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Travel and photography is a great combination together and we at placesinpixel (as the name suggests) embrace it everyday. If you are a traveler and a photographer then you might be having a high-end smartphone or a camera. Some photographers like to rely on smartphones rather than bulky cameras because smartphones these days are loaded with professional camera features. With smartphones at our fingertips we all are aspiring travel photographers. Even with the help of a third-party application you can add some extra flavor to your stunning shots. Traveling to exotic locations with serene and beautiful landscapes / cityscapes, if the only weapon is your smartphone, then you might wanna load it with these apps to enhance your travel photography.

Reminiscing my Paris trip… Top Apps for Travel Photography Snapseed

With some of the amazing features the application deserves to be on the top of the list. You can either click the photograph from the app itself or use to edit your existing photos. As soon as you open a photograph you get a number of filters to choose from. Apart from this Snapseed has a number of other brushes and editing tools. Snapseed also allows you to make and save changes to an existing photo or you can choose to save an entirely fresh copy of your image with edits. We feel this is one of the best apps for travel photography.
ANDRIOD || IOS

Shot by one of my favorite photographers: Auditya Venkatesh who is also a pro when it comes to ‘smartphone photography’ and an expert user of Snapseed. Microsoft Pix

Microsoft Pix is basically a camera application which allows you to shoot stills, capture panoramas and record videos. If we talk about photography, the application clicks raw photos and takes few seconds to enhance it. Then you get to choose between the raw photo and enhanced photo, and keep whichever you want. Apart from these the app also offers an array of filters, artistic styles and frames to choose from.
ANDRIOD || IOS

NightCap Camera

If you are going to a place where you need to shoot in low light then you may use NightCap camera. You may need to pay a little for this application, but it is actually worth it. The application tweaks camera settings and you get stunning shots especially when it is dark. If you love to capture photos of sunset and night sky, then it is the perfect application. With some great editing features this application is a must have app for travel photography.
ANDRIOD || IOS

Pro HDR X

HDR stands for high dynamic range. If your purpose is to shoot at the time of sunrise/sunset or against the sunlight, then this application will be very helpful. You need to be a little patient for the best shot because the application combines 3 different shots with different exposures to give you the best results in low light or in extra light conditions. For the quality of shots, you can use this application as it is decently priced.
ANDRIOD || IOS

TouchRetouch

The next application in our list basically removes unwanted objects from a fine and beautiful capture. Say for example you have captured a nice picture of a tower but there is some annoying wiring around it, TouchRetouch helps you to deal with this by letting you select objects easily from the picture and completely remove them in just few clicks. Not only this but the application also has some basic inbuilt editing tools.
ANDRIOD || IOS

Sonakshi has recently developed a flair for smartphone photography In the end…

So, if you wanna take your photos a little further, consider using some of these great apps for travel photography. Whether you want to edit, share or just have fun with your pictures, these are the best photography apps we’ve used on our travels. Apart from these you may also need some efficient tool to manage the collection of your photos on the go. It may be a tool to delete duplicate images, a tool to resize and upload images in bulk etc. So what are you waiting for? Grab these applications and take your smartphone travel photography to the next level.

This article has been submitted by one of our guest bloggers: Yogesh Sharma. Yogesh is an SEO personnel and technical content writer. He likes to talk about various threats to cyber-security and cyber-crime awareness in his blogs. You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

The post Top Apps for Travel Photography appeared first on Places in Pixel.

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Himachal Pradesh, the “land of snow”, is an Indian state that is nestled in the western Himalayas. Himachal (as it is commonly addressed) has several hill stations which are the most appropriate destination for a wide rage of purposes. It is one such destination in India where your vacation finds the ethereal definition of nature at its best. Himachal isn’t restricted to the same old hot spots that have been mentioned in the travel guidebooks for ages. There are so many places to visit in Himachal Pradesh that it is not possible to explore all of them if you are new. So, given here are 7 marvelous Himachal destinations that must be on your bucket list.

Shimla

SHIMLA

The capital city of Himachal in the foothills of the Great Himalayas still basks in colonial charm. It fascinates every traveler with its terrific outdoors and unique appeal. Shimla Ridge – the 13 km stretch neatly entwined in the heart of Shimla is a hub of cultural activities and the most popular things to do in Shimla. Head to Shimla for a long romantic walk with Shimla tour packages. Besides, State Museum, Summer Hill, Himalayan Bird Park, Gorton Castle, and Kali Bari Temple are some other popular Honeymoon Special tourist attractions of Shimla. Shimla is probably one of the most famous places to visit in Himachal Pradesh.

Kufri

KUFRI

Kufri is another quaint hill-station just 20 km from Shimla. Summer is pleasant in Kufri and winter there experiences heavy snowfall. The best time to visit Kufri is from March to June when India is dealing with extreme summer. In that duration, Kufri makes such a comforting getaway for everyone.

Among the most popular places to visit in Kufri Jakhu Temple, Gaiety Heritage Cultural Complex, The Glen, Tara Devi Temple, Kali Bari, and Scandal Point are some of the most popular. Lakkar Bazaar is the place to explore if you are keen on handicraft and antiques from the mountains.

Sangla

SANGLA

Kinnaur being the district and a major town in the region serves as the perfect point of contact for every visitor headed to Sangla. The entire Sangla stretching over an area of 40 km presents a stunning attraction offering surreal views of snow clad mountains and a multitude of activities like camping, hiking, trekking, rappelling, rock climbing, and river crossing. Sit back and marvel at Kinner Kailash peak, it’s a magnificent sight to behold and the best thing to do in the valley. There is plenty of snow clad mountains around, quite a few roadside dhabas and eateries around.

Kaza

KAZA

To experience the true charm of the vast Himalayas one must visit Kaza – the picturesque town in the Lahaul and Spiti Valley. If you are planning a visit, you can explore New Kaza and Old Kaza.. Hardcore travelers prefer this destination to wander around and walk the lesser walked trails. Having said that, adventure activities such as trekking and mountaineering make for a major pull for all the extreme adventure enthusiasts. Monasteries also offer good accommodation, sumptuous local served with graciousness to the tourists.

Chanshal pass

Chanshal pass [1]

Chanshal Pass is one of the breathtaking places to visit in Himachal. Chanshal Pass is the highest peak and indeed a daunting one. The best part is that being counted among the offbeat places in Himachal you won’t find the place too crowded. When you plan to visit Chanshal Pass, make sure that the man behind the wheels is someone well experienced. The road and weather may be notorious but, once you get to Chanshal the views and humbling nature around would leave you a mute spectator. Mashobra

MASHOBRA

Mashobra is in the vicinity of Shimla which happens to be a popular tourist attraction in Himachal Pradesh. Mashobra is a popular choice to holiday in Himachal. If you are looking to experience nature’s magnificence at its best, a Mashobra trip could be just the rewarding journey you would ever take. You must visit this fascinating world tucked in the vast Himalayan alpines, with your friends.

Reckong Peo

REKONG PEO

Reckong Peo, the adorable headquarters of Kinnaur district is a thinly populated tourist attraction located atop 2300 meters. Reckong Peo is the only place in the region where two of the Himalayas’ greatest marvels can be spotted easily – the Kailash, and Shiva Lingam rock, both being the major tourist attraction for Hindus.

We are sure that you loved this article about most amazing places to visit in Himachal Pradesh and hopefully would have added some to your bucket list. Please share this with your friends too  
This guest post was contributed by Manpreet Kaur – travelling expert and content executive at Himalyan Trips. He likes to share his amazing personal and professional travel experiences in witty, informal and honest blog posts. Apart from all this he loves travelling, reading and watching netflix.

image:  [1]

The post Places to visit in Himachal Pradesh – 7 Himachal Destinations That Must Be On Your Bucket List appeared first on Places in Pixel.

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Thousands of revelers in strikingly multi-colored costumes (Dino costumes, Harry Potter, Lego costumes, cartoon characters – you name it, they have it!!), tons of broken-beer-bottles all over the streets and houseful pubs – that was my first view of Cologne city (the moment I stepped out of the station). Having no idea of what was going on; I was completely taken aback; especially because I was on a business trip! And, that’s exactly how I got introduced to Cologne Carnival.

I rushed to my hotel (use this link to get $20 discount on hotel booking), dumped my luggage and came out to the streets to find out more. And there, the huge twin-spires of the Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom) greeted me, almost intimidating in the darkness of the winter night. But the atmosphere around the Dom was sparkling. People in fancy dress of all kinds filled the streets, sipping Kölsch (Cologne’s favorite beer), chewing on bratwurst and laughing.

Everywhere I looked, there were colors, happiness, fun.

What is Cologne Carnival

Cologne Carnival, or the Kölner Karneval, is a festival that takes place every year in the city of Cologne, Germany. Started in 1823 with the founding of Cologne Carnival Celebration Committee (Festkomitee Kölner Karneval), the “fifth season” (carnival season) is declared open at 11 minutes past 11 on the 11th day of the 11th month (11th Nov, 11:11 am). The climax of Carnival in Cologne is the six-day street carnival known as the “Crazy Days”. People celebrate, sing and dance in the halls, pubs and restaurants. During these six days, normal life is suspended throughout Cologne.

Crazy Days 2018: 8th – 13th Feb; Crazy Days 2019: 28th Feb – 6th March

(Yup, you got that correct – its a 3-4 month long carnival)

Colours and costumes everywhere!

The Carnival begins:

On 11th November every year, Cologne city center is transformed for the carnival celebrations. The biggest stars in the carnival music world will give their all to get the colorfully-costumed revelers into the festive mood and dancing spirit. However, the colorful activities in Cologne don’t stop there: the party will keep going-on in many of the pubs in the city center, around Heumarkt and Alter Markt squares, till the wee hours of the morning!

The crazy days

Crazy days start with the Women’s Carnival Day (on a Thursday) when you get to experience the Carnival in its traditional form. Early in the morning, the streets are alive with ladies in fancy-dress on their way to their place of work or to shops.

The next three days (Carnival Friday, Carnival Saturday, Carnival Sunday) is full-on party with costumes, parades, beer and everything else. Especially on the Sunday, the school parades march through the city center, featuring costumed school groups and original masquerades staged by kids-clubs.

Rose Monday: The high point of the session is the big parade on Rose Monday. The floats begin to parade through the city at 10 a.m. Participants blow kisses to the costumed crowds lining the parade route.

Ash Wednesday: On the morning, Catholics go to church to receive a cross of ashes on their foreheads as a sign of repentance. That evening, the year’s Carnival season is traditionally concluded at a fish dinner.

Carnival Sunday (2)

Carnival Sunday (3)

You may also like: My experience with the Carnival

Ref: (1); (2); (3)

The post A Quick Guide to Cologne Carnival appeared first on Places in Pixel.

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Rajasthan, the “Land of Kings”, is the India’s largest state by area and it comprises most of the wide and practically inhospitable Thar Desert. Rajasthan is also one of the states that has one of the most historical significance in India. It is home to the chivalrous Rajputs, and its battle-scarred heritage has bestowed legacies of pride and tradition. As an impact of all these characteristics, Rajasthan offers so much to see. But with long travel distances between major sites, that a trip here requires careful and detailed planning. We had spent multiple weeks in planning, re-planning, fine-tuning and finally fixing our trip itinerary. Hence, we thought it will be helpful for everyone to share these details and help you plan your Rajasthan trip.

The grandeur of Rajasthan – ‘Land of Kings’ [Jaipur – 1]

Rajasthan is the jewel in India’s crown. From fairy-tale palaces and epic forts to colourful festivals and wildlife encounters, this is India at its vibrant best.

…perfect intro to Rajasthan given by Lonely Planet.

Rajasthan is also the land of great battles, of which grew up reading the stories in our high school history books. The place with its ethnic beauty exemplifies grandness and as the locals sing “Padharo Mhare Desh” (English: welcome to our land..), our hearts melt into the culture and tradition of Rajasthan, the Rajputs. With magnificent forts, marble temples and each city painted in its own colour, the state also hosts immense number of foreign tourists with local Rajasthani delicacies as well as western cuisines.

Let the minions team placesinpixel help you to plan your Rajasthan trip (2)

So, in December 2017, we went on a 10-day trip to Rajasthan, and trust me, it was beyond ‘amazing’!! Although there’s lot to share, we thought that we should start with the most important thing – How to plan your Rajasthan trip. In this article, you will find:
  • Best time to visit Rajasthan
  • How to reach Rajasthan
  • Best places to visit in Rajasthan
  • Modes of transport within Rajasthan
  • Our travel itinerary
How to plan your Rajasthan trip Best time to visit Rajasthan

Summers in Rajasthan last from March to June and are particularly harsh with temperatures rising up to 48-50°C during the day. That being said, if you do plan to visit Rajasthan in the summer, head to places like Mount Abu, Kumbhalgarh or Ranakpur. The weather there will be pleasant and the views offered are breathtaking.

Monsoon is a far more pleasant experience, the temperatures tend to drop across the state and the rain showers transform the arid landscape of Rajasthan. July to September is a particularly good time to visit if you wish to avoid the crowds you’d usually find during peak tourist season. Flora and Fauna offered by Keoladeo National Park during monsoon is picturesque and a must visit if you plan to travel to Rajasthan during the Monsoon.

The temperatures continue to drop once the monsoon has passed, and come October winter sets in that lasts till February. During December and January, there can be a severe variation in temperatures during the day and the night. In fact, temperatures are known to drop as low as 0°C and below. This is the best time to visit Rajasthan as the desert sun is not as intense and the days are pleasant. Most of the festivals held in winter are planned as tourist attractions, with visitors coming in from different parts of the world.

Tip: If you plan your Rajasthan trip during October-February, you should start planning 3-4 months in advance to get good deals on accommodation and commuting. How to reach Rajasthan
AIR

Rajasthan is a tourist hub and therefore well-connected by air. Whether you’re flying in from within the country or from another one, you’ll find that there are a host of options you can choose from based on your itinerary. The three major airports of Rajasthan are in Jaipur (international), Jodhpur (domestic) and Udaipur (domestic).

RAIL

Rail is one of the better ways to travel to Rajasthan from anywhere within India as it is both, comfortable and economical. The state is well-connected to all the major cities across the nation and there are several routes to opt from. Overnight trains from Delhi and Mumbai reach most of Rajasthan’s major cities.

ROAD

Rajasthan has 20 national highways passing through the state, spanning a distance of 6300+ kms. The NH-8 (one of the most gorgeous highways of India) connects Mumbai to Delhi is the busiest national highway in Rajasthan and runs through Ajmer, Jaipur, Udaipur and Chittorgarh. You can very well choose to drive to Rajasthan (just like we did) or hop onto a bus operated by the Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation.

TIP: if you are coming from outside India, it might be a good idea to land in Delhi international airport, and then head to Rajasthan via road or rail. Places to visit in Rajasthan

These are the top 4 cities of Rajasthan (click on each to open the individual city guide)

Jaipur – the Pink City

Udaipur – the City of Lakes

Jaisalmer – the Yellow City

Jodhpur – the Blue City

Modes of transport within Rajasthan

There are 2 ways of travelling within Rajasthan.

  1. Booking a cab for the entire trip from any of the tour operators.
    The major cities in Rajasthan are quite distant from each other and it takes a minimum of 6-7 hours to reach one city from another, which can be quite tiresome! The highways are smooth and maintained well but will be dusty due to sand and dry weather. Hence, rent-a-car or rent-a-cab for a comfortable ride.
  2. For solo / couple backpackers, or travellers on a long exploration, using autorickshaws, local buses or trains will make it a relishable local experience.

We had rented a cab for the entire trip from an online tour operator. There are a lot of travel operators in Rajasthan, Delhi, Haryana, Gujarat who offer taxi service for Rajasthan tour. We were just the 2 of us; however, we preferred to book an Toyota Etios for a comfortable journey. It should also be kept in mind that the car you choose should have sufficient trunk-space to carry luggage as you go on a long trip.

Taxi charges in Rajasthan: Taxi fares are around 11 Rs/km for a 4-seater (like Etios etc) and around 14 Rs./km for a 7 seater (like Innova). A minimum amount has to be paid for 250 kms per day excluding driver charges, which is around 250 Rs. Per day.  Also, these fares increase as the peak season arrives. So it’s better to get your deal done at the earliest.

Alternatively, if you wish to go on luxury trip, you can take a look at Palace on wheels, Maharaja express which as the name would suggest, is a Palace inside a train!!

Our Rajasthan travel itinerary

After a lot of homework, many weeks in planning and fine-tuning, we finalized this  as out trip itinerary:

(map)

Apart from the one mentioned above, here are some additional tour itineraries which will help to plan your Rajasthan trip:
1. For people travelling from nearby states, a short trip of 5-6 days to Rajasthan can be planned which may include the cities of Jaipur-Ajmer-Pushkar-Udaipur and back. Next trip may include Jodhpur-Jaisalmer-Bikaner and back.
2. Mount Abu is at the border of Gujarat and it takes nearly 10 hours to travel from Udaipur. So it is recommended the visit the place during a trip to Gujarat.
3. We could not cover the Ranthambore National park, Bharatpur Bird sanctuary and the Kumbalgarh fort.
4. To visit the beautiful Kumbhalgarh fort and experience the evening light and sound show, it is required to stay at Kumbhalgarh for a night. Also, it can be reached from Udaipur, which is only 100 kms from Kumbhalgarh.
5. A 14-15 day trip can also be planned which will be sufficient to cover the National parks as well as the Bird sanctuaries.

More travel itineraries can be found here and here to inspire you further.

We hope all the information provided here will help to plan your Rajasthan trip. Feel free to contact us, in case you need any additional information to plan your Rajasthan trip. Look out for our upcoming blogs about our visit to each of the cities of Rajasthan.

reference: (1), (2)

The post How to plan your Rajasthan trip appeared first on Places in Pixel.

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Nestled between majestic mountain ranges, in the far flung areas of Northern India lies the epitome of Tibetan culture – Ladakh. Ladakh is the land of beautiful monasteries, long passes, numbingly cold barren landscape and insanely high plateaus where a certain culture still inhabits in the harshest climatic conditions. During your Ladakh tour visit Ladakh Monasteries and explore the Buddhist and Tibetan culture & magnificent architecture. The lands of Leh-Ladakh are very remote but they are not isolated. Most of these regions often reflect a strong influence of cultures from Tibet, India and Central Asia.

Here comes another post to describe this beautiful place from a traveler’s perspective; a guest post by Parul Gupta. Parul is an MBA by education and traveler by choice. A backpacker and hippie who wants to explore the world. She is presently working in the tourism industry as a travel escort. (Parul can reached out through her Facebook and Instagram profiles)

This post also gets added to our Leh Ladakh Travel Guide, a series of articles consisting of:

  1. How to get Leh’d (how to reach Leh by road)
  2. Where to get Leh’d (Top Places to visit in Leh Ladakh)
  3. How I got Leh’d (a trek to Stok Kangri – the highest trekkable peak in India – 6,153 m / 20,500 ft.) – Coming soon
  4. Ladakh through the Lens of a traveller
Ladakh through My Lens – by Parul Gupta

Snow-capped mountains, greenish blue lakes, and beautiful landscape! Ladakh! The dream place for many! And Bollywood movies keep adding fuel to the fire with that perfect scenic background.
This magnificent place not only gives memories of a lifetime but also is a trip that permanently inscribes in your mind the astonishing sights of this enchanting place. From monasteries to rich culture to scenic landscapes, this place offers you the best and incredible beauty of India. Explore Ladakh, through my lens!!

The Land of Buddha

Ladakh – The Land of Buddha

Ladakh – The Land of Buddha

The Monasteries of Ladakh are much more than the religious centers. Witness the 32 metre statue of Maitreyi Buddha on the top of the hill at Nubra Valley. The beautiful Mural paintings, Stupas and Thangkas was preserved and depicts various aspects of Buddhist culture
Hemis Monastery is one of the largest and most popular monasteries in Ladakh. The monastery shares its origin with Naropa- and Indian Buddhist who attained enlightenment there.
The other key monasteries to look out for are:
1. Diskit Monastery in Nubra Valley. The place holds its charm as it is the most beautiful and oldest Buddhist monastery in Ladakh. The breathtaking location offers solemn serenity and inner peace.
2. Thiksey Monastery, resembling the Potala Palace in Tibet, Thiksey is one of the most beautiful monasteries in Ladakh. The 49 ft. Statue of Maitreya Buddha is the main attraction of this place.

The Sweeping Scenic Beauty

The Sweeping Scenic Beauty

The Sweeping Scenic Beauty

Enclosed in between the Himalayan and Karakoram Mountain ranges, the Ladakh is covered with red, yellow and green mountains. The water bodies are a large crystal of clear blue water. The rugged landscape under the starry sky, aligned by lush green patches of mountains offers the most surreal scenic beauty.
So if you’re looking to take a break from your gadgets and hustle of life, make a visit to Ladakh and get connect with nature and people. Because this place will make you just sit back, and tune into nature.

Smack onto some Indo-Tibetan Food

Smack onto some Indo-Tibetan Food

Smack onto some Indo-Tibetan Food

The food in Ladakh is simple, yet delicious. With a subtle hint of spices, the place greets you with the locally served Momos and Thukkpa. The food offered here is less spicy, yet offers the lip-smacking authentic taste. If get a chance, experience a local family’s hospitality and share a cup of yak-butter tea with them. As some of the life’s simple pleasure comes from great tea and conversation.
And just don’t forget to have Maggie at Khardungla top, en-route Nubra valley. The hot Maggie is a perfect snack at this peak of the highest motorable road in the world.
While your stay at Leh, visit ‘The Tibetan Kitchen’ in the main market for the most authentic Tibetan cuisine.

A cultural extravaganza

Yes, Ladakh is known for its scenic beauty. But that’s not all!
Ladakh traditions are influenced by the Tibetan culture. And while you visit this place, you will find a lot of similarity between the two. Plan your trip coinciding the colorful Ladakh Festival or Hemis festival and witness the beautiful culture of Ladakh. Capture the brilliant performances and enjoy the blend of drums and trumpets.
The architecture here has a strong Buddhist overtone to it, and it will leave you awe-struck with its beauty.

Acclimatize your body and go camping

Camping is an amazing adventure!

Your visit to places and stay at Ladakh makes you a traveler on wheels. Located 3,000 meters from sea level, Ladakh is known as the land of a high pass. Acclimatize your body and go slow! Crossing the highest motorable road, Khardungla, located at 18,000 ft. from sea level is an experience of a lifetime. While you cross the roads passing through the magnificent mountains, don’t forget to have an overnight camping at Pangong Lake. Step up into the wide open space of nature and sit beside this sparkling blue lake. The place offers a panoramic sunset and sunrise view. And if not cloudy, you may witness the Milky Way in the night sky.

So if you’re still thinking why to visit Ladakh region once in your lifetime…you have got your own vibes to add further as another reason!

The post Ladakh through My Lens – a Traveller’s Perspective appeared first on Places in Pixel.

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