle and more: Delhi through the lens

It was a similar understanding of photography that led Rajeev Goyal to launch Delhi Photo Tours—a bespoke city tour focused on photography—in 2010

author_img Anjani Chadha Published :  08th November 2021 12:44 PM   |   Published :   |  08th November 2021 12:44 PM
A photo walk in progress

Rajeev Goyal and his team organises photography tours to relatively unknown places of Old Delhi like Dariba Kalan and Lal Kuan Bazar

In her 1977 collection of essays On Photography, American writer Susan Sontag rightly states, “Photographs are a way of imprisoning reality.” Sontag further discusses how these images are an act of solidifying the memory of an incident, forever imprinting it in the pages of history. These pictures, thus, preserve the occurrence of a moment once lived.

It was a similar understanding of photography that led Rajeev Goyal to launch Delhi Photo Tours—a bespoke city tour focused on photography—in 2010. His idea was to help tourists witness the authentic sides to Delhi. “There is a lot of vibrancy in Delhi’s culture. With Delhi Photo Tours, I thought why don’t we try and open avenues to showcase the non-touristy life, thereby giving tourists the real essence of this city,” mentions Goyal. While their clientele mostly comprises foreign tourists, professional photographers, videographers, journalists, and documentary makers, they have recently started including locals on their tours too.

Capturing picturesque locales
The walks organised by Delhi Photo Tours focus on photography tourism, a concept that is slowly unfolding in India, but is a major attraction among foreign travellers. The key to understanding any city is through its architecture, food, as well as lifestyle. Delhi Photo Tours curates detailed experiences that help participants get a glimpse of these three facets of the Capital. Consequently, their tours offer a notable insight into Delhi’s cityscape.

“We focus on places that receive a low footfall and are relatively undiscovered such as Chandni Chowk’s Dariba Kalan, Lal Kuan Bazar, Mirza Ghalib’s Haveli, etc. We also organise morning walks to the flower market in Ghazipur.” Goyal and his team make sure that they customise these tours as per the expectations of their clients. “No two photographers are the same. We create bespoke tours according to our participants. Additionally, we try to understand what they [the client] like to photograph, and then extend ideas of the pictures they can click on a certain tour,” he adds.

In a nutshell, Goyal’s idea is to also promote the country. He adds, “When they [clients] click and take these photographs back to their country, they also take a glimpse of  India with them. We thus want them to have the best experience.”

With a downtick in tourist arrival, the pandemic posed a hard time for the Delhi Photo Tours’ team. “We had to halt all our tours since we specifically work with foreign visitors. However, we started to explore other avenues during the pandemic. We organised various workshops and seminars on photography and photo editing. My team also focused on polishing their skills,” shares Goyal.

Talking about the importance self-clicked photographs hold today, Goyal concludes, “When you click your own photograph, it carries with it a sense of possession. It is also an intricate message that states ‘this is a part of history I am carrying with me’.”